Monster! (1999) starring Tobias Mehler, Angela Keep, Brendan Cowell, David Ross Paterson, Jonathan Oldham, M. Emmet Walsh directed by John Lafia Movie Review

Monster! (1999)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Angela Keep and Tobias Mehler in Monster! (1999)

New Suburgatory's Monster-con

Lloyd Reeves (M. Emmet Walsh) is a legend in the town of New Suburgatory as it is there that he starred in a series of monster movies which each year the town pays homage to. But when a construction team start digging in the quarry where in "Sister of the Monster" they buried the monster Lloyd insists the monster from hell will return and that leads to him being put into the New Suburgatory Psychiatric Hospital where Dr. Werthers (Brandon Burke) will only let him out under the supervision of a relative which is how his grandson Travis (Tobias Mehler) arrives in town. But having Lloyd in his care is a nightmare as he is convinced the monster is coming due to the three year curse and gives Travis a lesson in surviving a 50s monster movie. But it seems Lloyd may not be as nutty as everyone thinks as Travis and Jill (Angela Keep) from the diner discover evidence of the monster.

"Monster!" is one of those movies where the idea is good but the end product doesn't quite do it justice which in this case could possibly be down to this being a made for TV comedy horror where the humour is all a bit too safe. But as I said the idea is a good one and that revolves around former movie star Lloyd Reeves believing the monster in the movies he made is real and every 3 years has resurfaced since the final movie was made with it being due to come out during the New Suburgatory movie festival. And according to Lloyd his grandson has to be the hero according to movie lore which means wearing an old 50s style Letterman Jacket, ending up with a girlfriend called Jane or Jill and plenty more.

As I said the idea is good and with it basing it self on 50s monster movies has plenty of opportunity for self referential humour. The trouble is that whilst it is full of self referential humour none of it has the energy to make you more than smile, it needed more bite. It is the same with the horror side of things as whilst it tries to pay homage to 50s horror movies it need more frights and visual gags for it to work. It is a shame as whilst some of the acting in the supporting roles is annoying the main characters are well played by Tobias Mehler and Angela Keep with M. Emmet Walsh making you smile more than most as the old 50s horror movie star.

What this all boils down to is that "Monsters!" is the sort of comedy horror which will make you smile especially if you enjoy the old creature features from the 50s. But at the same time you will find yourself feeling that it could have been so much better.