47 FILMS: 3. PARENTS

47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams continues with Bob Balaban’s debut horror Parents.

The family is a good place to start when it comes to horror, be it Norman Bates’ mother complex, the psycho family from Texas Chainsaw Massacre or even the sweet demonic daughter from The Exorcist. Just getting pregnant can be scary – see Rosemary’s Baby, or in a weird way Alien!

A welcome addition to the sub-genre is Bob Balaban’s 1989 horror-comedy Parents. Set in a 1950s American culture that worshiped the sanctity of the nuclear family, Dad (Randy Quaid) knows best while Mom (Mary Beth Hurt) prepares the meatloaf, entertains guests, wearing bouncy frocks and without a hair out of place. Unfortunately, their young son (Bryan Madorsky) is having nightmares and seems to be focused on their eating habits with mounting suspicion. Endlessly told to eat his meat, the ‘leftovers’, he asks what were the leftovers, before they were leftovers. ‘Leftovers to be,’ replies his dad with a grin, but it soon becomes apparent that the meat is of a much terrifying provenance. Could it be that his parents are feasting on human flesh?

Balaban – an actor famous for his character roles in films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Deconstructing Harry – gives the film a jaunty ironic tone with a soundtrack made up of Golden Oldies. This is Tim Burton territory of a hyper-stylized pastel bright suburban America as if they all just popped off the back of an old cornflakes packet, but he infuses it with a darkness that seems more Lynchian. The child is powerless before his  parents and their bland cheery authority. The school tries to help but the social worker (Sandy Dennis) is a chain smoking mass of neuroses herself. Dad works at Toxico and is developing Agent Orange to wreak havoc in the Third World and there are suggestions later on that the cannibalism is not so much an aberration as a family tradition.

Balaban brilliant makes the normal horrifying and the comforting disconcerting, what should be a tasty hearty meal becomes an inedible terror.

For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams Click HERE.

AN APPEAL FROM STEVEN SPIELBERG

HOLLYWOOD – Hi, my name is Steven Spielberg, director of such great films as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lincoln, War Horse, Sugarland Express, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Catch Me If You Can, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Hook, 1941, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Munich and Always.

You might also know me from my executive producer credits on ER, Falling Skies, the Transformers series and many other TV Shows and films. Oh, I also kind of directed Poltergeist, but shhhhh. 

But today I don’t want to talk to you as the director of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Tin Tin the Secret of the Unicorn and certainly not as the director of The Terminal … to tell you the truth I always try and forget that one. 

No. I’m here to talk to you as a normal human being. A simple man. Cast from your mind Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Duel. Not to mention the beguiling science fiction fairy tales A.I. and E.T. And let’s not get into my cameo role in The Blues Brothers, or those documentaries I made about the Second World War and President Obama. And what’s the point in dredging up the segment of The Twilight Zone movie and those episodes of Columbo I was involved with? I was a young man, a kid and no one knew me. It just isn’t relevant to the point I want to make and this very important issue which I would like to shine a light on today.

So PLEASE sign the petition and remember to give generously. Thank You.


Steven Spielberg

JJ ABRAMS SIGNS ON FOR SCHINDLER’S LIST 2

HOLLYWOOD – JJ Abrams‘ love for Steven Spielberg is well known – as evidenced by his Goonies like Super 8 nostalgia fest – but now he is going to take it one step further: writing and directing a sequel to the capped one’s masterpiece, Schindler’s List

We caught up with the Lost creator in his Bad Robot offices where he was prepping some films about spaceships and laser swords(?) ‘I’ve always seen Steven as my hero,’ said Abrams. ‘But I’ve always made these films which were like early Spielberg, the Spielberg of Close Encounters and ET, Raiders even. Now I want to look at the more serious side of his work.’

Don’t you think it is in bad taste to make a sequel to a film like Schindler’s List, which after all is about true events occurring in the Holocaust?

 I would think that if this was a sequel, but really it isn’t. You see what happens in Schindler’s List 2 is actually an alternative universe. Some people got on the list other people weren’t so lucky. Well in my film that’s reversed. 

But that’s horrible.

And in Steven’s version, the allies win the war and the camps are liberated, but my film will ask the question what if they didn’t and what if they weren’t.

So the Nazis…

Win, yeah. Oh and we’re going to have a lot more humor. I like to keep it light. There’s a party scene where Oscar is wining and dining the Nazis and we’re going to do it to the Beastie Boys.

Oh Christ, not ‘Sabotage’ again!

Christ. What do you take me for? No, we’re going with ‘You’ve got to Fight for your Right (to Party)’. Have some taste man. It isn’t like I’m just slavishly reproducing what has gone before.

So anything else in the pipeline?

I’m not allowed to talk about Amistad 2, so no.  

Schindler’s List 2 will be released in 2015.