Inaugural Worst Of Netflix: Grace

Excerpt from Meg’s and my TGI Friday’s business meeting on Friday:

Meg: We need features.

Me: Chemical Element of the Day.

Meg: No, too incredibly boring.

Me: Bowel Movement Fridays.

Meg: We already more or less do that.

Me: We could see if Evie…

Meg: That fucking prima donna gets NOWHERE NEAR this project.

Me: Okay, how about I write reviews/recaps of terrible movies and call it “Worst of Netflix?”

Meg: Sold.

From the mailer sleeve: “When an accident takes the life of the unborn, 8-month-old fetus inside her, Madeline Matheson (Jordan Ladd) insists on delivering the stillborn child – only to discover that the baby is alive and heinously hungry. Before long, voracious baby Grace spurns milk and forces Madeline to slake her insatiable appetite for blood.” Rated R. 1 hr. 24 min. 2009.

I already have a question: delivering the stillborn child as opposed to… keeping it in there?

The movie opens with a shot of an industrial fan, cuts to blood dripping on a foot, cuts to a cat at a window. It’s artistic because it’s bizarre. The shot then cuts immediately to a couple having ostentatiously boring sex. They’re barely moving, and the woman is staring blankly over the man’s shoulder making a mental shopping list. The man grunts and rolls off, the woman draws her legs to her chest, and then opening titles are shown over the sound of a fetal heartbeat as heard on ultrasound. FORESHADOWING AT TABLE SIX.

A family sits at a table being passive-aggressive; the couple we just saw in bed and one set of their parents. The young husband is pretty cute, but we know from earlier that he has a disappointing ass. The mother bitches about vegetarian cuisine and midwives, setting up an Uptight Older Generation vs. Freewheeling Young Liberals Who Eat Tofu And Go To Midwives dynamic. And we’re at the midwife’s. You can tell she’s eccentric because there are a lot of colorful cushions on the sofa. A young Lesbian offers cookies in a wooden voice and goes to get the midwife. Why on earth did they write that part in? “Needed: chick with 12-year-old boy’s haircut to say two sentences with no intonation. Union only.”

Midwife: “We keep the focus on you and your baby.” As opposed to Birth For Dads, the Oklahoma City midwifery that offers hot wings and classic Super Bowls on the big screen while your wife goes to the hospital by herself. We’re reminded that the midwife is “kooky” by a shot of a grimacing Aztec figurine on the coffee table. “You think childbirth hurts? Nothing like having your heart ripped out and offered to the sun.”

The husband and the midwife spar over the midwife’s qualifications; turns out she trained in “a dozen Eastern modalities, in Nepal, Thailand…and I have an M.D. from Columbia.” “If you’re having birth problems, I feel bad for you, son; I got 99 Eastern modalities but Feng Shui ain’t one! (Hit me.)” There’s a brief discussion of Madeline’s medical history, and then cut to TV screen showing a cow being butchered, then cut to Madeline pouring soy milk into a bowl. Because, you know, soybeans are people too. She unwraps a brown paper bundle marked with an illegible note to reveal a raw liver, finds a dead mouse on the porch, and composts the mouse. Fucking hippies.

We then cut to the couple at dinner. They have a vapid conversation about how She’s A Hippie and He’s Not. The husband, whose name we don’t know but looks like it should be “Cecil,” is waaaaaaaay less attractive when you see him up close. After name-dropping an imaginary Seven Sister, “Amesley,” Madeline folds over in pain all of a sudden, and we go to the ER. The midwife and various doctors have a turf war:

Midwife: What are her levels?

Doctor: Tuh?

Midwife: Tell me you checked her levels.

Other doctor: Let’s check the levels.

15 seconds later, the “levels” appear, (turns out they were on a sheet of printer paper just offscreen) and it turns out she has a gallstone. You know. Her levels. We ran them through the thingometer and the diagnostinator.

