Attorney Billy Halleck can win cases, but he can't lose weight in this thriller, based on a novel by Stephen King. Billy (Robert John Burke) tips the scales at 300 pounds, and even diet drinks from his wife Heidi (Lucinda Jenney) don't help. Distracted by her sexual advances on their drive home from a celebration, Billy doesn't see an old gypsy woman wander into the street. He strikes her with his car and kills her. Billy is exonerated in court for the accident, but Tadzu Lempke (Michael Constantine), the dead woman's even older father, meets him outside the courtroom. He touches Billy's face and whispers one word Thinner. Soon Billy is dropping pounds at an alarming rate no matter how much he eats, and doctors have no answers for this rapid weight loss. Billy discovers that the judge and police officer who helped him avoid any punishment for his accident also have strange ailments, and he realizes he has been cursed by the gypsy. He tracks down Lempke and asks him to remove the hex, but the old man refuses. With nowhere else to turn, Billy calls mobster Richie Ginelli (Joe Mantegna) for his help in changing Lempke's mind. Convincing make-up effects help create the illusion that Billy loses over half of his body weight over the course of the film. But they can't augment a thin story that isn't very suspenseful and probably could have been told in about 30 minutes.
The accident is pretty graphic, as the old woman is thrown across the top of the car and falls to the ground in a bloody heap. A bloody shot and knife wound through Billy's hand, a man shot and killed and two gruesome corpses add to the violent content. The mobster intimidates the gypsies with explosive gunfire. Billy's wife distracts him with some unconventional sex, and a gypsy girl makes suggestive gestures to Billy and lifts her dress. Frequent crude and obscene language contaminate the dialogue, along with four regular profanities. Typical for a Stephen King adaptation, THINNER relies on many undesirable elements in attempting to terrify its audience.
Paramount Pictures, 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023-7780
Several (20) times Mild 9, Moderate 11
Many (15) times (f-word 11, s-word 1, other 3)
Several (8) times Regular 4 (C 3, J 1) Exclamatory 4
Many times Moderate and severe (woman struck by car, gunfire, explosions, bloody shot through hand, bloody knife wound, man shot and killed, two gruesome corpses, woman struck, implied suicide)
Once, rear male nudity; also near nudity with low-cut dress
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Wife initiates unconventional sex with husband; woman lifts dress, makes enticing gestures
Men affected by gypsy curse
Teenagers and adults
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