That Little Monster (1994) Poster

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Eraserhead lite
Perception_de_Ambiguity6 September 2011
It's pretty much a one-hour student art film version of 'Eraserhead' down to having the same opening scene and even a comparable production history given that the movie apparently took 3 1/2 years to shoot. It's equally trippy (for the lack of a better word) but unlike Lynch's film the plot actually is very straight forward. A father's anxiety (again, for the lack of a better word) over his newborn is replaced with a young babysitting woman's anxiety and incapability to deal with the baby of her new employers. "That little monster" refers to no other than to that baby. The movie ends with an amusing Twilight Zone-type twist which is only fitting because the title card basically used the Twilight Zone title card background. What should also be noted is the campy humor that reminded me of John Paizs' Canadian indie productions. Worth a look if you are a big 'Eraserhead' fan.
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Twilight Zone - Outer Limits fans rejoice!
cdwellers217 January 2007
If you are a lover of shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery or Monsters, this film is for you! The opening homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein is truly a bit of ingenious parody.

Mr.Bunnell certainly used the black and white medium not only to enhance the mood and flavor of the subject but to also remind the viewer of the tribute made to shows like the beloved Twilight Zone and Outer Limits series.

Unusual use of camera angles and movement of the camera itself catches one off guard. Remarkable to note is the babysitter's first entrance into the nursery. This is one of the creepiest uses of the camera I have ever seen. The camera seems to become The Blob - so to speak- and take on a life of it's own! An amazing piece of work! Although a short film, it delivers more than enough mystery, suspense and thrill to satisfy any fan of the genre. Well written and contrived with a well balanced blend of horror, science fiction and black humor.

Also as a bonus there is an amazing star cameo appearance by a now late but well remembered comedian.

The reason I didn't give the film a full 10 is due to the use of an unnecessary and perhaps too long "overture" at the beginning. Overlooking this personal point the film is well worth the viewer's time.

The bonus materials on the DVD are also very good. The Visitant is a brilliant short film shot in color. An un-nerving little piece about a father visiting his young son's grave. I jumped at least twice as the film ran it's course. Again a very well written and contrived piece of film story-telling at it's best.

The Interview with the film's creator is light-hearted and full of camp!

Hat's off to Mr Paul Bunnell, his cast and crew for a very worthwhile and entertaining DVD set.

Jim Seaburg
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"A splendiferous concoction of visual delights!"
Miss Vicki14 July 2003
I finally saw this indescribable film tonight! What a splendiferous concoction of visual delights and laughs.

I most loved and appreciated the photography/lighting, the fantastic camera angles and all the imaginatives (the surreal scenes--this is a weak description for what I'm trying to describe).

Paul Bunnell has a good feel for the camera, and how what he sees in the camera will appear to the audience, and what effect if will have.

The humour in this black comedy reminded me of Joe Dante's


Of course, I see "Eraserhead" resemblances, from the industrial drone in the beginning, to the different use of time--painfully slow, detailed and bizarre--I love them all.

I liked the composed music (the last chord came to a "resolution," but with very disturbing notes in it). The two songs sung out of the blue by the father--is this what the DVD notes mean by a Gene Autry movie? And that 20's 78rpm record--I liked it.

Was there anything I didn't like? Let me think. Oh, I have more I liked. Forry Ackerman--beautiful lighting, macabre, his delivery was quite fitting. And I like the "heroine's" acting.

Even the length was good--a real "B" film length.

Isn't that funny? I can't think of any criticism. I'm serious. I'll leave it at that.
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A great wild ride.
desertcityfilmworks19 December 2007
Paul Bunnell has concocted a wonderfully stylish and surreal movie. "That Little Monster" has tones of David Lynch, Tim Burton, Ed Wood, classic cinema, and the wonderful old Twilight Zones. This film echos the best of stunning Black and White photography. Ranging from the feel of the German Expressionist cinema to the mystery of "Eraserhead". Incredible lighting combines with fantastic framing and camera angles. It is a unique mix of styles, complete with the musical overture of bygone days. The masterful introduction sets the tone. And Bob Hope is a great addition. The world is familiar yet off, adding to the mystery. Absurd, hip, and fun. Paul Bunnell is a talent to watch.
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very little redeeming quality
roguegenius30 January 2007
The premise was intriguing but much too shallow to support even a short full length feature. The characters were shallow and uninteresting, as well. The scenes were fractured and added nothing to assist the viewer in understanding the plot or the point of the picture.