So now the couple is driving home, a hiss is heard, the airbags go off and the car crashes - in that order. We don’t know if her husband lived – presumably yes, because the car hit the trees on Madeline’s side, but you can never tell – and Madeline goes to the midwife’s. Midwife and Random Lesbian have a conversation revealing that Madeline is going to deliver in three weeks, despite the fact that the baby died in the accident. Random Lesbian thinks this is stupid, to her credit. She’s emerging as my favorite character. A brief, barely coherent scene with the husband’s parents reveals that the husband died, and that his name was Michael. The car ran off the road into a stand of thin birches at about thirty miles an hour, and the airbags deployed before they even hit. I’m not clear on how this killed a grown man.

Madeline goes to a baby store, a clot or something falls from the general area of her womb, and she falls to the floor. Cut to her giving birth at the midwife’s SURROUNDED BY RANDOM WOMEN. You know what I find comforting when grieving and in pain? Four strangers. The baby is born dead – in a pool, of course, with a dramatic plume of blood. The midwife steps out, since propriety dictates that bereaved mothers be left alone clutching their dead infants, and when she comes back Madeline is breastfeeding the “alive” baby.

The midwife visits Madeline and Grace at home, and there’s a long, stilted conversation. The most interesting part of this is that we see that Madeline’s bathroom door is made of stained glass, an oddly festive touch. She also watches documentaries on animal cruelty while cooking:

Madeline: It’s like a vegan horror movie.

Really? Because I thought that role had been filled by Killer Tomatoes Eat France, but what do I know?

Madeline brushes Grace’s hair, Grace starts to cry, Madeline composts the brush (fucking hippie), as an ominous calliope version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D rises and swells. A newborn fussing? She must be a vampire. We then go to Grace’s room later that night and see a fly crawl up her nose.

A lot of “ominous” stuff happens without much direction. Michael’s mother is still sad. The cat shits on the floor. Grace smells bad. Grace oozes blood. Grace’s body temperature is 93.3 degrees. Grace attracts flies.

Pointless revelation! Midwife and Random Lesbian are lovers; Midwife and Madeline USED to be lovers. Hey-o! Too bad I have no investment in these characters. I do wonder if they intentionally made Madeline a LUG stereotype. We get to the inevitable scene where Grace is being breastfed and chomps down on the tit. Cut to Michael’s mother fondling her own breasts. You know, whatever. It’s not a horror movie without a tit shot – if the tit belongs to a grieving mother who, though approaching her autumn years, has held up well, who am I to judge? Cut to Madeline peeling her bloody nightgown off her bitten breast. (How does a baby with no teeth yet bite hard enough to make a wound that bleeds freely?) Grace shows a strong preference for the bloody breast.

Now Madeline is at the grocery store. A couple pints low, she listlessly throws some “homeopathic remedies” into her cart, since vampirism is traditionally cured by flowers and rainbows. She buys some steaks, squeezes them out, gives Grace a bottle of blood, and composts the meat. She comes back in to find Grace twitching; she leans over her and – of course – Grace vomits the beef blood into her face.

Michael’s mother asks a psychiatrist to declare Madeline insane so she can raise the baby. Neither of their faces is visible because of the strong afternoon light coming through the windows behind them. The psychiatrist is drinking milk out of a rocks glass. Sure, why not? That’s what good crystal is for. Presumably the milk is symbolic of something, but damned if I know what.

Stuff keeps happening. Vampire baby sucks blood. Madeline calls the midwife but Random Lesbian won’t deliver her rival’s messages. The doctor shows up and does a physical on the badly anemic Madeline, and there’s some chit-chat about breast pumps. She kills the doctor and feeds Grace his blood. By now, Grace has almost entirely become Little Shop of Horrors.

The mother-in-law, whose name is Vivian, we finally learn, shows up and Finds Out Everything. She and Madeline kill each other, as they had always hoped to, and the abruptly suspicious midwife performs a Deus Ex Machina and finds little Grace in her grandmother’s arms, reaching for the blood from her neck wound.

So, of course, Midwife and Random Lesbian buy a caravan, dye their hair, and raise little Grace as a road baby. Using “science,” they can keep Ransom Lesbian’s “levels” high enough to feed little Grace. Unless:

Random Lesbian: She needs more now. She’s teething.

And our last shot of the film is Grace reaching hungrily for RL’s chewed-up breast. The closing titles, like those of any movie about a child, are accompanied by a woman tunelessly singing a lullaby.

