Comedy, Demons, Horror

Rabid Grannies (1988)

Comments Off on Rabid Grannies (1988) 15 June 2015

Rabid grannies blu ray

Studio: Troma

Theatrical Release: December 12, 1988 (Luxembourg)

Blu Ray Release: March 10, 2015

Director: Emmanuel Kervyn

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

Troma picked up this Belgium made horror-comedy back in 1989, garnering even more notoriety as their own The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High, and Surf Nazi’s Must Die populated video stores. Rabid Grannies soon became yet another hit for Troma, causing Troma to buy the rights to other foreign horror films (the German made Killer Condom comes to mind almost immediately). After many years, Rabid Grannies has now gotten an HD release and folks…it may be one of the worst HD presentations I have ever seen. But more on that later.

The basic premise of Rabid Grannies is that a rather large rich family are all reuniting to celebrate the birthdays of two elderly sisters. As this dysfunctional family get to the mansion where the party is to take place, the old women get a gift sent to them by their estranged nephew. The present is a wooden box which is filled with some sort of demonic mist that turns these grannies into murderous creatures. Much like the original The Evil Dead, these murderous monsters go after everyone in the mansion, killing them off one by one.

Rabid GranniesWhile I love the title Rabid Grannies, these grannies are never rabid. I kept wondering what the original title may have been because I highly doubt this was filmed as Rabid Grannies. Regardless, this low budget shocker does move along at a quick pace as each of these unlikable family members are dispatched rather quickly and in gruesome manner. These grannies sport long, sharp fingernails and can stretch their arms at large lengths to attack their prey. Even the snotty child who refuses to share her cookies with her brother gets her legs torn off! While the humor is rather childish, the practical effects and make up design of the demonic grannies is rather clever. Given that the film was made over 25 years ago, the effects hold up well.

granniesWhile the climax seems like it was lifted from The Evil Dead, I wasn’t really bothered by its lack of imagination. It’s apparent the film makers wanted to make a silly, low budget horror film to which they succeed in making a movie that’s at least entertaining for viewers searching for a cheap thrill.

real make up effectsNow comes the disappointing and embarrassing part: this new blu ray release is a travesty. It’s downright insulting. The blu ray contains two versions of the movie: the film Rabid Grannies and the Producer’s Cut. The difference? The Producer’s Cut has almost two minutes of just black leader before the movie starts. I thought something happened to my blu ray player and had to go back to the menu to try again. Both versions are exactly the same. And both versions run a little over an hour! The back of the blu ray cover shows a running time of 89 minutes. Huh?

demon grannyEven worse, the presentation of both picture and sound is a joke. The film looks like it was taken from an old, worn out VHS source. The picture is murky, dark, and covered in film damage and dirt. I have never seen an HD presentation look this bad. Oh and it doesn’t stop there folks because the dubbed dialog is almost incomprehensible. I had a very difficult time even understanding what these characters were saying. Be prepared to crank up the volume.

Now what’s even more bizarre is the DVD disc that’s also included with the blu ray looks and sounds much better and clocks in at 89 minutes long. This cleaner and sharper version is the butchered R rated cut! The gore sequences are almost all excised and can only be seen in the shortened shitty blu ray version. What the fuck was Troma doing? There is also an audio commentary track on the DVD by director Kervyn that for some reason is not included on the blu ray. There is an old intro by Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman that is on the DVD but also not on the blu ray. In fact, the only special features on the blu ray is a all too brief three minute interview with the producer and a short, faux interview with one of the original rabid grannies that over stays its welcome within a few seconds. Seriously, what was Troma thinking while they assembled this release? The release of Rabid Grannies makes their mediocre blu ray releases of both The Toxic Avenger Part II and Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part 2 look like a Criterion presentation.

granny with childI’m at a loss for words as there really isn’t an uncut version of Rabid Grannies available. You can either watch the longer R rated version or some shorter unrated version that is close to impossible to make out what is happening due to the awful picture and lousy sound. Maybe some studio out there like Shout! or Blue Underground or Vinegar can buy the rights from Troma and give it a proper release. But until then, I wouldn’t bother picking up this blu ray even if it was in a dollar bin.

Movie Rating: ★★½☆☆

Blu Ray Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

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