Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thoughts on the film: Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer.

Tonight Beefcake and I got caught up watching Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer on Syfy. Now, anytime you watch a movie on Syfy you know what you're getting - awesomeness. Complete and total awesomeness. Personally I'm always looking for a film to equal the greatness that is Zombie Strippers. I'm not even being sarcastic about Zombie Strippers. I love that goddamn movie.

This is not Zombie Strippers.

Spry plumber Jack Brooks rescues his girlfriend from some monsters who've taken over her night class, then when he hears a song that was playing when similar monsters murdered his parents, he decides to put on his tool belt and go back into the school to slay them. The actual slaying is pretty much just the last 20 minutes of the movie.

Robert Englund, who's biggest claim to fame is, of course, playing Ian in Zombie Strippers, plays the professor who wigs out and turns into the tentacled alpha monster with a giant head who will either eat you or turn you into a cross between a Klingon and the Predator. All the other actors are so excited to have a role in a real movie that they manage to scream or shriek their way through the film as loudly as possible to make sure they get screen time.

This is how you make low budget films, man. Almost every scene takes place in or around the school, and they grabbed up a name actor who doesn't cost as much as other name actors because he made his name doing movies just like this. The makeup is a lot of prosthetics, the blood is corn syrupy, the dialogue is almost nonexistent. This movie was made for about $10 and some Subway sandwiches, but here it is, running on Syfy at 10 pm on a Tuesday. I wonder how much the producer got paid for this film?

Remember that in the future, because Syfy is asking fans to create material for future films so pretty soon they won't even have to pay for scripts anymore. I look forward to more Jack Brookses.


  1. Yeah! Great fun movie - I loved it. Not sure about the Zombie Strippers though... Not sure at all!

    Cheap, fun and entertaining as hell though. That's got to be a good target when writing right?

  2. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Totally awesome movie. There's nothing like a "who gives a crap" plumber that's hellbent on killing monsters.

  3. I pretty well picked it up on DVD because it was shot locally (Ottawa, in Canada).

    I think my big problem with the movie was that very little if anything happened in the first hour+ of the movie. As you said, the monster only even really becomes something with a need of slaying within the last 30.

    (I've joked that more happened in the 50-minute making of featurette than in the first 50 minutes of the movie.)

    The end stuff in the school was good B-movie fun, but the early part of the film - character building? - was slow going. Parents killed. Check. Anger management issues. Check. Now how about getting to your core premise (the very title of the movie) and slaying some monsters? Before act 3 maybe?

    IIRC, Jack didn't even know about the monster (or his monster slaying destiny) until thereabout act 3 meaning he had no active goal of slaying it until then, nor was the monster specifically singling him out and being an obstacle to some other character goal.

    I've met the writer/actor/producer plus others from Brookstreet and it's interesting to note that swear by "Save the Cat". Which I guess shows that no structure formula can guarantee good story.

    The budget for the movie, was in the 1.2 million range (though I've also heard 2 million). All angel investment (read: family money). It's good to have connections.


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