This is, quite simply, the
CITIZEN KANE of killer fridge movies. No, this cheapie will never be mistaken
for HALLOWEEN or THE EXORCIST, but it is a fun, wildly imaginative treat for
open-minded horror fans with a sense of humor.
For those in search of primo evil fridge thrills, look no further than this
1991 comedic horror fest, which manages to wring nearly every variation you can
think of from its admittedly ludicrous concept (in other words, I’d recommend it
in place of 1990’s ATTACK OF THE KILLER REFRIGERATOR). It’s an independent
production shot for peanuts on the streets of Manhattan—so sparse was the budget
that the filmmakers didn’t even bother to get their film rated (submitting a
film to the MPAA for a rating costs around $10-$20 grand, FYI). As is all too
common with such cheapjack productions, it was released straight to video and
Here’s calling for a cult rediscovery.
Steve and Eileen, a young couple, move to New York City and find a
one-bedroom apartment renting for $200.00 a month (!?). Something has to be
wrong, and indeed, something is seriously amiss: the apartment’s
refrigerator is the gateway to Hell!
The weirdness starts when Steve suddenly awakens
one morning from a dream in which his boss appears in the fridge behind a bottle
of Aunt Jemima syrup. From then on he becomes obsessed with making waffles.
Even stranger, items tend to mysteriously appear in the fridge that nobody
purchased, such as a pint of Hagen Daaz (this film has the most creative use of
product placement since MINORITY REPORT).
Things really get
hairy, though, when a repairman enters the apartment and is literally devoured
by the fridge. The appliance also chomps Eileen’s nagging mother, and later
excretes a torrent of blood and guts.
It turns out a voodoo priestess of some sort lives down the hall, who,
together with Eileen and the building’s super, takes on refrigerator in an
outrageous climax featuring possessed appliances (egg beaters, blenders, etc.)
on a rampage.
The opening scenes, with their dumb-assed slapstick and dull attempts at
“character development,” are pretty sorry, but the film gets better as it goes
along. Writer-director Nicholas Jacobs is adept at mixing comedy and horror in
the manner of Peter Jackson’s early films (such as BAD TASTE and BRAINDEAD).
Less successful are Jacobs’ attempts at bright, cartoony Tim Burtonesque visuals
(accomplished though it undeniably is, BEETLEJUICE this film is not). THE
REFRIGERATOR works best, surprisingly, as straight-up horror mixed with comedy,
and not the other way around. Much of it is played for laughs, certainly, but
the refrigerator is an authentically menacing, even eerie presence throughout,
and the special effects are quite impressive considering the low budget.
Avenue D Films/Monarch Home Video
Director: Nicholas Jacobs
Producer: Christopher Oldcorn
Screenplay: Nicholas Jacobs
Cinematography: Paul Gibson
Editors: P.J. Pesce, Suzanne Pillsbury
Cast: Julia McNeal, David Simonds, Angel Caban, Michael Beltran, Jaime Rojo, Jon
Groff, Larry Tate, Darrell Smith, Amanda Green, Alex Trisano, Nena Segal,
Phyllis Sanz, Peter Justinus