Another week, another pile of DVD’s from overseas arrive in my mailbox. Up this time Neko has for you another of those goofy horror/ comedy mishmashes you know this lil’ Catgirl likes to watch, from out of the Philippines, it’s “Scaregivers”….
Our synopsis for it reads as follows: “Two bumbling crooks, Bob and Billy, are caught by the police stealing a couple of diamond rings. Rather than be sent to jail they convince the judge to send them to a Mental Institution instead but that asylum turns out to be a haunted place. An unhappy spirit is committing murders and the two are left to uncover the secret behind the paranormal mysteries that lead to the death of the staff as the try to escape from their captivity”
Now you all know Neko-chan likes goofy Thai horror/comedies… she doesn’t hate Indonesian ones…. and some of the best Korean and Chinese ones can make me laugh till I nearly wet myself…. but will I get all giggly and silly for Philippine ones?
Hmmmmm? I guess there’s really only one way to find out…. and you know what that means.. right?
Yep… you are gonna have to “Read On”, gentle visitors to find out with me!!
So this one starts up by introducing us to Billy and Bob… two goofy criminals with a scheme to rob a jewelry store by dressing as women to separate, confound and confuse their victims while they snatch the most valuable rings in the store right from under the noses of management and security. Cross dressing? Wow…. Sounds like a Thai horror comedy already… and we stay pretty much in that vein throughout the rest of “Scaregivers”. This one would probably do very well in Thailand, if this lil’ Catgirl has learned anything from her many hours of viewing such films.
Anyways… after some broad comedy featuring a bit of stuff utilizing the confusion to be had between speaking English and Tagalog, we end up with our hapless duo getting caught after nearly making their big getaway. We even get a wee bit of “Bollywood” with Bob trying to hide in a passing Hindi wedding procession on the street during the chase…. but to no avail. Luckily for them, Billy had Bob hide the valuable booty before they get caught…. by swallowing it. Yep… it’s that sort of brilliant planning that separates the pros from the rank amateurs of crime.
Apparently prison in the Philippines is a nasty and brutal place…. Billy and Bob want nothing to do with being sent there…. they could avoid it by simply giving up the two rings they stole, but noooooo!! Not gonna do that!!! In fact, the police know they probably ate the darn things… they fill them to bursting with water during the interrogation, but once Bob passes them, they get surprised in the toilet by an officer and he promptly scarfs them back down again before they get seen… Ewwwwhhh!!! Yep…. see what I mean?… Neko-chan told you this one was real close to that naughty, “gross you out” Thai style of comedy….
That leaves them with only one option to avoid the horrors of prison… to convince the judge they are absolutely nuttier than squirrel poop, by switching their lawyer’s jar of peanut butter for their “stool sample” and eating it down during the trial. It completely grosses out the judge, the audience and everybody else in the court getting them a one way ticket to the funny farm.
Unfortunately for them…. it’s no safer in the asylum… Seems the one they get sent to is being haunted by the angry spirit of someone who absolutely hates people who are faking insanity in order to avoid jail… it’s been killing those sorts for some time now, as well as taking out it’s vengeance on the nursing staff as well.
Worse…. they are followed to the asylum by a couple of “rent-a-thugs” in the employ of the jewelry store who are supposed to recover the valuable rings. Naturally they have no intention of doing that… their ultimate plan is to get the rings, kill off Billy and Bob, and head for parts unknown. The film then goes into the mode of showing how Billy and Bob cope with asylum life…. the goofy, quirky inmates, the constant medication, the supernatural threat of the ghosts that lurk everywhere…. Womanizing Billy falls for Doctor Jessica, his attractive psychiatrist, little knowing she’s central to the haunting that’s going on. It doesn’t help that the more they see the ghosts, the less sane they end up seeming to the staff…. and the longer it looks like they’ll be stuck in the asylum.
Seems at least one person did escape…. he was a violent criminal who had faked insanity too. Supposedly he managed to find a way out. Or did he? Seems the jury is still out on that one…. Eventually they learn the truth, that he originally romanced Dr. Jessica back when she was only Nurse Jessica, and that she helped him escape by letting him slip into the coffin of an inmate who died and was taken just outside the asylum to be buried in the nearby cemetery. One of the other helpful Nurses, Marcia, befriends Bob and tells him Jessica later dug him up and helped him to get away. Can this clever scheme stolen straight from “The Count of Monte Cristo” work for our goofy heroes as well?
Well… it’s “Spoiler Alert” time…. as Neko can’t really go much into that without giving away the ending…. Let me just say, some of the people here at the asylum are…. well…. seriously “living impaired”…. and that’s it’s gonna make for a dangerous escape plan for our boys. Nothing is ever simple in one of these films now is it?
The last 20 minutes or so of this one are tied up with resolving this plot, revealing the truth behind the haunting and which spirit here is really to blame for all the vicious death and mayhem. It’s fairly easy to figure out if you try, and Neko did so waaaaay in the beginning of the film, but don’t worry…. I’m not going to spoil it for ya!!
Our heroes eventually triumph after finally realizing the folly of their crimes and how they’ll never profit from it and having a change of heart. They give back the rings, and even train as nurses so they can return to the asylum to help all the patients there…. Ahhhhhhh!! Soooo nice!! Ta-dah!!! The end!! Roll the credits!!
So… to wrap up, Neko gives “Scaregivers” a well deserved 3 “Meows” out of 5 for doing the whole horror/comedy thing with at least as much gusto as the Thai films I occasionally watch, if not with the same level of gore or budget. It also rates at least a purr of contentment for the silly bit about Bob constantly swallowing the stolen rings… over and over…. soooo darn gross, but also sooo darn funny.
The disc itself, by Regal Entertainment, is well done, with easy to read, accurate English subtitles and a pile of Trailers on board for at least a couple of other films that Neko might just wanna look for. The film is presented in letterboxed format, and looks well made with the level of production values comparable to those from Thailand or Indonesia. My only quibble is all the stuff you have to sit through while waiting for the main menu to arrive… nearly 10 minutes or so of things you can’t get past to get to the main menu…. but hey, that the way it goes.
Oh yeah…. and there’s even a Trailer available for it, and here it is!! Enjoy!!