PLOT - An overweight successful lawyer one night accidentally runs an old gypsy woman over with his car. After a few strings are pulled and he gets off scot free. Shortly after, one of the dead woman's family members approach him, smiles, and brushes their fingers across his face before whispering one single word. "Thinner..." Right after the lawyer begins to notice he's dropping weight and fast. At first he thinks it's a dream come true, before he notices he's closing almost forty pounds a week. It isn't long before he discovers everyone including himself that helped cover up this terrible crime has been cursed by the gypsies. Now it's up to him to find a stop to this curse before he completely disappears...
LOWDOWN - Stephen King has always been a huge staple in my life. My mother was a huge fan of his work, so of course my sister and I grew up watching his movies, mini-series, and reading his books. One of the few pieces of work from him besides his later novels that I've yet to read is Thinner. Currently I'm finishing a book I borrowed from a friend, but I'm trying to plan out my next book to read. Usually I re-read some of my favorites of King around this time of year such as Needful Things or Christine. But after browsing my local book store, I became curious when I saw the Thinner cover yet again. Thinner was a mid 90's King movie. Many say his glory days was in the 80's. I agree, but there are still some truly amazing pieces of work by him that came out in the following decade. Not all of the movies/mini-series matched the novels, but some truly decent underrated ones came out around this time. We have IT, The Stand, Sleepwalkers, The Langoliers, Needful Things, and Sometimes They Come Back just to name a few. There weren't so many actual films that came out, but Thinner was one that deserves to be recognized. Directed by horror master Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child's Play) this movie not only had a strong director, writer, and great cast behind it. One of the best driving forces are the mind-blowing effects used in this film. I still remember watching this as a kid and loving every moment of it.
I've always been fascinated by gypsies and sadly there aren't enough horror movies about them (well, until Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell) so Thinner was a wonderful and very creepy take on curses. I still want to read the book, but as a movie this was truly wonderful done. I don't know the differences between the movie and novel, but I can say that the effort was truly put forth in this one. The effects by Greg Cannon are some of the best from 1990's. This was practical at it's best. They took skinny actor Robert John Burke (Robocop 3) and did AMAZING multi-piece appliances on him to make him look 300+ pounds. With that, the vapid process of showing him drop weight was not just settle, but used old school tricks that still hold up today. Legit the man towards the end looked like a skeleton. Great stuff. The other mind blowing transformation was with actor Michael Constantine who didn't even look like himself as the gypsy (that nose tho!) There are other great effects such as the pig and lizard transformation. Just another reminder that practical effects will always remain the best. The makeup in this movie truly is the leading star. With a wonderful cast, I still get a huge kick out of Richie played by Joe Mantegna. I know not everyone agrees, but this character was the best in this movie. Loved once he stepped in. The best scene has to be him and Gina in the barn "Here's the real deal bitch!" That acid scene always gets me. Once he steps in to help Billy things kick into overdrive.
With a wonderful score, and GREAT twist ending this is a treat for anyone. I really can't stress enough how much I want to read the book since from what I heard it ends differently. Still, the ending to this movie has one HELL of a payoff. In fact one of the best twists seen in a King movie. One thing I love in this film is how you honestly don't know if Billy's wife and the doctor were shacking up. It's left for the audience to decide. That pie effect tho is yet again another reminder on how great the effects are.
So if you are looking for a spooky awesome Stephen King movie check out Thinner which is currently streaming of Netflix now. Nothing says Thanksgiving more than cursed pie!!!
4 1/2 stars!!!