If a girl being cracked in the noggin with a boomerang, stuffed into a sack and hoisted over her aunt’s shoulder doesn’t even crack the Top 5 strangest moments in a film, you know you’re in for something that approaches the inexplicable. And that’s OPEN 24/7, a Troma offering from 2010 (also known as Ouvert 24/7). Yes, the film’s set in France and to underscore the oddness of the film, the above isn’t even the weirdest thing to happen IN THAT SCENE. In fact, a nonchalant singer-songwriter hobo from Nashville (!) watches the cannibal aunt snack on a victim before the boomerang sails over her, hitting the niece.
In Open 24/7, bored denizens of a French truck stop (much like an American one except stocked with way more booze) amuse themselves by telling each other stories about cannibalism, vampires and gruesome twists on Grimms’ Fairy Tales while chugging back beers (and one would hope, not returning to their rigs).
In the first vignette, a lesbian couple lures unsuspecting men over to their home, pummels them with various household objects and turns them into entrées. It’s a bit like the amazing Eating Raoul, except gut-wrenchingly disgusting. There’s something done at a urinal that you’ll just have to see for yourself. Let’s just say that a jump cut to frying sausages was apropos and that you’d understand why the investigating detective was so personally invested in the case.
In another scene, a wicked witch keeps a backyard crocodile (so obviously and hilariously stock footage) while a trigger-happy vampire-fearing (?) dimwit cop investigates.
The film veers between atmospheric/harrowing and extremely low-budget, poorly-framed mise-en-scènes that look like a Brazilian soap opera.
Still, there’s much to recommend it: Sapphic love, cannibalism, dark, dark humor. If you’re down with Troma, it’s up your alley.
*** (out of 5)