Forgotten Frights, Oct. 21: Parents

PARENTS (1989)

Section of the cinematic cemetery: Camp-fed cannibal horror comedy  

Cause of (premature) death: Im sure youre laughing looking at its name, but this weird little flick is pretty hard to swallow. Given its off-colour content, critics hated it and audiences ran from it. It only grossed $870,532 during its whole run. And when it was released on DVD, it was only paired with another lesser appreciated horror film, Fear (1990).

What its tombstone would read: A young boy in 1950s suburbia begins to suspect his parents are force-feeding him more than just white lies and moral mumbo jumbohis friends and neighbours. 

Why it should be revived:  Featuring a hella-disturbing performance from a pre-disturbed Randy Quaid and an increasingly harrowing and original backstory, Parents is definitely not kids stuff. To put it in butcher store terms, this is a rare cut above the standard, supposedly dark genre comedies. Although it has a campy, Leave it to Beaver look, it is actually more in line with David Lynch, turning the safe haven we assume to be suburbia into the stuff of sick, sadistic nightmares. One minute everything looks beautiful, pastel and well-organized, the next its a bloody, stomach-churning mess. Sounds delicious, right?

You can guess the twist from the get-go, but that doesnt make Parents any less unsettling to watch. Maybe I’m just monster-immune, but I cant think of anything scarier than people eating other people. Especially when those people are the only ones making you dinner.

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