Jack Brooks Monster Slayer (2008)

jack-brooks-monster-slayerThis weeks Request of the week comes from Lasalle Rhymes III, with that said lets jump into it. It’s hard to make a good monster movie these days. Audiences have seen everything and are frightened by little, so Jon Knautz’s solution in writing and directing Jack Brooks Monster Slayer is to return to the days when things were frightening. The monsters in the film look like the kind of creatures you imagined as a child, completely unlikely and somewhat cartoonish or as though they had come from the pages of a comic book, but the nostalgia brings with it the shadow of fear from childhood. It also looks like the horror films of the 1980s, which was the time I enjoyed horror movies as a kid. With the violence of slasher films and humorous and creative evil that is fun like the later part of The Evil Dead films, Monster Slayer is a gorific homage to the simpler horror movies of yesteryear, going so far as to cast the legendary Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) as a villain. Who really looks like Pizza the Hut from Space Balls.Jacks Monsters

Jack works as a plumber and agrees to help the professor when he has trouble with his pipes, but Jack’s inexperience as a plumber and the old pipes cause a valve to burst and a portal to open, unleashing an ancient evil which inhabits and transforms the lonely old man into a monster. The professor’s transformation is slow, allowing for Englund to play up his evolution into a monster in stages. At first he is simply eating more than normal until tentacles begin protruding from his side and he sluggishly becomes something more. Unable to find a way to stop his anger, Jack suddenly becomes the best shot at stopping the beast from eating and transforming his classmates. Fueling his rage into fighting the monster, Jack is finally able to come to terms with the guilt of watching his family slaughtered.

JackThe good thing is that you have genre vet Robert Englund joyfully chewing up the scenery as the professor and a likeable lead in the form of Trevor Matthews.  It would appear that the filmmakers intend this to be the first in a series of films involving the adventures of the short-tempered Jack. This flick is totally a beer and pretzel movie, by that I mean it’s a movie to watch with friends and not take seriously, but it’s still fun to watch. The film also seems light years ahead of some big studio horror film junk that I’ve been watching lately.  Let’s hope that Jack gets a chance to slay again.

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