Welcome to a new idea for the blog, Subject Yourself. To keep this intro short I’ll basically be watching one movie a week that I’ve never heard anything about and giving my feedback on it. Most likely they will be terrible, but hopefully I’ll find something to love along the way. First up is the oh so corny Monster Brawl.
I like to think that I wasn’t the only twisted child thinking of what would happen if horror movie monster X fought horror monster Y. Movies filled with Jason, Freddy, and Pinhead were always on my list of favorites so wondering who would beat who was just a natural progression. Monster Brawl takes that idea and mashes it together with another childhood love, wrestling. That’s right, as the title implies the plot takes “famous” monsters and pits them against one another in a fight to the death…in a wrestling ring. The premise is pretty bare bones and it doesn’t really pick up in the story department at any time.
The film consists of eight brawlers to flesh out its pay-per view like structure. Well known creatures like Cyclops, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, Mummy, and Zombie man square off in one on one fights that play out quite strangely. There are also other combatants like “Witch Bitch” (yep), Lady Vampire, and Swamp Gut that are deviations of famous horror monsters and villains. After a brief introduction on how the whole fight system is going to work and why this is even happening we are off to the races and the fighting begins.
As if things weren’t weird enough famous WWE Manager Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart announces the fighters before each match while The Kids in the Hall star Dave Foley and Canadian horror actor Art Himble commentate the fights. Each fight pits one monster against another and they all start off with two brief origin stories about the monsters. Some of these origin stories are quite humorous, like Swamp Gut’s strangely macabre take on the Discovery Channel, while others are more simplistic and boring. After each vignette is played the fighters are introduced to the ring and the fight is underway.
The strangest thing about the movie is probably the in ring action itself. Why these monsters wrestle like TV wrestlers is beyond me but it is none the less entertaining to witness. After maybe 5 or 10 minutes of in right brawling the monsters start using their special abilities on one another which usually results in the end of the match in some horrifically gruesome manor. Whether it’s a full on skull rip, a laser beam to the face, or an elbow drop that explodes the other competitor the kills are surprisingly well done. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the fighting or even the kills are amazing and spectacular but they’re campy and will satisfy any horror fan’s bloodlust.
Match after match and the blood just keeps flowing, luckily the intros and dumb commentary help to keep things mildly interesting. There are “surprises” here and there like a zombie attack or a zombie turn but nothing too crazy ever really happens. The movie kind of builds up a couple of small subplots but their pay offs are rather dull and the “surprise” at the end is one anyone can see coming from the very start. The film also tends to build up its soon to be champion which takes away any sort of excitement these fake fights might have in the end.
Overall the fighting, which encompasses the majority of the movie, is just like wrestling on TV with some extra flare thrown in. That’s actually my biggest gripe with the movie, it has so many crazy fighters and has no real restrictions to reality so why not take it all the way? The fights feel too contained and restricted which is a bummer since they can be ridiculously insane in every way. You’ve got undead creatures and super-human beasts going one on one and yet they fight like two old guys from the 1950s wrestling in tights. It’s an entertaining movie at times but it indeed misses its mark when it comes to being as ridiculous as it could be.
(All images courtesy of Google Images)