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Twister (1989)

Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, Harry Dean Stanton, Suzy Amis, more...
Director: Michael Almereyda, Michael Almereyda
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Studio: Live/Artisan
Genre: Foreign, Dysfunctional Families, UK
Running Time: 93 min.
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Don't mistake this movie for the stormy special-effects blockbuster of the same name; the two films are light years apart. Based on Mary Robison's novel Oh!, this Twister was the quirky first feature from screenwriter/director Michael Almereyda (Nadja, The Eternal) about an eccentric soda-pop tycoon and his dysfunctional family. Suzy Amis plays Maureen Cleveland, a single mother who lives with her precocious daughter Violet (Lindsay Christman) and her very strange brother Howdy (Crispin Glover) in the family mansion, tended by the young live-in housekeeper Lola (Charlaine Woodward). Maureen's ex-boyfriend Chris (Violet's father) comes back to town with the intention of rescuing Maureen and Violet from Kansas so they can start a family of their own. This turns out to be more difficult than he expected. Maureen is still angry about their break-up and seems unresponsive to his earnest and somewhat clumsy displays of affection. Howdy is too busy writing nonsensical songs and hanging out with his new girlfriend Stephanie (Jenny Wright) to be of any help. To complicate matters, their father Eugene (Harry Dean Stanton) shows up with a prudish children's TV evangelist named Virginia (Lois Chiles) and announces their engagement. No one gets along, and soon all are trapped indoors during a particularly bad Kansas twister. As the storm rages outside, Maureen and Howdy cook up a plan to find their long-lost mother, who may be the only person who can explain why they are all so odd. Like Almereyda's later films, Twister is a kaleidoscope of absurd conversations, oddball characters, and events that seem to happen for no reason at all. It's a perfect vehicle for Crispin Glover, who delivers some of the film's wackiest dialogue as the rich kid comfortably living in his own fantasy world. Tim Robbins makes an appearance as Stephanie's jealous ex-boyfriend Jeff, and author William S. Burroughs has a cameo as a farmer shooting targets in an empty barn. ~ Anthony Reed, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

The Pits by talltale November 16, 2004 - 1:49 PM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Based on the novel "Oh!" by Mary Robison, one of the hot-poop (but not much read) writers of the 1980s, TWISTER takes its place as one of the biggest mistakes in movie history. Wasting a large and luminous cast, fledgling director Michael Almereyda (who's gone on to making much better films) dithers away 90-odd minutes with not a moment of real humor, satire, sadness or truth. This is no mean accomplishment. Don't be misled into imagining you're in for a comedy (as the movie is billed) or even for a film that offer's a "twister." For all that the title implies, they might as well have called this one television. Or booze. Or police station. (All these things appear here and are equally unimportant). File this one under "What in the world were they thinking?"

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.25)
24 Votes
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These were all filmed wholly or partially in Kansas.

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