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"Monsters" Satan in the Suburbs (1989)

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The devil went down to suburbia...

2/10
Author: Allexander Lyons (allexand1@comcast.net) from United States
29 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Harried single mother Xantipe Finch is overworked and struggling to make ends meet. She is eventually offered assistance from a man who's not exactly the answer to her prayers...

"Satan In the Suburbs" is another comedic entry in the Monsters canon. While Monsters has shown in the past and would continue to show that it could tickle your funny bone when it wanted to, this episode fails miserably in that respect.

First off, this is clearly another monster-less episode. It tries to make up for this by showing Chris Noth and Deborah Strang in monster makeup for five seconds, but it's too little too late. I would have to say this is, hands-down, Chris Noth's worst performance ever. He's not funny, charming, or scary. Thank goodness he had "Law and Order" to improve otherwise Carrie Bradshaw would have never given him the time of day. Deborah Strang is a little better, but not by much.

Despite the title, Chris Noth is not really playing the true prince of darkness. It's made clear that he's just some lackey who wants Xantipe to make his memoirs a success so he can get out of hell. Along the way, he grants demonic powers to her and her son. I can't really understand what the point of this was though. She then threatens to tell on him to the big boss man in an even sillier scene. All of this culminates in a predictable and hokey ending.

I would skip this one unless you're just a huge fan of Chris Noth and want to see some of his humble beginnings.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Terrible Monsters episode.

2/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
15 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Monsters: Satan in the Suburbs is set in New York where failed writer Xantipe Finch (Deborah Strang) owes lots of money & can barely feed here young son Marty (Danny Gerard). One day a devil named Clancy (Chris Noth) ask's her for help in writing his memoirs & making it a best-seller, Clancy offers Xantipe all sorts of incentives but to accept anything from a devil means you become one & Xantipe doesn't want herself or her son to be devil's...

Episode twenty two from season one of Monsters this originally aired in the US during May 1989, directed by Warner Shook one has to say that Satan in the Suburbs is without doubt the worst episode of Monster thus far & is probably the worst episode of the entire show across it's three seasons. The silly whimsical fantasy based plot seems far more suited to Tales from the Darkside (1984-1988) with it's bizarre plot about a devil trying to persuade a women to write a book than Monsters which generally is far more horror orientated & by default far better in my opinion. Hopefully Satan in the Suburbs is a one off, the one rotten apple in the barrel as it were. Also even though it says on the IMDb that the devil is involved it's not, the devil who runs hell is never seen & it's just some sort of devil minion that looks like a normal guy in a woolly red jumper. Scary. There's also some moralistic nonsense about living life properly & earning what you have rather than just being given it but you probably don't want to know about that & the sickly happy ending doesn't help matters either. Look, this is terrible & there are far too many great episodes of Monsters to be wasting your time with Satan in the Suburbs.

The majority of Satan in the Suburbs is played out like some oddball drama & doesn't resemble anything even approaching horror. Most episodes of Monsters have some sort of monster or creature & most of the running time it's just some guy in a red jumper but when he gets angry towards the end he changes into a ugly demon creature that looks alright & is the only reason I'll give this episode two stars out of ten rather than one. This episode looks incredibly cheap with just one set, three actor's & no special effects apart from a latex demon mask for one shot, maybe the makers of Monsters had to save money on one episode & this was it. The cast are alright with Chris Noth gaining fame with his subsequent roles on Law & Order & the awful (words cannot describe just how much I hate it) Sex and the City TV show & films.

Satan in the Suburbs is a really bad episode of Monsters that feels different to the rest of the season & definitely feels like an unused script from the same production companies earlier anthology show Tales from the Darkside which is not a good thing. One to forget & ignore the reruns.

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