Watched a movie last night with my husband–so many for me to choose from, though he’s pretty much seen or heard of them all. So he carefully scrolls through and I say, nothing gratuitously violent or shocking for mere entertainment value, please. A philosophical content movie would be good, not too much “action” as in exploding cars flipping over and martial arts combat, even if the woman wins to show the equality of the sexes. I want some relaxation after a long week, and to be away from people for a while in the back room. Some comedy, but nothing dumb; sci fi maybe, and a bit of convincing romance would be nice. Something to get me out of my head without feeling slimed afterwards.
He chose “Grabbers,” which is certainly inoffensive, but we agree that it’s a bit standard in plot, as it’s the usual beginning of an alien takeover from which the two local coast guards/peace officers have to save the world. But set in beautiful coastal Northern Ireland, green hills and pebble beaches, empty shores–the place to go to nurse a terrible grief, and if necessary combat alien takeovers. To heal, and then to live, with a variety of eccentric, no-shit neighbors who look out for one another. Seems that’s why the male guard is there. He is a drunk, handsome, sad, crusty on the outside but with a sensitive heart. She’s a cheerful, somewhat brittle workaholic, apparently immune to the drunken attentions she begins to receive from her colleague and every other eligible male in the village. She’s there to replace someone going on a few weeks’ holiday, and her first disciplinary action is to place her partner in detention for passing out on her doorstep. Still, there’s a tenderness there for him even so.
They discover that the blood-sucking octopus-like creature a local fisherman finds in his lobster pot recoils when it—she (no testicles, says the marine ecologist, and also she laid an egg)—tries to suck blood with a high alcohol content, which is why the fisherman survived its attack on him. They make the logical leap that there’s a huge male lurking on the shoreline somewhere waiting for the rain so it’s wet enough to travel inland to find its mate and more blood for the nurture of their brood.
The obvious solution is a free bar lock-in in the local pub, with everyone diligently keeping their blood alcohol content high, except one person who will keep watch and coordinate the killing of the monster. First they get the female officer drunk to determine the necessary blood alcohol content.My flesh creeps a bit as three men fill her with beer, whiskey, and the fisherman’s special home brew, but they are gentlemen, and merely prop her up, laugh at her slurred jokes, draw blood to feed the creature and determine the level of alcohol to which it objects. Later when she slurs her drunken affections to her partner, he looks at her tenderly, longingly, smooths the hair back from her cheek and says he is flattered, but now is not the time.
Everyone at the local church service is invited to the lock-in, and everyone accepts once the free bar is announced (apparently there aren’t any under aged locals). The grieving alcoholic officer volunteers to go cold turkey and dedicate himself to the destruction of the monster within and without, though he is vulnerable in his dry state to the attentions of the alien.The party commences and is well underway when the monster arrives in the night, with a brood newly hatched on the beach. The grand battle ensues, the monsters are driven repeatedly away from the partygoers, and confronted by the two officers in the muddy driveway. The reeling local marine ecologist who tries to take a picture is eaten, and the visiting, formerly uptight colleague who has never been drunk before remembers her essential purpose and devotion to her work, and with her partner offering himself as bait, helps lure the grabber to the local gravel mine, where it is pinned, fed vodka, and lit aflame by shooting a flare gun at the gasoline storage barrels at the bottom. The guard, flung away when the vodka is poured, claws his way up the muddy hole where he is pulled up by his partner, and as the sun rises they limp and lurch along the road back to the village. And then they kiss. And I have to say, the lead in to that kiss makes it a pretty hot one. At that’s the moment I remember best from the whole movie. So maybe one could say it’s a romance after all.