Rabid Grannies (Les mémés cannibales) (Stomp Visual) (1988) (NTSC)
Menu Animation & Audio
Introduction-Lloyd Kaufman (President Of Troma)
Audio Commentary-Emmanuel Kervyn (Director)
Featurette-Tour Of Troma Studios
Featurette-Interview: Dario Argento On The Stendahl Syndrome
Trailer-Troma Comics, Troma Montage
Featurette-Producer Johan Vandewoestijne
Additional Footage-Gory Footage
Featurette-What The Hell Happened To You?
|Year Of Production||1988|
|Running Time||88:29 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Emmanuel Kervyn|
Robert Du Bois
Franklin Steward Granvel
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Les Mémés Cannibales, or Rabid Grannies in English, comes from the extremely limited Belgian-zombie-grandma genre of film, picked up and distributed by Troma, and is, unfortunately, a complete waste of a premise. This is a flat-out horrible film. A completely transparent bore: at every moment you can tell what the film is trying to do but it lacks the competence to actually pull it off, and subsequently lacks any kind of real ingenuity. It begins with a lengthy sequence introducing the family members, hoping to build their characters and make us care for them, before throwing them all together and making disaster strike. The surviving family members are separated and then mauled by the monsters (who barely resemble grannies after the first couple of "horror" scenes, further defecating on the premise) essentially using every flaccid cliché in the book and depleting any kind of fun that would have been had with this film.
The craft of the people making this film is absolutely stunning. There's no continuity, shots don't lead into each other, there's no rhythm in editing, nor any pacing, you have to strain to tell exactly what is going on. Astonishingly horrendous - it's the kind of thing you see inexperienced student filmmakers make, and then get expelled for. It's beyond amateur, and despite the fact that Troma work in low budget B-grade films, there is still a lot of talent that goes into making those, and making those look like real movies. Rabid Grannies looks like a failed student effort, and for that, it's a waste of a great, disgusting premise.
I advise you to actively avoid this movie, even if the premise interests you. Even gorehounds will find no appeal in this film - its MA rating is a mystery to me, since there's nothing at all here remotely frightening or realistic or sleep-deterring. Also, this film doesn't get better with alcohol, or any substance at all. Just avoid it. Turn away, pretend it never happened. Nothing to see here!
Let me start by saying that this is possibly the worst transfer I have ever seen on a DVD, ever. The aspect ratio is the first problem - this film was shot in 2.35:1 and has been cropped. Not panned and scanned. Cropped. Since you're missing a huge portion of the screen, long sequences of the film are completely incoherent because the action is out of view. Characters are often talking to other characters who seemingly don't appear in the scene. Running from zombie grandmas that seemingly aren't there. It's almost unwatchable.
The video itself is a complete mess, beginning with lesser issues like telecine wobble (most noticeable during the opening titles, one example at 2:11) then proceeding to nasty, nasty film artefacts that make it appear like the film was dragged through the mud, attacked with a cheese grater, then run over several times. It's not even worth listing where some of the more notable defects are - just watching the first 10 minutes of the film, you'll notice that almost no shot is without some kind of horrible scarring. Although there is less of this as the film goes on, it still remains an issue.
The level of grain is awful, and the film rarely looks sharp, as if much of it was shot out of focus. Black levels are also terrible, with very little detail - if any at all - in the darker scenes, which doesn't help considering the very dark last half of the film. (see 42:37 for a scene with no detail in the top half of the screen, followed by some nasty low level noise at 42:47).
There are no subtitles.
Despite supposedly in stereo, it sounds more like mono-mix put through stereo, with little feeling of depth or surround. There is no surround or subwoofer usage.
Probably the best thing in the film, the hilariously out-of-place classical theme for Rabid Grannies sounds great as it echoes from the speakers, but doesn't last. The remainder of the music is an unfortunate bore, failing to build up tension in any moment of the film.
But the worst part about this entire DVD package is the dialogue, which is entirely, awkwardly dubbed. I will not submit you, the reader, to a longwinded diatribe about my hatred for dubbing, but in this case it's important to note that there is no original language track on the DVD, only the English dubbing. Most DVDs that choose to include a dub track at least have the original language with subtitles, but not so with Rabid Grannies. The dubbing isn't bad, for what it is, but every unfortunate stutter and horrible pronunciation kills what pitiful hope the film had of creating an atmosphere, like a big neon sign pointing to the poor sync. The fact that some of the cast did speak English while recording to the film doesn't help matters; further, the dubbing mix is sometimes inaudible to go with unwatchable, with the mix drowning it out and ultimately making the film a very trying experience.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
However, there is an R0 SE German edition that includes an Ultimate Final Cut, this Troma version, and a Dutch version of the film with subtitles, plus more extras - if you have to own the complete package, get that.
The video and audio are both awful.
The extras are plentiful and are better than the film.
This is the worst DVD I've ever come across.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|