A rural island off the coast of Ireland gets visited by some intergalactic nasties. Our only weapon, alcohol!Grabbers
came along out of nowhere in late summer and made quite the impression. The second feature from JonWright
(after the lacklustre Tormented
) is a pure bred creature feature which might have been lost to time since the 80s.
First time screen writer Kevin Lehane
took the simple concept of getting drunk to survive and used it to create a comedy laced caper with plenty of physical gags and drunken buffunory. But Grabbers
also has a little more going for it than you might expect.
First up there’s the incredible visual effects work by boutique London based SFX house Nvisible
. In frank disregard for the modest budget of the film, they’ve managed to create a series of creatures which are not only interesting to look at but also make some kind of physical sense and interact superbly with their environment.
The other element is a little more difficult to define – Grabbers
is simply quite charming. From the not quite serious performances to the gentle mocking of many Irish stereotypes, its just a enjoyable movie to spend time with, never reaching for the cruxes of gross out humour, particularly harsh language or all out gore.
The cast helps things immeasurably – from RichardCoyle’s
noble attempt to harness and Irish accent to the simple delightful Ruth Bradley
who we look forward to seeing more of the future. Familiar faces like David Pearse
, NedDennehy Bronagh Gallagher
fill out the roster but its Lalor Roddy
as Paddy who makes the biggest impression.
In the end Grabbers
isn’t the cleverest or the funniest film of the year and it’s all put together in a slightly ramshackle fashion. But arguably that’s all part of its charm and the tone and stellar effects work should help it to earn some fans on home video.EXTRAS:Grabbers
comes with a surprisingly large helping of extras. First up there’s a 16 minute making of which is mostly composed of talking heads and almost no on set or behind the scenes material. All the principal cast and crew are accounted for and if the production quality isn’t the hightest, at least it looks like everyone’s having fun.
You’ll also find a chat with director Jon Wright
from Fright Fest 2012 which runs 15 minutes and goes over some of the same ground as the previous feature in a fairly dry fashion. Wright
also sits for an unusual commentary which is more of a series of random conversations with the crew – from writer Lehane
to those involved with the VFX, camerawork, sound, editing and more. It’s a bit chaotic and rarely ties into what’s happening on screen but the patient should get some value from it.
Finally there’s the film effective trailer and an unprecedented 25 minute long gag reel. At roughly a third the length of the film itself, it really is far too long and often runs through multiple takes of the same scene to little effect but there are giggles to be found. And some considerable crudeness.WIN GRABBERS ON DVD HERE!