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“Grandma Werewolf” knows exactly what it wants to be and serves up campy B-movie charm with a side helping of humor and heart.

Grandma Werewolf

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Unlike the holiday itself, which is typically an exercise in excess, it’s not nearly as easy to gorge ourselves on great Thanksgiving horror films as it is on turkey and dressing.

Sandwiched between two of the most beloved holidays of the year, Thanksgiving just isn’t a holiday that seems to inspire many cinematic tributes. Thankfully, the titan of twisted horror himself, Eli Roth, recently came to the rescue of horror fans hungry for genuine scares, fun, and thrills this time of year. His inventive horror slasher Thanksgiving is a hit — and a rare bird when it comes to turkey day horror.

Still, you may crave an extra heaping of horror on your plate this year. I’m not going to lie and tell you there are many giblet gems out there; there are precious few, especially if you want something meaty and not pure schlock.

This week’s special holiday edition of Tubi Tuesday won’t do much to satiate you if you’re craving real substance.

However, if what you need is a non-filling snack made with tons of heart and dipped in campy humor, GRANDMA WEREWOLF is pretty enjoyable and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

It begins with an older couple in the woods as the man dies in the arms of the woman. Following the passing of her husband and soulmate, we see how lonely she is, doing her best to pass the time and trying to keep from losing her mind. Though it’s never played for dramatic effect, there’s still a tinge of sadness knowing how depressing and empty the holidays can feel for many — especially those reeling from loss.

But Grandma (a vivacious Tricia Harmon) is keeping her spirits high. She joyfully welcomes her adult son, a divorced pest control specialist named Hank (James Wosochlo), and his two adolescent children, Ben (Trevor Brooks) and Kate (America Ramos), for Thanksgiving dinner at her secluded woodland cabin. However, it’s clear that none of them want to be there; the grandkids are sullen and angsty, and the son is distant and disconnected from his family.

It’s a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving, and things are about to get even more hairy as they discover Grandma is harboring a deep, dark secret: she’s a werewolf.

When the full moon rises, Grandma transforms and rampages into the woods. After accidentally turning Kate, Hank and Ben must figure out how to stop Grandma before she carves a path of destruction.

This low-budget, DIY comedy is a big ol’ side dish of Mac and Cheesy. 

It’s undeniably silly and doesn’t take itself or anything in it remotely seriously. But it’s also quite charming and an easy, breezy watch.

Harmon, as the titular Grandma Werewolf, is endearing as hell, and she seems to be having an absolute blast — especially when she gets to don her dollar store werewolf mask and frolic into the woods, wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting town. It’s incredibly hammy, intentionally so, and she delivers in terms of physical comedy.

Chock-full of B-movie/sci-fi horror tropes and loving homages, this overstuffed feast of cinematic references and witty one-liners (“I’m a feminist. That means I don’t do guy stuff.”) features hilariously bumbling cops, a mohawk-wearing werewolf hunter, a silly Karate Kid sendup, and a fantasy subplot that keeps things deliciously weird.

It’s a trashy little B-movie, but it’s a damned delightful one. It’s also way funnier than it has any right to be. There’s a LORD OF THE RINGS reference that really sent me.

Many scenes made me smile, some made me chuckle, and a few had me laughing out loud, including a flashback scene to young Hank that features a riotously bad (no doubt intentionally over-the-top) bit of child acting. The two actors playing the Keystone cops nailed the comedic timing and chewed up every last bit of scenery.

Trevor Brooks and America Ramos have very natural onscreen chemistry, making for convincing siblings. The kids, like everyone in this film, really seem to be having the time of their lives.

Look, this isn’t high art. It’s made on a shoestring budget, and it shows. The “makeup effects” are laughable, the plot is ridiculous, the dialogue is often atrocious, and it’s not remotely scary… nor is it trying to be. There’s not a single kill or anything that comes close to genuine stakes.

With a tagline like, “Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma’s a Werewolf,” you should know exactly what you’re getting into with this one.

If you have just over an hour to kill and love B-movie monster flicks and camp, schlocky, low-budget fun, Grandma Werewolf may just scratch that Thanksgiving horror movie itch. 

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