(R, 1:21:45, Released 1989)
|Genres:||Drama, Horror, Comedy|
|Release Date:||Jan 1, 2000|
|DVD Release Date:||May 25, 1999|
|Starring:||Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, Sandy Dennis, Bryan Madorsky, Juno Mills-Cockell, Kathryn Grody, Deborah Rush, Graham Jarvis, Mariah Balaban, Uriel Byfield|
|Directed by:||Bob Balaban, Anand Ravi|
|Synopsis:||In this bizarre and very black comedy set in 1950s suburbia, Michael Laemle (Bryan Madorsky) comes to suspect that his conventional parents (Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt) have a little secret which they have kept from him. Nothing too major - - just that they happen to be cannibals. It seems that Dad has been bringing home some extra meat from his place of work, a mortuary. As the lad grows ever more hysterical, he confesses his suspicions to the school psychologist (Sandy Dennis). She ridicules his notions and even comes to the house to show him how foolish he's being. Instead, she becomes an entree in the next family dinner, as Michael's parents attempt to indoctrinate him into their odd lifestyle. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
January 14, 2014
The feeling of impending terror is almost overwhelming. This was one of those top shelf video nasties in my local video rental shop in the late 80's early 90s. Back then I used to go in for sweets and comics and just spend hours looking at the horror film section, wishing i was old enough to see them but also terrified at the idea of doing so. I've caught up with most of them but not Parents until now. I was expecting more of a gore/splatter film, there is some but this is very much a film directed by an Actor and someone who understands theatre. I had no idea Bob Balaban directed as well and was surprised to see he'd done this. The 50's suburban nightmare has been done before and many times since but no film can match the intensity and down-right eeriness of Parents. I'll have a Green salad thanks.
July 15, 2012
"There's A New Name For Terror..."
Parents isn't an awful movie by any stretch. It's actually a pretty well made movie if I look at it from just that standpoint. If I look at it from the entertainment and enjoyment aspects of it, it didn't quite hold up. I didn't hate it, but it certainly didn't win me over in the end. It had a fairly interesting concept that kept the film going, but the way the events unfold is obvious, and the end result is less than satisfying. I can say that it was a good try because this could have been terrible, but it wasn't.
Parents centers around a family living in the suburbs during the 1950's. The story is presented in the way Fido would be. It's a dark comedy, horror movie mix. There's a ten year old boy at the center of the film who is starting to question his parents. There's obviously something off with them and he begins to get bigger and bigger evidence to this effect. He also won't eat his meat, which disappoints his parents because they are huge meat lovers. I was constantly waiting for a Pink Floyd reference about eating your meat, but unfortunately none came.
I will say that the direction by Bob Balaban makes this movie more watchable then I thought it could be. He does a good job balancing the social satire with the creepiness. Also the cast is rather interesting as well. Randy Quaid gives the best performance I've ever seen from him, and I also really enjoyed Mary Beth Hurt's performance as the loving mother as well.
In the end though, all this movie does is present its story in an interesting way. By the end, I was less then enamored with it. Sure it has some good stuff going on, but films like these need a little more to push them over the top and that little bit more was missing here. Plus when you label yourself as a Dark Comedy, then you have to deliver some laughs, and Parents just doesn't. The darkness was certainly there, but the comedy was no where to be seen. It also is labeled as a horror film. Well, it wasn't scary either. So it failed in both respects. Still I can't say not to watch the movie, because I didn't hate it all and I could see people easily being able to enjoy this one.
February 11, 2012
Quirky little number this, first time I have seen it and I quite liked it :) Came across as a 'Little Shop of Horror's' black gallows humour type of film to me with a slight sprinkle of tension.
Its an odd one for sure, Randy Quaid is perfect as 'Dad' with that eerie joker-ish smile of his, Mary Beth Hurt accompanies Quaid well as 'Mum' to make a great kooky couple. The various scenes of eating dinner with close ups of the meat really does make you uncomfortable and your mind swings from judgement to judgement on wether little 'Michael Laemle's' parnets really are serving up human flesh for tea hehe.
