June 12, 2012
Jesse T. Cook
Dave Foley as Buzz Chambers
Art Hindle as Sasquatch Sid Tucker
Robert Maillet as Frankenstein
Kevin Nash as Colonel Crookshank
Jason David Brown as Cyclops/Swamp Gut/Cyril Haggard
Rj Skinner as Werewolf/Mummy
Rico Montana as Zombie Man
Holly Letkeman as Witch Bitch
Kelly Couture as Lady Vampire
There are some films that you really hope are going to be great and quirky, but instead turn out to be a disaster that steals 90 minutes or so from your life and never gives it back.Monster Brawl seemed for a while that it was going to be one of them. On it’s face an ultimate fighting film with horror monsters battling to the death is very intriguing – even more so than ‘Bum Fights’. With so many ways such a film can go wrong, however, it wasn’t terribly surprising when the cheese factor of the stupid fight promoter and announcers were so far out of the realm of reasonable that the film seemed destined to hurl itself over a cliff of doom and sadness. But, What IS surprising is how this ‘little film that could’ snaps back to be really fun and become 90 minutes well spent indeed.
The set up is the fighting event of the century with monsters from all over competing for the title of Ultimate Fighter (or some such title… I don’t remember specifically). The location is an abandoned and cursed graveyard, and the bouts will be televised via pay-per-view from this secret location for all to enjoy. Each monster, including a Cyclops, Witch, Vampire, Wolfman, Frankenstein, Swamp Thing and a Zombie, has their own back-story and motivations for participating in this extravaganza, and they are good ones… they have to be because each match-up will result in one of the fighters ending their time on this earth. Since most of them are technically dead already anyway, we are talking complete destruction rather than a simple case of the fatalities. Who will win, who will win? And, what are the ramifications of holding such an event at a cursed site in the first place?
Monster Brawl is really fun, once you get past all of the goofiness in the beginning. There is one character named Buzz Chambers (Dave Foley) who, I guess, is some kind of promoter or other personality. I haven’t watched enough WWW or Ultimate Fighting to know about all of the components in these kinds of presentations, so maybe his presence is important for realism – I just found him stupid and annoying, and he almost prompted the “eject” button being pressed and the film being written off as a joke. Luckily the beginning was so stupid and boring that I went about doing other tasks while the film played in the background, because if I had abandoned the effort altogether the great fights and monster back-stories would have been missed.
There are no rules in these fights (well, they stop the witch when she kicks Cyclops in the nards – yes, Cyclops have nards just like werewolves. See Monster Squad for details) so I guess there are some rules, but that seems to be the only one enforced. So, the special killing powers many of them have are fair game in these fights, adding some cool twists to the action. The whole concept of “who would win” between one monster and another has been discussed and pondered many times over the decades by horror freaks everywhere, and the rise of Ultimate Fighting opens the door to seeing this in practice, hence the allure of Monster Brawl.
This film is pure entertainment, and nothing else (just in case you were looking for something meaningful). That is absolutely okay, and I guess to be expected, but I just wanted to write that down directly. Interestingly though, the entertainment-only qualities of this feature do not mean that there isn’t character development, plot twists, sub-plots and all kinds of fun a goofy drama associated with the Main Event.
Monster Brawl is worth watching and a bunch of fun, in fact I think I’m going to play my copy in the background during my next Halloween party. There is something about it that will draw you in in spite of yourself.
Monster Brawl pits monsters of every type, from Frankenstein to The Werewolf, a Witch and a Zombie, in Ultimate Fighting Battles to the Death.