Still from Kid-Thing
Director/Screenwriter: David Zellner
Sundance Film Festival
Ten-year-old Annie is an aimless child with an emotionally absent father who lives outside of Austin. Her dad is a goat farmer who spends his time scratching lotto cards, shooting fireworks with his dim-witted friends and competing in demolition derbys. He doesn’t do much parenting. Annie fills her time with a variety of destructive activities such as smashing birthday cakes, hucking dough at cars, paint-balling dead cows and wandering the woods near her home. One day Annie hears a woman calling out for help from an abandoned well. While Annie doesn’t help the well-woman escape or bother telling any adults, she does make minor attempts to improve the woman’s quality of life in the abandoned well. She brings the trapped woman Capri Suns and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—she smears the peanut butter across the bread using her hands, because apparently kids with bad parents don’t know how to use utensils. She also brings the woman a walkie talkie, presumably so the two can communicate when Annie is away from the woods. Kid-Thing is unconventional to say the least. Although some scenes are laughable due to their sheer absurdity, the plot line is predictable and the dialogue and acting are awkward. Kid-Thing doesn’t play out so much as a story, but more like a collection of incongruous images. If Zellner intended for Kid-Thing to be fodder for a show like Mystery Science Theater 3000, then he has done a great job, but without running commentary from the viewers, Kid-Thing isn’t anything special.