The Horror Honeys: Weight Loss, the Gypsy Curse Way!

Weight Loss, the Gypsy Curse Way!

The Revenge Honey Perspective

Thinner is one of the few Stephen King film adaptions that I avoided for a long time. First of all, I absolutely loved the 1984 novel, published under King's pseudonym, Richard Bachman. It was dark, creepy, and chock full of revenge. While I generally object to anything that goes so heavily negative on its depiction of the Romani culture, in the end I felt like King gave them enough power as a whole that it made up for all the "gypsy" slurs. I couldn't just picture the more subtle aspects of the novel making the transition to film in any positive way.

Second, maybe this isn't fair, but as far as I was concerned, actor Robert John Burke would never be ANYONE but Law & Order: SVU Sgt. Ed Tucker of the Internal Affairs Bureau: a.k.a one class A son of a bitch. When you play the same character 14 times over 12 years and he's ALWAYS a dick, it's hard to picture him as anything else. That's life! And I definitely hadn't pictured obese/emaciated lawyer Billy Halleck to look anything like Burke. Thus, I didn't actually see the film of Thinner until a few years ago.

And hot damn, I actually loved it!

If he loses a few more pounds, he could be a runway model!
Don't get me wrong; it's not a fabulous film. But despite changing the ending to include even more test-audience friendly revenge, Thinner the movie was actually fairly faithful to the book. The makeup work on Burke wasn't great, but it was at least entertaining. And while the "gypsy" cast was made up primarily of Italian actors, I thought their portrayal was mostly respectful to the culture. Bonus points for providing me with the ONE performance in history where I didn't want to pimp slap Kari Wuhrer!

Useless Revenge Honey Fun Fact: I met the actress who plays little Linda Halleck, Bethany Joy Lenz, when she was filming One Tree Hill while I was in college. She was... yeah. Moving on!

Thinner isn't the best King adaptation, but it's a refrigerator full of fun and an adequate substitute if you're too lazy to read the book! (But don't be that lazy. Read the book.)

Revenge Honey Rating: 3 Masticated Bear Claws out of 5

The Head Honey Perspective

As someone who has ADMITTEDLY not read the book on this one, Thinner is a Stephen King film that I love to watch over and over again.  My personal interest in gypsy culture is purely anthropological - and you can be damn sure that's what I'm telling myself when I watch American Gypsy Wedding.  Don't even look at me like that, it's fascinating.

I've also spent a healthy amount of time studying the extremely interesting subject of ancient curses - ancient Roman and Egyptian mostly, but it's utterly amazing just how long humans have been wishing each other ill, sometimes for the most banal of reasons like the loss of a cow in a dice game.  In Thinner, I get to see three things I enjoy the hell out of - gypsy stuff (ok, I know it's stereotyped gypsy stuff), curses (glee!), and fat men in distress (don't ask me why, I'm an asshole).  Not to mention I really dislike lawyers.

The film version really waxes weird on the prejudice against gypsies... and personally having had some underwear and sheets stolen off of the washing line while I was in Greece by some gypsy kids, I get the feels - but not all the way.

The twisted tale of revenge, a little dash of torture and threats, and just plain old mean spirited bitter britches are what make this film so damn enjoyable for me.  I admit that somewhere in the middle, I get a little pissy about the constant back and forth retaliation style feuding, but the END is what makes this film for me.

Our "hero"'s quest for the happier fatter, former self, has him literally begging the gypsy who cursed him to spare his life.  Now, true vengeance being what it is, our former fatty Billy, is given a mystical pie (Monster Honey, that might be your new band name) which carries amongst its secret ingredients some of Billy's accursed blood.  This pie, when eaten, will pass his curse on to whomsoever decides that strawberry pie is good enough to chow down.  The crux of the situation, because there is always one, is that Billy can cave to his morals and eat it himself, accelerating the curse and effectively committing suicide OR he can take some butthurt revenge on his wife and her suspected lover.  I'm not going to utterly spoil the ending, but it's one of my favorite King endings.

Head Honey verdict:  3 out of 5 freshly baked death pies... won't you have a slice?