After witnessing the brutal murder of his family when he was just a young boy, Jack Brooks is — left with an unquenchable fury. Now working as a plumber, Jack attempts to fix his Professor s — plumbing, only to unknowingly a... more »wake an ancient evil. Prof. Crowley becomes possessed and
starts a slow, gruesome transformation into the depths of evil. Only then does Jack realize that
he can t run from his past, and quickly discovers the true purpose of his inner rage.« less
Ruth S. from PLANTSVILLE, CT Reviewed on 3/21/2010...
great Saturday popcorn eating laugh at the characters movie
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Melissa B. (rxrcds) Reviewed on 11/16/2008...
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is a cheesy good time and fabulous throwback to 80s horror films. Robert Englund is amazing in this as it's always nice to see him as characters other than Freddy Krueger. The large majority of the film is character development with getting to know Jack and seeing the mutation of Robert Englund's character. The monster slayage is only for about the last 15 minutes of the film, but hopefully, they will consider a second installment with a bit more action.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jack Brooks isn't the only one who needs a counsellor, I'm c
Karen Shaub | the inner reaches of the outer limits | 10/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps if I had stumbled over this film as a rental first instead of buying it outright sight unseen, brand new at Best Buy I might feel more kindly disposed towards it. "WTF?" you are no doubt saying at this point. "You've given it 4 stars and you're saying that you don't like the film?" Well yeah, kinda sorta. I made the mistake of buying it on impulse based on the rave reviews on the cover, the blurb on the back, and some cover art that made it look like the greatest thing since RE-ANIMATOR, EVIL DEAD 2, and ARMY OF DARKNESS. And I can't afford to throw my money away like that, but I took the chance anyway. Needless to say the film didn't deliver what I had been expecting/hoping for, which was something along the lines of a story built around a character like the one John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin from CHEERS) played in HOUSE 2. You know, the electrician who is also an "adventurer" on the side? He takes one look inside the walls of the house and drawls matter of factly, "Yeah, it looks like you have some sort of alternate universe in there." Of course I know better than to go into any film with preconceived notions like that, but in this case my mind just ran away with me and I couldn't help it.
The film stars Robert Englund in one of his best performances in ages as a night school science teacher, Professor Crowley, who has in his class our title character Jack Brooks. Now Jack (played by Trevor Mathews who also co-wrote the story on which the screenplay is based) is just loaded with History. It seems at a very tender age he witnessed his whole family's slaughter at the claws and fangs of some sort of man/monster while they were out camping in the woods. The only thing that saved little Jack's life was the fact that he ran. Running wound up taking control of the rest of his life. He ran from all of the important things in life only to have his pent up rage at his own perceived cowardice erupt at unexpected moments. Anyhoo, one night after class the kindly professor asks Jack (a plumber by trade) if he could possibly stop by his house and help him with a problem he's having with his pipes. (Get your minds out of the gutter, that's not the kind of pipes I meant.) Jack's got nothing better to do, so that very night he checks it out. It seems simple enough at first, but isn't that the way it is with every plumbing problem? Before you know it all matter of disgusting matter is hitting the fan and Jack has to order a new gasket and come back in a couple of days. But by then it will be too late! For no sooner has he left than than a noxious ooze seeps from the ground and its fumes start turn the sweet ol' professor into a meat craving monster!
This flick has an awful lot going for it. For one thing there is (as far as I can tell) absolutely no CGI anywhere! Everything is done the good old fashioned way--with prosthetics, puppets, and men in monster suits. Professor Crowley literally erupts into a tentacled creature from hell that sucks the life out its victims and turns them into flesh eating beasts themselves. MONSTER SLAYER is, as it claims to be, a tribute to some of the best flicks from the 1980s, but yet it just doesn't do it for me. The humor it claims to have simply isn't there for one thing, and for me that is a very, very big point indeed. The 1980s was the Golden Age of horror comedy and a large part of the appeal of those flix WAS the humor, whether it was the droll wit of RE-ANIMATOR or the "splat-shtick" approach of Sam Raimi in EVIL DEAD 2. And what's worse JACK BROOKS is a very bland hero! I think the role practically screams for someone who can portray an ordinary everyday man and then rip away all that blandness and channel the comic book spirit of Bruce Campbell when the situation calls for it!
I don't know, I just don't know. Perhaps when I watch this film again in a few months all the wonderful parts, the old school effects and so forth, will triumph over my disappointment. That's why I've given it 4 stars instead of 3. Perhaps they intend to make a series out of this character. That has some great possibilities. Oh no! Don't start thinking about what COULD be again, it will only lead to disappointment.
This "Monster Slayer" Delivers Unexpected Suspense And Great
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 10/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As someone who has watched countless "bad" horror movies through the years (many DVDs packaged by Troma and Anchor Bay leap straight to mind), I've come to know what to expect. Just because they're "bad" doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable on some level--they usually play as dumb fun. But, there is a certain laziness inherent in many of these films. It's as if everyone involved knows they are making a stinker, so they go for the cheap laughs and gratuitous gore. They don't take themselves seriously, so the scripts and the actors can be groan-worthy. What do you think I expected from "Jack Brooks Monster Slayer?" (Yes, Anchor Bay). I expected a whole lot less than this nifty little film delivered.
