What I'm Watching: Love in the Time of Monsters
Oops, I meant to review this one sooner, but thanks to an internet outage, followed by me being lazy, then wanting to rewatch the movie first, it got delayed and delayed.
But here I am, with my review of Love in the Time of Monsters!
There are several reasons why you should watch this movie:
- An electrified, beastified, rage monster Kane Hodder in a Bigfoot costume.
- Doug Jones in an Abraham Lincoln costume with a really cheap felt beard.
- Zombie squirrels.
At this point, I could end the review. There is nothing you need to know beyond what I've just said. But let me get more into the details anyways, and why this movie is so awesome.
This place is ridiculous!!
The plot revolves around a pair of sisters, who lost their father years ago in an accident at your typical roadside attraction tourist trap. We meet them in the present, on the way to yet another rural getaway location, a tourist getaway with a heavy Americana theme, and tours through the woods to meet Bigfoots. Which are actually guys dressed up in suits to give the visitors some entertainment and scares. This is where Kane Hodder comes in.
Kane and a few others do their Bigfoot thing, and one of them is the fiance of one of the girls, Carla. She's dragging her sister Marla along so they can celebrate the engagement, and surprise the fiance, because he doesn't know his supervisor went to college with the sisters.
Before the celebrating can commence though, the Bigfoot Boys get in an argument and land in the river, which unfortunately has been tainted with chemicals being dumped in the middle of nowhere. This transforms the Bigfoot Boys into nearly unkillable rage monster zombies. They're not REALLY undead, but they fit the bill in almost all respects.
So the Bigfeet wreak havoc upon the place, killing people left and right, and the girls, and other survivors holed up in Uncle Slavko's must find a way to survive or stop the monsters.
Kid, I'm an angry old man who lives in a shack, in the woods. I do not have a phone.
Because this movie is filled with so many colourful, multilayered characters that may be largely done for humour and jokes, it also makes the discussions very lively and spirited, with these strange people actually having very good reasons for not going after the Bigfoot Boys, without going over the top. The characters are silly, but their thought processes are somehow grounded.
The movie is a near perfect blend of darkness, comedy, and strangeness. It's very grim at times, but never takes itself so seriously that someone being ripped apart can't be met with an eyeroll at the absurdity of what's going on.
The girls eventually lead the charge against the monsters, trying to find a way to counteract the chemicals, because Carla kinda wants her fiance back and not a rage monster. Once Marla stops trying to bang every guy at the bar, she eventually comes around too, and the pair drag the rest of the cast kicking and screaming into doing the right thing.
Since when is this a democracy?? Since AMERICA!
And then there's a dance number. Just when you think the movie is already plenty strange, they toss in a dance number as a means to distract the Bigfoot Boys with loud noise and lights and motion, while everyone tries to recover a sample of water to get all science up in here.
Science that is done by the always amazing Doug Jones. In a very terrible Abraham Lincoln beard made of felt. We so rarely get to see Doug out of costume (Or away from CGI), but he is amazing here, with great comedic chops, and his growing frustration at no one else really getting the science kills me.
And just as you're sure that no, the movie cannot get any more absurd after bad costumes, silly presmises, wacky characters that feel like they a cartoon at times...we get zombie squirrels.
Hells, we get an entire zombie forest; squirrels, birds, TROUT, mouse...you name it, it's probably coming to chew your face off or make an homage to "Alien".
The final attack may be the single greatest thing I've ever seen for its sheer level of WTF. Not only is there no end of hilariously bad puppetry (Deliberately so, and wonderfully so), but Marla being JUST SO VERY MUCH DONE with this entire movie is my single favourite moment in the entire movie. I cheered. My only regret is that it wasn't long enough of a fight.
So yeah, this movie starts out with a simple premise, drops it into the forest of bizarre characters, turns the strangeness up to 13, and despite being a horror comedy, actually manages to have a LOT of heart. The title isn't just a clever play on other movie titles. Love amongst many of the characters and that love persevering (Or failing utterly) is at the very core of this movie's story. The love of the sisters, the love Carla has for her fiance, Marla clearly wanting to find love of SOME sort, the love affair that Slavko's wife once had with the hunter in the woods forever looking for the real Bigfoot, and how THAT plays a central role to the entire plot...
Love in the Time of Monsters has a lot of laughs, a lot of gross stuff, and a lot of heart and charm. I didn't go in knowing much about the movie, except for if I liked Zombeavers, I should like this, and that assumption was NOT wrong. This is EXACTLY the kind of movie we love here at Trisk. It's not really in the 'so bad it's good' category, but while it does have a lot of cheese, it's knowingly so, and they went in having a lot of fun. This is a good movie done in a throwback style in some ways, using the style of some cheaper movies for their own purposes, and telling a wildly entertaining, charming, funny, and bloody good story. I absolutely loved this movie. One of my highest recommendations for something that is big, silly fun.
We love family vacation!!