New round of Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab! Compare/contrast with Christa’s excellent review here on her blog.
(We’re just going to pretend it’s still Sunday or I have to acknowledge my role as the worst collaborator in history. Worse than the Nazi collaborators.)
Where to Watch:
Alien tentacle monsters terrorize a small Irish island until everyone realizes liquor solves all of your problems. Or at least all of your alien tentacle monster problems.
The Uncondensed Version:
In the beginning, an ominous light streaks across the sky towards Earth (presumably aliens).
Whatever THE THING is (yeah, it’s aliens), when it crashes off the coast of Ireland, it takes out the entire crew of a fishing trawler (admittedly, a very small fishing trawler).
What will happen next??? Will we discover humanity is the true monster? (No, it’s the alien tentacle monster.)
Cut to eager young policewoman arriving on a small Irish island. A hungover cop is there to greet her/grumble and generally act like a dick.
Meanwhile, shots of the gorgeous Irish coast are interrupted by a significant number of small-ish whales washed up on the beach (immediately thought this would be a Star Trek IV rip-off, and the Enterprise crew would turn back time to save the whales). At this point, we get two stories of ocean life gone wrong—the first follows the whales, which the police and a marine ecologist investigate. Marine ecologist Russell Tovey (actual actor who has been in real movies; you have now entered the Twilight Zone of bad movies) says sometimes these pilot whales just wash ashore for reasons no one understands. The power of science has failed us, just like it’s failed to bring us a reliable method of teleportation.
Other ocean life gone wrong story happens when a crusty old fisherman, Paddy, catches what he describes as a lobster. (In the words of another Irishman, “It’s no feckin’ lobster.”) Paddy VERY wisely decides to give the “lobster” a new home in his bathtub. Largely because he is in a constant state of intoxication, Paddy brags about his discovery to anyone who will listen, including that cop, O’Shea, who is not so secretly an alcoholic.
O’Shea is definitely really into new cop Nolan, which he makes embarrassingly clear by showing up at her door drunk and asking her out. She responds by putting him in lock-up for the night.
At the same time, the creatures kills at least 3-4 more people. The “lobster” in Paddy’s bathtub has migrated to the ceiling and attacks him (coincidentally, it looks quite a lot like the tentacle/vagina monster from Watchmen).
All of this is punctuated with some gorgeous shots of the island. Sea monster tentacle aliens or not, I want to live on this island.
Next day: Smith, the marine ecologist, is studying the grabber (as Paddy calls it). Based on the structure of its tongue, the grabber must attack its victims and drink their blood like a leech. It essentially just needs blood and water to survive. This particular specimen was pregnant and full of grabber baby eggs.
It was pregnant and full of grabber babies. Smith suspects the whales were killed and used as a food source for the spawn.
After investigating one of the grabber attacks, Nolan and O’Shea return to the lab, where they light the grabber on fire. That’s right—IN THE LAB, which triggers the sprinkler system. Remember how the grabbers just need blood and water to survive? As Smith comments, “You really are Irish” (apologies to the Irish).
The grabber attacks O’Shea’s face so he becomes difficult to distinguish from Davy Jones in POTC. It then turns to Paddy, but shows little interest in his blood. The old drunk guy is still alive, and the thing wasn’t interested in him; so they realize Paddy’s blood-alcohol level would’ve been toxic to it.
Brilliant plan: have a lock-in at the pub, stay out of the way, and drink. The only problem is that Nolan doesn’t drink and doesn’t even know if she can get drunk, which leads to an inspirational speech from O’Shea. As it turns out, Nolan CAN get drunk. Slurry, giggly, stumbly drunk. After the island doctor injects the tentacle monster with Nolan’s blood, there is one less tentacle monster to worry about.
So the cops get everyone to the pub, and the small group of people that knows about the real reason for the party discusses defense plans.
When a supersized version of the tentacle monster crashes the party along with some of the tentacle monster babies, the cops move the party upstairs. A fight breaks out because of course it does; there are many drunk Irish people in a small, enclosed space (sorry again, Ireland).
When the islanders realize the reason for the party, they start brainstorming, coming up with some GREAT drunk ideas like throwing a bomb at the monster or pushing it off a cliff. TOTALLY going to work. Finally, Nolan comes up with the least terrible idea to catch it with a crane and leave it out to dry. Unfortunately, she also inadvertently lights the pub on fire.
Will the plan succeed??? Does this movie suddenly become The Towering Inferno??? Can the poor Irish villagers ever stop drinking???
For dramatic effect, I will leave these questions unanswered. Also because this post is already 1,000 words long, and I need to cut myself off.
Seriously, I think you should watch this.
This movie has way better production values that I expected; it’s an IFC Film, and the effects/acting/film techniques are decent to good. Even if this movie were totally awful, the beautiful shots of the Irish coast would make up for it (though this movie is far from awful). It was surprisingly subtle/non-exploitative, especially for a horror-comedy. As Christa notes, most of the time I was laughing with the movie rather than at it. The entire experience was like stepping into the Twilight Zone, but in a good way—like in that episode where the grandmother comes to live with the kids and everyone is pretty much okay when she turns out to be a robot.
Biggest complaint is that there were several times I had to turn on the captions, especially to understand Paddy and other drunk characters (plus there was a character named Tadhg, for feck’s sake. So many consonants, so few vowels).
Also one of the lessons of this movie is sorta that love solves all of your problems, including and especially, alcoholism. But hey, that’s Hollywood.
I know; this rating is losing all meaning because I use it for EVERY film.
Check out Christa’s review here.