Sometimes, you see a movie as a kid and you have no idea why, but you think it is a great movie. Then you get older and that nostalgia hits you and you feel like watching that movie, only to discover that it is no longer available on DVD. So you looking for it online at various markets, but every place that has a copy seems to have them for ridiculously high prices. But you keep searching and your persistence pays off and eventually you manage to find a copy at a reasonable price and buy it. So, was the movie worth all the trouble? We will find out as I watch today’s movie, Munchies.
The plot: Paul Watterman, an aspiring comedian, is forced to go on an archaeological dig in Peru with his father Simon, who is searching for proof in his theory that aliens visited the Earth and built some of the ancient pyramids. After having a native elder translate a wall mural, which speaks of “the fire of the gods”, Simon has Paul accompany him inside as he searches a chamber. They find a stature of the Incan Sun God and hiding behind it, a strange creature that Simon believes is an alien. They manage to get the creature into Paul’s dufflebag and Simon decides to take it, as well as a sample of a strange glowing liquid, back home. When they arrive back home, they are greeted by Paul’s girlfriend Cindy, who takes them back to their home. While there, Cindy is feeding the little alien and calls it a “Munchie”, due to it’s penchant for eating snack food, and Paul decides to name it Arnold. Unknown to them, Simon’s twin brother Cecil, who lives next door, is listening in on their conversation. When Simon leaves to catch a lecture by Dr. Crowder, he makes a deal with Paul to watch Arnold while he is gone. Cecil talks with Simon before he leaves about selling his property but Simon refuses, saying he has a big deal in the works so Cecil gets his stepson, Dude, to help him. Paul and Cindy leave Arnold downstairs with a magazine and the TV while they go upstairs to have sex and Cecil and Dude sneak into the house and capture Arnold. They take Arnold back to Cecil’s house, then Cecil leaves to go pick up his wife Melvis, leaving Dude to watch over Arnold. When Arnold starts to annoy Dude, he attacks Arnold, causing Arnold to change into a more vicious creature and attack Dude. Dude shoots Arnold with a shotgun but Arnold heals and continues to attack Dude so Dude chops him into pieces. Dude goes to listen to some records with his headphones but the pieces start to regenerate and form 4 Munchies, which proceed to kill Dude. Paul and Cindy have noticed Arnold is missing and after hearing a shotgun blast, discover the 4 munchies on part of Cecil’s roof. Cindy distracts the Munchies and Paul manages to capture them in a garbage can but the Munchies shoot the garbage can off them, then get into Dude’s car and drive off. Paul and Cindy chase after them but are pulled over by Eddie, the county’s deputy, but Paul manages to trick him into thinking there are communist spies trying to attack the local mini golf park and Eddie heads off to guard it. Meanwhile, Cecil and Melvis arrive back at their home and see the mess that was left there, as well as Dude’s body, and they decide to go get Eddie since his father, county sheriff Big Ed, is at a convention. The Munchies end up harassing several people on the road, such as an old lady and some bikers and Paul and Cindy are unable to catch up so they go back to get Eddie’s help. As they are talking to Eddie, Cecil and Melvis show up and tell Eddie about Dude’s death and Eddie heads off to their house. Paul accuses Cecil of stealing Arnold and causing this mess and after they argue with each other, Cecil and Melvis head back to their house while Paul and Cindy continue looking for the Munchies. The Munchies come across two women swimming in a nearby lake and head after them but Paul and Cindy arrive and Paul rescues the girls and the Munchies run off into a drain pipe. Traveling through the pipe, the Munchies exit outside an ice cream shop and the owner shoots one of them when they try to attack his son before he hides with his family inside the freezer. Paul and Cindy arrive and see the mess just as the owner, Bob Marvalle, exits the freezer and levels his shotgun at Paul. Suddenly, a Munchie attacks Bob but Paul manages to kick it off of Bob and the Munchies all leave while Paul and Cindy take Bob, along with his wife Marge and their son Buddy Holly, to the hospital. Returning to his