There's been so many cool looking horror movies that have been released on dvd lately and I just haven't had the chance to catch up on all of 'em. Movies like Feast 2, Brutal Massacre, The Happening, Wicked Lake, and Joy Ride 2. Tonight I got started on chipping away at that list with a movie i've heard so much about for a while now and which looked like a hell of a lot of fun....
Jack Brooks is an everyman plumber who saw his parents and sister get brutally murdered in his youth and he's got a lot of anger problems stemming from the fact that he never did anything to save them. It's now several years later and Jack's professor, Mr. Crowley, has just unleashed a demonic spirit that lied within his backyard. Crowley is quickly turning into a human eating monster and he's turning other people into the same. Finally, Jack has an outlet for his rage problems and he's about to channel them into becoming a badass monster slayer, redeeming himself of his past regrets in the process!
This is writer/director Joe Knautz's first feature film and I for one hope we see a lot more of his work in the future. Something tells me we will. Interesting to note, Joe thought up the idea of the movie while trying to come up with horror stories with friends, much like how Mary Shelley came up with Frankenstein. Knautz clearly has a love for old school horror flicks and he has a heck of a lot of fun paying homage to some of his favorites. I think just about the only way you wouldn't enjoy this movie is if you don't have that same love somewhere within you or if you go into this one expecting something more than good old fashioned messy monster fun.
One of the big things that made this movie so cool to me was the absence of CGI. There's not one instance of the stuff in here and believe me, there were PLENTY of spots in the film where they could've resorted to it. Knautz keeps with the old school practical effects and rubber suit monsters and it helps make the movie a real throwback to the days when horror films were fun and exciting. There's a whole shitload of awesome monster and gore effects, and you wont be dissapointed in a bit of it. If only The Mist would have stuck to practical effects for the tentacle scenes, they could've looked as awesome as they do in this movie.
The only familiar face you'll probably notice is that of Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. Many times Englund's name is slapped on the cover of movies just to help make a profit and draw people in when he really only appears in it for a very brief period of time. In this, we are treated to more then enough Englund fun. He's one of the more interesting and entertaining things throughout the film and watching his disgusting and hilarious detereoration and ultimate transformation into a monster resembling the rock creature in Neverending Story is an absolute blast. Robert Englund in a movie is not always a good thing, but it definetly is this time around.
Trevor Matthews, who plays the titular character, is a fine actor and he's also a pleasure to watch. He's no Bruce Campbell, but those are some pretty big shoes to fill. His transformation from angry plumber to badass monster slayer is almost as fun to watch as Englund's transformation. I have no doubt that you'll be pulling and rooting for him by the last 20 minutes of the film, where he goes on an all out monster murdering spree.
Jack Brooks : Monster Slayer is an awesome throwback to old school horror. If you like movies like Evil Dead and most recently Slither, you'll love this one. It may not be as much fun as either of those movies, but it does a pretty damn good job of coming close and I can honestly say I got exactly what I came for. I was given a free poster for this movie at a recent horror convention and it had been sitting in my closet for the past few months. It's now happily hanging on my wall. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of Jack Brooks in the near future. Let's cross our fingers.