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"THINNER"
(1996) (Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Moderate Mild Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: An obese lawyer is cursed by a gypsy and begins to rapidly lose large amounts of weight.
PLOT:
Billy Halleck (ROBERT JOHN BURKE) is an obese lawyer who celebrates his acquittal of his client, mafioso Richie Ginelli (JOE MANTEGNA) by eating a large high calorie lunch. Billy's wife, Heidi (LUCINDA JENNY), is trying to help him lose weight and on the way home from a dinner, decides to take his mind off eating by satisfying him in another way. Unfortunately, he doesn't see an old gypsy woman and strikes her dead with his car as she crosses the street. Since the local judge and sheriff are his buddies, no charges are brought against Billy. But something worse happens when the gypsy leader, Tadzu Lempke (MICHAEL CONSTANTINE), brushes Billy's cheek and whispers, "Thinner." He doesn't think anything of this, but soon he's losing weight faster than he ever could have imagined. Billy begins to get worried when too much comes off, and when he finds out that the judge and the sheriff have also had weird effects from an encounter with Tadzu, he realizes they've all been cursed. To top things off, Billy believes his wife is having an affair with a local doctor who's been helping him. As things get worse and worse, and he gets thinner and thinner, Billy calls on Richie to put his own "white man's curse" back on the gypsy to make him remove the weight loss curse.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they like Stephen King novels/movies or other horror stories, they might be attracted to this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For horror violence and gore, language and sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ROBERT JOHN BURKE is an okay fellow before the curse is put on him, but then turns into a rather mean man (somewhat understood considering what's happening to him) when he begins to dwindle down and he blames the whole mess on his wife.
  • JOE MANTEGNA plays an organized crime member who is acquitted of a criminal offense by Billy and then returns the favor by performing violent actions against the gypsies.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 1 out of 10
    If I recall, the Stephen King novel from which this is based was an interesting psychological horror piece. Here the psychology's been thrown out and replaced by horrible acting, bad pacing and a hatchet job on the original story. Important plot points come fast and furious and make sense to those familiar with the novel, but for those who aren't, all of this probably seems rather haphazard. None of it's scary and the acting relegates this movie to the status of a definite "B" movie howler. We suggest you stay away from this one unless your idea of losing weight is to squirm in your seat -- not from terror, but from counting the minutes until the film is over. We give this one a skinny little 1 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This movie is full of your typical horror movie type material. There are several dead people seen who are bloody and gross looking. There's some spooky music, but it's not that bad, considering this is a movie based on a Stephen King novel. The biggest sexual material is where Billy's wife performs oral sex on him while he's driving (not really seen -- but the bobbing up and down of her head is, and that implies what she's doing). Drinking and smoking aren't that bad and while the profanity gets an extreme rating, it's not overly plentiful (compared to other "R" rated films). As for every film, we suggest you read through the category listings before allowing any children to see this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Billy and Richie celebrate the latter's acquittal by drinking wine.
  • Billy, Heidi, and another couple drink wine.
  • The judge's wife is seen drinking a martini in a restaurant and then at home where she hands it to Billy.
  • Richie and some women are seen drinking in a bar.
  • The sheriff is seen drinking some type of hard liquor.
  • People inside a bar drink beer.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • Tadzu has a somewhat gross looking sore on the side of his nose.
  • The gypsy woman who is run over and killed is bloody and blood is seen smearing on the windshield by the car's wipers.
  • The local sheriff's body is all puffy and bloated looking, with bloody sores on his face.
  • The judge looks like a lizard man and has gross looking scales all over his body.
  • Tadzu squeezes his own hand so tight that blood drips down his arm from it.
  • Billy's hand is very bloody and lots of blood runs freely after a ball bearing has been shot clean through it. Later, the actual hole through his hand is seen and it's quite bloody, as is the towel around it.
  • A young man that Richie hired to spy on the gypsies is seen dead and bloody in his car with a chicken's head sticking out of his mouth.
  • A gypsy woman's head is bloody after Richie has bashed it against a ladder. And he has bloody scratch marks from where she got him.
  • Tadzu stabs a knife through Billy's already injured hand. He twists the knife around and then squeezes the copious amounts of blood into a pie that will transfer the curse to someone else.
  • Billy discovers Heidi very dead and very bloody in bed after she's eaten the cursed pie.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Billy's boss tells him to give a quarter to a young and voluptuous gypsy woman and tell her to raise her skirt for them.
  • The local judge refers to the gypsies as filthy, thieving people "who bring disease, crime and prostitution" wherever they go.
  • A pharmacist says he saw the gypsies stealing from his pharmacy.
  • The local sheriff lies on the stand and the judge dismisses any possible charges against Billy for running over the old woman (since they're all friends).
  • Richie calls a gypsy woman, "Bitch" and then "Whore."
  • Billy refers to Heidi as "bitch" before giving her the deadly and curse inflicted pie.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Many of the scenes are intended to be frightening to some extent, but most of them play out like those from bad "b" movies -- the kind of scenes that people laugh at instead of cringe from.
  • Billy and Heidi are almost hit by a truck as they're driving.
