Breaking my streak of unwatchable DTV horror, I discovered a movie called Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, a kind of anti-Buffy movie. Jack Brooks is the world’s worst plumber with a massive anger management problem, and he’s played with giddy, aggravated energy by the likeable Trevor Matthews. His family was killed by a monster, and he’s never gotten past his inability to have done anything about it. His science teacher (most of the movie takes place in a high school, although it seems to be a night class–all the students dress like they are still in high school, circa 1986, but they are all clearly too old to actually be in high school) asks him to fix a plumbing problem at his creepy new house, and Jack unwittingly unleashes a possessed black heart of evil which possesses the science teacher, slowly turning him into a monster not-so-gently reminiscent of the Chet monster of Weird Science.
Eventually, Jack harnesses his anger to fight the monsters that take over his night school. The movie plays a bit like a television pilot, with too much repeated information during the second act, but the performances are so engaged and funny that often times the repeated information plays like a funny bit (especially in two scenes at a hardware store, where the aged clerk has no recollection of telling Jack about the haunted house and winds up telling him all over again.) Stealing the show is Robert Englund as the science teacher slowly descending into monsterdom, and I can’t think of anyone who could make puking that funny that many times in a row. The effects, both impressive and intentionally Ed Wood-ian, make for a great last twenty minutes. The movie is a really good time, and if you are a horror-comedy junky like I am, you can’t do much better.
Also worthy of mention is the recent remake of H.G. Lewis’s Wizard of Gore starring Crispin Glover and Kip Pardue. It’s perfectly bizarre, and while the intentionally skewed camera work can get tiresome, the gore is hilariously fantastic and the movie manages to hold your attention throughout despite itself. Also, there are lots of naked ladies. My wife was extremely pissed when the one opportunity they had for gratuitous full-frontal male nudity was not used. I asked her, “Do you really want to see that guy naked?” She replied, “That’s not the point.” In any event, it’s always nice to see Crispin Glover behaving in his bizarre manner, and I’ll be damned if the guy just doesn’t age. Must be nice.
Lots o’ love, Tonn