Halloween Horrors are here again, with Varied Celluloid covering the latest in Horror cinema and the greatest of old. This month is a tribute to all things of the macabre, with this front page being taken up by horror reviews and thoughts. Check back daily for new reviews, as the rest of this month will be littered with sessions dealing with the obscure and the grotesque! Now we get to one of the most respected and sought after indie horror/comedies to come along in a long time: Jack Brooks Monster Slayer. Could it be the film to pick up the torch that the Evil Dead/Peter Jackson films dropped so long ago? I can’t say that, but it’s definitely a blast. Do enjoy!
The Review: Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer kind of crept up on all of us I think. It did for me at least, having just read about it for the first time this past month in Fangoria and then reading praise from my friend Mike Bracken – I knew this one had the promise of being a real classic. The horror-comedy is a tricky genre to master, since comedy in itself is one of the most subjective areas to tackle already. What makes one audience laugh might not appeal to another. In recent years a lot of horror-comedies have breaken with tradition and create new entities within the genre. We’ve seen films that can appeal to the horror fanbase and include them in on the happenings, as with Shaun of the Dead. Another approach is to take things to their silliest points and try to deliver chuckles while remaining within genre context, as with Dead & Breakfast which audiences either reacted very positive or very negative to. Then you’ve got the complete smudges on the face of all that is funny or scary with the entire Horror-Spoof genre created with the Scary Movie series. Jack Brooks however reaches back to the old days of horror comedy, when the comedy wasn’t so self-referential and actually asked its audience to believe in the characters and the crazy predicaments that surround them. I won’t stick my neck out here and now and say that Jack Brooks is the new Army of Darkness, Re-Animator or Dead Alive. However, it could very well be your next favorite horror flick if you’ll give it a chance and enjoy the witty and wild fun of it all – and take in all of the absolutely beautiful latex monster work on display. The film harkens back to the glory days of horror, but doesn’t sink into any mires that new horror fan/filmmakers seem to get wrought in.