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

Director:

Bob Balaban
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Randy Quaid ... Nick Laemle
Mary Beth Hurt ... Lily Laemle
Sandy Dennis ... Millie Dew
Bryan Madorsky ... Michael Laemle
London Juno London Juno ... Sheila Zellner (as Juno Mills-Cockell)
Kathryn Grody ... Miss Baxter
Deborah Rush ... Mrs. Zellner
Graham Jarvis ... Mr. Zellner
Helen Carscallen Helen Carscallen ... Grandmother
Warren Van Evera Warren Van Evera ... Grandfather
Wayne Robson ... Lab Attendant
Uriel Byfield Uriel Byfield ... Little Boy
Mariah Balaban Mariah Balaban ... Little Girl
Larry Palef Larry Palef ... Announcer
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

There's A New Name For Terror...

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Goneis See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$870,532
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's appropriately bizarre title for its Germany release was 'Daddy ist ein Kannibale', or 'Daddy is a Cannibal!' See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Nick Laemle: Michael, are you ready to behave? I thought I tell you a little story. Want to hear a story. I tell you a little story and I want you to shut up until I'm finished.
Michael Laemle: [Tied to a chair by his father] You eat people.
Nick Laemle: I've been watching you, Michael. You're an outsider, you're not like them. You're like us.
Michael Laemle: I don't love you any more.
Lily Laemle: Yes you do.
Nick Laemle: We're bound for life, no matter how much you hate us.
Nick Laemle: [as he slowly unties Michael] I'm untying, and when you're free. You can sit down with us an eat, or ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Memories Are Made of This
As Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., Special Markets Division
By Terry Gilkyson, Rich Dehr (as Richard Dehr) and Frank Miller
Use Courtesy of SBK/Blackwood Music Inc. (BMI)
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User Reviews

 
A Day in the Life of Little Davey Lynch
1 November 2003 | by WriterDaveSee all my reviews

Although directed by Bob Balaban of all people (most will know him as one of Christopher Guest's regulars in his series of comic pseudo-documentaries like "Best in Show"), "Parents" is clearly heavily influenced by David Lynch (Lynch's regular composer Angelo Badalementi is put to good use here by Mr. Balaban). One wonders if this is what life was like for David Lynch growing up as an Eagle Scout in the picture perfect 1950's. This is one of the most disturbing darkly comic horror movies I have ever seen. My jaw hung open for the film's entire length, my heart was racing at the climax in the cellar, and by the time the "sitcom-style" end credits rolled I was laughing out loud.

The film is told from the point of view of a 10 year old boy growing up in a cold, sanitized, and Uncanny 1950's suburbia with his parents who are so perfect they are down-right creepy (played wonderfully by Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt). The kid knows something must be up, and the film eerily displays the dark fantasies that can develop in a child's mind when he isn't quite sure why the world is the way it is and that everything seems slightly off-kilter. We've all had these feelings when lonely and isolated and it is especially apparent in those odd pre-teen years when we are old enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality yet not mature enough to handle just what that reality now is. What essentially happens in this film is the young boy walks in on his parents having sex one night after waking up from a nightmare and then develops a bizarre fantasy where they have become cannibals. Freud would have a field day with this film. Balaban puts the psycho back in psychosexual with the kind of wanton abandon only Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Lynch have previously dared. The latter half of the film follows the conventions of your standard horror flick and does it so beautifully you will be left shivering. Sublime, satirical, uncanny, and as near perfect a cult film as you could ask for.

Also recommended: "Psycho," "The Shining," "Blue Velvet," "Twin Peaks," "Frailty," and "Donnie Darko."


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