house, Paul reads some of his father’s books and learns that the ancient Incans were able to bring inanimate objects to life using the “fire of the gods” and wonders what that could be. He also reads that the objects would have regenerative powers and realizes that is how there are now 4 Munchies. Back at Cecil’s house, Cecil is trying to console Melvis when Big Ed arrives and Cecil tells Ed that they have to stop the creatures before they get into the mines, where Cecil has been storing barrels of toxic waste. Paul and Cindy show up tot ry and tell Cecil what they learned but Cecil ignores them as he heads to a ribbon cutting ceremony for his new golf park. At the golf park, the Munchies begin attacking some of the patrons and when Paul again tries to warn Cecil, Cecil ignores him and proceeds to chop up one of the Munchies with the ceremonial shears but is shocked when the pieces begin growing into new Munchies. Cecil tells Eddie to arrest Paul and Cindy while he heads to his factory with Melvis and Big Ed. Paul and Cindy manage to convince Eddie not to take them to jail and they arrive at a video store that is being vandalized by the Munchies. When one of the Munchies tries to attack Paul, he knocks it into a TV set and the electricity turns it into a statue but the other Munchies escape into the underground tunnels and Paul, Cindy, and Eddie go down after them. Meanwhile, the Munchies leave the tunnels and make their way to a burger shop and kill the night manager as Cecil, Melvis, and Big Ed are placing an order and when Cecil realizes they are escaping into the tunnels, he tells the others that they need to get to his factory. Paul, Cindy and Eddie split up, with Paul going down one tunnel while Cindy and Eddie go down another but when they hear a noise, Eddie ends up knocking himself out while Cindy is attacked by the Munchies but she manages to get away. Cecil, Melvis, and Big Ed arrive at Cecil’s factory and take the elevator down to the mines but when Cecil sees Cindy running towards them, he quickly gets back into the elevator and closes the door. Cindy begins climbing the stairs to get to the factory as the Munchies cut the power to the elevator, trapping Cecil and the others inside. Reaching the factory, Cindy hides from the Munchies and manages to lock herself into a closet but one of the Munchies attempts to chew through the door and she knocks it out with a shovel. After checking on Eddie, Paul makes his way to the factory and sees the Munchies using the machinery to create more of themselves. He quickly shuts off the machines then uses an axe to chop a power cord and uses it to electrify the metal on the assembly line, turning the Munchies to statues. As Paul proceeds to destroy the statues, Cindy frees herself and they embrace but Arnold suddenly attacks Paul and Paul throws him onto the exposed cable, turning Arnold into a statue. Eddie recovers and frees Cecil and the others and Cindy shows Paul a sheet of paper that proves Cecil is using toxic waste as part of his snack food, prompting Big Ed to arrest Cecil and Melvis. Paul and Cindy take the statue of Arnold back home, where Simon is there with Dr. Crowder, who is so impressed by the statue that he pays Simon $25,000 for it. As he is leaving, Simon tells Paul that the sample from Peru was toxic waste with elements unknown on Earth, prompting him to believe that the temple was a toxic waste dump for aliens. As he makes his plans to write his newest book, he tells Paul that he will let him go to L.A. to try and be a comedian, prompting Paul and Cindy to celebrate while down the road, a bolt of lightning hits the back of Mr. Crowder’s car, causing the statue to come back to life.
This is one of those movies that I find ridiculously funny. The acting was ok, with Harvey Korman doing double duty as both Simon and Cecil Watterman and Charles Stratton (Paul) and Nadine Van der Velde (Cindy) doing a good job in their roles. The story was a little simplistic and more or less a rip off of Gremlins. There were also one or two plot holes that never really get addressed, such as what happened to the Munchie that Cindy knocked out. The design for the Munchies was fairly unique and the puppetry for them was decent but some of the special effects regarding them regenerating was a little weak. It’s not something for everyone, but if you are a fan of B-movies or Roger Corman, then you will probably enjoy watching this movie.
Rating: 3 out of 5