TROUBLE CITY

...A Killer What? - Day 27

ReviewsRyan CoveyComment
31 Days of Horror - A Killer What.jpg

The Refrigerator (1991)

The Refrigerator - Poster.jpg

A Killer What?

A refrigerator in a shitty New York apartment that is not just evil, but an actual gateway to Hell. In addition to just straight-up eating people (using its door as a mouth, obviously) the fridge can also influence people’s minds (as it does with the male lead of the movie) and in a hail-mary play bring all the other appliances to murderous life (table fans, a food processor, one of those flappy-lidded trashcans.)

Is It Any Good?

Very much, yes. The Refrigerator understands how goofy its premise is, or at least its leads do. There’s a certain aesthetic to the genre films of the early 1990s, a kind of pop-art look where everything is slightly exaggerated and cartoonish and that’s the tone of this film. There are moments of humor and certainly several examples of over the top costuming and set-decoration. The movie is often arch but never campy, it’s a goofy horror movie but not a horror comedy.

The Refrigerator even has some very real stuff on its mind relating to gender roles, child abuse, anxiety over the idea of having children, and a husband who clearly has no respect for his wife. It may not be Rosemary’s Baby but it explores many of the same themes.

The big selling point of the picture is the character Juan the Plumber, played by Angel Caban, who looks like this

The Refrigerator - Juan.jpg

and in the climax of the film swings a toilet snake like a lasso to tie the door of the refrigerator shut. Juan, in addition to being the campy side character of the movie, is also the stealh romantic lead. It’s all rather melodramatic but strangely the movie works. The movie’s pretty light on death but the gory finale more than makes up with it (it would seem there is one big gore gag that was cut from the movie though as the camera holds on the lead’s face as a character has a long death scene off-screen.)

The Refrigerator is another forgotten early-90s gem.

Watch, Toss, or Buy?

I’d say buy it, if you could, but the only way you’re going to see this movie is looking around the sketchier corners of the internet. Hopefully someday Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow, Shout!, or some other niche horror distributor will pick this up sometime soon.