Schlocktoberfest III – Day 27: Thinner


Thinner (1996)


*Spoilers Throughout*

Thinner-posterWhat’s It About:
A very portly attorney, Billy Halleck, accidentally kills a gypsy elder’s daughter and with help from his towns’ citizens giving false testimony, is declared not guilty of any crime. The gypsy then puts curses on all involved with the conspiracy and very quickly the fat Billy starts to get thinner and thinner despite all the food he can shove in his gullet. Fearing for his health and life he takes matters into his own hands to get the gypsy to reverse the curse, with dire consequences.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • Gypsy Caravan? How’d our heavy hero know it was a gypsy caravan? It was a long line of non-descript cars driving down an avenue. He’d have no way of knowing unless this happens often enough.
  • Kari Wuhrer up-skirt! And she has very pretty panties for a gypsy. Actually I would more so assume that most gypsies go commando.
  • How is it possible for his wife to give Billy road-head when his enormous girth is probably already pressed up against the steering wheel?
  • He didn’t do anything wrong? Um yeah he did but regardless it’s still vehicular manslaughter.
  • For some odd reason Billy’s daughter is distraught over his sudden weight loss (bear in mind he was originally 283 and is now done to 190, so it’s not like he’s all skin and bones at this point). I’m sure most teenage girls wouldn’t even notice or care.
  • He says he lost 100 pounds and then says its spelled with “a one and two zeros.” That’s not how it’s spelt pal.
  • I’d have to do more research but I have a theory that Stephen King is obsessed with car accidents. I recall a bad one in Pet Semetary and Maximum Overdrive is full of them. This one has one that kills the old gypsy and one near one.
  • Are there a lot of gypsies in Maine? That seems odd to me.
  • It’s not stated how long he’s been gone but he writes a letter to his wife stating his intentions to find the elder gypsy. But she makes flyers that he’s missing anyway. And with a picture of him when he’s still fat, like that’s going to help when he looks drastically different.
  • Again more car crashes. It’s a dream but still. I’m finding it odder that King, himself, was hit by a car.
  • GYPSY JUSTICE!! That would be one awesome TV show.
  • “The Curse of the White Man From Town” also sounds like an awesome TV show.
  • Joe Mantegna got automatic weapons shipped to him via On-Time Express.
  • Why did Mantegna bother faking throwing acid in her face. He threatens her with the real acid later so why the ruse. It doesn’t make the real acid seem any more worse. Just seems dickish to throw water in Kari Wuhrer’s face.


  • The old gypsy puts the thinner curse into a pie and Billy has to give the pie to someone and they immediately die from eating it. I sense a Tales From the Crypt-style twist coming up.
  • So he gets home with the pie and intends to make his wife eat it because he suspects that she’s having an affair with the family doctor friend. He also blames her for the road-head which caused the accident. She does indeed eat the pie and is dead in the bed by morning. Unfortunately, his daughter also had a slice of the pie. Before he can have a slice himself because of the guilt of killing his daughter, the doctor friend stops by and he invites him in to also have a slice. My question is, how was he going to explain the death of his wife to the authorities? “I don’t know officer, the pie I brought home must’ve been poisoned! Why didn’t I eat any? I’m on a diet. Why did it rot her skin and dehydrate her in a short few hours? Beats me!”

Is It Actually Scary: Its a cautionary tale of revenge with gypsies. So unless carnies and/or corpulent men scare you then stay clear of this film.



How Much Gore: Not much at all. If at all. Most of the deaths are degenerative in outcome or implied off-screen. No hacking or slashing at all.

Best Scene: Its hard to pick a specific scene but I always enjoyed any scene with the gypsy elder, Tadzu Lempke. His manner of speaking are second-only to Yoda and his accent is hilarious. But the scene when Billy confronts the camp to plead with Lempke to reverse the curse is a highly entertaining one. Plus Kari Wuhrer shoots a stone from a sling-shot right though Billy’s palm! I guess he was so frail and gangly at this point that poking him in the chest would puncture his lung.

This might come in handy

This might come in handy

Worst Scene: While most of the film is no snoozer and will easily keep you entertained through-out, the scene when Billy goes off on his search for the gypsies tends to slow the movie down a bit. He goes to a trucker bar to ask if they know Lempke and the drunk locals express fear and tell stories of his evil-doings. It just runs too long and is a bit unnecessary.

Any Nudity: The best you get is the Kari Wuhrer picking up her skirt.

Overall: I’ve said in the past that I’m not a huge Stephen King Fan. However, I pick at least once of his movie adaptations to watch and review every year because to be honest, the man’s a horror story wizard. There’s so many to choose from. And in the past couple of years his stuff has been growing on me. I’ve actually seen Thinner back when it came out and always enjoyed its parable-like story with its twists and kooky, over-the-top characters. Between the gypsy elder, Tadzu Lempke, Billy and Joe Mantegna’s gangster hit-man, there’s a lot of scenery-chewing to go around in this yarn about a fat man quickly deteriorating before our eyes in both girth and sanity. Even if you’re not a fan of King’s work, I’d still recommend this, especially for the over-acting as well as the Tales From the Crypt style of story-telling.


Score: 8 On-Time Express Shipped Automatic Weapons (out of 10)

26 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest III – Day 27: Thinner

  1. Loved the book “Thinner” and the movie was good until the end. For some reason a lot of directors always lose King stories when it comes to the end! They approach it so blandly when they could really get crazy and make an explosive ending. I also have a great blog “10 Halloween Horror Movies for you and your Teen.”I have compiled a list of horror films that will gradually introduce your teen to horror without scaring them away but also without boring the life out of them. Come check that out at Have a Happy Halloween!


  2. Don’t think I’ve ever seen the movie (I really love King as a writer and well, the majority of movies based off his books just do not turn out well so I usually avoid them) but did enjoy the book. Not my fave, not his best but a fun little tale.


  3. This movie has another one of those random quotes that is a part of my everyday life, like Mumbles saying “Big Boy did it” or Norman telling Peter, “Don’t tell Harry.” When people annoy me, I flash my hand and yell, “Theeeeeennah!”


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