STARRING: Trevor Matthews, Robert Englund, Rachel Skarsten, David Fox, Stefanie Drummond, James A. Woods, Daniel Kash

2007, 85 Minutes, Directed by:
Jon Knautz

This Canadian horror / comedy is a throwback to ‘Eighties horror flicks such as Evil Dead and Re-animator – even the special effects and makeup (despite advances in CGI) are deliberately retro.

Jack Brooks (Trevor Matthews) is a twentysomething plumber who suffers from “anger issues” ever since he witnessed his family being killed off by a vicious monster during a camping trip as a young boy. Jack has a short wire all right, losing his cool over the slightest thing. Yet, he tries to keep his girlfriend happy by attending night school where his science teacher is played by Robert Englund. This should be a dead giveaway that Jack is stuck in a horror movie – after all, Englund is best known for playing the role Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, also from the 1980s. Yet Jack doesn’t catch on and helps the Englund character with his plumbing, unwittingly setting in motion a series of events that will lead to Englund being possessed by an evil demon that finally flips out during class one evening – and in an over-the-top violent finale starts devouring his students and turning them into zombie slaves. (A comment on all student / teacher relations?)

Unfortunately it is a long slog until then. For about an hour of running time nothing much actually happens and with only about twenty minutes left, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer will reward only the most patient devotees of 1980s horror flicks who will spot all kinds of deliberate references to cult horror items from that era.

Too restrained for its own good and never as funny as it believes itself to be, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer makes for a welcome change from the torture porn movies such as Saw and Hostel though. But if you want to see a truly demented and great horror movie, check out Evil Dead 2 again . . .



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