REVIEW: Thinner (1996)


Thinner: C-

Confession time! I saw Thinner in the theater… TWICE! I saw it once, and then the week after, I saw it was playing as part of a double feature with Bad Moon, so, I did what any blue-blooded 13 year old American at the time would have done: I sat down for Thinner a second time and proceeded to rethink my life during the opening credits.

This movie is funny, but that’s okay because the subject matter begs to be executed in a comical manner. The story revolves around a morbidly obese criminal defense lawyer named Billy. He is a celebrated member of the community and a hero in the world of organized crime as he just lied his size 48 pants off to get some mob bosses acquitted in a huge court case. The guy looks fucking ridiculous; they take one of those “That Guy” actors (who usually has a supporting role in like, every TV show and dozens of movies), gave him the lead role in Thinner, and stuck him in what looks like a caucasian version of the Nutty Professor costume.

He has an awesome night of binge excess in which he eats a bunch of desserts, gets drunk, and, while getting road-head from his wife, smashes his car into a gypsy who was crossing the street, killing her. Talk about the cherry on the ice cream sundae of Epicurean-lawyer partying! I have never seen being dangerously overweight look so good!

Billy uses his influence in town to get off scott-free; no murder charges or DUI for Billy! Just some judges and cops back-slapping him and sharing one big unified LOL over the corpse of this stupid gypsy who totally cock-blocked poor Billy right at the climax of his dessert/brandy/blowjob party. Hahaha! Stupid gypsy!

As he’s understandably mocking this dead gypsy and reveling in his apparent invincibility, the gypsy’s dad puts a revenge curse on him that makes him lose weight at an alarming rate. At first, Billy gives no fucks; he gets stoked because he can finally see his dick again, but when he starts putting the pieces together, he realizes that he’s going to wake up as a skeleton one day no matter how many pieces of deep-fried wedding cake he dips in mayo and lard.

He enlists the help of the mob, specifically Joe Mantegna, who does the Fat Tony voice the whole movie (automatic letter-grade bump), to intimidate the gypsies into lifting the curse. They finally cave and drag the “Thinner” curse into a pie. Whoever eats the pie gets the whole curse at once and shrivels up like the Crypt Keeper. Billy feeds it to his cheating whore of a wife and his BFF with whom the wife was boning.

How they stretched this into a 90 minute movie, I do not know. This is a thinking man’s movie. And by that, I mean there is a lot of negative space and “thinking” scenes where Billy is tracking the gypsies down and trying to figure shit out. Nothing scary about it. It’s basically a comedy.

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