It’s been a few weeks since the last Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab and I, personally, think that’s way too long.
I realised, whilst completing this weeks ‘assignment’, that I love the process of choosing/finding out what the new film is, watching and then thinking about it. Then thinking about the next one.
B-movies/horror/dubious monster flicks + being a snarky bitch are my life force so what better way to stretch my film reviewing chops than a combination of the two shared with someone who loves it just as much as I do? Plus, I’ve made a f**king fabulous new friend #winning.
This week we’ve got a very strong entry. Viewing it as a film lover, it’s probably the best looking/acted and special effected movie we’ve collaborated on yet (Sorry Killer Mermaid).
It also had me bellowing with laughter at certain points, which is never, ever a bad thing, but a little disconcerting when you’re actually supposed to be laughing along, rather than laughing at.
Where to Watch:
When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive. (via IMDB)
The Uncondensed Version:
We start with a view of planet Earth with a meteorite/shooting star travelling at a rate of knots across its surface. Then we close in on a trawler boat floating in the middle of the sea. One of the boat’s crew witnesses the meteorite/shooting star as it hurtles past and lands nearby.
What is it with fishermen being so involved in our movie collaborations anyway? I’m not complaining, I just don’t know how I’ll feel when I next see a crap film and it doesn’t feature a beaten up old sea dog.
But back to our trawler. A particularly beardy seaman (Ron?), looks off-screen at something terrifying coming towards him but before his friends get to him, he is dragged away. One by one our hapless fishermen are picked off by an unseen something, leaving behind a heavy breathing youngster who eventually gets it too. Nice lead in.
The next morning, a (pretty) female police officer travels onto the island by boat and is picked her new and gruff (also hung over) colleague, O’Shea, who doesn’t seem exactly ecstatic to have her around. She’s in town to assist the local police force (of two people) as one of them is going on holiday.
They don’t exactly hit it off straight away but before they have time to discuss things any further, they’re called to deal with a very bizarre occurrence on the beach (directly after Gruff tells Lady Cop that nothing ever happens around here. Oooh!).
For some inexplicable reason (or is there?!), a load of poor whales have washed up on the beach. Gruff and Lady Cop (Lisa) arrive to find Dr. Smith (the amazing, beautiful Russell Tovey, the nation’s sweetheart), a Marine Ecologist scratching his head (actually, he’s measuring the whales and looking quite busy). He says that it is not uncommon for whales to beach themselves but hella weird for a whole gang of them to die at the same time.
As O’Shea ponders the deep cuts all over the whale they’re standing beside, Smith says that he thinks they were dead before they washed up and were probably torn up on the rocks. Smith then flirts outrageously with Lisa and I gain even more respect for him.
Shortly after this exchange, O’Shea goes to visit a local builder to borrow his trucks. Someone has to move the poor whales, but honestly, I’d love to know what they do with them afterwards. Full-on marine memorial, I hope.
While all this is going on, two fishermen (them again!) ensnare something exotic in a lobster trap (we can’t really see what it is but it’s clear this ain’t no lobster). My favourite character-to-be, Paddy, shows his trawler friend, and his friend gets squirted on for his troubles (not in the good way).
Later that evening, as the sun fades, and the last of the bloated whale corpses is carried away, the foreman shouts at one of his workers to go and get a shovel that’s been left behind. Poor Unassuming Worker (or PUW) runs back to the beach where he discovers some unusual looking eggs. Eggs! Alas, before he can share his discovery with the world, he is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the ocean by… I saw nothing, could be anything…
While PUW is drowned to death, we learn that Paddy has taken his lobster trap, complete with non-lobster prisoner, back to his cottage and placed him in the bath. Seriously, I hope he’s added salt to the tub, you can’t just plonk marine life willy nilly into any old wet environment…
I’m going to skip forward a little bit here because this is a great film with lots of gore and horror, but I don’t want to go completely scene for scene. Basically, quite a few villagers perish, in humorous yet suspenseful ways.
