Grabbers (Jon Wright, 2012)


What's it about? A dishevelled, alcoholic Garda (Richard Coyle) and an uptight, workaholic Bean Garda (Ruth Bradley) must join forces when alien sea-monsters lay siege to a tiny community on a remote Irish island. How does that grab you?


Is it any good? A lot of Irish films are happy to perpetuate the lazy Irish stereotype of the drunken feckin eejit and shame on them. Grabbers does too, admittedly, but it can be forgiven, because in a rather inspired development it becomes quickly apparent that the sea-monsters are allergic to drunk people. And so, it is absolutely essential to the story that everyone under attack has to have a lock-in in the pub and try to get as drunk as possible. The levels of drunkenness also excuses characters when they do stupid things like drop their guard, go outside for a piss and demand to have their picture taken with the monster for Facebook. Brilliant. This is a great fun overall, an old-fashioned creature-feature, nicely played by the likeable cast, who help keep the balance between comedy and horror. It takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it features cool monsters, impressive special effects and you can look out for affectionate nods to other monster movies such as Jaws, Gremlins, Aliens and The Thing. I also liked that the script demonstrated the difference between 'bollix' and 'bollocks', and that it has a scene which perfectly captures the agonising moment when poitín hits the back of your throat. Tremors still remains the highpoint of this type of monster- B-movie, but now it has a watery Irish cousin which can stand proudly, if a little unsteadily, beside it.

I don't trust you. What do others think? Enthusiastically received on the festival circuit, including at Sundance, where it got picked up for distribution. Expect it to be a sleeper hit on DVD.

Anything else I should know? I was locked in a pub once. It wasn't a lock-in or anything, I was just locked. Anyhow, in walks a sea-monster and an octopus who looked very unwell. "Two pints, please", said the sea-monster to the barman. "There you go," said the barman, "that'll be six quid". The sea-monster checked his pockets and said apologetically "Sorry, can I give you sick octopus instead?"

What does the Fonz think? A monster drinking session!

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