This movie is a lot worse than it should be. The script is bad, but I’ve seen worse. The cinematography is actually very good, but it’s like putting a silk gown on an irregular mannequin you fished out of a Dumpster. You can only make it so attractive. The whole thing is played completely without humor. The hippie mother composting everything, the sharp-tongued mother-in-law, a woman whose baby is a vampire going to the store to load up on herbal supplements – this could have all been played with some grim humor without making the film “not scary.” As it stands, the characters just kind of… do things. There are a lot of interesting things a filmmaker could do with a vampire baby, but we’ll have to wait until the next movie to see what they are.

Grade: B minus

Recommended for: The patriarchy

Not recommended for: New mothers with babies who are very light-sensitive and drink only fresh human blood

Highlight: Note that watching all the animal cruelty documentaries enables Madeline to expertly butcher the doctor.

Best excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the movie: "Some scenes portray a tender mother-daughter relationship while others involve erotic lactation and cannibalism," and the revelation that it is not RL but Madeline in the final scene. In my defense, she had dyed her hair.


Anonymous said...

Epic Fail.

Ultraparadoxical said...

Thanks - I just registered eroticlactationandcannibalism.com.

Now to play the waiting game and reap the profits...

Katie said...

You know, I was excited about this movie b/c it screened at some festivals like, 2 years ago, and got rave reviews. I was disappointed. I too felt like they could have done more with it then they did. My questions is: at the point when you realize your baby is feeding on your blood, why not just open up a vein in your arm? Why continue dealing with (what I've heard) are the pains of breastfeeding?

Anonymous said...

I watched half of this movie and fell asleep. And after reading this I'm glad I got the precious sleep instead.

Next time, can you announce what movie you will re-cap and I can watch in advance?? (I feel more like the nerdy kid in class every moment)

Lastly, this reminds me of the More2Love recaps which were HILARIOUS!


Travis said...

LOL. I watched this movie on Netflix about a couple months ago. The movie poster is inticing and the preview didn't seem all that bad, but this movie is horrible.

Chris you left out the weird part when the grandma got her old 1800 breast pump out of the attic and started to use it, and THEN when she was getting it on with her husband she pushed his head toward her breast and the scene ended

Anonymous said...

Funny post! Keep 'em coming Chris!

Can I suggest the next film be 'the centipede' it's seriously effed up and I'm too scared to watch it myself!

X x x

7 said...

God damn, you guys are really reaching now. This blog has gone completely down the shitter, no matter what anyone named "Anonymous" tells me. It's nothing but 1) Meg bitching about her troubles- Guess what, the economy is SHIT, you're hardly the only 20-something that is broke and jobless, frankly I can't believe you'd even attempt to live on your own when you work at a fucking craft store. And your computer probably wasn't that fucked up. You probably just needed to replace the hard drive, which can cost under $100. Although, it is a Mac, so yeah maybe it wouldn't be that cheap because that evil company is always looking to rape people's assholes. And 2) This guy's longwinded, unfunny posts. It's amazing how many people still eat this shit up.

Travis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Travis said...

Damn Mike, but I aint mad at you. I'm just gonig to quote my friend Katt Williams.

"Live your damn life and get your hustle on and understand that people are going to hate you regardless of what you do…

You got to be grateful, you need haters. What the fuck are you complaining about??? What the fuck do you think a haters job is???

If there are any haters around who don’t have anybody to hate on, then feel free to hate on me."


Hassenblog said...

This is a STELLAR idea for posting! Can I make a suggestion? I think it is an instant Netflix pick. The title is "Teeth" and it is the weirdest/most hillarious horror movie I've come across.

Unknown said...

I love this idea! I'll definitely have to check this movie out now. Suggestion: Wrong Turn with Eliza Dushku, hilariously bad/good horror movie - if that makes sense.


Anonymous said...

"Mike" eats poop

Hot Mess said...

"Evil Dead" the 1981 version...so poorly done but so funny.

Joan said...

if this becomes a regular feature...
you should look into either "kebab connection" or "salami aleikum".
the first involves dueling shishkabobs, the latter a juicing east-german shot-put star, a nervous turkish guy who knits a scarf of his life story, and their love.
oh, how I love ze Germans.

Anonymous said...

why is mike so jealissssss?

