Monday, November 22, 2010

Rabid Grannies (1988)

Ah, Troma. Everyone whose a horror or cult movie fan knows of this studio. They're still around today, granted not the same force that they once were. Back in the days when VHS and video rentals ruled the world, Troma was something of a king, offering people the best (well okay, not usually the best) in pure mindless schlock, filled with boobs, gore and scatological humor. They also managed to come up with some of the best movie titles ever, such as "Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator", "Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell", "A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell"-you get the idea. who wouldn't want to see those? Well, the problem was that while the titles were great, the movies were not. Case in point, Emmanuel Kervyn's sole directing and writing credit "Rabid Grannies."

This is the lovely, heart warming tale of two aunts (so much for that title, huh?) who invite their heartless, money hungry, back-stabbing relatives and a cowardly priest to celebrate their birthday. Granted, the last part of that makes it sound like a joke akin to "a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar", but that's another story altogether. Anyways, a disowned member of the family, who is all about Satan and whatnot, brings the kindly aunts a present. Said present contains and evil spirit, and before you can say "demon possessed geriatrics", they aunts become flesh hungry, sadistic demons who proceed to knock people off one by one.

With a title like "Rabid Grannies", you'd expect this to be a real blast, right? Well, it sadly turns out to be sporadically entertaining. The film is firmly tongue in cheek, and thankfully never forgets that and maintains that feeling throughout the film. Plus, the direction is tolerable enough, the mean streak is fun, and unlike other viewers, I thought the dubbed in British accents (the film is Belgium) fit the tone of the film perfectly.

Yet, it never really reaches the "Bad Taste" and "Evil Dead II" level heights it so clearly sets to achieve. While there are funny moments, they're too far and in between, meaning that we have to put up with constantly boring scenes of people bickering and yelling at one another. Movies like "Bad Taste" and other outrageous splatter/comedy hybrids worked because they rarely let up on their violent nature, and when they did, they still offered something else of interest. This movie doesn't do that. Also, it really isn't that much of a splatter comedy, as most of the gore and graphic bloodshed as been edited out (apparently because the director wanted them edited out-that's gotta be a first.) With so many dull moments and poorly edited out bloodshed and gore, the movie ends up becoming more boring than it should be.

And that's a shame, because this really could have (and should have) been a fine, funny blend of gags and bloodshed. Instead, it's a dull and rather anemic affair that drops the ball too often.

Rating: 4/10

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