The technical aspects of the film, on the other hand, were noteworthy. While some of the cinematography, especially in the opening scenes, was avant garde, those same techniques became blasé' from constant overuse by the end of the feature. While Paul Bunnell shows he has the unique technical ability to make a watch-worthy movie, the lack of any substantial plot, very plastic actors, and disjointed imagery do not so add up to an enjoyable event. Ed Wood, while a most technologically deficient film maker, at least produced somewhat interesting movies. I found this to be the most disappointing movie I have seen since "Weekend at Bernie's."
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Funny, scary with surprise ending.
glbspk7 February 2004
Enjoyed the camera work especially. The close-ups and odd angles, along with the B&W format made it all the more surealistic. One of those movies where you think you might know what is going on but it turns out - not really. Nothing was overdone - but all was done well.
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Humor at its darkest...
MissySprinkles10 December 2004
Upon viewing THAT LITTLE MONSTER, I found that this movie is actually quite stylish, and better thought-out than most movies in theaters today. There are some true moments of black humor, mixed in well with some fun shocks and suspense. Ultimately, the movie is an affectionate nod to THE TWILIGHT ZONE series (the story is almost a direct lift of one specific episode), and particularly the underlying spooky humor that show was noted for.

Originally, this was written as an episode for TV's MONSTERS, but writer / director Paul Bunnell decided to expand the idea into a longer, artier version. The cast is mainly made up of a talented group of unknown starlets, but horror fans will be happy to see Reggie Bannister of the PHANTASM films here, in a small but significant role (just don't expect to see him running away from flying spheres, and you'll be happy). It was enjoyable to see Bannister again, this time playing Twelvetrees, the butler who warns the baby-sitter about that little monster.

Shot in 16mm for the bargain basement cost of $30,000, Bunnell spared no effort in trying to make this movie look as polished and professional as anything the big studios are putting out today. And his strive for perfectionism shows in many of the setups. One elaborate shot has the camera dollying up to a door, twisting around then going up the wall, then over the top of the room and down inside it. Most people would have been content with a dolly to the doorknob, then a dissolve to the inside. But not Bunnell. What looks like a robot dolly / crane is actually a specially-built room that rotates, and a Steadicam operator. Pretty impressive stuff. I was so blown away by this shot, I rewound the tape and watched it again. It's small touches like these that help set this movie above much of the competition. And it took them just three takes to get such an elaborate shot to Bunnell's satisfaction.

There's also a surprise guest star at the end of the film, one that will leave many of you scratching your heads wondering how Bunnell managed to wrangle this guy up.

My only complaints with the movie are small -- some of the staging is too theatrical, and I sense that Bunnell has his roots in community theatre. And the story has a tendency to drag in places, due to Bunnell's "artsy" touches. Luckily, these moments are few and far between. If you're a fan of humor at its darkest, you won't be disappointed with THAT LITTLE MONSTER!
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Alfred Hitchcock reencarnated, surprise surprise......
sushimonster196723 August 2002
Everybody is looking for a thrill. Most of us enjoy that time out we give for ourselves to indulge in some mystery and horror, admit it. Take the time to lay back, make a bowl of popcorn and get ready for a mysterious thrill you wont forget. "That Little Monster" is a must see. I have to say, I get bored with a lot of these run of the mill horror flicks they have today, they all seem to be familiar in some ways or another. But its incredibly refreshing to actually sit and watch a movie that keeps you always thinking and wondering, infact, could that be Tim Burton in my living room? Theres a mix of genius film making here, and the film itself well, it speaks for itself, its just that simple. Its that awesome surge of bizarre horror of "That Little Monster" that gives it such a thumbs up for me, get that movie, stun your friends, neighbors etc especially around Halloween, this is a definite plan for me. A+++++!!! WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!
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Don't be fooled by the positive reviews, this is a stinker
Mikel327 November 2006
I can not believe some of the positive comments I've read here. They misled me into seeing this piece of trash. I'm sure many freshman college students taking a 'Film-101' course could do a better job. The acting was poor, the story was predictable, the "little Monster" looked like a plastic doll, and the film dragged to the point you didn't really care anymore what happened as long as it was finally over.

