Before there was Freddy, before there was Jason, there was Crazy Fat Ethel. I’m not saying the woman was in the same league as her male counterparts, but boy does she know how to hack up people with a meat cleaver.
Poor old Crazy Fat Ethel gets released from the insane asylum (Even though she's still “Criminally Insane” and whatnot.) to go live with her grandmother. Granny gets pissed cuz the 250 pound Ethel likes to raid the fridge at all hours of the day, so she locks up all of the food in the cupboard. Crazy Fat Ethel doesn’t cotton to that and stabs grandma a couple dozen times with a butcher knife. After Ethel eats everything in the house, she has to order more groceries. The delivery boy tells her the bill is $400 and because Ethel only has $4.50, he says no way Jose and goes to leave. Ethel quickly dispatches him with a broken beer bottle.
Folks, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Crazy Fat Ethel and food is involved, just let the woman have the damn food. Your life is not worth it.
Anyway, Crazy Fat Ethel’s hooker sister comes to live with her for a bit. Ethel doesn’t mind if she turns tricks out of the bedroom as long as she doesn’t mess with all the bodies that are piling up in the house. Of course, her pimp has to come spend the night and when he starts wondering about the funny smell coming out of the next room, Crazy Fat Ethel has to cut everybody up with a meat cleaver. By this time there ain’t no food in the house, but there’s a lot of dead meat sitting around and it’s only a matter of time before Ethel is chowing down on human flesh. Thank God that George “Buck” Flower is there to stop her.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I put this flick on but I certainly didn’t think this was going to be the fun little chiller that it turned out to be. The film moved like greased lighting (the running time is just over an hour) and the murder scenes left me cackling. I really didn’t mind that most of the kills got a little repetitive after awhile because they all featured a lot of cool looking 70’s blood (you know the kind that resembles the paint you get from Sherman Williams).
Criminally Insane had no budget, one setting and one demented fatty hacking up people. That’s all it really needed though. What this movie did well, it did very, very well, which namely was Crazy Fat Ethel butchering people with various kitchenware.
And let’s talk a minute about Crazy Fat Ethel. She gives one of the most memorable screen psycho killer performances of all time and it’s a shame she isn’t as well known as say, Candyman or something. This bitch maybe crazy and kill people and stuff, but you sort of sympathize with her because after all, a girl’s gotta eat. She also gets the best line of the movie: “My heart is fine as long as my stomach’s not empty.”
Ethel returned twelve years later for the sequel, Crazy Fat Ethel 2.