Jack Brooks Monster Slayer (2008) – By Nic Brown

 Jack Brooks is a man who has a few problems. His girlfriend is a nag, his therapist wants to get rid of him, and he has anger issues that border on the psychotic. This doesn’t mean Jack is a bad guy. He’s trying to improve himself. Working as a plumber during the day and attending night classes at the local University, Jack is doing his best to deal with his problems. Unfortunately for him, a lot of his troubles stem from a childhood trauma, i.e. seeing his family ripped apart by a monster in the woods while camping. This sets the stage for the new film from director Jon Knautz: Jack Brooks Monster Slayer.

Jack’s university courses are where the trouble starts. Professor Crowley (Robert Englund), his chemistry teacher asks him for help with a plumbing problem at the old house on the hill that he’s recently moved into. While working on the plumbing, Jack unwittingly facilitates the release of a cursed demonic spirit buried behind the house. The spirit invades Crowley and soon the Professor begins transforming into a monster bent on turning every human it can lay its tentacles on into either a monstrous minion or a midnight snack. When Crowley captures his chemistry class and begins infecting, Jack finds his true calling, not as a plumber, but as a monster slayer, the perfect career to help Jack handle his anger issues.

Filled with humor, campy gore and very little real plot, Jack Brooks Monster Slayer is fun to watch and has the makings of a cult classic in the vane of the Evil Dead series. In fact, Trevor Matthews who plays Jack has already been called the “Ash” for a new millennium by some critics. The movie does drag during the first half, but once it gets going, the film delivers a fast paced mix of action and laughs that is very reminiscent of classic 80’s horror films. Englund plays up the humor of his role as Professor Crowley changes into a creature that resembles a cross between Jabba the Hut and Bill Paxton’s crap monster from Weird Science. The film’s monsters and other special effects are traditional make-up and props rather than CGI. These “old school” effects are well done and add to the movie’s retro feel without compromising its quality. So if your looking for  a good midnight movie or something fun to watch on DVD, keep an eye out for Jack Brooks Monster Slayer and remember to be careful next time you call in that plumber.    

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the Book Street Pictures website.