The landlady of the pub decides to play match maker and tells a drunken O’Shea that Lisa obviously has a twinkle in her eye for him. He makes the mistake of going upstairs (she is staying in the Inn above the pub) and propositioning her, which goes down about as well as a cup full of cold sick. The two of them do start to bond though (who knew) after she locks him in the cells overnight to sober up.
Paddy returns home on the same night only to be attacked by his sea creature, a tentacle heavy blue beast. Miraculously though, it doesn’t kill him and he manages to capture it. Luckily for Paddy, he knows exactly what to do with the creature and hot foots it to see Russell Tovey, along with O’Shea and Lisa.
Over another bout of unbelievable flirting from Tovey, the gang work out a few things; a) that their little blue baby is female and b) was pregnant when she attacked Paddy. After this is determined, they figure that the father must be around here somewhere and using a map, chart out the areas these mysterious creatures have been hanging out. They decide to go to Black Rock, to have a poke around.
Black Rock (a cluster of black rocks), yields some interesting findings, e.g. some more eggs and… DADDY! Thing is, Daddy is ten times bigger than Mummy, and is seriously PISSED. He’s looking for his wife and babies, so you can’t really criticise him for wanting to take off people’s heads to get to them.
O’Shea, Lisa and Paddy run back to Tovey’s lab and decide it’s a good idea to set fire to Mummy so that Daddy can’t find her. They accidentally letting off the fire alarms, complete with water sprinklers, thus creating an even more soaked environment for Mummy and Daddy to slop about in.
In the kerfuffle to turn off the sprinklers, O’Shea is attacked by Mummy, who’s been to Alien Face Hugger Acting School and plays her part magnificently.
Somehow, O’Shea gets her off his face and she start throwing up blood, repelled by the taste of him. The gang ponder how O’Shea, and Paddy, the night before, managed to survive such an attack and eventually put two and two together; both men are utter piss heads with ridiculously high blood alcohol content, something the sea monster/alien or Grabber (as Paddy has named them) seems to be allergic to.
Off the back of this, the gang come up with the frankly amazing plan to get everyone together and pissed up in the only pub on the island, to keep them from harm. Oh yes, did I mention? Police back up can’t come until morning due to the massive storm that’s coming. OBVS.
So they go to the pub, rounding up the villagers as they go. Lisa has never been drunk in her life so the men get her completely inebriated and test out her blood on Mummy Grabber. It seems to more or less work so they get the party started.
O’Shea, uncharacteristically, volunteers to be the only sober person. Lisa is under the impression that he is a widower, which is what the stirring landlady has told her. She’s obviously hot for O’Shea which I didn’t get at first but am sort of coming around to as he proves to be pretty heroic (and looks like a craggier Michael Sheen). Along the way a few of the villagers we have come to know and love, lose their lives (and their heads), I won’t list them but let’s just say, Tovey’s Dr Smith never gets to pull Lisa.
I’m going to wind it down here because I think people should watch this film without me having ruined absolutely every element of it; but it all comes to a head as the eggs hatch, Daddy Grabber finds his way to the pub and there’s a final fight for survival (on all sides).
Do O’Shea and Lisa kick adequate arse and kill Daddio? Do they ever get off with each other? Does my beloved fisherman friend, Paddy leave with his life? Well, only one way to find out!
I liked it. I liked it a lot. The film is beautifully shot, with stunning scenery. I think I’d be happy to holiday on this island, you know once the Grabbers are finally cleared off the beach.
What I liked most about the film is that it made me laugh, really belly laugh out loud at certain points. It also had the feel of an Edgar Wright movie, making me think of Shaun of the Dead/The World’s End more than once, which might just be my association with the pub lock in, I don’t know but it’s good and is all about the smaller characters; the brilliant Paddy, the village GP, the pub landlords. They’re a riot.
A pretty good British/Irish creature feature all round. And it ends with O’Shea and Lisa agreeing to check on the dog left behind by one of the dead villagers, which is absolutely the way survivors (oops, spoiler alert!) should talk at the end of films of this nature. Dogs always get a bad rap in the movies and I absolutely hate it. So yey, Grabbers!
4.5 cool Cthulhus out of 5
Pop over to Jillian’s to see what she thought.
All images via Google.