Fat Ethel's back home from shock treatment at the crazy house and she's hungry and pissed off. All she wants to do is eat 'Nilla wafers and watch Gunsmoke but grandma locked the fridge and the grocery boy seems to want some sort of payment and man, do you ever just get so frustrated?

hey cool
Fat freaking Ethel
but YUCK
High school A.V. club kill scenes

This movie made the following words appear in my brain: "she's gonna kill that guy, and I'm gonna like it". Opens with Ethel writhing with insanity getting her fat shocked at the monkey house, doesn't utter a word to the doctors or all the way home, then sets down and in a deadpan voice goes "that god damn Jew doctor tried to starve me", and you know this is gonna be good.

Holy shit. How is this not a massive cult classic that everyone talks about all the time? I'm not normally keen on the whole 70s exploitation grindhouse genre but this thing is just filthy with effed up low budget wonderfulness right from the groovy title sequence to the sudden shock ending. Not only is the character in the movie a giant honking box of cane toads, but the movie itself has that creepy guilelessness unique to hardcore cult camp. I believe if someone tries to make this sort of thing the best he can do is an homage or spoof. It may be entertaining, but the real creature can only be brought to life by accident. I just found out this movie is being remade, and whatever it turns out to be, it won't be this.

Ethel's just sick perfect here. Despite the movie's criminal insanity and zero production value there's an authenticity to Ethel. She's really just stupid and childlike, the kind of person we've all known in life - maybe without the murders. Violence is just a knee jerk reaction to something bugging her at that particular moment with no forethought of any consequences, and her plan to get away with it is to put an air wick in the room where she's stacking the bodies and hope nobody goes in there.

I love how the movie clearly establishes that there no way for her to get rid of the corpses, with these long fascinatingly clumsy scenes that demonstrate the hell out of how the ground's too rocky to dig a hole and the only place in California where you can dump a body is right next to the road where people keep driving by and seeing what she's up to. Haul the body out...wups here comes a car, roll it back in...is the car gone? Damn here comes another one. She ends up bringing the whole trunkload home and drags 'em right back upstairs. As dumb as it all seems, I know real people and real life are absolutely positively that absurd and I can easily imagine this whole movie actually happening. Remember that guy a few years ago who ran a crematorium and when the furnace broke he just started piling bodies in a shed?

The kills bring to mind the oddly disturbing question of whether movies like this would be better if they were... better, you know? The kill scenes consist of Ethel gently bonking on people who've been doused in what appears to be Pepto Bismol. They use some kind of reversed or sped up film trick trying to make it look like she's really whaling on them, and the spectacular failure of the whole effect makes the movie seem all the more demented. But, it feels morally wrong for something to be superior by being inferior. Wouldn't it have been better with some really nasty Herschel Gordon Lewis style gore? Search your own soul for the answer.

It's not all just about a fat chick butchering people and dragging the bodies around though. There's also necrophilia. Yeah we weren't quite fucked up enough yet. After this long bizarre dream sequence of Ethel running through the grass in a blood red gown there's the strong implication that she's had "some kind of sex" (as the director put it...but what kind shrieks my quivering brain) with that sleazy dead pimp guy she liked to watch her sister make out with. I normally hate romance in movies, but damn, I'm not made of stone.

Line: "I hope she's over those terrible rages".