Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Review: Grabbers (’12)

As the gorehound seeks out new material on Netflix and abroad, this movie with a funny name caught his attention. Grabbers? I’ve watched some shitty movies but with the words “irish, drunk, and carnage” in the premise, how could a movie go wrong? Well, it certainly didn’t! The movie was fabulous! and also, spoilers abound because the gorehound is one spoiled guy!


Before departing in this cinematic adventure, I had expected a shitty movie. Low budget, actors on their first film, perhaps some bad camera angles but boy was the gorehound fooled, this movie is superb! Filled with talent, entertainment, and good lines, the gorehound was, indeed, pleasantly surprised. The film starts following a small Irish island where a police officer is reporting for her first day of duty. She appears uptight, with a high ponytail but also exuberance with a hidden smile. Unfortunately, her partner is a drunk who doesn’t like working with new people.  The flick progresses and we see some different scenes show that there has been some disturbances around the waters of the island, possibly a monster of some sort. It is discovered that this monster detests alcohol and if consumed, proves fatal. The movie isn’t a frat party with alcoholics. These people are Irish drunkards living their lives. The movie is solid, with a great story, and filled with good shit. Grab a pint, turn the lights off, and turn the volume up (maybe even the captions with their Irish accents and all).

The director, Jon Wright, has only had one full-length film called Tormented (’09). About some bullied kids coming back from the dead to seek revenge. It looks killer!  But get this, his next flick, called Our Robot Overlords (’14) is starring Gillian Anderson (Scully from X-Files), Ben Kingsley and Richard Kiel (the monstering dude from Happy Gilmore)! Kick-ass!

The sober woman (Ruth Bradley) and drunk man (Richard Coyle).

The sober woman (Ruth Bradley) and drunk man (Richard Coyle).

Back to the movie, a the gorehound has a personal distaste for abrupt characters changes outside of a climax. Characters need time and actions to change personalities, unless they’re schizos or something. This is really only true for really good films. A lack of character development is acceptable in the next creature feature because we’re really only it for the carnage, bloodshed, and one-liners. When I watch movies like John Carpenter’s The Thing, I want to following the changing personalities. What are the reasons this character is doing this now, rather than 20 minutes again? How is a relationship changing in the presence of this third party? For Grabbers  in particular, we see the new sober police officer become the drunkest person on the island, and the drunkest person on the island becomes the most sober. The switching personalities adds contrast and we see the interesting interaction between the two. In addition, she gets totally pissed and blows a 0.2 BAC. That’s huge and quite impressive.

So how does this compare to other films? Similar to Slither (’06), in the relationship of the citizens to the monsters. The monster can be in the form of smaller entities but can also assume a larger queen form. Grabbers is also on par with seriousness and humor. I saw a review relating it to Tremors but the gorehound never really took to that series. Grabbers has very little explicit content: no rape, no extreme gore, no torture. It allows you to watch at ease that nothing is going to be disgusting where you have to turn your head. It’s all fun and happiness. The comedy is very dry and reminiscent to Shawn of the Dead (’04). It’s not as funny but is still a good analogy in that they are both of European descent and contain dry humor.

A possible drawback to the film is the balance and intensity of the humor and gore. Don’t take this the wrong way, the balance is perfect, but possibly lacking overall. The humor isn’t over-the-top and its not as dry as Wes Anderson (much more wet). The gore never splashes anyone in the face Maybe because it was raining for the entire last half of the film, but the gore never really reaches that gore-gasm that gets the gorehound going. Regardless, when the balance is prime, the movie is golden. It’s not a bad thing that there isn’t excessive humor or blood, but for those looking for a genre-specific comedy or horror, it lacks.

The amazing monster. Isn't it cute?

The amazing monster. Isn’t it cute?

The monster is unique. It offers no origin to the creature, but it has got its own set of qualities that makes it interesting. Death by alcohol? Hardcore! Most deep sea creature features are really only killed by mechanical means, whether that be guns, bombs, explosives, or otherwise gunpowder-involved means. This can be monotonous. This grabbing creature is primarily an octopus but is covered, 360 degrees, by tentacles. It can survive outside of the water, similar to salamanders (I think?), for awhile but ultimately must return to the water. The baby grabbers emerge from disgusting spheres or from parent grabbers. In the end, the absence of explanation plays in the directors hands. Not every movie requires an explanation of origin or why it does this or that, which leaves little to the imagination. Please, don’t explain where the creature comes from, let the gorehound believe that this is a biologically created weapon by the English to wage war on the Irish. Okay?

In conclusion, this movie is excellent! The name could have been better but I’ll buy it. It feels so good picking out random movies and striking gold. The flick does end on an optimistic note of a sequel and the gorehound will be around for that. So why should you watch Grabbers? It is a sci-fi flick with a major incorporation of humor sealed up with commendable directing abilities, wonderful characters, and an easy going environment. 5/5

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