JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER
Directed by: Jon Knautz
Trevor Matthews: Jack Brooks
Robert Englund: Professor Crowley
…and a bunch of other bit players. Go to the imdb site if you’re THAT interested.
This flick was pretty friggin’ sweet! For those not in the know, the story follows Jack Brooks, a guy who saw his family killed by monsters as a child and now experiences…anger issues. He’s just your regular everyman plumber who happens to come across an ancient evil and finds a good release for his rage in the form of kicking monster ass.
Ok, so the movie starts in Africa, or Brazil, or some random, nameless backwater jungle with a bunch of villagers surrounding this cyclopse lookin’ baddie. They’re gettin’ their asses kicked when most of them run back to camp and start yelling into this dung hut. We get a glimpse of a guy wrapping his hands and then the ‘ol over the shoulder-eye-glimpsed-through-long-hair bit.
Fast forward. We get a swift overview of Jack’s ‘tween years. There’s some bit with him going to a psychologist and flippin’ out. Then we get to see what Jack does. The guy’s a plumber and takes night classes. He has these fits of rage he can’t control that all stem back from when he saw his family brutally eviscerated by a monster out in the woods one night when he was a little kid. He’s repressed it, and now he flips out.
One night after helping his teacher Professor Crowley, fix some pipes in the basement of this old house the Professor’s fixin’ up, the ground in his back yard splits, emitting an eerie light and a crazy, almost sentient fog that finds its way to the Professor, possessing the poor schmuck. The next day he wakes up to find that he’s been diggin’ around in the dirt all night with his bare hands, so what does he do? He grabs a shovel and finishes the job, pulling out a crate with a dead guy in it and a black heart.
Crowley snatches the heart out of the box and it starts beating. THEN, (reminds me of JASON GOES TO HELL), the fucker EATS THE HEART. I suppose one could argue that he’s compelled to, but you get the idea. From then on, the good Professor “just ain’t right, eventually turning into this fat-ass demon from hell that has a shit-ton of tentacles that race after the night class students, dragging them back to the room. If that wasn’t bad enough, he has this weird tongue thing that he/it shoves down its victim’s throats, turning THEM into monsters. Crazy. At first, Jack runs away, jumping in the van and haulin’ ass. But then he hears the song “BEYOND THE SEA,” the same song that was playing when his family became dinner and he slams on the brakes, tells his bitchy-ass girlfriend to get out, and hauls ass back to the school. Now he’s in Kickass/Ash mode.
The rest you can pretty much guess from the title. He goes charging into the school and starts kicking hella monster ass, beating the ever lovin’ shit out of them and then smashin’ in their heads (the only way to truly kill ’em. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but he DOES get to play tongue hockey with the hot goth-ish chick that he’d been makin’ eyes at the entire flick.
Oh yeah, and I can’t forget, there’s this old guy at the Hardware store that reminds me of old Crazy Ralph from the first two Friday flicks. “It’s got a DEATH CURSE!!!!” That was a hoot.
I’m not entirely sure of the back history on this flick, so I can’t tell you how much money was involved, but I doubt it was much as it seemed like an independent production, but let me tell you THIS, I couldn’t see one single bit of CG bullshittery in the entire flick. Everything seemed to be practical makeup effects. That just fucking rocks my socks!
There were some dialogue issues where it seemed like the actors had to sort of just force out their lines because they just sounded…odd, but for the most part, the overall story and acting were good.
My BIGGEST BEEF was that the movie seemed too short. This movie could’ve had a hell of a lot more screen time spent developing secondary characters (hot goth-ish chick) and developing the story a little more. Instead, the flick seemed a bit rushed, like it was supposed to be a TV pilot or something. More Jack Brooks wouldn’t be a bad thing, boils ‘n ghouls, and it seems that there are rumors floating about for a JACK BROOKS 2 (Electric Boogaloo…heh).
So, overall? Kickass little indy flick. I’m glad it got some distribution and it’s refreshing to have something original like this to watch as opposed to the remake hell hollywood seems to be putting us through. You want good movies? Watch the indy scene. Check this one out!