Movie Review: 'Monster Brawl'


A smart and seasoned horror fan knows not to "demand" much from a low-budget horror/comedy mash-up. Generally if a stupidly broad monster movie offers at least a few chuckles or, heaven forbid, some semblance of affection or respect for the horror genre, there's a good reason we'll find something nice to say. Horror and comedy go together pretty darn well, in theory, but it disappoints me to say that the Canadian export known as Monster Brawl is about as grating, pointless, and witless as "professional" movies come.

The premise, which may actually sound slightly funny on paper, is that eight of pop culture's biggest beasts have gathered together for a wrestling tournament. That doesn't sound all that funny? You're right. The movie's even worse. Written and directed by Jesse Cook (he's a producer on Exit Humanity, which is an infinitely better genre film from Canada), Monster Brawl is not so much a movie as it is a mirthless and virtually painful collection of comedy sketches. It's not just that this is low-end amateur hour stuff; it's mainly that you can only produce something this bad when you're simply not doing your job. 

The blueprint is this: Dave Foley and Art Hindle scream, mug for the camera, and read their lines from cue cards as a pair of sportscasters. It hurts to even recall this stuff. Then we jump over to an origin story, of sorts, for each of the creatures: Frankenstein's Monster, Werewolf, Cyclops, Lady Vampire, Mummy, Zombie Man, Swamp Gut, and Witch Bitch ... laughing yet? Let's hope so, because that's about as funny as this stuff gets. The puns feel like they were written by a bored 9-year-old, and they just don't stop. Then more of Dave Foley's on-again, off-again, always-loud Howard Cosell impression, two more terrible shorts about how the mummy does pull-ups and the lady vampire goes jogging, and then another faux wrestling match between two goofballs in shoddy Halloween costumes. 

Amidst all the horrible banter between Foley and Hindle, a truly horrific "performance" by shrieking announcer Jimmy Hart, and the Z-grade skits about monsters preparing for a wrestling tournament, we get the main event(s): the actual wrestling. Hoo boy. One can only assume that Monster Brawlwas made for wrestling geeks first and horror freaks a far distant second, but there's no reason the comedy has to be so limp, lethargic, and desperate. It doesn't help that Monster Brawl has backyard-level production values, virtually no screenplay to speak of, and literally nothing in the way of narrative. It's a cheap, cynical little project that was slapped together because wrestling and horror have lots of fans, and because even a truly worthless film like this can still look enticing when packaged inside of a slick DVD case.

Don't fall for it.