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Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
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Reviews & Ratings for
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

The Black Heart Beats Again

8/10
Author: Mart Sander from www.martsander.com
29 March 2008

What is the best anger management program for someone who has witnessed his family slain in one's childhood by a hideous monster and has blamed himself for not having been able to do something to save them? Meditation? Yoga? Pilates? Yolates? Gay exercise videos? Wrong: it's professional monster slaying. The bottled up emotions that might complicate everyday life can be used effectively to annihilate various monsters and thusly to achieve great therapeutic effect combined with social beneficence.

That's The Monster Slayer in a nutshell. It's a campy, smooth old-school gore-fest, but it's well executed and acted in spite of the fact that the cup of the budget runneth not over. Good old Robert Englund delivers a tour de force over the top charleslaughtonian performance which is a delight. Rachel Skarsten is a perfectly nasty Barbie bitch from hell. Her high-pitched whining scene in the car is a total blast. Now the hero, Trevor Matthews, is someone to watch with attention. Methinks stardom might come knocking on the door any day soon.

A very nice 1980s style (i.e. trendy) flick makes a great 1,5 hour entertainment if it's not Hamlet you're really craving for.

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31 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A fantastic throwback to 50's horror and Army of Darkness.

8/10
Author: dudeamis from United States
24 September 2008

Sometimes you see a movie at the video store and you decided to take a chance on it, usually you're stuck with a bad movie and out a couple bucks, not the case with Monster Slayer.

Jack seems to be a fairly regular guy, working a thankless job and dating a whiny college girl. But Jack is not a regular guy, when he was a kid he witnessed a terrible tragedy, a tragedy he blames himself for and that fuels his episodes of rage. While doing a job for his science teacher, Professor Crowley (Robert Englund), Jack unintentionally awakens an ancient evil. Soon his entire science class is in mortal danger.

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is a slow building monster movie, that really allows the character of Jack to be explored before the crap hits the fan. After the opening scene we don't see a monster for about 2/3 of the movie. But that's fine because the last third makes up for it.

Jack Brooks also does something rarely seen today, effective use of prosthetics. Instead of relying on cheesy cgi like this weeks Sci-Fi original, this movie uses well made monster make up to create realistic hell spawn.

The acting is fantastic for a movie of this level, Trevor Matthews does a fantastic job as the hero. Rachel Skarsten is terrifically annoying and James A. Woods plays the stereotypical wanna be philosopher college kid who smokes too much weed, perfectly.

While this movie is made in the spirit of Army of Darkness, you will not confuse the two movies. Jack Brooks is much more serious, but not too serious. Jack Brooks doesn't throw out classic one liners, or is too cocky for his own good. Jack is just a guy with a lot of anger issues who steps up when he's needed the most.

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26 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Like the good old days of popcorn and horror!!!

8/10
Author: orochiklan from Chile
28 September 2008

Forget the past review, this is one hell of a movie!!! I'm so happy to see stuff like this or Hatchet, cause they have the feeling of the golden age of gore horror funny films... remember brain damage or house and stuff like that? just friends popcorn and a bad ass funny over the top film! ...its so nice to see some good old style horror films, now that horror is so conservative, full of ghost dramatic stories or remakes. And above all that we have one of the modern classic actors of the genre, Mr Englund. I think there will be a lot of people who will find this film bad or something, but to that people, please rent or buy another Asian Hollywood remake, drama/ghosts from spain or a new Texas chainsaw clone. For all of you who enjoy : basket case, braindead, brain damage, house and evil dead, this will be a pleasure to watch.Thanks to the people behind this film, this was one hell of a ride!!! truly thanks!! and I'm looking forward for a part II

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21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

So much fun!

9/10
Author: whammy666 from United States
8 October 2008

This is one of the most fun horror movies I have seen all year. It is pretty original (although, in one scene a bit similar to Jason Goes to Hell), has good acting, nice gore/slime, and Robert Englund! What more would a fan want? The comedy is funny, and Jack is a character you want to root for in the end. The only flaw really, is that it does take a long time to get into the action. But up until then, it is still extremely entertaining, and pretty funny. It i a great homage to b-rated monster films from the 50's, and is a must for any horror fan. The cinemagoraphy is creative in parts, and the effects are really good. Watch this now!

