It has barely been two weeks since two films about old ladies hits the screen. There was THE BEST OF THEIR LIVES and now BAD GRANDMAS, a Canadian feature where one granny accidentally kills her friend’s bad son-in-law resulting in all other cronies trying to hide the body and cover up the deed.
The film’s first scene shows an American flag out front of a building of an insurance company in this IndieCan production. Obviously, the film is set in the States (Southern U.S.A. to be more accurate) to expand the film’s marketing base. All the grandmas in the film thus speak with a southern drawl.
The film contains typical scenes of the elderly ladies doing jumping jacks and smoking up, trying to look cool, things that have been done in films on old farts before.
Four grandmothers spend their twilight years in peace playing card games and baking cakes. Their world is turned upside down when one of ladies (Bobbi played by Susie Wall) son-in-law Jim (David Wassilak) cons the lady. In the process of trying to fix the problem, Mimi (chief protagonist, ringleader and brains played by Florence Henderson) accidentally kills him. Things go from bad to worse but the ladies are smarter than they seem. The premise does not sound original and this plot of accidental killing has been done more than once in other films, for example in the best film dealing with accidentally killing, Robert Carlisle’s THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON, where a barber’s accidental killing leads to another to another. BUT BAD GRANDMAS is hardly funny, despite many opportunities for comedy. The film is a clear textbook example where timing is essential in comedy.
The addition of the character of the investigating Detective Randall Mclemore (Randall Batinkoff) is puzzling. His character is a smug rather good-looking man who charms the daughters of the grandmothers. He does not add much humour either but not for want of trying.
There is also one bug flaw in the script. If the ladies have in their possession the CCTV video of the villain kidnapping Bobbi, why don’t thy just go to the police in the first place?
The film is performed by a cast of mostly little heard actors except for veterans Pam Grier and Judge Reinhold,who do nothing to lift this piece out of the doldrums.
The film contains countless attempts at humour but none too successfully. The only laugh out loud joke for me is the one when one of the grandmas remarks after seeing a dead body: “This makes me more nervous than a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” But this is not because the joke itself is funny but because it has ben ions when I used to repeat that line. The film improves during the second half, story-wise.
BAD GRANDMAS attempts to cash in on the successful comedy BAD MOMS by adding the murder angle. Better skip this one and wait for BAD MOMS AT CHRISTMAS or BIG DADDY 2 where the 2 grandpas (played by Mel Gibson and John Lithgow) are added to the story.