Directed by: Bob Balaban
Written by: Christopher Hawthorne
Randy Quaid ... With his media antics we learned that he is one insane guy, but in 1989s black comedy "Parents" he plays one too..Maybe he wasn't acting?
Parents is a film that seldom gets written or talked about which makes it perfect for Films in the Attic.
Plot: The year is 1954 and Nick (Randy Quaid) and Lily Laemle (Mary Beth Hurt) move themselves and there ten year old son Michael (Bryan Madorsky) to there own little slice of suburban paradise. Things aren't so blissful for Michael who is introverted and seems to live in a world totally of his own. He has no friends expect for Shelia (Juno Mills-Cockell) a girl who is also odd. His strange behavior in school leads him to see a social worker Millie Dew (Sandy Dennis) who is a kind, free spirited type. Michael becoming more convinced something is rotten with his parents and the "left overs" they serve every night, which is never explained. Is it all in his active imagination or is something more sinister cooking?
I can see where "Parents" would have a hard time finding an audience. Tone wise its all over the place. Keeping with the theme of the movie, one can look at it like movie stew. Take one parts dark comedy, season with 1950s food satire, mix in some art house flavor and finally a dash of tried and true horror show. The end result is one very dizzying movie experience but still its odd enough to keep you glued, even if the direction is all over the place.
Fans of the film "Society" (oddly enough released that same year) will find a rare gem here. In fact I would even say they would make a perfect double feature. Parents explores the idea that the rose colored glasses of the 50's family life might be deeply rotten at its core.While it may never get the kind of following as other horror films of that decade its a must see. With its psycho-sexual surreal nature it manages to be humorous as well as deeply disturbing. If your looking for a break from the usual slasher fare your in for a real tasty treat. You might even come back for seconds.....