Cannibals and Carpet Fitters Movie Review
Written by Stuart D. Monroe
Released by Red Hound Films
Directed by James Bushe
Written by Richard Lee O’Donnell
2017, 83 minutes, Not Rated
Released on December 11th, 2018
Darren Sean Enright as Colin
Richard Lee O’Donnell as Dean
Zara Phythian as Tasha
Dominic Holmes as Malcom
Christopher Whitlow as Chris
Tony Nyland as Nigel
Jenny Stokes as Mrs. Hanning
As a genre, horror is big around the world. While every country has their own flavor, there’s nowhere outside of the good old USA that can claim the legacy and style of the Brits. Whether it’s the somber and stately scares of vintage Hammer or the alchemist’s blend of horror and comedy found in classics like Shaun of the Dead, there’s something about the British sensibility that just flat-out works at on an elevated level.
Those of you who like your meat pies with nipples and toes in it need look no further than Cannibals and Carpet Fitters.
Cupid’s Carpets (“Carpets you will fall in love with!”) has a big job to do for sweet, old Mrs. Hanning (Jenny Stokes) and her boys at their country home. The man in charge, Nigel (TV vet Tony Nyland), is sending his best crew to knock it out – Colin (Darren Sean Enright; Blackout), Dean (Richard Lee O’Donnell; Zombiehood), Malcom (Dominic Holmes; Splintered), Chris (Christopher Whitlow), and Tasha (Zara Phythian; Doctor Strange). Unfortunately for the hard-working carpet fitters at Cupid’s, Mrs. Hanning isn’t as sweet as she seems. The Hanning clan (including the mutant in the basement) are cannibals, and carpet is about to be the least of their worries!
After an intro that does a viciously effective job of pushing one tone and then making an 80-mile-an-hour hard left, all I could do was sit with a dumbass grin on my face and enjoy the proceedings on the screen before me. There’s nothing forced in the humor as there so often is when horror-comedy isn’t properly executed. Mixing those two genres into one is a blend that’s much more challenging to pull off than many people think. One of the key elements is the level of fun on the set, and this is a group that clearly had a good time!
There are some noticeable continuity and logic errors, but it is nothing that rocks you out of your state of enjoyment. I’m pretty forgiving of those kinds of things, but the extremely nitpicky amongst us will no doubt have something to say about it. It’s only a handful of small things, though.
The pacing is fast, and at 83 minutes the movie finishes pretty quickly. That’s a good thing, actually. The plot doesn’t have much more elasticity than in the standard hour-and-a-half, tops. They weren’t trying to make a BAFTA award winner. Also, the value of efficient writing and direction is so often overlooked. Writer Richard Lee O’Donnell (who also played Dean) and director James Bushe (Blackout) clearly understand that axiom.
Colin and Dean have excellent chemistry as the two bumbling heroes, complemented nicely by young Malcom. Their laughs ring both true and silly in a scenario where most folks wouldn’t last a very long time. The host of cannibalistic country boys are appropriately snaggle-toothed and howlingly stupid. Their servitude to their psychotic mother is reminiscent of the Charles Kaufman’s 1980 classic, Mother’s Day (but again with that Brit style). It’s just bizarre enough to hit virtually all the right notes. You’ll be surprised by a couple of solid fight scenes to boot. All this nastiness will carry you right through to a highly satisfying ending.
It wouldn’t be a cannibal film without some serious gore, of course. You’ll get everything you need in that department – head splitting, dismembering dinner prep, toilet fingers, body parts in the meat pie, and a lovely eyeball chew! We actually watched this during dinner – spaghetti and meatballs.
My family hates me so much. I can’t imagine why.