Anonymous said...

I second Teeth, but I would imagine a movie about a girl with MALICIOUS TEETH IN HER VAGINA would be difficult to pull off with 100 percent success....

Kerry said...

I don't understand why you guys need another weekly feature to add to the blog? No offense, but I'd rather hear recraps on shitty, yet entertaining TV shows than on movies I have not seen nor even heard of. Also, what happened to the weekly features that were once a hit such as Recraps, Drinking Game Fridays and Queer Abbey? As a loyal and long time reader of this blog, I think that this new feature is not great, because I cannot understand or relate to movies I don't know anything about. There is no need to create a great new feature, stick with the ones that once made this blog great!

Kate said...

while i don't want to be a bitch, i'll have to agree with kerry...pick a bravo show and recrap! there are so many to choose from!!

for the record, love you guys. always!

Mary said...

I'm gonna have to agree with Kerry as well..! I don't think you guys need a new feature, and I can't say I'm particularly fond of this new one... You guys are so great & funny you don't need to change anything!! As the saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Caitlin said...

This movie is going on my Netflix queue.

Mademoiselle Hautemess said...

W-O-W...i guess great minds think alike because on Friday I wrote a whole post about my netflix adventure with "I Know What You Did Last Summer." My take is rather than watching the worst of netfix, horribly rip apart the movies we thought we loved in the 80s and 90s. :)

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I have to agree with Kerry and Kate...I just couldn't relate to this post, and I found myself going from reading to skimming to, well, X-ing out, which I RARELY do on this blog. I like the concept, but maybe picking a better-known movie or an awesomely terrible tv show would help? Love you guys, though!

pook555 said...

I like the recap, personally, I thought it was funny. As always, keep up the good work.

Into the woods said...

ummmmm........I LOVE this feature!

7 said...

You would..... Until they review Sling Blade, that is.

Claire said...

I love "Worst of Netflix" and I hope it continues. Good work Tulane Chris. Even though I have not seen the movie - nor do I plan to - this cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

as much as 'mike' dislikes the blog, he sure does comment. a lot. usually when i dislike things, i stop reading them, or watching them, or doing whatever the medium involved is. just sayinnnn.

Anonymous said...

I think TC is really funny, but I also agree that I couldnt relate to this post because I havent seen the movie and really dont care about bad movies. I would definitely love recraps to come back, there are tons of ridiculous shows out there and Jersey Shore will be coming back soon. I also agree that Drinking Game Friday is 100% necessary and I enjoy Queer Abby's advice as long as you 2 birds include your own advice. I also love it when you tell stories about shit that happened to you growing up - especially when visuals are involved - so if you could do a feature completely around little Meglet that would be awesome. I also wish that you would respond more often in the comments section.

NotablyNeurotic said...

Worst of Netflix - best idea ever! You watch the crappy movies so we don't have to!

Love it.

Great post!

That movie poster is intriguing, but I'mma take a PASS on that one.

Layla @ The Midnight Garden said...

I like the idea of Worst of Netflix. Hilarious as always, TC.

Unknown said...

Oh, Anon at 9.57. You were bored enough to "X out" but somehow were still able to post a snarky comment? Unless "X-ing out" is really code for something dirty.... hmm.

Either way, I'm still completely entertained by the commenters who think they should have a say over what Meg and TC write. Oh, and "Mike"? You recently posted a ton of YouTube videos and wrote about your poop habits. You really think you have the credentials to criticize about what someone else writes?

Patrick said...

Wow, people. It's a blog. Seriously. They don't have to write shit if they don't want. There is an endless source of other kinds of entertainment out there on the internet if you can't get your fix here.

Thanks for making laugh 90% of the time. It makes working in a cubicle farm just a little more bearable.

...Sorr about the haters.

Anonymous said...

Please ReCrap the Newest Jersey Shore or CUT OFF!

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE cover Human Centipede. I might die if you don't cover this movie (becuase I can't watch it. And I love horror/suspense flicks, but even my sick love of horror films can't bring me to watch this movie.) I need you to do the dirty work, put a spin on it and let the world know that Human Centipede is a movie and SOMEONE came up with that shit.

Anonymous said...

