‘They’re cute. They’re cuddly. They’re out for blood.’
Munchies is a 1987 American comedy horror feature film produced by Roger Corman and starring Harvey Korman, Charlie Stratton, and Nadine Van der Velde.
Clearly inspired by the success of Gremlins, and directed by that film’s editor, Bettina Hirsch, the film features a remarkably similar plot line. Robert Short created the Munchies creature effects.
The film spawned two sequels, Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back, both of which are purely family fare and possess no relation to the original save their title.
Space archaeologist Simon Watterman, discovers a fossilized “Munchie” in a cave in Peru. Bringing the specimen back to the United States, Watterman’s son and girlfriend accidentally reanimate it and name it Arnold.
Meanwhile, Cecil Watterman, Simon’s evil twin brother and snack food entrepreneur, kidnaps Arnold while Cindy and Paul are enjoying sex.
When Arnold is hurt by his kidnappers, it becomes aggressive and attacks Cecil’s adopted son. Attempting to kill Arnold, they chop him into quarters, but instead of dying, Arnold multiplies into four new munchies. The quartet of creatures develop a love of women, beer, attacking people, and junk food in the process…
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“The obnoxious characters are matched with obnoxious jokes. The amount of groans that Munchies spawns in only eighty minutes is quite spectacular. Whether it be one of Paul’s bad lines or a goofy exchange between the father and son cop team, Munchies is a king of bad comedy. But it’s the film’s poorly executed moments of slapstick actions – dripping with tacky dubbing – that illicit the truly gut grumbling winces.” Mondo Exploito
“Harvey Korman is extremely over the top as the uncle, playing a villain who you would swear is from a Saturday morning cartoon that Hanna-Barbera made. The other actors all…are there. Really, there are no real stand-out performances from anyone, unless you count the humourous scenes with Picardo. There is clearly a reason this is a mostly forgotten film…” Batman’s Got a Nosebleed
“This rank imitation of Gremlins has nothing to recommend it – not even deep philosophical values … the creatures are unconvincing, and so the film doesn’t even work as high camp.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“Regretfully, not a single joke works, the beasties aren’t lovable or cute, there’s no blood for the gorehounds, and not an uncovered breast in sight. Truly a film with nothing for everyone. Tough to believe it’s a Roger Corman production.” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics
Cast and characters:
Harvey Korman … Cecil Watterman and Simon Watterman
Hardy Rawls … Big Ed
Robert Picardo … Bob Marvalle
Wendy Schaal … Marge Marvalle
Paul Bartel … Dr Crowder
Ellen Albertini Dow … Little Old Lady
Steven Bernstein … Dean
Frank Welker … the voice of Munchie
Fred Newman … the voice of Munchie