When it comes to the drastic shift to slasher comedies in the 1990s, we’ve all seen Dr. Giggles, Ice Cream Man, The Dentist films, Leprechaun movies, etc. But no one really talks about The Granny and Evil Ed, two films that took slasher schlock a step further.
THE GRANNY (1995)
The 1990s nearly obliterated the horror genre for good by pretty much splitting into two categories: a) painfully serious films which, in their attempt to be original and not just throwaway slashers, were unnecessarily complex and void of actual scares, or b) miserably unfunny, trashy comedies loaded with gore.
Every once in a while the latter succeeded in being just over-the-top enough to create a memorable experience worthy of cult status. The Granny is one of those. This is kind of what a Full Moon Feature would be if it were done right.
After a sleazy intro of a possessed woman being exorcised—which includes making her daddy eat her out—we meet crass, crude, and campy Granny, played perfectly by veteran actress Stella Stevens. She is being cared for in her mansion by the one granddaughter she likes…yet treats like shit!
It’s Thanksgiving (add this one to the holiday horror list!), and the whole self-centered family is coming over for dinner.
But Granny parties on her own, drinking an elixir that is supposed to make her immortal. Instead, it kills her!
Not really. Granny is back from the dead, spouting one-liners and using both practical means and her supernatural powers to hack n’ slash her way through her ungrateful family as a thunder and lightning storm rages outside. Some of my favorite kills include: Granny’s furs come to life and attack a chick trying them on; Granny cuts off a guy’s dick with scissors; Granny wrestles her grandson to death. After all the slaughter, she has the family’s walking, bleeding corpses sit back down at the table for dinner. Even her dead husband returns for the occasion and she tongues him!
It’s up to the granddaughter that cared for her to finish her off once and for all. What she inherits when Granny is dead for good makes for an awesome final frame!
EVIL ED (1995)
A year before Scream, Evil Ed had a character taking his hate for horror movies one step too far.
Ed is a film editor assigned to a new project—editing the gore in horror movies to appease the ratings boards. Along with 80s movie poster sightings – Cherry 2000, The Fly remake, Evil Dead, Return of the Living Dead – the first part of the film delivers serious gore…in clips from one of the films Ed is working on.
Pretty soon, Ed’s mind is being affected by the extreme horror he’s watching. He begins to hallucinate that there are ghouls around him, telling him he needs to kill the people who make these gruesome movies. Awesome.
Along with nods to classic horror films – Silence of the Lambs, Evil Dead, Gremlins, The Exorcist – Evil Ed becomes a campy splatter film loaded with gore and cool (imaginary) monsters as Ed loses his mind.
His terrorizing and slaughtering of his victims kicks into high gear at his house, then shifts to a hospital, where the oh-so grindhouse final segment takes place.
The look and tone remind me of Dead Alive, although Evil Ed isn’t that extreme of a splatterfest. But it’s still a great film for fans of 80s horror who were less than thrilled with the garbage horror coming out in the first half of the 1990s. It also makes for a perfect double feature with The Granny.