STUDIO: Shock-O-Rama Cinema
RUNNING TIME: 77 minutes
• Tons of Trailers
It’s the Fitzcarraldo of haunted drainpipe slime thrillers!
The water balloon fight had turned tragic. Unfortunately, Ed had
neglected to tell the rest of the gang that he was one-third Gremlin.
Georgia Hatzis, Alexandra Boylan, Ethan Kraznoo, Samara Doucette, Rob Gorden, Philip Barbour
Deep in the forest, there’s a house with a secret. It’s a sinister secret- a secret that involves death, ghosts, slime, and maybe even some poo.
It’s DRAINIAC!, the low-budget goopfest from Shock-O-Rama that features amorous tub tentacles, giant ghost spiders, killer pipe slime, violent emasculation, and multiple face meltings. Directed by Brett Piper (A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell), DRAINIAC! follows college student Julie (Hatzis) and her friends as they chip in to help her fix up a run-down house on the edge of town. Soon, strange things begin to happen. Eerie noises emanate from the pipes, and whispers echo from barren, blood-stained commodes. Water seems to have a mind of its own. Worst of all, seemingly friendly bathtub tentacles turn evil.
Enlisting the help of a wandering plumber/psychic (Barbour), the group attempts to exorcise the ghastly supernatural beings from the house. Will they successfully break the evil curse, or will they just become another victim of the house with the haunted drains? Who cares, because DRAINIAC!!!
Desmond was a lot like Spider Man, but instead of shooting webs from his wrists,
he shot geysers of blood from his weiner.
“Plumb the depths… the depths of hell.”
The words of Larry David have never been so relevant, or perhaps so prescient.
DRAINIAC! is not a “good” movie by any stretch. The acting is amateurish, and the plot is nonsensical at best; in fact, we’re not really given much of an explanation for what’s really happening in the house at all, other than some slapped-together ramblings in the last act about water demons and elemental spirits. It’s a short, gory, cobbled-together oddity, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make you happy, especially if you’re a fan of trash classics like Street Trash or Slime City.
DRAINIAC!‘s packaging claims that it has “echoes of the original Evil Dead,” and while there are a few similarities (like a tree monster with wandering hands, which was an obvious homage), Dead isn’t anywhere near as trashy and cheap as this one. DRAINIAC! fits in much better with its brothers and sisters in the Shock-O-Rama catalogue, and feels much closer in tone to Street Trash, because although there’s plenty of horrific imagery on display, it’s not scary in the least. DRAINIAC! starts out with what seems like a clear reference to Trash with a fantastic pre-credits hobo liquification sequence. Note to self- Hobo Liquification Sequence might be a good band name. File that one away.
in his mouth.
After a decent first act with a few encounters with some nightmare creatures, DRAINIAC! loses a little steam. Too much time is spent learning about Julia’s broken family (her father’s an abusive drunk who may or may not have killed his mother), and when we finally get to meet her annoying friends and make the trip out to the house, it feels like we’ve slogged through a Lifetime original movie. Well, a Lifetime original movie with a few lecherous tree tentacles. The point is, in a low-budget plumbing slime epic, nobody cares about the domestic problems of the leads. Bring on the toilet-based horror, or piss off!
Luckily, it gets better. Once it gets going, DRAINIAC! buys into the nuttiness of drain monsters and eschews any sense of coherency, which turns out to be a good thing. Sub-par acting and a nonsensical story only serve to heighten the otherworldliness of the beasts that inhabit this world. By the time the shrieking bat ghosts and attic demons begin to terrorize the kids, you’ll be too far absorbed into the cinematic Jenkem that is DRAINIAC! to worry about trifles like continuity or coherency.
Good Housekeeping’s shocking but effective new peek-a-boo technique teaches babies to be brave.
Georgia Hatzis actually does a fine job anchoring the film. She’s got a nice presence and is by far the most comfortable actor in the bunch. The plumber/psychic/Brian Cox lookalike character isn’t too bad, either. Pretty much everyone else is awful, but as long as you don’t go in expecting Tokyo Story, you’ll be ok.
If you’re interested in fun, cheap, gory fast-food horror with a self deprecating sense of humor, you’ll like DRAINIAC!. It’s certainly not for everyone. Chances are, though, if you’re a CHUD reader, this might be something you’ll enjoy with like minded friends. And lots of Bourbon. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The best part about the disc (other than the tub tentacles) is the extensive collection of trailers for other Shock-O-Rama movies. Sure, it’s just marketing, but there are twenty or so trailers that are all worth a laugh or two.
The video transfer is pretty good for such a low budget release, but the audio is a tepid Dolby 2/0.