If someone held a gun to my head and said "Say something Positive or you'll soon be as brainless as the director", I'd have to say that at the very least there were some pretty bizarre set pieces. It looked like a world where the Joker from the animated Batman series would feel right at home. Oh and it was nice to see that special cameo appearance at the end by one of Hollywoods all time greats. He must have lost a golf bet or something to end up making an appearance in this turkey.

Skip this one, life is too short.
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Im diggin this horror flick..........
heresbubba23 August 2002
If you think you've seen them all, you had better see this one. Gave me goose bumps, and I chewed most of all my nails. (no kidding) Superb story line, and detailed mystery. Special effects very catching. 10+ rating from our family....
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Ed Wood meets Luis Buñuel meets Rod Serling meets David Lynch
Plain Jane8 September 2008
Paul Bunnell's quirky 1994 short film (53 minutes), "That Little Monster" appears to be influenced in equal measure by Ed Wood, Luis Buñuel, Rod Serling and David Lynch, and served up with more than a little caustic, over-the-top, decidedly dark humor. Bunnell and his team succeed admirably in stirring a Lynch-like queasiness. Misty, expressionistic scenes are punctuated by seemingly unrelated (and unsettling) shots of doll parts, grotesque statuary and kitschy bric-a-brac. Selected scenes go on and on, testing the viewer's patience, tolerance for truly off-the-wall characters, and appetite for surrealism. Longtime genre buffs will either appreciate or repudiate a canny reconstruction of the "warning" issued by Edward Van Sloan in the prologue to the '31 "Frankenstein." Standing in for Van Sloan is an eerily-lit Forry Ackerman. In the accompanying commentary track, Bunnell points out that Ackerman's wife Wendayne had only recently passed away prior to the filming of his scene. Stranger still is the presence of Bob Hope -- yes THE Bob Hope. Not only does Hope turn up in a clip from his 1934 screen debut, "Going Spanish," he peppers the closing credits with one-liners shot in 1994 expressly for "That Little Monster!" A class act all the way!

The story concerns an exchange student who takes on a babysitting gig in a truly strange household. The mop-topped husband croons country western tunes, mom slathers on the mascara and blows obnoxiously huge bubble-gum bubbles, and the toddler, well, he's "That Little Monster," an aggressive, goo-gooing grotesque who makes Chucky seem well-behaved. Director Bunnell says in an interview that the film was originally conceived as an episode for a TV horror anthology. His story could easily have been told in half an hour. At 53 minutes, he's milking the surrealism a tad. But Bunnell is adept at synthesizing his influences and at ease indulging his twisted passions. Also a part of the DVD package is Bunnell's 1981 short, "The Visitant," which is arguably more intriguing, but certainly not as well executed.
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Campy Cult Classic?
ebsally9 February 2007
That Little Monster is a nifty little art film that seems to be a cross between David Lynch's Eraserhead and the original Twilight Zone TV series.

The experimental black & white cinematography is the real star of the show along with a campy puppet co-star named "Wolper Willock," an intentionally bad-looking monster baby that spoofs its genre. Look for a cameo appearance by a now deceased legendary comedian over the end credits.

The Director's Commentary track on the DVD was entertaining and also provides a better overall appreciation for what the filmmakers were seemingly trying to accomplish. Definitely worth a look for fans of dark-horror-comedy and lovers of independent film.
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Twilight Zone Material......Its about time!!!
lancelotsDaddy24 August 2002
Hey, what can I say, this movie is a 10+. Really enjoyed the bizarre twists this horror movie has to offer. I added it to my DVD collection, and bought extras as halloween gifts!!! I used to be addicted to Twilight Zone, "That Little Monster" is reaLLY a MIND BOGGLING MOVIE, I was quite impressed.
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