Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

These days, it seems like every film buff with a camera thinks they have what it takes to make the next great cult film. What many don’t realize, however, is just how good movies like “Evil Dead” and “Shaun of the Dead” have to be in order to enjoy success beyond the late night movie marathons and festival circuits. “Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer” may not be as cheesy as it looks, but it’s still cheesy enough to ensure that it will never be part of that elite group of horror comedies. The film stars newcomer Trevor Matthews as the title character, a twentysomething loner who’s had anger management issues ever since his family was killed by a monster during a camping trip as a kid. Now, he’s a burnout plumber taking a night class at the local community college, and when he unknowingly sets free an ancient evil that transforms his professor (a sublimely funny Robert Englund) into a slimy beast from Hell, Jack must tap into his rage to save his fellow classmates and, eventually, the world. What sounds like a really cool concept at first quickly turns in to one of the least horrific, least comedic horror comedies you’ll ever see. The film’s main three monsters are an absolute joke, while Matthews himself is about as charismatic as a piece of wood. If there’s any reason to sit through this piece of low-rent garbage, then it’s for Englund’s enjoyable turn as the unlucky professor. He alone makes “Jack Brooks” worth the price of admission, but once he’s replaced with an animatronic puppet straight out of Chuck E. Cheese, you might be inclined to ask for your money back.

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