Welcome to another Monster Monday! The previous Mondays have been filled with movies I tended to like a lot. Today, I'll be changing things around a bit by focusing on a really trashy treat. In other words, we'll be looking at MUNCHIES from 1987!
Director: Tina Hirsch
Starring: Harvey Korman, Charlie Stratton
Simon Watterman, a space archaeologist, discovers the "Munchies" in a cave in Peru. Cecil Watterman, Simon's evil twin brother and snack food entrepreneur, kidnaps the creature. What Cecil does not know is that the creature, when chopped up, regenerates into many new creatures.. Particularly devious ones hell bent on partying, womanizing and destroying everything they can get their hands on!
The Monster (s):
Well, where shall we begin? I think it's important to start off with a brief summary of the "small creature" trend of the mid 80s to see exactly how this monstrosity (pun intended) came to fruition.
Essentially, in 1984, Gremlins was released and became a relatively large sensation. In order to capitalize off of this success, a number of companies decided to release their own mini-monster knock offs. This included moderately cool films like Ghoulies, awesome gems like Critters, some infamously abysmal things like Hobgoblins and the film of the day Munchies.
Munchies, more than any of the aforementioned films, does the best job at ripping Gremlins off. But, when I use the term "best," be sure that I mean it as a pejorative. That is, it's the best in the sense that it steals enough narrative to actually be a Gremlins film while simultaneously failing to capture any of the magic that made Gremlins so awesome. Each of the other films at least take some sort of creative endeavors to differentiate themselves from Gremlins; but Munchies? Nope. It knows exactly what it is, and it doesn't attempt to pretend otherwise.
Although, I do have to admit that Munchies does take a unique direction regarding the idea of interspecies sexuality. For some reason or another, the Munchies are sex obsessed (with humans) and seem to thrive off of sexually harassing women to the best of their ability. Could Munchies be a satirical feminist critique of patriarchal society? Munchies themselves symbolizing the way in which patriarchy literally replicates itself constantly over populations while causing the most amount of destruction possible? Doubtful. However, it should be noted that the film was, in fact, directed by a woman (Tina Hirsch). I was actually a bit surprised to discover this. So, perhaps this brief stream of consciousness will serve as a catalyst to initiate a debate about the feminist undertones of Munchies. One can only hope!
At any rate, I don't actually have a lot to say about this film that you can't listen to below. More than anything, it should be simply stated that the film is lame and not really all that enjoyable at all. Nonetheless, I always encourage people to see things for themselves and, if you're masochistic enough, you might just enjoy yourself. Check out the full film below!