Straight-to-DVD Corner with Tonn Slingdog: We Have a Winner!

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

2 thoughts on “Straight-to-DVD Corner with Tonn Slingdog: We Have a Winner!”

  1. Clearly, if your first name is now Tonn and your last is Slingdog, you need a new middle name.

    Let the suggestions roll!

    Also, I caught a goofy as fuck horror flick on Scifi (Which we JUST got added to our regular cable lineup finally) a few days back called The Hive. It was about killed cartoon ants that formed together like a Japanese robot to become a tentacle monster or a BIG cartoon ant or… something like that. One of the Duke Boys was in it, and he seems to show up a lot in terrible/fun horror flicks these days.

    Shit, it’s what I’d do if I left the limelight. What could be better than getting paid to be in a campy horror movie?

    Tonn, I suggest you find yourself some of those. Think of the middle name possibilities! Why, we could be looking at Tonn VictiminsawVII Slingdog some day!

  2. Your review on Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer makes it sound intriguing. I was confusing it with Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher, starring a young Jay Baruchel.

    I’ve still never seen an H.G. Lewis film (not even the one with Henny Youngman in it), so I should probably see some before I start checking out these remakes. I’m glad Wizard of Gore is a good remake. Looks like Crispin’s other film I was curious about, Simon Says, has gotten mostly bad reviews (don’t know why, it’s from the same guy who gave us Harry and the Hendersons).
    If you want to be bored silly by a killer ant movie, you could always look for It Happened At Lakewood Manor, or, Ants! A 70’s TV movie about, killer ants, only there are no special effects. If these normal looking ants get on you, you flail around for a bit and die. It does for Ants what Night of the Lepus did for rabbits, make us briefly pay attention to them. The cast is an odd mix of Old Hollywood and familiar looking 70’s televison actors. Not recommended. Check it out!

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