A young boy living in 1950s suburbia suspects his parents are cannibalistic murderers.


1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Lily Laemle
Millie Dew
London Juno ...
Sheila Zellner (as Juno Mills-Cockell)
Kathryn Grody ...
Miss Baxter
Mrs. Zellner
Mr. Zellner
Helen Carscallen ...
Warren Van Evera ...
Lab Attendant
Uriel Byfield ...
Little Boy
Mariah Balaban ...
Little Girl
Larry Palef ...


Michael Laemie (played by Brian Madorsky) is a young boy living in a typical 1950's suburbanite home... except for his bizarre and horrific nightmares, and continued unease around his parents. Especially his father, Nick Laemie (played by Randy Quaid). Young Michael begins to suspect his parents are cooking more than just hamburgers on the grill outside, but has trouble explaining his fears to his new-found friend Sheila, or the school's social worker. Written by Jeff Mercer <riffer@afn.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's A New Name For Terror...


Comedy | Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goneis  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$870,532 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The surname of the family in this movie is "Laemle", a likely nod to Carl Laemmle Jr., producer of such horror classics as Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933). See more »


When Nick Laemle slaps the cinder block basement wall, it visibly flexes. See more »


Lab Attendant: I have here an opportunity
[holds out a pen to Michael]
Lab Attendant: this pen is made of chemicals, but if I took these same chemicals and recombined them, I could make an automobile, or an electric light! The whole world is made of chemicals Micheal, you can make anything! And if you're smart... you'll make opportunities.
See more »


Chantilly Lace
Performed by The Big Bopper
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Projects, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc.
By The Big Bopper (as J.P. Richardson)
Published by Fort Knox Music, Inc., Trio Music Co., Inc.
Administered by Hudson Bay Music, Inc., Glad Music Company
See more »

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User Reviews

the blackest of black comedies.
25 February 2007 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Stunningly weird and truly clever horror-comedy is an unforgettable trip.

Young boy begins to suspect that his too-normal parents are up to something strange as they continue to push him to eat his meats at dinner.

A royally twisted satire on 50's Americana, Parents is a wildly warped cross between Blue Velvet (1986), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and various sitcoms of the McCarthy era. The story is quite intriguing, disturbing, and down-right funny at times. The direction is sharply done creating lots of inventive cinematography and hauntingly eerie visuals (namely that shot where our young hero dives into his bed only to sink into an ocean of blood). A good music score by Angelo Badalamenti, nice sets, and an over-all atmosphere of dread and mystery also help to make this film memorable.

The cast is a true highlight as well. Randy Quaid is downright frightening as the stern father. Mary Beth Hurt is solid as the high-strung mother. Sandy Dennis is quite good as the school councilor. Brian Madorsky does perhaps the best performance, especially considering his young age, as the nervous and understandably scared kid.

Parents is a film that is almost beyond words for me. It's surely one of the most horrific black comedies ever and one that must be seen to be felt! A winner.

**** out of ****

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