Welcome to Monsoon-a-day.
Where I watch and review a movie a day. Or whenever I fucking feel like it.
This film has all the makings of a cult classic: goopy ass monsters, a crazy scientist played by the only celebrity they could afford, a plot extremely reminiscent of Puppetmaster and unexplained mutant zombies. The only thing it’s missing is tits and you’d have the perfect popcorn flick.
But even with the disappointing lack of nudity, why have you never heard of this film? I mean, there’s plenty of films without tits like The Land before Time and….um….The Adventures of Milo and Otis? I know it’s chock full of animal death but I don’t think there’s a naked breast anywhere. I lost my train of thought. For the love of God, why did I Google how many animals died during the making of that delightful animal romp. Why?
The reason why you’ve never heard of this little monster flick is simple, it’s been stuck on VHS for 30 years. It’s apparently been stuck in legal hell for decades but it was just announced that Synapse Films will finally be releasing it on Blu Ray sometime this year. You need to contain your excitement, all zero of you reading this.
Well, maybe after I lay down some hot as fuck plot synopsis, then you’ll be rock hard for some sweet ass Kindred Blu Ray action.
John’s mother is on her literal death bed and her last words to her son are “Burn the papers. Get rid of the evidence. save Anthony. He’s your brother.” Which comes as a bit of a shock considering he doesn’t have a brother. That and the fact that his mother just died. He goes down stairs to talk to his mother’s science partner played by Rod Steiger (who looks more like a manager at a Wendy’s than he does a brilliant scientist) and Steiger has no idea what he’s talking about. You can’t tell by my synopsis but he’s got shifty eyes. So, pay attention to that guy because he’s probably up to bad guy shenanigans.
He decides to carry out his mother’s wishes and he, along with, lets say 5-6 nondescript white people, go to his mother’s old house and they soon discover, it’s not empty.
Because there’s a monster in it. I probably ruined the dramatic tension just then but you already saw the poster. And I’m pretty sure I already mentioned a monster being in the film, so there was no point in burying the lede. (Yes. It’s lede, not lead. I didn’t goof. Sailor might be drunk but he knows words) Plus, I needed to sell you on this flick to get you rock hard for that release. Be as excited as me, goddamn it.
The plot structure is very weird. Once they get to the house, it’s exactly like Puppetmaster. There’s people separated in different rooms and something kills them off one and a time. Just replace the little dolls with a monster out of the best/worst anime and it’s the same film.
It’s all standard boilerplate monster shit but the first twenty minutes or so feel tacked on to either stretch out the plot or to get their moneys worth out of Steiger. There’s a subplot involving an EMT who gets paid to stage an ambulance robbery so that Steiger can have brain dead people to experiment on. When the driver tries to shake down Steiger for a little extra coin, Steiger locks him in a room with cannibalistic mutants that quickly devour him. These mutants are not explained nor do they ever get mentioned again. It’s a weird first act considering the mutants never show up again and Steiger doesn’t show back up till the last 15 minutes.
All in all, it’s an uneven film that has some impressive effects but it’s part of that 80’s horror movie club that drastically improves with copious amounts of booze. It gets my unenthusiastic mild recommendation on the condition that you drink till you figure out where you know Rod Steiger from.
Which is about 8 beers. Then you’ll go “Mars Attacks! that’s the ticket!” and you’ll be so excited by your sudden epiphany, that the film will be great by osmosis.
But I do believe it deserves to be released from the prison that is VHS. Arrow Films released Microwave Massacre on Blu Ray. I’m just saying.