“Are you telling me that our refrigerator is possessed?”
Steve Bateman (Dave Simonds) and his wife Eileen (Julia McNeal) are newlyweds. They just moved from Ohio to New York City. They end up renting an apartment on Avenue D. Unfortunately for them, the apartment comes with a refrigerator that is a gateway to hell. Tanya (Phyllis Sanz) is a voodoo priestess. She warns Eileen to leave and disappears.
The couple settles in. The first night they throw a party for the building. Later that night Steve dreams that his new boss, Mr. Walters (Peter Justinus) is in the refrigerator talking to him and peeking around a box of waffle mix. Steve becomes obsessed about waffles. The couple begins to have strange eerie dreams. Tensions arise between the couple. Eileen is having nightmares and Steve is becoming mentally erratic.
Juan (Angel Caban) is the building super and the plumber (and former flamenco dancer from Bolivia). Steve is not happy with Juan being around. Juan shows up one day with his assistant Paolo (Jamie Rojo) to fix the toilet. The refrigerator eats Paolo.
Steve is slowly being driven insane by the refrigerator. Eileen is experiencing bizarre hallucinations in the apartment as well as flashbacks of prior childhood traumas. Except for one scene where they have sex in front of the refrigerator they are barely getting along.
Eileen’s mother shows up. While Eileen is out getting cleaning supplies, the refrigerator eats her. Juan and Tanya warn Eileen that the refrigerator is a gateway to hell and that the people who lived in the apartment before her disappeared with no trace.
“The Refrigerator” was released in 1991 and was directed by Nicholas Jacobs. Of course this is one of those movies that, because of the title, I had to see. Surprisingly this is not the only movie based on that appliance. In 1990 the movie “Attack of the Killer Refrigerator” was released.
The film starts out a little lame, but it gets better as it goes along. By the end I was glued to the TV. The acting was decent. Juan the plumber’s delivery was deadpan and soft spoken. It made his character the most interesting one in the movie. Other characters were more exaggerated. “The refrigerator” is bizarre and somehow captivating.
The movie is called a supernatural/fantasy/comedy/horror film. I don’t think any of those titles are totally accurate. I would place it more in the weird fiction subgenre. China Mieville defines weird fiction as; “usually, roughly conceived of as a rather breathless and generically slippery macabre fiction, a dark fantastic often featuring nontraditional alien monsters.” H.P. Lovecraft would also be someone who was familiar with the use of this subgenre, although the movie is in no way of the same caliber as anything from either Mieville or Lovecraft. I suppose you could even throw David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” as weird fiction. “The Refrigerator” is more of a low budget “B” weird fiction movie.