Director – Brian Dorton (Trashology, Preexisting Conditions)
Starring – Dixie Gers (Piggy, 13 Slays Till X-Mas), Jenny Coulter (Trashology, Preexisting Conditions), and William Allen Nugent (Trashology)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3.5/5
A couple summers back I befriended director Brian Dorton after I saw him post in a horror group. He was selling copies of his movies and I was interested in grabbing a few. It was then that I realized that Brian was the director of Trashology which I had reviewed sometime before when Olive Films sent me a review copy.
I was interested in his blu release of Crazy Fat Ethel which was a remake of Nick Millard’s Criminally Insane. I snagged a copy for my collection but I never really found the time to watch it for fun. With Dorton’s newest film available I figured now would be the best time to finally check it out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Ethel (Gers) who is released from a mental care facility to live with her aunt. Ethel loves to eat but when her family and friends get between her and her meals things turn deadly. **Spoiler Alert**
I had just binged both Criminally Insane films so I was ready for this retelling from Brian Dorton. The original Criminally Insane was fantastic but the follow up was a huge disappointment. Dorton’s Crazy Fat Ethel took what fans love about the original and then gave them exactly what they wanted with the original. I love both films and for different reasons but Crazy Fat Ethel is exactly how Criminally Insane should have been.
The acting in this one is pretty fucking solid. I didn’t know how the movie would play out with Gers in the lead. She’s such a sweet person and I couldn’t imagine her in the lead role and the mentally unstable Ethel but she absolutely nailed it. She’s such a phenomenal actress and I saw a lot of Priscilla Alden’s Ethel in her performance. I was really impressed by how far she went with this performance. The supporting cast is solid with some delivering a little more memorable performances than others. It’s inconsistent but nothing bad.
The story for this one is based on what we were given with the original with a little bit more of a backstory, a look at her life in the mental institute, and the cannibalism that was just barely explored in the first film. Dorton really is a fan and took what he enjoyed from the originally while expanding it and making it more bound in the genre. I really enjoyed how we watch the abuse Ethel suffers before we transition to her being at home and becoming the unhinged food obsessed killer that we expect. Seeing this slowly build and then finally erupt is a rewarding watch and then we are given even more carnage with the cannibalism aspect which really does fit in well with the food obsession aspect.
Finally, the film has plenty of blood and some surprisingly well used gore. A few of the kills are reminiscent of the original film using a meat cleaver and some camera tricks and gags. However, there is one seen that stands out because the production steals a page from the Dawn of the Dead handbook where they used real gore from a butcher I would assume. Really caught me off guard and works so well for the film. Overall, Crazy Fat Ethel is a fantastic retelling of a classic genre hit. Dorton really does this one justice and knocked this one out of the park. I highly suggest you snag a copy of this one when you can. It was a blast.