OHIO: Homebodies

The jet-black horror/comedy Homebodies confirms exactly what we’ve had sneaking suspicions about all along: that the elderly are really just lying in wait, ready to off our sorry butts if we push them to the brink! An ancient Cincinnati tenement’s kooky pensioners are the remaining holdouts standing in the way of “progress”: the bulldozing of their neighborhood to make way for gleaming, new skyscrapers. The evil land developers better watch out, for these golden oldies quickly learn that a murder a day keeps the landlord away. An updating of classic absurdist killer comedies like Arsenic and Old Lace, Homebodies doesn’t pull any punches with its dispatching of annoying baddies by the octogenarian set — but any grimness is easily offset by the film’s deft mixture of sentimental comedy and genuine pathos concocted by director Larry Yust (whose sadly short filmography also includes the legendary late-’60s short film adaptation of Shirley Jones’ The Lottery.) Besides — those lame-o bureaucrats and stinky slumlords had it coming.
Dir. Larry Yust, 1974, 16mm, 96 min.