Personally I could never really make up my mind if the whole thing was a dream or just a little boys crazy imagination, the film plays out quite surreal which keeps you guessing. Being set in the 50's really adds that kind of bizarre yet fun twist to it, almost impossible to think such things could happen in a perfect all American home in the happy 50's. The cute sitcom like soundtrack adds zing, makes the whole thing out to be almost silly, light hearted or even a kids film, truth be told the film gets darker and darker as it goes on yet your never really scared, more intrigued and curious.
A real cult oddity which works due to the brilliant performances of all the cast members.
July 12, 2011
Parents is a very interesting idea for a horror film. The concept behind this film is very cool. A kid suspects his Parents to be cannibals after he notices big cuts of beef every night for supper on the table. Parents is a blend of Black Comedy and Horror, but after watching this I would lean more towards horror. There are a few funny parts, but it's more horrifying than anything else. What I loved about the film was that it had the look of a family sitcom and the soundtrack was practically a sitcom theme. The film looked great, and was well done. Randy Quaid was solid in his performance and so was Mary Beth Hurt. After viewing Parents, I thought it was a very underrated gem. The thing that I love the most about this film is the concept behind the plot. I thought that idea of cannibalistic parents was a fairly good idea for film. After watching it, I realized how much this film is underrated. Sure, I can understand why the film may not appeal to everyone due to it's plot. But for the horror diehard, Parents is a terrific horror film that delivers good horror and a good story. Parents shouldn't be dismissed and will appeal to horror fans who enjoy something different. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I don't see why this film has gotten the flack it has received, a thoroughly engaging and morbidly fun horror film.
April 10, 2011
Wow, what a cool movie. I loved it, it's nostalgic, creepy, atmospheric, and well written. All the actors do a good job, even the boy who's the main character. I highly recommend this movie.
July 5, 2009
Creepy low-budget 80's comedy horror whose intended message sorta went over my head. It's awkward viewing and not too exciting.
June 16, 2009
This is available for free viewing on Hulu.com.
The acting is the clear winner of this flick, with set decoration coming in close second. And unlike most modern horror, this film has a plot that includes characters we the audience have a stake in. I viewed this with my best friend who said this during the screening, "Why don't they make movies like this anymore? Movies where you actually care about the characters and want to know what happens?" And it's quite true - this movie is not the most complicated of stories, but we DO care about what happens to this kid and to know what his parents are really up to.
This is a fun family horror-comedy, with a really cool final act.
May 20, 2008
Where does the meat come from? While it's funny as hell, Parents also plays on a number of childhood fears, and Balaban's direction, combined with Angelo Badalamenti's moody score, make this a fun, creepy, twisted tale of life in the suburbs circa 1954.
fb100000185301014April 19, 2012
It's not so bad consider it's a low budget satire film about the 50s suburbia, where a family holds a dark secret. I love the camera angles and the different scenes. It was an effective black comedy, however a bit too dark at times. The campiness and cliche really helped with bringing out the comic elements.
April 1, 2008
Omg what a classic. One of the weird late eighties slasher family oddball movies. You gotta see it,.
January 18, 2014
I had no idea Bob Balaban was behind this bizarro film, but he really gives us a crazy comedy set in the '50s where conformity is everything and behind those white picket fences you just never know what you might find. A kid begins to suspect that his parents aren't serving up the meat that you'd expect to find in the neighborhood grocery store, and who knows how far they'll go to hide their secrets?
Fun stuff, definitely worth a rental.
September 5, 2012
Hell of a movie. I was not expecting this level of creepy from Randy Quaid but, in spite of everything, he's a creepy father in this 80s quirkfest. Michael Laemle's eponymous parents are hiding something from him and it's effecting his little 9 year old psyche. Bryan Madorsky as Michael (in the only movie he's ever been in) does a fine job of articulating the fear of living in a house where you can't trust your mother and father. I'm just surprised at how this oddball 50s period piece was so fun and so unsettling at the same time.
July 20, 2012
Short but funny black comedy that also serves as a suspenseful horror flick. I remember hearing about this way back when my oldest brother used to watch movies with a neighbor across the street. He just mentioned something about a kid's parents always mentioning that left overs were for dinner. And now I know what leftovers meant. A great fun movie.
fb677587177January 13, 2012
It's too bad this falls apart and starts to drag in the second half, because the first half is fabulous. I love the combination of horror and dark comedy, and this is a good example of it until it just wanders off into left field and stops having much of a point. It's worth seeing, I just wish it had stayed as entertaining as it was when it first started.
