Monster Brawl (2011) Review: Mediocre Monster Mash

Yell! Magazine’s review of Monster Brawl:

When you take what sounds like an idea for a late ’80s video game and make a movie out of it, you’re usually met with one of two reactions:

1) “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. Movies like this should not exist.”

Pfft. What a square.

2) “Well, it’s about friggin’ time. I’ve wanted to see Frankenstein punch a zombie in the face for the last 45 years.”

Indeed, that’s totally normal.

Now, obviously, if you fall within the first category, then Monster Brawl sadly isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a good time, then you could always iron a shirt or eat a bowl of flavorless cereal, if you’re so inclined.

If you fall within the second category, then Monster Brawl will either be a solid piece of entertainment, or a textbook case of a missed opportunity. How could someone screw up a movie that’s destined for greatness based on the title alone?

By playing it absolutely straight.

You see, Monster Brawl is the type of idea that’s chock-full of comedic gold. Like Hobo with a Shotgun, the title alone evokes irreverence, leading you to expect some kind of crazy-awesome blood fest where everything goes and you have no choice but to expect the unexpected.

What you get instead is a by-the-numbers pay-per-view-style wrestling event that makes no attempt at cleverness, tongue-in-cheek humor, or affectionate parody. It’s literally nothing more than a movie about generic monster knock-offs fighting one another. Each monster is treated to a short back story of his/her reasons for entering the tournament may or may not be explained, two monsters fight, a winner is declared, nothing happens, and we move on to the next match. There’s the occasional twist here and there, but for the most part, they’re on the better end of predictable.

This idea alone wouldn’t fall so frigging flat if the characters were more interesting – maybe if they were stylized or their back stories weren’t just rehashes of the same clichés we’ve seen a million times over.

Instead, we get generic Cyclops vs. generic Witch-with-no-powers.

Monster Brawl, Cyclops

Who will win? Who the hell cares?

When the fights are going to be obviously done by two people wearing costumes, they become very hard to take seriously – naturally, one would attempt to take a more comedic route with the material, but instead, we just get the whole “monster fighting” thing.

Read the verdict after the jump…

Monster Brawl (2011)
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
Jesse T. Cook
Dave Foley, Art Hindle, Kevin Nash, Lance Henriksen, Jimmy Hart, Herb Dean, Jason David Brown, Jason Deline, Jesse T. Cook, and Robert Maillet
Comedy, Horror, Monster
Official URL:
Monster Brawl Official

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