Tanner Reviews Thinner

ThinnerposterSorry for the delay. I was hoping to have a video this week, but sadly due to Brandon finishing class and other such things we have not had the free time to sit down and film an episode. But hopefully this will be the last filler review for a while now. But I suppose I can’t get too angry. After all, I just mentioned in my list of Guilty Pleasures how much I love the Stephen King mini series/made for TV movies and on today’s agenda we have such a movie! A movie penned by Stephen King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman, the story Thinner. Out of all the Stephen King stories turned movies, this is the one that puzzles me the most. The man has millions of stories, most of them easily adaptable to the big screen… And yet you choose one of the few that would struggle to carry a ninety minute run time and with a strange and slightly racist premise. Not to mention the complete lack of anybody slight redeemable makes the movie a very depressing watch. Thinner might be one of the few movies that is the hardest of King’s to sit through… And yet one of the few who had the balls to stick to the original source material.

Thinner is the story of William ‘Billy’ Halleck (Robert John Burke complete with fat suit). He is a morbidly obese lawyer who has just recently gotten the case of a notorious mobster Richie ‘The Hammer’ Ginelli (Joey Mantegna) thrown out of court. After a celebration at a local restaurant, Billy becomes distracted while driving as his wife gives him a handjob on the way home. Tragically, he does not notice an elderly Romany woman walking into the road and runs her over. Thanks to a racist judge Cary Rossington (John Horton) and Police Chief Duncan Hopley (Daniel von Bargen) who were friends of Billy, he gets acquitted of all charges. However the elderly Romany woman’s father Tadzu Lempke (Michael Constantine) lays a curse on Billy’s head (along with Rossington and Hopley) making him lose obscene amounts of weight until he is nothing but an emaciated husk.

Spurned to save his own life Billy attempts to track down the Romany clan to get Lempke to remove the curse from him along with the help of his mafioso friend Richie Ginelli.


Joey Mantegna as Richie ‘The Hammer’ Ginelli

Joey Mantegna is amazing in his role as Richie Ginelli. He is arguably the worst person in this movie… And yet, I was enjoying every second that he was on-screen. He plays a great mafioso sleezeball and owns every second that he is on-screen. He is an absolutely deplorable person yes, but considering the self-righteous Romani characters and the snooty white people, I’ll take a sleezy Italian mafioso any day of the week.

It Holds True to Stephen King’s Story

I will hand it to them, they went for the gold for the ending. So many of Stephen King’s stories ends on a bittersweet note, a lot with some rather dark and grim endings. Thinner is no exception to this. The story of Thinner from King’s story is one of a man paying for the sins he committed. The ending fits this character after the curse is transferred into a pie and Billy has his wife eat it (thus transferring the curse), but in the process his daughter eats it as well, soon following Billy finally eating the pie after his daughter and wife suffer the same fate as him.

They hold fast to this in the movie and I for one have to applaud them for it. Too many of King’s stories are changed because it would make the audience feel sad that a happy ending was not provided. This movie let’s the bittersweetness roll which adds some redeemable points in my eyes considering the horrible people who take up this movie.


No Redeemable People

Everyone in this movie is a terrible person… EVERYONE! This is one area that I hate in movies, if you are going to make a movie about horrible people, then at least let their be a catch. At least give us someone to root for. Don’t just show us horrible people doing horrible things. This whole movie from either perspective is an old man who is so hateful that he curses a bunch of people to death and then him and the rest of his family cannot forgive even after the man apologizes and begs for forgiveness and on the other end, it is the story about horrible racist white people who get cursed and then even after the curse is lifted, they just go out and kill their cheating spouses. Everyone is just absolutely terrible.

From the Romany perspective, I get it. This man ran over your mom/daughter and got away with it. Justice should be served. But this man, who is a father himself comes on bended knee, apologizes, and begs for forgiveness, and all you do is spit in his face. That really isn’t justice, at that point you are just being bitter. It is clear the man has learned a lesson, but instead you turn him into a monster and as a result, the granddaughter’s husband is killed as well, an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind type of deal.

From Billy Halleck’s perspective, he brings in his mafioso friend to help him persuade these people to lift the curse, he even begs Richie not to kill them yes. But then all of his morality is wiped away when he is willing to feed the curse filled pie to his wife who he believes though isn’t certain is having an affair with a doctor in town. He is willing to let his wife die due to his own jealousy. So already you go from unfortunate hero to absolute dickwad in a split second thus confirming that you deserve the curse in the first place. All of these people are just terrible people and deserve all of the horrible things to happen to them.

Extremely Padded

Even for a ninety-two minute run time, this movie feels EXTREMELY padded. The premise is rather simple, man kills a Romany woman, her husband curses him to lose weight, he doesn’t learn anything from his actions leading to the morbid ending. One sentence is enough to explain the movie and yet we have to sit through an hour and a half of this guy losing weight and then trying to track down these people to get the curse lifted off of him. This movie could have been a decent 30 minute short… But as a feature-length, it is rather hard to sit through and not get bored.


This movie isn’t the worst thing I have ever seen. Not nearly as bad as people claim it to be. Joey Mantegna is interesting and they did try to stay true to the source material. Though the problem is the source material just can’t carry on for a full feature-length movie. Instead we get a very padded movie of horrible people having horrible things happening to them and no resolution for any of them. Definitely not worth the time to watch it.

Final Score 2/5

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