.

Twister

Harry Dean Stanton, Suzy Amis, Crispin Glover

Directed by Michael Almereyda
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
June 1, 1989

Don't bother warning auntie em to take shelter in the fruit cellar. The tornado ripping through this fiendishly funny farce is more likely to cause psychic than property damage. The setting is contemporary Kansas, and Dorothy would hardly recognize the place; it looks like Oz gone to seed. This Cleveland family resides in a mansion that reflects conspicuous consumerism. There's even a live-in maid (Charlaine Woodard). But inside, everyone seems ready to crumble. Dad (Harry Dean Stanton) has made millions selling soda pop and operating miniature-golf courses; now he's thinking of breeding miniature cows. Mom has long since fled to the comfort of a mental institution. Sonny, played way beyond the hilt by Crispin Glover (Back to the Future), dresses in black and carries a whip; he's trying for "a total look." Daughter (Suzy Amis) is a boozing, tantrum-tossing unwed mother whose advice to her precocious eight-year-old, Violet (Lindsay Christman), runs along the practical lines of "Get me a beer."

First-time director Michael Almeredya, who adapted the script from Mary Robison's 1981 novel OH!, has etched a disturbingly comic portrait of the nuclear family nuked. Storm clouds loom when Violet's father (Dylan McDermott) returns from Canada to rescue his kid and her mother from these loonies, but he's another of the walking wounded - just less recognizably so. The same is true for Miss Virginia (Lois Chiles, in a knockout performance), a TV-kiddie-show host who's never scarier than when she thinks she's being sane. Still, even Miss Virginia is on target when she tells Dad, her demented suitor, that his family "has lost the habit of thinking."

Almeredya hasn't. His auspicious debut augurs a stunning future. The film may be blissfully bonkers, but it also speaks tellingly of the dislocation in American life. Part fun house, part chamber of horrors, Twister emerges as outrageous, original entertainment.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com