Yes, the plot is a bit silly. (I won't even go into it, the title of the film is sufficient). Yes, the creatures are superficially more laughable than scary. Accepting these limitations, however, "Monster Slayer" was a big surprise. The biggest surprise was in the performances. This film is filled with believable actors--most noteworthy being Trevor Matthews. Matthews, as plumber Jack Brooks, delights with a deadpan humor and actual character development. Brooks has a bit of an anger management problem, and Matthews nails the intensity to give early scenes a real impact. When he kicks into hero mode, I was right there with him.
The film builds to a climax involving a dozen characters trapped within a high school, and this is done with genuine suspense. The score is terrific and adds to the drama. In this half of the film, in particular, the screenplay excellently balances silliness and horror. I laughed when appropriate, but the film also delivered effective action sequences and a sense of real danger. I am genuinely surprised to be recommending "Monster Slayer," but I most certainly am--particularly if you're a fan of the genre. So give this unassuming film a try. And I hope to see Matthews again, I see real breakout potential! KGHarris 10/08."
Move over Van Helsing, You've been Replaced!!!!!
Captain Insanity | NY | 02/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Do you hate CGI?? Jack Brooks does. Do you miss the days of corn syrup, latex, and paper-mache'?? Jack Brooks sure does. Not only is Jack Brooks whipping monster arse, cracking their jaws in half & taking their ugly names, but he's doing it old-school style. Jack Brooks likes the old-school. Plenty of monsters there. Plenty of monsters, but not 1 Computer Generated Image in sight. But......(there's always a but) Jack Brooks has a bit of an anger problem. One he's having trouble controling. Ok so it's a major anger problem. But can you blame the guy?!?! His family was killed by a forest troll when he was just a boy. A helpless boy who stood by unable to help. Now Jack Brooks has a psychiatrist. A partiularly useless one. One who might need to get punched in the face. And then there's school to worry about too. Which is hard enough in itself, without having to deal with a teacher mutating into Krueger The Hutt. Yeah it's a hard life for Jack Brooks, but a monster slayers gotta do what a monster slayers gotta do.
Ok seriously though, You're gonna love this movie. It has excellent character development brought to life by a great cast. It has barrels of black-comedy laughs. And lots of Non-CGI monsters. (remember those??) I went into this one thinking it was going to be as lame as a paralyzed sloth. But boy was I pleasantly suprised!!! You've made me a believer Jack. Now I'd like to see Mr. Brooks take on monsters that exist in other movies. Tremors, Critters, Vampires, Sleepwalkers, whatever!!
MORAL OF THE STORY: So many monsters. So little time. OR Anger Management is the ability to slay 2 monsters at once."
Highly entertaining throwback to the 80s
Dave. K | Staten Island, Ny | 11/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER
**** Out of 5
Release Date- August 15th, 2008
Running Time- 85-Minutes
Screenplay- John Ainslie & Jon Knautz
Director- Jon Knautz
Starring- Trevor Matthews, Rachel Skarsten, Daniel Kash, Ashley Bryant, David Fox and Robert Englund as Professor Gordon Crowley
Going into Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer I had rather low expectations, while the movie looked fairly decent these low budget movies these days are very much hit or miss unlike days of past when these movies were often the strongest the horror genre had. But I have to say Jack Brooks was actually a really entertaining movie that was a fun throw back to low budget horror flicks of the 80s and the influence of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead is quite obvious, which is a good thing.
I'm not really a fan of CGI, but I can tolerate it when used a little bit, but I hate when low budget horror flicks use CGI since it almost always looks horrid. I've seen a few movies I enjoyed, but the poor CGI would lower my rating. Jack Brooks goes back to the way these movies should be made without any CGI and fans of that era should at least be pleased with that even if you don't like the movie.
The biggest complaint about the movie was the slow pace, but I disagree with that. While Jack Brooks isn't the fastest paced movie I have ever seen I thought the main character was interesting enough to keep my interest until the action kicked in. Jack Brooks may not be a perfect movie, but it is a lot of fun and an excellent throw back to the 80s. A lot of the times the filmmakers tend to try too hard and it often comes out as a mess with a good idea, but where other movies might fail I personally felt Jack Brooks pretty much got it all right.
The screenplay by John Ainslie & Jon Knautz was highly entertaining; this isn't meant to be an Oscar winning material, but it's meant to be fun and the script gets it right. The character of Jack Brooks played by Trevor Matthews is an interesting character and is fairly well developed as well. The rest of the characters aren't as interesting, but they all serve their purpose. While the script is a homage to 80s horror it never comes across as a fanboy script, which often is what ruins these movies.
Co-writer Jon Knautz makes his feature film debut and it's a movie he can be proud of. Jack Brooks is meant to simply be a fun movie and it always is just that. Like I stated earlier some have complained about the pacing being too slow, but I disagree. Even with the lack of action Knautz always keeps the movie interesting and the pacing never lags. I suppose Jack Brooks could have benefited from more action, but in the end I felt it all worked out well. The final act is a bit over the top, but works well. Even in movies not meant to be realistic sometimes it can still be too over the top, but Knautz makes it work. There isn't much suspense, but I don't think that was the goal by the director, but the action scenes is well done and the comedy aspect adds to the fun level.
The performances were fairly good with Trevor Matthews and Robert Englund being the strongest of the cast. Englund is a cult Icon due to the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street, but at times he's been limited by some poor movies, but this stands among one of his best movies in quite some time and it shows in his performance. Trevor Matthews shows some great potential and I really look forward to seeing him in other roles.
When all is said and done Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is highly entertaining, but like any movie not everyone will like it. Fans of 80s horror flicks are the main audience for this movie."