Director: Jon Wright
Cast: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey
Review Author: Tony
Halloween is just on the horizon and the fireworks and bangers are already ringing through the sky. Kids are out collecting wood so that the community can celebrate legal arson in the shape of a bonfire. I’m only just now planning my obscure, one in a thousand will get it costume, and searching for the least kid-friendly decorations. Needless to say, Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year where dressing up and getting blackout drunk go hand in hand.
Last year to celebrate the run-up to Halloween we reviewed as many horror films as we could. The only issue is the three of us are cowards and actively avoid horror films as much as possible. This year we are dedicated to reviewing as many films as we can. Some we’ve seen already, and others we have not seen yet (we’re open to suggestions). In order to ease ourselves in, we’ve decided to start things off with the Irish horror comedy, Grabbers. To make it even easier we consumed a few brewskies to build some dutch courage.
Adam (the lesser Reel Time writer) and I had so many options for this Beer Goggles. I was browsing through that dark corner of Netflix with a drunken determination (that would have made Mel Gibson proud) trying to settle on the perfect movie when all of a sudden Adam roared”Grabbers, Tony you have to do Grabbers”. “Dafuq is dat?” I slurred in surprise although intrigued by his enthusiasm. “It’s an Irish horror comedy where an Irish Island is attacked by aliens and they save the day by getting drunk”. I don’t think you could find a better summary of this film.
A tentacled Alien menace lands just off the coast of Erin Island, Ireland. These pesky outer space critters begin to munch on the local populace. At the same time, the local Garda Sergeant is off for the week and leaves embittered alcoholic, Ciarán, in charge under the supervision of a new Dublin guard, Lisa. Both are initially at odds over Ciarán’s laid-back demeanor and drinking habits compared to the straight-laced teetotaler Lisa. With the help of local marine ecologist, Dr. Smith, they discover the alien threat. Fortunately, the aliens, dubbed Grabbers by the local drunk Paddy, have a particular weakness. Alcohol is poisonous to Grabbers which is discovered after one tries to suck Paddy’s blood who’s blood alcohol level is high enough to slay a walrus.
Alcohol to Irish people is both a sore point and a bragging right. We lash out when accused of being a nation of drunken buffoons but celebrate at the notion that we can drink any other nation under the table. I too am guilty of this dichotomy as I have countless times regurgitated that fact that Ireland isn’t even in the top 10 countries for alcohol consumption in Europe. The point I’m making is………..Get fecked!! We don’t drink that much but we’d still outdrink your country ten times.
As Adam and I were pretty smashed ourselves, alcohol was a pretty suitable theme. Grabbers seemed to approach its subject matter in a mature enough way. The fact that it literally poisons the creatures shows the negative side-effects of the sauce. Also, the lead characters whole story arc is the get off the gargle and take responsibility. Thankfully the film doesn’t wag its finger at you the whole time and embraces its sillier side with the whole town having a lock-in in order to get them all plastered and protect them from the Grabbers.
For once I can honestly say I don’t think it was the booze talking, Grabbers is, in fact, a fantastic little movie. A blend of Roger Corman creature feature and with a cast that could have passed for Father Ted characters, Grabbers is a hilarious, and at times, creepy horror comedy. With a modest budget of five million euro, the film’s effects are actually very impressive. In many ways, it reminded me of an Irish version of Tremors.
Rating: 4 / 5 Poitíns