2011 / Director. Jesse T Cook.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
MONSTER SQUAD meets WWE in this weird-ass, ambitious and comical exploit of genre. Presented in the style of a live network wrestling broadcast, MONSTER BRAWL features 8 renowned monsters in a tournament to the death. Taking place in a gothic necropolis with ringside commentators, the film showcases several rounds of monster-action as the creatures fight their way to the title. The monsters are Frankenstein, Lady Vampire, Mummy, Witch Bitch, Werewolf and Swamp Gut. With creature backstory packages preceding each of the rounds (narrated by Lance Henriksen) the fights are commentated by Dave Foley and Art Hingle. As you could imagine the movie is pretty much a one-joke affair... and yes, it does overstay its welcome just a little. The premise is perfect for a short film, however it has been padded out to an unnecessary 90 minutes... however, there's a lot of fun to be had. This came before CABIN IN THE WOODS and was the first movie (for some time) to mash classic monsters together. The blending of genres is peculiar, yet amusing, and has ample genre-gags to keep horror fans happy. What stood out most for me was the film's style and production. It's no secret that I am a sucker for sound-stage films, where false exteriors are filmed indoors and MONSTER BRAWL is entirely sound-stage. It looks wonderful... Director Jesse T Cook has used his measly $200,000 budget brilliantly. The movie is funny most of the time and where the humour does flounder, it's compensated with a great looking aesthetic and skilful cinematography. The creepy and cooky graveyard wrestle-ring setting recalls THE MUSTERS and Michael Jacksons THRILLER. Uber cheesy, tongue in cheek and perfectly gory MONSTER BRAWL is too modest to criticise seriously and ought to be enjoyed for what it is. Silly, juvenile and always fun. Aussies should look out for it from Monster Pictures on Sept 17.