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Just Better than Average

6/10
Author: Scars_Remain from United States
13 October 2008

This movie was fun and entertaining but I think people are getting a little ahead of themselves in some of these reviews. It's not the greatest modern horror film or even the greatest horror film of the year. It's just mindless fun. Try not to take it as anything more than that and you should like it.

The acting is pretty bad but we can't really expect much, I suppose. However, Robert Englund was pretty good. The story is an interesting idea but I think it takes too long to get going, about a full hour and then we're left with about 15 minutes of actual action. Normally I like slow moving films but not when I'm promised a "fun" movie.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Great Fun.

9/10
Author: x_thebrokenvow_x from United States
17 October 2008

i've heard lots of people go back and forth about this flick, so I decided to pick it up. I must say, I was EXTREMELY impressed. Newcomer Trevor Matthews (Jack Brooks) has the potential to be the next Bruce Campbell. I think the plot and action sequences, while they've been done before (for the most part), were still done in an original way. The best part of this film would be the brilliant performance of horror vet Robert Englund.

This film is honestly a refreshing step back in to the glory of days of mid-80's gore. It is definitely in the same vein of modern gems such as Feast, and is even comparable to solidified classics such as Evil Dead, and Dead Alive.

All-in-all, I highly recommend this flick to anyone who wants to have some fun, and ACTUALLY be entertained while watching a movie.

I hope the sequel gets made soon.

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18 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Mad, Mad Monster Party!

7/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
6 April 2008

The ambitions of director Jon Knautz and his entire cast & crew were obviously limited, but nevertheless admirable. All they ever intended to do was bring homage to the glorious horror decade of the 80's and make a nonsensical movie with clichéd themes, stereotypical characters and over-the-top gooey make-up effects reminiscent to the movies the young filmmakers grew up with, like "The Evil Dead" and "Demons". I saw this film at the Belgian Fantasy Film Festival, were it fulfilled the role of ideal midnight movie crowd-pleaser. "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer" offers plenty of splatter, absurdly crude humor, identifiable anti-hero characters, silly story lines and – last not least – Robert Englund himself in another terrific supportive B-role. Jack Brooks is an ordinary twenty-something man, working as a plumber during the day and attending chemistry classes in the evening in order to reach a more valuable certificate. He suffers from one major problem, though. Ever since he helplessly witnessed his family getting butchered by a forest monster as a child, Jack can't control his anger and regularly suffers from aggressive outbursts. When his teacher, Professor Crowley, gradually transforms into a monstrous entity after a plumbing job gone awry, Jack comes to realize the monster slaying business is exactly the type of anger management he needed. "Monster Slayer" is pretty weak in the plotting department, as you can see, but this widely gets compensated by the enthusiast spirit and determination of everybody involved in the production. The film starts off a little slow and hesitant, but once Prof Crowley starts undergoing his transformation, there's no more stopping the camp and cheese! You can clearly notice how genre veteran Robert Englund enjoyed helping out the young crew and the make-up department seemingly just received a carte-blanche. The monster designs and demonic grimaces are delightfully cheesy and gross, just like they were in the 1980's, and the film constantly remains comical and light-headed in spite of the gory bloodshed. Trevor Matthews is terrific as the reluctant Bruce "Ash" Campbell typed horror Savior and he receives good support from various other young and (still) unknown players. "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer" is a totally unpretentious and entertaining throwback to B-cinema, and even though it'll never be regarded as a classic, it's warmly recommended viewing for all fans of the genre.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

An over-rated mostly dragged out film

Author: Mikel3 from U.S.A.
6 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I finally saw 'Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer' last night on the Chiller channel off Direct TV. Frankly, I was disappointed in the film It had good reviews at the IMDb and I've read positive comments on it in the past. I was expecting more. The first three quarters (maybe more) of the film dragged out with pointless scenes to waste time, Yes, there were occasional funny scenes like the ones with the old guy working in the hardware store. But for every funny scene there were numerous boring scenes. I could have done without the science teacher vomiting on the blackboard then smearing it around. Not funny, just disgusting and dumb. The monster that the science professor morphed into was pretty weird, I will say that much. It reminded me of a creature from the much superior film 'Slither'. I did like when Jack FINALLY started kicking some monster butt. But that didn't happen till the last ten or fifteen minutes of the dragged out film. To late to save the rest of the movie. And I hated the scenes where the poor pet dogs were eaten. That was totally unnecessary. Why is it that in most films where a pet dog or cat appears, something bad ends up happening to them.

