Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Job Down Cannibal County: Cannibals and Carpet Fitters (2018)

Cannibals and Carpet Fitters (United Kingdom, 2018)
Rating: ****
Starring: Darren Sean Enright, Richard Lee O'Donnell, Zara Phythian

Like many ridiculous sounding movies such as Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988) or Snakes on a Plane (2006), Cannibals and Carpet Fitters is B-grade straightforwardness that lacks subtext but makes up for it with cheesy entertainment value. Oh, and gruesome gore. Lots of gruesome gore.

Starting the movie is a found footage of a couple's camping trip, following a few chuckle-worthy mishaps until it all slowly troubles down into the pair getting lost in the woods and soon to be attacked by a savage hulk who proceeds to eat an eye out of the boyfriend's face. The girl outruns the man-monster, only to inadvertently end up looking for help in a remote house in the old country which, as you may have guessed, happens to be the inbred family of her attacker. A head got split with an axe and dinner was served.

Come following morning, the remote house turns out to be the mom-and-pop business Cupid's Carpet's big job for the day and most of its employees will be working on it. Two groups get sent out, one consisting of no-nonsense chick Tasha (Zara Phythian) and douchey Chris (Christopher Whitlow), the other is made up of Colin (Darren Sean Enright) and Dean (Richard Lee O'Donnell), a lazy yet chummy duo tagging along frail newbie Malcolm (Dominic Holmes) and are all running a bit behind as they're currently (and horribly) fitting another customer's house. It didn't take too long for the carnage to start yet again as the cannibal family (led by Jenny Stokes as the delightfully deranged matriarch Mrs. Hanning) makes quick work on Chris and captures Tasha, leaving the day to be saved by the most unlikely heroes to come face to face with a clan of deformed and very hungry killers.

Originally a 2014 short, Cannibals and Carpet Fitters (2018) does a superb job satirizing slasher tropes with comedic touches of well timed and wittily written dialogue as it goes about its frankly simple plot of adult minimum wage workers trying to survive a family who wants to make meat pies out of them. Its an easy story that personally makes Carpet Fitters more approachable, surprising open slasher fans with a sizable well-executed gore effects, brutal brawls and gross-out gags that dwells quite fittingly with the tone's dark humor.

While the gaggle of here jokes have a few misses, those that hit well on their mark warrant some worthy chuckle to just how cheekily cartoonish and/or casual some of the reactions to the horrors are ("There's a nipple in the pie.") or how a few of these funnies borderline into slapstick tomfoolery. (Or, since hacked-up body parts are involved, dare I say "splatstick"?) The movie's foray into the comical thankfully didn't shy it away from dishing out some true practical grue like good ole splattered brains and guts gutted for snacks, to a certain nose injury that stays there for a couple of scenes and is one of this movie's finest make up and screen effect.

Acting is a bit uneven for some of the casts, but if we're gonna look for highlights, Enright and O’Donnell’s chemistry is undeniably “bromantic” as two best working buds challenged not only by the dangerous situation they find themselves in, but too the troubles of every day mid-life such as failing marriages and getting outshined by better co-workers. Do wished we got more light on the carpet fitters' side of the plot, but for what we have so far, it ain't all that bad. Adding the matter that the direction doesn't follow the typical choices of who lives and dies with some characters actually making realistic choices, though their odds of escaping their predicament alive are just as well off as those making the cliched dumb ones, then you have a somewhat interesting slasher comedy that punches in a few fun (and not-so-fun) surprises.

Cannibals and Carpet Fitters (2018) smooths through its 83 minute short running time with an understanding pace, though the ending does felt a lot anti-climactic as it left us hanging with a bittersweet cliffhanger. Nevertheless, the movie is a gorgeous final product (considering its crowdfunded budget of estimated £100,000) that delivers the shocking and messy goods traditional scare fans can enjoy earnestly, all the while sharing the horrors with fun laugh out loud moments. If you're in the mood for cannibal slashers and simple comedy, this movie's a great number to satisfy the need. Carpet fitters do not cry, but they'll do if miss this one out!

1 male attacked and had an entire eye eaten off, killed
1 female gets her head split in half with an axe
1 male decapitated with an axe
1 male stabbed on the throat with a pair of scissors
1 female seen legless and killed
1 female shot through the head with a crossbow
1 male shot with a crossbow, falls off a building
1 male found with his neck gnawed open
1 male ran down with a van
1 male shot with a crossbow
1 male knifed through the back, exits to chest
1 male had his throat cut with a knife
Total: 12

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