Other Side Drive

Spoiled Rotten: Munchies

todayMay 1, 2015 15

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by Ace McIntyre
KTSW Other Side Drive

Munchies film
Munchies film. Photo courtesy en.wikipedia.org

Munchies is a 1987 flick directed by Tina Hirsch, the editor of a suspiciously similar movie 3 years before called Gremlims. While this movie seems to have all the things it needs to be a cult classic, it’s mostly forgettable and boring.

The movie follows Paul, an aspiring comedian longing to move to LA . When he and his archeologist alien conspirator dad found a strange creature in an unnamed temple in Peru.  Bringing it home without any trouble, Paul and his girlfriend Cindy are left with the task of taking care of it until the father comes back, which they immediately screw up without a second thought.

Arnold the alien-thing is kidnapped by Paul’s greedy uncle Sonny and Dude the dead-head. Dude fatally discovers that hurting Arnold makes him angier and chopping him up only makes him multiply, now called Munchies by the way at this point. The rest of the movie is tracking the Munchies down before they hurt more people or multiply anymore.

The Munchies themselves don’t look half-bad, they’re pretty much hand-puppet Yodas with teeth. Some of the sets looked like they were made out of Styrofoam but other than that seemed believable and not out of place. The audio in this movie is pretty good, no white noise and a pretty silly soundtrack but for the 80’s fit right in. Some of Cindy’s and Melvis dialogue was obviously dubbed over at certain parts.

There’s tons of eccentric characters in this movie, like the businessman Sonny, his airhead wife Melvis, the over zealous cop and son team and a family who never takes off their ice cream shop uniforms. While some of them aren’t very orginial, they’re certainly the highlights in this movie by giving the only thing interesting and funny to look like.

You start to care about side-characters struggles more than the protagonists, mainly because Paul and Cindy are boring and take no responsibility for what they cause. They come off as arrogant while Sonny might be a greedy bastard, genuinely loves his wife even if she’s not the brightest  and he has his own bumblinging moments. I started to root for Sonny at the end because he at least showed emotions and cared about something.

But after the side-characters pulled all the tricks they have there’s really nothing left in this movie to keep your interest. There’s no character archs or tension. The audience isn’t really invested if they catch the Munchies or not because we don’t the consequences or what the Muchies are capable of other than mischvieous. And the charaters themselves don’t seem overly-concerned either so what’s the point. Paul’s only motivation of catching them is losing his father’s bet and going to college other than LA, that’s it. Munchies themselves don’t have a plan to take over the world or anything either so most of this movie is dull scence changes.

The final showdown at the factory is supposed to be the most exciting part of your movie but at that point I didn’t care what happen, I just wanted it to be over. A movie like this shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a fun adventure with a sense of progression and characters that you care about and want to see succeed.

This movie only understood that it needed characters. Watch Gremlims instead.

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Other Side Drive

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