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Film / Grabbers

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"Take your best shot."

Grabbers is a 2012 Irish Sci-Fi Horror comedy film starring Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Bronagh Gallagher, Lalor Roddy, and Ned Dennehy.

A small Irish town has run into a problem. You see, they're Ground Zero for an Alien Invasion. The aliens here are aquatic creatures with many tentacles that love to drink blood. However, they have one weakness: Alcohol! Luckily, this town may not have many things, but it has a well-stocked pub! As an unusually high tide comes in, the residents of the town begin the pub crawl of their lives...

This film contains examples of:

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Naturally, considering the monsters are allergic to alcohol in the blood they drink, so the characters decide to get absolutely plastered in response. The biggest example would be Smith, trashed on Paddy’s home brew, going to get a photo of the giant male. The creature seems to sense his blood is toxic, so instead it smacks him clear across town.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • O'Shea gets completely plastered every night. In fact, he's such an alcoholic that the film treats him not drinking for one night as major character development.
    • Paddy is such a drunk that the other characters are convinced that getting as drunk as he regularly is will kill them.
  • Alien Blood: The grabbers have blue blood.
  • Ankle Drag: The male grabber is fond of doing this.
  • Antagonist Title: The titular "grabbers" are alien blood-sucking animals that have laid siege to the town.
  • Big Bad: The male grabber acts as head of the colony.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Fatally so for the grabbers, for whom alcohol is literally toxic.
  • Death by Looking Up: One of the fishermen at the start falls victim to this.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The grabbers are destroyed in an explosion, except for a few eggs that were ignored. The last shot of the film is one of them hatching.
  • Face Hugger: The grabbers attack people by clamping onto their faces.
  • Hostile Weather: The grabbers can only attack anybody on land if it's raining. Naturally, a gigantic rainstorm hits the village at the same time the creatures show up.
  • Kick the Dog: When the male grabber realizes he can't eat Smith due to all the alcohol in his system, he just swats him into the air, killing him. Just because he can.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The male grabber is genuinely threatening.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Anybody with a very high degree of alcohol in their blood is this to the grabbers.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: The grabbers use their tongues both to capture their prey and drink its blood.
  • Octopoid Aliens: The grabbers are explicitly compared to vampire squids, due to being aquatic, tentacled creatures with blood-sucking tongues.
  • One-Word Title
  • Only Sane Man: O’Shea winds up the only sober man when he volunteers to remain sober during the plan to get everyone blind drunk.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: These are aquatic, tentacled aliens who can't consume blood with a high alcohol content.
  • The Public Domain Channel: Night of the Living Dead (1968) is shown playing on TV in one scene.
  • Rasputinian Death: The male grabber gets pinned under a tractor, gets a bottle of moonshine poured down its gullet, and finally caught in an explosion after Nolan shoots a flare into some oil drums.
  • Right Behind Me: Paddy suggests feeding the town priest to the beast as a distraction, to the irritation of the priest entering the room behind him.
  • A Round of Drinks for the House: Our heroes get everybody good, plastered and grabber-proof by offering free drinks at the local pub for the entire night.
  • Running Gag: Smith is adamant that the name ‘grabber’ is atrocious, and gets steadily more exasperated the more it catches on.
  • Shout-Out:
    • O'Shea watches a lot of Columbo.
    • When Smith gets tossed away by the male Grabber, ragdoll physics aside, the fact that his cadaver is highlighted by the moon as it passes in front of it resembles an iconic scene from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
    • When rescuing O'Shea from the male grabber, Nolan paraphrases the famous line from Aliens, with an added helping of Country Matters.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The grabbers attacking a fishing boat.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: High alcohol content in the blood, because of its desiccant properties.