Once in awhile, you fall ass-backwards into a terrifically bad horror movie. You know the scene: 11:45 P.M flipping through the channels, then next thing you know you’re on one of those extra Cinemax channels and you’re watching a horror movie called THE GRANNY. Wait, that happened to you too? Well, I’m glad it happened to me, because this horror-comedy was pretty good fun.
At first it seemed like an out-and-out comedy: a bickering family visits their curmudgeonly old grandmother, Granny (Stella Stevens), who, from the comfort of her wheelchair, hurls insults at anyone and everyone. The entire family hates her, but they put up with the old matriarch because Granny is one rich old bag and when she croaks, there will be plenty of wealth to spread around.
I consulted my TV Guide on more than one occasion to ensure that THE GRANNY was in fact of the “horror” genre – the first twenty minutes reminded me more of a low-budget remake of that Michael J. Fox movie with the exact same plot. Still, I found myself enjoying the sarcastic and dark humor. It’s not often you see a movie which features a wrestling match between a 14-year-old boy and a terminally ill elderly woman in a wheelchair (who also happens to be a big fan of the WWF).
Everything changes one day, however, when Granny is visited by a stranger who gives her a potion and promises her eternal life. The thing is: this potion has to be taken in a very specific manner in order to work. Shock! Horror! Granny doesn’t take it correctly! Almost immediately, she keels over (not easy to do in a wheelchair) and dies.
The family, of course, is ecstatic as millions of dollars will be inherited by all. All except the one person who actually cared for the old hag: her personal nurse. Humorously, the prudish and nerdy nurse is played by the smokin’ ex-Playmate Shannon Whirry. Apparently putting her hair in a bun and giving her glasses is supposed to convince us that she’s hideously ugly. Nuh-uh. In fact, the Granny even says to her at one point: "No man would ever have you." Um, yeah.
Of course, Granny’s potion did more than just kill her and she comes back to life, only this time she's even meaner than she was before. In fact, she's a murderous killer, and she takes out her family members one by one, using a Freddy-like one-liner after every one. Now it’s up to her personal nurse, the mysterious potion-bearing stranger, and some cheesy magic to save the day and defeat the evil granny!
As with most bad horror movies, the director gets all stylish on us with camera angles and the like – the effort really cracked me up. Once the actions starts, there's some good gore, nudity (Shannon Whirry – won’t you be mine?), and truly awful special effects which just seems to add to the fun. It has a lame ending and as the credits roll, you realize that you just spent 100 minutes of your life watching crap which probably left you dumber than you were when you started. But then again, how is that different from any other gloriously entertaining, yet terrible movie reviewed on this site? Sure, THE GRANNY may burn off a few brain cells while watching, but you’ll have fun in the process and that’s all that matters.
Rating: *** (out of a possible 4)