Culture Magazine

Movie Review – Thinner (1996)

By Manofyesterday

Director: Tom Holland

Stars: Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney, Michael Constantine, Kari Wuhner.

Billy (Burke) is a lawyer who inadvertently causes harm to the leader of a gypsy community. This leader curses him with one word - thinner.

A lot of people want an easy way to lose weight? Well here is the Gypsy Curse Diet, a free way to lose those pounds quickly without having to reduce your appetite or miss out on those sweet treats!

Warning, will most likely result in death and possible insanity. 

This is a fun horror film that’s not meant to be taken seriously. Billy stars off as an obese man who is quickly surprised when his diet seems to be working. But then it starts working too well and he realizes that no matter how much he eats he’s still losing weight. As his flesh dwindles he seeks out the man who cursed him to try and regain control of his life, seeking the help of Richie Ginelli (Mantegna) a mobster who owes Billy a favour.

The make-up in this film is excellent. The fat suit it obvious but as Billy begins to get thinner and more gaunt it’s very troubling and Burke sells the transformation well, especially as the characters get more tired and weary. There are a couple of other characters who get transformed as well and the make up used for them is very gruesome and grisly. There’s also one bit towards the end that the squeamish among you will not enjoy, but I thought it was funny in a sick and disgusting way.

I liked the Thinner doesn’t try and take itself to seriously as it means that it always has a light tone and the pace is quite quick. Mantegna seems to relish his role, and I relished him relishing it. Mmmm relish….wait I’m not in America anymore. Yeah this film made me quite hungry. There’s a lot of food on show (although I’ve never heard of a Strawberry pie and I’m not sure I want to try one).

The most notable thing for me was how the thinner Billy got the more desperate and insane he got. I was almost expecting things to be analogous to The Incredible Shrinking Man, in that Billy would get so thin he would eventually turn invisible. Things don’t get that extreme but I did like how the physical changes led to mental ones too.

I thought it was pretty fun. It’s a good movie if you want something to watch late at night that has some gruesome and disgusting moments but won’t leave you having nightmares.

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