  • Billy has a nightmare where Tadzu's granddaughter comes after him with a slingshot. The judge drives by and picks him up (and has gross looking scales all over his body -- his curse) as the granddaughter fires shots at them and shatters the back window. They then see a gas tanker truck coming at them that crashes into their car and then see a bus driven by Tadzu that crashes into them from the other side.
  • Richie throws a gypsy woman around for a moment or two (bashing her head into a ladder in the process) and then places a jar of acid on her forehead that she has to carefully remove.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: The sheriff tries to give it to Billy to shoot Tadzu, but Billy refuses. As Billy leaves the house, he hears the gun go off inside (implying suicide).
  • Slingshot: Used by a gypsy woman to fire ball bearings at Billy on several occasions, one of which she shoots him right through his hand.
  • Machine gun/Handgun/Rifle: Used during a shootout between Richie and the gypsies. Richie shoots up several of their vehicles with his machine gun and the gypsies end up unknowingly shooting and killing one of their own men.
  • Handgun: Used by Richie to threaten a gypsy woman.
  • Knife: Stabbed through Billy's already injured hand by Tadzu. He twists the knife around and then squeezes the blood out into a pie that will transfer the curse to someone else.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • A gypsy woman gives Billy "the finger" and spits in his direction and later spits at him again.
  • Richie feeds the gypsy's dogs strychnine laced meat (that kills them).
  • Phrases: "Balls," "Bastard," "Idiot," "Bitch," and "Whore."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a mild amount of scary music that is played quite often, but isn't really that scary.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 11 "f" words, 1 "s" word, 4 hells, 4 damns, 3 "ass" words," 1 slang term for male genitals (the "p" word), 1 SOB, and 2 uses of "Christ," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sake," "Jesus," "Oh God," "God," "Oh my God," and "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The local judge says he wouldn't be surprised if the visiting gypsies "brought down the whole football team with the clap (gonorrhea)."
  • A young and voluptuous gypsy woman raises her skirt for Billy and momentarily shows her thong like underwear to him.
  • As they're driving, Heidi begins manually stimulating Billy. After a moment, she lowers her head down into his lap and performs oral sex on him. We can't actually see it, but do see her head bobbing up and down.
  • The very obese Billy is seen nude standing on a scale and his bare buttocks are seen. Another man says, "Soon you'll be able to see your balls without a mirror."
  • A doctor tells Billy, "You probably haven't been this healthy since you were banging (a girl's name) back in high school." Billy then responds "I never got into her pants."
  • As Billy and Heidi are arguing over their accident Billy tells her, "I'm sorry, was I just giving myself a blow job then?"
  • SMOKING
  • Richie smokes a cigar after being acquitted.
  • A man standing outside of a bar smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Both Heidi and their daughter are concerned with Billy's sudden and drastic weight loss. Eventually, Heidi has the daughter go and live with an aunt until things are figured out.
  • Billy begins to suspect that Heidi's having an affair with the local doctor.
  • Billy plots to do in (kill) his wife with a curse infected pie.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Gypsies and whether there are things such as curses.
  • Both the sheriff and the judge commit suicide to end their curses (neither is actually seen).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Richie is acquitted of putting of putting a "contract" (murder orders) on another man (the mention of the contract, and not the acquittal is the violent content).
  • As Heidi is performing oral sex on Billy while he's driving, an old gypsy woman crosses the street and is struck by their car and is killed.
  • The judge's wife throws her drink into Billy's face.
  • The sheriff tries to give Billy a gun to shoot Tadzu, but Billy refuses. As Billy leaves the house, he hears the gun go off inside (implying suicide).
  • Billy throws a half chicken (he's been eating on) across the kitchen.
  • Billy has a nightmare where Tadzu's granddaughter comes after him with a slingshot. The judge drives by and picks him up (and has gross looking scales all over his body -- his curse) as the granddaughter fires shots at them and shatters the back window. They then see a gas tanker truck coming at them that crashes into their car and then see a bus driven by Tadzu that crashes into them from the other side.
  • Richie feeds the gypsy's dogs strychnine laced meat (that kills them).
  • A young man that Richie hired to spy on the gypsies is seen dead and bloody in his car with a chicken's head sticking out of his mouth.
  • Richie bashes a gypsy guard over the head and then opens fire with a machine gun on the gypsy camp. No one is hit, but several vehicles explode in flames. The gypsies return fire with pistols and rifles. Richie then attaches a note to the guard and sends him stumbling in the dark toward the gypsies who open fire and mistakenly shoot him dead.
  • Richie throws a gypsy woman around for a moment or two, bashing her head into a ladder in the process. He then places a jar of acid on her forehead (that she has to carefully remove) and tells her, "Next time you're a dead whore."
  • Tadzu stabs a knife through Billy's already injured hand. He twists the knife around and then squeezes the blood out into a pie that will transfer the curse to someone else.
  • Billy leaves a deadly and curse ridden pie for Heidi that he knows will kill her. The next morning he discovers her very dead and very bloody in bed.



  • Reviewed October 25, 1996

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