Anyway, I did not care for the film over all. It might have made a good 20 minute episode on the old 'Monsters' TV series or something like that, as a full length feature it was a waste of my time.

Just my opinion, but I wish I had skipped this one.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A let down actually

5/10
Author: smccar77 from Chicago, United States
1 March 2011

"Jack Brooks Monster Slayer," is not a good movie. In fact, it is a big letdown. While the production quality and tongue in cheek use of rubber costumes reflects the moderately large budget, the story itself is both flawed and boring. The culprit of the failings is found in the assumptions made by the film makers. By focusing on monster creation process, the film neglects important character development and playful action. Overall, this is a film to be missed. Admittedly, "JBMS," will strike a chord with some nostalgia buffs; yet, as a film, this is little more than a mediocre rehash of genre clichés.

The downfall of this film is two assumptions. First, the makers assume that showing the history and creation of the monster is both necessary and amusing. Second, supplying detail to the above mentioned monster ontology is assumed to also be necessary and interesting. Neither assumption is wrong, per se. The execution in this film, however, is outright boring. An extended example may help to clarify. Cooking shows run a tenuous line. Watching the act of creation is interesting and informative. Detailing every action that goes into dish preparation is dull. A cooking program needs to find a balance between informative exposition and potentially dull but important detail. The answer seems to be that every part of a cooking show is a mix of technique and technique explanation. As such, breaking down an onion is shown because it informs on knife technique in practice and also illustrates the benefits of uniform piece size in cooking. Peeling a potato or boiling water is not shown because they are important techniques that benefit little from being demonstrated. The point is that all elements of the process are evaluated on the levels of understanding that are conveyable. The same is true for the horror film. A background to the protagonist and antagonist is appreciated as long as it sets the current context as well as developing the actual characters. "JBMS," provides a great amount of detail concerning how the main monster is formed. The slow transition from human to demon is the body of the film. Choosing this transition as the focal point of the story leads to a ninety minute film; a ninety minute film that could very easily have been forty minutes. Furthermore, the added detail affords no real development. To the contrary, the monster development is the cinematic equivalent to watching a trained chef peel a potato. Essentially, this film would have benefited from a focus on devious monster action and not hum drum monster ontology.

The above stated, the film is not a total loss. The characters are likable enough, and Robert Englund clearly enjoyed this production. The use of rubber suits as opposed to CGI is a welcome throwback to the creature films of the eighties and before. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that these benefits do not come near enough to balancing out the dry, elongated, boring story telling. This film is worth a miss. I am loathe to recommend this movie even to the horror/comedy buff. There are a great many more interesting and better told stories that are actually worthy of one's time.

On a personal note, I will mention this film to friends as a real Turkey. Unfortunately, this will almost guarantee that it is seen by at least one more person. Should you feel the need to hunt this film down, the movie is best paired with low expectations and somewhat sloppy drunkenness.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A horrible disappointment

3/10
Author: (dargaard) from Finland
20 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I picked up this title from DVD sales, mostly because of the fun and inviting cover, and like I usually do, I check from my mobile what scores movies have gotten before I buy a totally unknown title.

I thought that a 6.2/10 (then) could be an OK for a horror/comedy and the age limit was 18 (maximum in my country) so how could this go wrong? Let me count the ways...

First of all, halfway through the film I actually had to check had somebody switched a cheesy teenage flick to my player, or was this the wrong DVD in the first place. It takes forever for the plot to get any speed. You mostly get to watch a troubled manic depressive guy arguing with his girlfriend and visiting a shrink, and that's about it. And when we finally get to the action part, I was ready to cry. The advertising titles suggested that this is extremely funny and fun to watch. The only even remotely funny thing about it was David Fox as the old timer veteran in the plumbing store. If you watch the last 10 minutes of the movie, you won't miss anything.

Secondly, the acting by Trevor Matthews as the protagonist is just so awkward. It's like he's wearing a ear piece and he's listening two directors shouting instructions to him at the same time. Robert Englund takes whatever there is left to save, but even he seems to be confused of what they wanted him to do or act.

If this were a pilot episode to some half-baked TV-series that involved slaying monsters and occasional drama I could understand, but even then any episode of Charmed or Buffy would sweep the floor with this piece.

The movie is everything but funny, and mostly awkward. The action is basically one scene at the end, otherwise it's just unbelievably boring. Do not waste your time or money on this unless you have to own every movie of this genre ever made. And even then I'm not if the genre is correctly defined.

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