As Chompy and The Girls begins, Jackson (Christy St. John, We Got a Monkey’s Paw, The Amityville Terror) is having a bad day. So bad she tries to hang herself but only manages to pull her ceiling out of the ceiling. She reaches out for some support, but her friend Lotus (Hari Williams, Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs. Tsunami) isn’t answering his phone and her mother blows her off. In desperation she messages Sam (Steve Marvel, Hollywood Dirt, Troubled Waters).
Sam is also having a bad day, so when he gets a message from someone claiming to be his daughter he takes the excuse to get out of the house. Saying that this meeting is awkward would be an understatement. Until they see a man (Reggie Koffman) enlarge his mouth like a snake and swallow a ten year old girl (Seneca Paliotta, Let Us In) whole. Then it gets weird.
Writer/director Skye Braband certainly picked a unique idea for his first feature and gets it off to an attention grabbing start. And from there it actually gets weirder as Chompy, who is voiced by the legendary Udo Kier (Iron Sky: The Coming Race, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich), comes after the pair. This sets off a journey that will involve house parties, roofies, a trip in and out of Chompy’s mouth, alien parasites and more as we find out the actual story of Chompy and The Girls.
On the surface Chompy and The Girls may seem like a gonzo horror comedy, and it certainly is for the most part. But it also has things to say about relationships, mental health and how deceiving appearances can be. Thankfully it never gets too serious and usually makes its points with humour. And, let’s face it, a plot like this really doesn’t have much room for taking anything seriously.
Things may not get serious, but they do get darker in the last act as Deborah (Julie Dolan, Detention, Tiger Within), Sam’s wife and the reason for much of his unhappiness shows up, running over Chompy in the process. This sets up a final act that’s not only satisfying but one of the strangest that I’ve seen this year.
Hopefully if this next script sells, I’ll never have to sell bedsheets on the side of the road again.Skye Braband director of Chompy and The Girls
Working on a low budget Braband had to use a combination of ingenuity and effects to pull off some of Chompy and The Girls’ scenes. Thankfully he chooses to use camera angles, long shots and blocked vision when needed rather than going with cheap CGI or poorly implemented mechanical effects that would ruin the illusion and take us out of the film.
But it’s the story that makes Chompy and The Girls what it is. It’s got an original central idea but it doesn’t treat it as a gimmick. Chompy, his mouth, his mission and what’s behind the multiple copies of Birch are all woven together by the film’s story. And the same is true for the film’s human characters. They’re developed, have story arcs and, for the most part, their actions make sense. And, perhaps most unusual of all, it’s a horror comedy where the laughs don’t come from gore and gross out gags.
With Chompy and The Girls Skye Braband has marked himself as someone to watch. He’s pulled off a film that manages to sell an outrageous concept without trying to be overly wacky. He also delivers some good laughs and insights as well as getting winning performances from his cast.