July 8, 2012

Filthy Review - Monster Brawl

Monster Brawl (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

The monster mash-up has been a popular style of entertainment for many years, in different formats. From the Godzilla movies starting back in the 1950s’ through to more recent movies such as Freddy vs. Jason and the two Alien vs. Predator flicks, they have had fans waiting anxiously. Indeed the Freddy vs. Jason film, and Alien vs. Predator, languished in development hell for many years before finally seeing the light of day.

Where this style has proved most popular though is in comic books, which such titles as Batman vs. Alien and Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator, it seems people like to see a good night, albeit of a fantastical nature.

Now entering the fray, on Blu-ray and DVD, is the Canadian independent movie Monster Brawl, which takes these fights one step further. Taking its cues from such popular entertainment as the WWE and WCW, and mixing it in with classic monsters, the film plays out like a more horrific version of WWE’s RAW television show.

There is no real need to go into too much detail with regards to the plot of Monster Brawl, because quite simply there isn’t much of one. The film consists of wrestling style fights between such monsters as Zombie Man, Swamp Gut and Witch Bitch, all with their own unique style and powers. In-between the fights there is a little backstory to each character, and there is also the distraction of Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart at ringside, but there isn’t much else. Monster Brawl pretty much delivers on its title.

So, the majority of the film is taken up with the monster match-ups, which take place in an old cemetery, and in truth aren’t quite as exciting as they could have been. They do offer up a reasonable amount of entertainment, and are at times quite good fun. It would have been nice to have seen a little more emphasis on making these fights a little more spectacular though.
What does help the flow of Monster Brawl though is the insane ringside commentary from David Foley and Art Hindle, as Sasquatch Sid Tucker. It is ridiculous, yet at the same time I found it to quite funny as it plays on the commentary seen on various wrestling entertainment shows. It isn’t quite comedy gold, but it isn’t a bad substitute.

Other familiar faces that show up, or don’t as the case may be, are Kevin Nash, as Colonel Crookshank, fight referee Herb Dean, who plays himself, and offering up some narration in a Mortal Kombat videogame manner is Lance Henriksen.

Monster Brawl doesn’t always deliver, as mentioned the fights could have been a little more exciting, but on the whole it is good solid fun. You probably aren’t going to watch a movie entitled Monster Brawl expecting high-brow thought-provoking commentary, yet on the flipside you probably are going to want a ton of fights, so it had better deliver.

For an independent movie Monster Brawl does deliver on the production value side of things; it looks good on Blu-ray and the limited setting allows more focus on the fighters themselves, who all look pretty good, if a little cheesy at times.

Monster Brawl is good mindless fun, with fun being the emphasis here. It’s a party movie that will no doubt work well if watched with a group of rowdy friends. It’s not perfect, but it is good fun. Some films take themselves very seriously; this is not one of those films.

Included on the U.S. Blu-ray is an audio commentary from writer/director Jesse Thomas Cook and producers Matt Wiele and John Geddes, as well as a behind the scenes featurette and some outtakes.

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