GRABBERS (2012) – The Dungeon Review!
My final flick of the Vancouver International Film Festival was Grabbers. Grabbers is a Sci-fi/horror comedy hailing from Ireland. IMDB lists Grabbers as Comedy/sci-fi/thriller, I am a little surprised not to see “horror” included in its genres as the film definitely has horror elements. Granted the violence is not graphic, but a couple people do lose their fecking heads! In any case, regardless of what its IMDB page states Grabbers is one fecking entertaining sci-fi/horror comedy! Yeah I said fecking! It’s an Irish film after all.
The inhabitants of the sparsely populated Erin Island are invaded by aliens. They discover the combination of alcohol and human blood is like poison to the creatures. There is only one thing to do; lock themselves in the pub and get pissed!
Grabbers was clearly made by someone with an appreciation of both the Sci-fi and horror genres. There are a few nods to various films; most notably Aliens, and Gremlins and at one point a character is watching Romero’s Night of the Living Dead on television. Grabbers is definitely comedy first. I laughed audibly and often. The film is well written and the humour is almost completely devoid of one-liners. There is one particularly hilarious scene with a supersoaker full of gasoline and a zippo that had my eyes watering! The film has a spirited pace from start to finish. The aliens or “grabbers” as named by the town drunk are too much fun! They basically looked like octopus with the characteristics of Alien’s facegrabbers. In fact the town drunk catches one of the little monsters in a lobster trap and keeps it in his tub. One night he comes home sloshed to find the creature has escaped and become considerably larger. He can barely ride his bike home but he manages to withstand a grabber affixing itself to his head! This is how we learn that alcohol is poisonous to the creatures. While Grabbers is definitely comedy, it is not without its moments of suspense.
Naturally the alien invasion occurs when the Garda supervisor takes a two week leave and an attractive young single woman comes from the mainland to replace him. Evidently “garda” is what the national police of the Republic of Ireland are called. If you already knew that you are smarter than me. I get a little tired of the inclusion of a love story in so damn many newer horror films. Grabbers does indeed have a love story among its plot. There is one moment I thought it messed with the action just a little bit; but otherwise it actually works well. Both characters are so goddamn likable it’s hard to pooh-pooh. The chemistry among the entire cast is terrific; I wanted every last one of them to survive! The great cast of characters and the actors and actresses who portray them is a huge part of what makes Grabbers work so well.
According to IMDB Grabbers was shot during one of the worst winters Ireland had seen in years which hindered the project regularly. Any problems suffered during shooting certainly didn’t show in the final product. The location is absolutely gorgeous and Grabbers is just a great looking production across the board. I loved the pub setting; Erin Island is so sparsely populated the entire town fits inside the pub! I didn’t even mind the CGI! I really dug the creatures in the film! While there is no graphic gore, there is a body count and as mentioned previously a couple of people do lose their heads! Grabbers is all about the creatures, the comedy and the camaraderie!
Grabbers was definitely my favourite of this year’s VIFF flicks. It was a shitload of fun seeing Grabbers on the big screen! It was a full house for this showing and judging by the laughter I don’t think I was the only one who enjoyed Grabbers. We followed it up with a turkey dinner at an Irish pub. It was the perfect afternoon! Grabbers charmed the hell out of me and it would be very cool to see this one get an actual theatre release. I will definitely watch Grabbers again when it comes out on DVD. Highly recommended.
Dungeon Rating: 4/5
Directed By: Jon Wright
Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Lalor Roddy, David Pearse, Bronagh Gallagher, Pascal Scott, Clelia Murphy, Louis Dempsey, Micheál O’Gruagain, Ned Dennehy, Stuart Graham, Killian Coyle, Michael Hough, Jonathan Ryan