Hm. I thought it was funny, if you do it every week or every once in a while its still entertaining. I dont blog but Im sure blogging most 5 days out of the week day in and day out its prob hard to always have good info. And meg, I like hearing about how your moving back in with your parents and your broke because I am quitting my job with guns blazing and I am moving back in with my parents with a loose plan to walk the family dog for cash. So I can relate, and I appreciate that!


"Me: We could see if Evie…

Meg: That fucking prima donna gets NOWHERE NEAR this project."

If you didn't laugh at that, you should just kill yourself. I mean it. And stop dictating what they blog about ... It's their blog, THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT! (in Cartman voice). Gah, all these haters are cramping my 2b1b style.

Sarah said...

"How does a baby with no teeth yet bite hard enough to make a wound that bleeds freely?"

Women have been asking this question since the beginning of time.

Sarah said...

P.S. I've not come across another blog that gets reviewed in the comments as much as yours does. You inspire criticism, apparently.

Anonymous said...

I think the criticisms are a good thing. People love your blog so much, and want to see you do well and thrive that they try and help you out. Don't look at it negatively -- look at it as faithful, loyal readers who love you so much that they feel comfortable enough telling you what works, what doesn't work, and what they want to see in the blog!

Anonymous said...

I went to his blog and if its any consolation, judging by Mike's discription of his pooping routine he will have a raging case of hemorroids in the near future.

7 said...

That's OK. When the time comes I'll just Preparation H that shit.

Stef said...

OMG Kebab Connection is the shit. I had to watch it for my German class, and I have to say...I have never rushed back to my dorm to order a movie off amazon so quickly in my life.

Anonymous said...

I really like this blog and I think it's awesome that Meg and Chris have so many loyal friends that support them on the blog and in real life. That being said, we do have an interest in this blog, wether Meg is paid for it or not, as we're the ones voting for her in all the blogging competitions and supporting the store. Not all of the critiques are meant to be taken poorly and as haterade. Sure we can go elsewhere, but when these two are on, they're gold!

I do have to say that I didn't care too much for this entry and didn't read all of it either.

-Another Anon

nova said...

HAHAHAHA this was ah-may-zing. Keep it up. I'm totally gonna watch this movie now, it sounds wonderful.

nova said...

comment part 2 - YES watch the centipede next. I'm also too scared to watch it but am SOOOO curious.

nova said...

eh..."human centipede" that is.

Anonymous said...

No Post Wednesday?

Former Fan said...

Completely agree with "Mike." You guys used to be great. I mean...HIGHlarious. As in, I couldn't even read 2b1b at work since I couldn't contain my giggles. But lately you are seriously slacking or maybe just running out of material. Stop reaching and actually go back to what used to work since...this..isnt.

Liss said...

Suggestion for next week "Donkey Punch" utterly ridiculous "horror/suspense" film. And it's British.

Anonymous non-hater said...

TC, don't let the haters get you down. If I know one thing it is that haters gotta hate.

Loved the post, thought it was hilarious. You and Meg are the highlight of my otherwise boring work day. Keep up the good work and know that once the haters appear on the scene, you've truly made it

melissa said...

uhh..when do I get my tshirt? I ordered it the day the store opened..it's been over a month guys

Annie said...

'Donkey punch' seconded!

Love the blog, ignore the douchebag commenters! Especially Mike, the attention seeking prick with no sense of humour.

Very good Chris! Kept me entertained from beginning till end :)

x x x

Ali said...

I concur that if you guys continue this weekly feature, you simply MUST review "The Human Centipede." I have had the unfortunate pleasure of viewing the entirety of said film, and I'm not sure if I'll ever be the same again.

P.S. Lacy, I'm crying with laughter at your comment, "came up with that shit" in regards to "The Human Centipede", considering what that movie's about. *Awkwardly shudders and cackles*

Ashley said...

is this no post wednesday?! :(

also, TC you are fab! but, i gotta say it was hard to relate to this post having not watched the worst movies on netflix :/

love you both!

Katie said...

Just read my Washingtonian "Best Of" edition. Congrats in winning Best Local Blogger!!

Anonymous said...

Please netflix THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE... you will not believe it. the worst of netflix fo sho

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