Parents (film)

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Parents

Theatrical release poster
Directed byBob Balaban
Produced byMitchell Cannold
Bonnie Palef
Steven Reuther
Written byChristopher Hawthorne
StarringRandy Quaid
Mary Beth Hurt
Sandy Dennis
Bryan Madorsky
Music byJonathan Elias
Editing byBill Pankow
StudioGreat American Films Limited Partnership
Vestron Pictures
Distributed byVestron Pictures
Release date(s)27 January 1989 (USA)
Running time81 min.
CountryCanada
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$870,532 (USA)
 
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Parents

Theatrical release poster
Directed byBob Balaban
Produced byMitchell Cannold
Bonnie Palef
Steven Reuther
Written byChristopher Hawthorne
StarringRandy Quaid
Mary Beth Hurt
Sandy Dennis
Bryan Madorsky
Music byJonathan Elias
Editing byBill Pankow
StudioGreat American Films Limited Partnership
Vestron Pictures
Distributed byVestron Pictures
Release date(s)27 January 1989 (USA)
Running time81 min.
CountryCanada
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$870,532 (USA)

Parents is a 1989 American black comedy horror film directed by Bob Balaban and written by Christopher Hawthorne. It stars Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, Sandy Dennis and Bryan Madorsky. The film is about a suburban boy in the 1950s who suspects his parents of cannibalism.

Contents

Background

Although the film is primarily in the horror genre (it can also be categorized as surrealistic horror, and the film has sometimes been compared to the work of David Lynch[citation needed]), it features many comic moments, including the use of sitcom-like music in its soundtrack.

The production of the film spared no expense in creating each detail, reproducing accurately the modern style of the 1950s, right down to the clothing, wallpaper and carpeting.

Parents was filmed in Ontario, Canada.

Plot

Michael Laemle is a ten year old boy living in 1954 suburban Massachusetts. He has new friends at his school, a father with a great job at a chemical plant named Toxico, and a mother who is the perfect homemaker, both always smothering him with kindness. However, when he questions where the huge cuts of meat come from that his parents serve every night, his parents aren't so kind. They are short tempered, and refuse to answer his questions. He quickly begins to fear both of his parents when he begins to suspect his "perfect" family of keeping dark secrets from him. Why isn't he allowed in the basement? Michael knows his parents are engaging in cannibalism, and that he is in danger. Michael grows more hysterical and disturbed every time his parents try to feed him their "choice cuts". He confesses to the school counselor why he is afraid of his parents. She doesn't believe him, and if she doesn't, who will?

Cast

Release

Parents had an estimated budget of $3,000,000, according to the Internet Movie Database, but grossed only $870,532 in the United States.[1] Since its initial box office failure, however, the film has developed a cult following on home video.[citation needed]

Critical reception

The film received a generally negative response from critics, with criticism mainly aimed at the film's tone.[2] It currently holds a 45% 'rotten' rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on eleven reviews.[2]

Home video

The film was released on DVD on 25 May 1999 in its unmatted full screen format. The original DVD went out of print for a brief period of time before the film was re-released in the DVD format as a double feature with the film Fear, presented for the first time in widescreen since its original theatrical release.

References

  1. ^ "Parents (1989) - Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098068/business. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Parents - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/parents/. Retrieved 11 August 2012.

External links