January 8, 2012
A pretty schizophrenic film as it seems to bounce between the trappings of black comedy and the stylistics of 50's Americana, alternately deciding which to place a greater emphasis upon, but the overall effect is undeniably entertaining. Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt both give scenery-chewing performances as the parents and yes, their performances are gleefully over-the-top, kabuki performances. For a black comedy, its not uproariously funny, but its pretty amusing for the duration of its length, and dare I say the film never invokes a feeling of boredom. The child actors are clearly not as polished in their roles as the two lead adults, but they do admirably considering their age. The drastic shift in tone that the film repeatedly has is a little jarring, and at times it feels this hurt the film somewhat. Still, it feels like a fresh concept in the black comedy genre in many ways, and the bizarre commentary on child abuse and pre-adolescent sexuality has a little more depth than one would expect. Plus this is surprisingly well shot for this type of film.
March 2, 2011
In the 1950s an all-American family moves to a new small town. The elementary school age son questions why they always eat "leftovers" (which most often consists of unidentified barbecued meat). When he asks about the food his normally overly loving parents get very angry. He soon begins to suspect they have been eating people and says as much to the school psychologist who dosent believe him. He is traumatized when he catches his very affectionate parents doing it on the living room floor. At times filmed in a very strange, surreal manner (by Bob Balaban of Best in Show), this horror-comedy is actually pretty dull. Jerri's mom from Strangers With Candy plays a great drunk in this (as she did in the ep. "Dreams on the Rocks"). If you like this, try The Burbs and Serial Mom.
September 21, 2009
mix childhood imaginations, with screwed up parents and you get a psychosis, mix it with cannibals and you may get a young psychotic! Great show!
July 13, 2009
There's now a new name for terror: Parents. In the Laemle family, Dad's got a job at the Toxico plant, Mom's homemaking, and ten-year-old Michael thinks his folks are cannibals. Michael frequently fears of his parents and their supposedly evil acts start to warp his view of the world, so he often visits a social worker to talk about his problems. Either his parents really do crave for human meat, or they're only childhood nightmares from his imagination. Directed by Bob Balaban, Parents features very good acting performances from the following cast: 1.) Randy Quaid (Nick Laemle) 2.) Mary Beth Hurt (Lily Laemle) 3.) Sandy Dennis (Millie Dew) 4.) Bryan Madorsky (Michael Laemle) 5.) Juno Mills-Cockell (Shelia Zeliner) 6.) Kathryn Grody (Miss Baxter) When I saw Parents, I find it as a horror movie with its sick humor that would end up on my dinner plate. Surely many TV and the movies portray the perfect all-American suburban family set in the innocently-looking late '50s/early '60s background, the film does show them but parodies in a terror twist. Sometimes I enjoy seeing a mystery where Michael asks what he's having for dinner and his folks tell him of leftovers (and more leftovers) while they eat quietly in the table. And then some good but grotesque bloody scenes ensue. Thank goodness my Parents aren't like that.
April 25, 2009
I was amazed at this movie, it's very clever, funny, and scary. I loved the kid in the movie too, he was a good actor.
April 11, 2009
Ummm....wow...that was strange, to say the very least. Actually it made me even more appreciative that I'm vegan haha.
The introductory music is terrible...screechy and obnoxious. Sorry, I just had to say that...it really bugged me lol. I actually really dislike this movie. Way too grotesque subject matter...and just boring & retarded. I think I may just not have appreciation for the genre.
January 24, 2009
everyone has to deal with their parents feeding them nasty shit when they're young, but this tops any putrid beets on a plate.
The concept of square nerdy parents chowin down on human meat is funny,
October 19, 2008
Flip side of the 50's. This, along with Blue Velvet and The Burbs will make you question leaving the big city.
October 18, 2008
RQuaid may be funny, but he has always CREEPED me out lol. The little boy is an amazing actor. A classic.
August 22, 2007
creepy movie about parents who are cannibals.... very sedate and slow for the subject, but effective.
July 18, 2007
A movie that harpoons the idea that all suburban families are perfect families with no problems. The casting of Randy Quaid is perfect just because he is like a rock through a pane glass window in the genre.