Sunday, January 5, 2014

I Saw This!! Monster Trio

Grabbers, 2012, Jon Wright -- Netflix
Storage 24, 2012, Johannes Roberts -- Netflix
Big Ass Spider, 2013, Mike Mendez -- Netflix

I am not sure when I garnered my interest in bad horror movies. As I am wont to say, I was pretty much the snob as a young adult and almost all horror movies were bad to me. Most still are. But I have tempered my view and enjoy many sub-par, mostly monster movies. And yes, some are purely the ironic-bad movies which are worth a chuckle or two.

Grabbers is the best of this lot, a cheerful Irish monster movie set on a somewhat remote island where an alien buggaboo crash-lands into the sea. Almost immediately, this tentacled horror starts eating people and spawning eggs. One of the hatched eggs is caught in a lobster trap and brought home by the local drunk. It grows rather quickly and when it tries to eat him, it gets deathly ill.  Apparently these creatures from space do not like a blood-alcohol content that is way over the limit. And thus the elevator pitch of the movie is established -- survive the assault of the giant tentacly monster by staying pissed drunk all night, until the sun can rise and dry the creature out... or at least drive it back to the sea.

This is a fun movie, decently acted and directed but not an entirely original premise beyond the stay-drunk idea. Russel Tovey and Richard Coyle are the recognizable faces and the rest reminded me that there are not many steps removed from watered down Irish accents and watered down Newfoundland accents. I, of course, loved the setting though I wondered how anyone actually lived on the island as there didn't seem to be anything other than meagre fishing and a pub. Now at least, they can become famous for confirmed, albeit deadly, alien life.

Speaking of UK alien monsters, we have Storage 24. This one caught my eye because Noel Clarke (Mickey from 2005 Doctor Who) was in it, and it was produced from an idea he had. I like when smaller actors, who have made some acclaim and money, pump their income back into creating something of their own.  Well, as long as they don't Shia-fy it and lift it all from someone else. The basic premise is that a plane carrying an alien creature crashes into central London, near a public storage unit business.

Like many horror movies, and probably long before Aliens did such a good job of it, being trapped inside an industrial place full of tight corridors and ventilation shafts makes for nail biting tension. Well, at least that is the premise... but seriously, what is the last movie of that ilk that made you actually anxious? Still, I enjoy the executions even when they are mediochre, as long as the acting is decent and the writing is there. I like a story along with my monster eating people's heads and spearing them through the chest with some appendage. This one delivers on that. But the alien invasion ending was a head scratcher. Seriously? Sequel?

Finally, we get the ironic horror movie -- Big Ass Spider. I wasn't sure it was ironic but I was hoping for something along the line of Eight Legged Freaks but where the spider was colossal. Unfortunately, I basically got a sub-par Sharknado where it just wasn't quite bad enough to be ironically enjoyable. This was more straight-to-SyFy than anything else, where it is just bad. But it was humorous enough that I didn't stop watching and Greg Grunberg was actually giving a genuine (albeit campy) performance. The movie just didn't give enough else to rise above boring. If it had just been able to keep the tone of the opening slow-mo music video sequence, then it would have been great campy fun.

UPDATED (01/10/14) Apparently Storage 24 just made some (in)fame from being the movie that grossed an entire $72 during its US engagement in 2013. I hope Noel made some money in selling it to Netflix.