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Latest Member: Deathmachine Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  The Kindred (1987) « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Kindred (1987)  (Read 1393 times)
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« on: December 11, 2012, 03:48:01 PM »

This movie starts with a man driving a sports car at high speed.  He swerves to pass a slow moving pickup when, suddenly, there is a house in the middle of the road.  The driver of the sports car cannot stop in time and hits the house.  Police and paramedics quickly respond and take away the driver.  We now see that the house was being transported on a big rig, which seems to have wrecked.  Some badly looped in dialogue, a couple of nervous glances between the driver of the rig, the old man driving the pickup, and the paramedics clue us in that this whole thing was a setup.  The paramedics deliver the dead body to an evil doctor, who looks at it for a second and says, "Bury it."

That's the kind of movie this is: where an evil doctor hires a big rig driver, an old man with a pickup, and a couple of paramedics to cause someone to wreck into a freaking house in the middle of the highway.  And, after going through all that trouble, he doesn't even use the body in his evil research, anyway!  Basically, everyone will do the stupidest thing possible at any given moment.  It's very irritating.

The Kindred is also the kind of movie where Amanda Pays will suddenly freak out and start (fatally) growing fish gills all up and down her abdomen.  Yeah, that kind of thing happens, too.  The monster effects almost make up for the stupidity.  Almost.  Aside from Amanda's fish-out, we have a pug-dog/octopus thingy named "Anthony".  He's realized by a fairly nifty puppet most of the time.  Anthony was created by the mother of one of the characters, and his only weakness is that he can be calmed down by a tape recording of the woman humming lullabyes.

"Wait", you say.  "You said something about an evil doctor."

Yes, I did.  When the evil doctor isn't passing the time vivisecting kittens and feeding his henchmen to the deformed cannibals in his basement, he's trying to capture Anthony.  He does this by assembling the main characters in the house Anthony haunts and ... well, that's pretty much it.  He tricks them into coming there and then goes home, hoping that somehow their presence at the house will lead to Anthony's capture.  Toward the end, he figures he should come back around to deliver the usual mad doctor rant at the surviving cast members just before meeting his doom

This is a very silly movie that desperately wants to be a hard, gritty horror film.  The cast is mercilessly mistreated and slaughtered throughout, even a couple of people I was sure would make it to the end.  Anthony, aside from being toothy and clawy, can secrete digestive juices at his victims, which looks like a really lousy way to die.  However gruesome and mean things get, though, this is still a movie where an evil doctor keeps a horde of deformed cannibals in his basement!  Whatever the final result, the script seems to have been written by a genre fan with an eye toward over the top meta humor.  While I was watching, I imagined a frustrated director trying to film this absurd script seriously.  (It's the same feeling I got from watching Hannibal, now that I think of it.)

Unfortunately, The Kindred isn't near as much fun as I've made it sound.  It's actually kind of boring.  Whenever Anthony attacks, or whenever the evil doctor is doing something over the top, the movie is pretty decent.  Everything else drags, and drags, and drags, so much so that I began to suspect that frustrated director was doing it on purpose.  They even managed to find a way to make Amanda Pays cavorting about in a wet, white top uninteresting.  Brother, you'd have to go miles out of your way to do that.

Oh, I forgot to mention there is one part of the movie that works exactly as it should.  The death by watermelon.  I kid you not, Anthony at one point hides inside a watermelon one of the characters bought her parents for their 35th anniversary.  While she's driving home, Anthony erupts from the melon while it sits in her back seat, shoves his tentacles into her eyes, ears, and nose, and even grabs the wheel to steer the car off a bridge!  The scene starts out goofy as hell, then becomes genuinely disturbing with the tentacle mutilation, which features some grisly shots of the tentacles writhing underneath her skin.  You'll be laughing your ass off and then shocked into grim silence.  Much like the rhamphorhyncus attack in Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds, this one good scene makes you wonder why they couldn't pull it together anywhere else in the movie.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 04:21:01 PM by akiratubo » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 11:11:11 PM »

Well, I read a couple of other reviews of The Kindred to see how my opinion stacked up against others' ... and I saw a lot of complaints that no one died.  Plus, I read about an ending that I didn't even see.  Huh?  I skipped through the movie again and realized that the version I watched via the internet was incomplete.  It cuts out a few minutes early.

So, I found a complete version of the movie - that also happened to be much higher quality - and watched it again (slightly more sober).  In doing so, I had to revise my opinion of The Kindred.  Whereas before I thought it was a decent effort, now I have to say it's completely incompetent.

The main thing is that, it's true: NONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS DIE!  I thought at least two of them had died.  One of them is wounded in the neck but merely has to go to the hospital.  Another falls into Anthony's lair but manages to climb her way out (this happened in the ten minutes or so I hadn't seen previously).  So, the only people to die were the "bad" people: the evil doctor, his henchman, and Amanda Pays, plus one girl who doesn't get much screen time.  And the girl is the only one Anthony kills.  Talk about gutless!  Contrast this with, oh, I don't know ... ShakmaThat movie knocked off its cast members left and right, even the ones it made an effort to get us to like.  That's how you do these things!  C'mon, what kind of killer monster movie has a monster that can't manage to kill anyone!

Also, I see that I was wrong about another thing.  Anthony doesn't squirt digestive juices at people.  What I had taken to be said juices dissolving the evil doctor at the end is actually a lot ... weirder.  You see, once Anthony is fatally wounded at the end, he starts melting.  As he melts, he turns from a monster into a regular human covered with white and red glop.  Yeah, whatever.  As this is happening, the evil doctor gets covered with some of the glop (which doesn't seem to hurt him) before tripping and falling into the hole leading to Anthony's lair.  The first time I saw it, drunk and watching a lousy copy, I thought the glop Anthony was spewing was dissolving the evil doctor.

Now, about the real ending ...

After Anthony melts into a regular human and ... then melts into a puddle, the characters decide that they might as well pack up and go home.  Turns out there were baby Anthonies infesting the house this whole time!  Eek!  Fortunately, the smartest of the bunch uses some propane tanks, some thermite he whips up right quick, and his custom cigarette dispenser/lighter to set them all on fire.

That's the real ending.  Yay.

So, yeah.  This movie sucks.  The watermelon kill is still pretty good, though, even when you're sober.

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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 07:37:01 PM »

I think the main thing the movie has going for me is nostalgia.  Apart from that, yeah, it's pretty much a standard monster movie that lacks the balls to kill off more than a few unimportant characters.  Personally, I never got that Anthony was much of a threat.  He popped up every now and then, contributed a little ooga-booga scare, then disappeared.  The only real creepy part was when he was being electrocuted.

The baby Anthonies weren't actually infesting the house the whole time.  They were captive in jars, as shown about midway through, then escaped.  Why they suddenly did so at that point is beyond me, except that the writers felt they needed to pad the film out or add more of a climax.  Either way, the baby Anthonies served no puprose.

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