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DVD Review

DVD cover

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer


Starring: Trevor Matthews, Robert Englund, Rachel Skarsten and James A. Woods
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 29 September 2008

Jack Brooks is a messed-up young man with issues. Having watched his entire family literally torn apart in front of his eyes as a boy, he has spent much of the following years attending sessions with a therapist - particularly in view of his impossible story about a monster. Primarily, it is his inherent anger and short fuse which is being addressed. However, Jack soon finds his violent temper being put to good use. Whilst carrying out a plumbing job for his college professor, Jack sees the man start to undergo a curious transmogrification. Professor Crowley has been possessed by a demon black heart, and once back at the college he changes fully into a monster which begins to devour Jack's fellow students. For Jack, fighting this creature is a form of revenge, and will reveal his true purpose in life...

The format of this self-confessed B-movie is very similar to the old Monsters TV anthology series - in other words, in some ways serious and in others very much tongue-in-cheek. Admittedly, it would have succeeded in that capacity, but here it's just a little too long and far too silly. It must have been quite a coup to secure the talents of Robert Englund to play the part of Professor Crowley (no doubt named after the notorious Aleister Crowley). Englund seems to revel in these roles, when most actors would have felt ridiculous or died of embarrassment.

In all honesty, the main monster looks like a reject from The Muppet Show or Sesame Street, and the bipedal demon resembles a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. So although the movie is supposed to be fun, it should also convince - and it fails terribly on that score. The bitten victims which turn into ferocious attacking servants of the 'Muppet' are the only saving grace.

The story itself is told retrospectively, with the half-hidden countenance of Jack in a tribal tent preparing himself for battle being the point from which it harks back. When we return to that moment at the end of the movie you would be forgiven for expecting some action involving the 'Ninja Turtle' - but the viewing audience is cheated as there is nothing and the film simply ends.

If you are that interested, there are some nice extras, earning the release a much-needed extra point: Director Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Video Storyboards, Making of..., Recording the Score, Making the Monsters, and the short film - Teen Massacre.


Ty Power

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