I consider myself a fairly well-read, thoughtful individual. I stay caught up on current social/political events and am still captivated by learning. So, then why in the HELL did I not only sit down and watch Monster Brawl, but thoroughly enjoyed it as well?! It has a character by the name of Witch Bitch! WITCH BITCH, PEOPLE!!! There is no plausible reason a sane rational individual would like a movie such as this. Well, I did…a lot. That being said, we’re going to try and figure out exactly why I like it so much…shall we?
Though I’d think that the title is fairly self-explanatory, I will give you a brief rundown of the film’s plot: A no-holds barred, fight-to-the-death battle royale has been scheduled. The most heinous monsters of the universe have assembled for a one night death match, winner takes all! There’s a hitch in the whole plan, however; shit is taking place on CURSED SOIL!!!! Yeah, I know! All mortals involved are at risk and let’s face it, it’s easier to list those who aren’t in danger than who is. All bets are off as the tournament sets forth. Ancient magic, severed appendages and blood flows until one victor stands on the top of the heap…who will it be?
I’m hoping you were reading that in your best wrestling announcer voice, because that’s what was going in my head when I wrote it. Monster Brawl is a combination of classic monster and professional wrestling. It’s a combo that seems so incredibly ridiculous, however, one has to wonder how it was never used before. Jesse T. Cook, the newcomer writer/director of Monster Brawl appeared to have a very clear idea in mind: Pit classic horror monsters in death matches with one another, add zombies, Jimmy Hart, Dave Foley, get Lance Henriksen to narrate the thing, mix and stir. The end result is a literal translation of the title. There’s not a whole lotta of plot to be found. It honestly plays out like an episode of a WWE show (I don’t know what they’re called anymore!). There’s an obvious comedic slant to the entire thing, with Dave Foley and Art Hindle doing color commentary straight out of Wrestlemania. You get the pre-match interviews (some with managers in tow) that range from the fairly obvious (a zombie having to be spoken for…cuz’ he can’t talk-get it?) , the the absurd (The Mummy’s subtitled into hieroglyphics). Still, all things point to one set piece…the ring. At the end of the day, this is Celebrity Death Match come to life. We’re familiar with Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolfman, vampires, etc. So, seeing them rip each other limb from limb is the obvious icing on the cake.
What ended up making this movie entertaining for me was the company I watched it in. You see, I sat down to watch Monster Brawl with my son and seeing his face light up every time one of his favorites entered frame was worth the time spent watching the movie. He was able to watch it with the same amount of joy he gets watching other movies featuring the kings of horror. As the Wolfman and Frankenstein duked it out, he was jumping all about the living room acting out the moves. We both hooted and hollered every time someone got an arm torn off or a head went flying. It’s black & white concept is what MAKES Monster Brawl fun to watch. No bullshit involved. Just lots of high flying action and blood & guts all shot pretty damn well.
I guess I’ve answered my own question posed at the beginning of this review. Monster Brawl made me laugh. It is by no means meant to be viewed as a serious horror film. Hell, if anything, view it as a comedy. A comedy with a bunch of gore. This film isn’t about a plot, nor is it rich with character development. It’s just plain ol’ fun! It’s got the ability to cover several fan bases by bringing comedy, horror, and pro wrestling into one arena (pun sorta intended) for 89 minutes of guilty pleasures. This would be a great addition to any night filled with drinking and hanging out with friends. Fellini it ain’t, but what Monster Brawl is is a great goddamn time filled with laughs and gore. Have fun with it as intended!
(My son Cash’s addendum to this review: “That movie is AWESOME and I wish the Wolfman would win because he’s my favorite!” So, there’s that…)