Every now and again, you stumble upon a complete gem of a movie. When I say gem, I mean a B-Grade film that you come across in the bargain bin of your local video store. Not that they really exist anymore, but you get what I mean.
I can’t remember exactly when I first fell in love with B-grade movies. I want to say that it was The Evil Dead, but in my opinion, that movie is not a B-Grade flick. It’s not even A. It’s beyond grading. It is the ultimate example of cinema and ever since 1981, everything that has followed has been judged, rated and compared to it. And rightfully so.
For arguments sake, let’s say it was The Evil Dead. I think I was about 12 when I first saw it. It was love at first sight. Especially with Bruce. I’ll stop there or this will turn into a Bruce Campbell appreciation post.
From there, it steadily grew. When I first had my own place, at the age of 18, my younger brother and I would go to Video Ezy every Sunday night. We’d scour the bargain bin for hidden gems. We could get 3 movies for $20. We’d select our 3, order dinner and then go home to watch. We discovered many classics, such as Scarecrow, Darkhunters, Dr. Chopper…the list goes on forever.
I’m 30 now and I still love those films that are so crap, they can’t possibly be bad. However, nowadays all my bargain bin browsing is done from my couch. Not in the case of Killer Sofa though. I was out and about doing some shopping and walked past Sanity, Killer Sofa caught my eye instantly. Which is surprising. It was on display, right at the front of the store for all to see. Like it was a Leonardo DiCaprio film or something. Not one of his garbage films like the Titanic. I mean one of the Oscar worthy ones. Like Critters 3.
Anyway. The cover art was exceptional. It featured a single seat recliner, it looked soft and comfortable. Except for the giant teeth. The eyeballs were also unsettling and last I checked, not a standard inclusion on armchairs. It also had a few scratches and a lot of bloodstains. The word ‘Killer’ was highlighted in blood red, with a square drawn around the ‘e’ – I think maybe because the letter ‘e’ kind of looks like a sofa? I’m over analysing already. Awesome.
It also featured the great tag line – “Don’t sit on the furniture”. All great films have a great tag line on the poster. Killer Sofa was no exception. I never read the back covers of DVD’s. It’s like trailers, I don’t watch them. The give away far too much and I prefer to go in blind. I did notice that the back cover had some pictures though – a clown, a demon and a women holding a torch. Colour me intrigued. I’m sure you can imagine my eagerness to watch this film.
Well, I finally got to the other night and it did not disappoint. Literally from the very start, I could tell I was going to love this movie forever.
I have to give a huge shout out to the effect department, because the killer sofa was amazing. It looked so good. Not like the one on the cover, but it was actually better that way. It was more subtle, but it still had a good creep factor going. I couldn’t help but laugh and smile every single time I saw it. I particularly loved it when it was lurking in the background and just watching the people.
There was this one amazing scene when it was watching on from the balcony, just like a nosy neighbour. It was hysterical. It had a pretty high body count by the end of the film, but managed to keep getting away with it. Possibly because it would hide the bodies. Have you ever seen a recliner dispose of a dead body before? I bet you haven’t.
It was the eyes that really did it for me. They weren’t like a pair of googly eyes or anything, although that would have been amusing. They were more like buttons. Very dark buttons, but still looked like eyes. I have a single seat recliner and I am planning on affixing some button eyes before the week is through. And by that, I mean I’m going to make my wife do it.
I wasn’t the only one in love with the sofa. Francesca, the new owner of the sofa was also taken with it. So much so that there was a sex scene with her and the sofa. Yeah, I’m being serious. Who am I to judge? I love the feeling of microsuede too. Not as much as Francesca, evidently. She was fingering the recliner lever like her life depended on it. I bet you’ve never seen that before.
That’s what makes B-Grade films so great. They show you something you’ve never seen before. Not only that, but something that you’ve never ever imagined before (unless you really, really love microsuede recliners). They are true visionaries of cinema. I’m not saying that sarcastically. I love it. They have an idea that nobody has ever had before and they make it happen. It’s not the same story being used over and over again. It is a truly unique idea and it is brought to life, on a minimum budget.
Some credit also has to go to the actors. I still can’t tell if they are great actors, or even good actors. Are they even acceptable? They come across as bad actors, but can anyone actually be that bad? Just to clarify, I’m not specifically talking about Killer Sofa, I’m talking about all B-Movies. If they were that bad, how did they get jobs? Is there even a casting director? Probably. It’s probably the same person as the writer, director, producer and whatever else. If they were that bad at acting though, how would they have the confidence to put out the performances they do? I have so many questions, but I cannot deny them the joy that their performances bring me.
Thats a good segue to get back to Killer Sofa, specifically the characters. Right from the start, I knew we were in for some exceptional performances. The delivery guy who was instantly suspicious of the sofa was ace. It was easy to pick on him for being paranoid and not trusting the couch, but he was right, wasn’t he?
Then there was Jack, the disgraced Rabbi, who is discovering new abilities at the ripe old age of 60 (I don’t actually know his age, but he was far too old to have hidden abilities). Francesca has never had problems finding a man, but chooses to have sex with a couch instead. Her best friend, who was asked to come over to comfort Fran’, decides it’s a good idea to sneak in, wearing a clown mask and surprise her in the shower. All of these characters pale in comparison to my two favourite characters (not including the recliner), the cops.
Detective Grape and Detective Gravy. Yup. That’s right. Grapes ‘n’ Gravy. I love buddy cop films and the duos within. Tango and Cash. Riggs and Murtaugh. Axel and Billy. J and K. Friday and Streebeck. Hell, even Turner and Hooch. With that in mind, you know that it is no small statement for me to say that Grapes and Gravy might just be the best yet. That is, of course, a lie, but they are a great duo nonetheless. I just wish that they were called Chips ‘n’ Gravy.
Well, I’ve said a lot without really saying anything. In short, I love this movie. I highly recommend it. To anyone. It’s just good, dumb fun. Isn’t that the point of movies? To entertain? Killer Sofa does just that. It’s got a Rabbi, a Dybbuk, a killer sofa, bad acting, great effects, dumb characters making dumber decisions and an incredibly unique story. It’s on the Mt.Rushmore of B-Grade films – I don’t think I can give a much bigger compliment than that. I can’t wait to watch it again.