What I'm Watching: Monster Brawl
Now this...this is an itneresting one.
Monster Brawl is a little low budget piece of movie from Canada. The general concept is a series of playoff style, no holds barred, zero rules wrestling matches between some of the greatest monsters of all time.
OF ALL TIME!
Which all that? Sounds awesome. Sadly, the final product is not quite what I would have wanted. The movie isn't really any more than what I just described. Seriously. There is no story here. ZERO story. It is literally like you tuned in one night to WCW, and instead got Monster Brawl. And even professional wrestling has more story behind it, IMO.
The best parts of the movie are the little vignettes they show about the monster's backstory and prepping for the fight. That was some cool stuff, and made it a little more than just a straight up parody of a wrestling program. But they are few and far between.
So, this is really a 90 minute, live action version of MTV's old claymation show, Celebrity Deathmatch. And even they used recognisable characters. There is too much generic stuff here. The only real 'name' is Frankenstein's Monster. I want to see Dracula, not "Lady Vampire". Although the amalgamation of all the swamp monsters into Swamp Gut, which is also a nice homage to the large wrestlers, was nifty.
The fighting was decent, but nothing to write home about, and I can't help but ponder if there was more of a budget if more couldn't have been done. The gore is nice though. There are some great low budget effects that are quite effective. But for something that should be a no holds barred, fight to the death, all the moves felt too methodical, too thought out. It needed some more speed and force to it.
There IS some cool stuff here. The gore, like I said. The writing in the dialogue is nice, and has some great moments from the commentators, played by Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall and Newsradio, and Art Hindle. The movie also brings in wrestling icon Jimmy Hart to serve as an announcer, and he is brilliant. If you've ever seen him, you know exactly what to expect, since he is playing himself. And he's good at that!
Oh, and Kevin Nash as a slightly crazy general who brings a zombie to a vampire fight...he steals the show. Or at least he steals what little Jimmy Hart left behind. The movie builds him up to a really awesome place, but then fails to deliver on that promise, sadly. Another bit of awesome that ends in a wasted opportunity.
If there had been a story, something to hang the fights on, this might have been an amazing low budget gem. But as it is, it is way more WWE Smackdown than Bloodsport, and I wanted the latter. It's good for what it is, and nails the right tone and feel of a wrestling match, but it's really not what I wanted. Fans more into wrestling, and wanting a twist on that formula might get more out of this than I did.
It's an okay way to kill 90 minutes, with some good dialogue and characters, but it's just so empty, otherwise. I wouldn't go rushing out to find this, but I wouldn't tell fans of monsters and fighting, and this site, to stay away from it. There's something here, it just wasn't for me.
If there had been some more recognisable monsters, more story, better action...this would have been something special. But, it didn't.
Such a shame.
Still, it's a little better than Clown Hunt.