Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monsturd

Genre - Horror/Comedy
Year Released - 2003
Running Time - 81 minutes
Directed by Rick Popko & Dan West (who have both since directed this year's sequel RetarDEAD)
Written by Rick Popko & Dan West (both of whom also wrote the sequel RetarDEAD)
Cast Includes:
Hannah Stangel (the little girl, who narrates portions of the movie)
Brad Dosland (the serial killer who becomes the Monsturd)
Dan Burr (the Doctor who unwittingly creates the Monsturd)
Paul Weiner (the Sheriff of the town)
Dan West & Rick Popko (the directors, who play the dim-witted sheriff's deputies)
Beth West (wife of Dan? She plays an FBI agent, on the case)

Rating: 4 Skulls [hear me out on this one]

Plot Summary:

Serial Killer Jack Schmidt is a fugitive who has the police and FBI hot on his trail.
After being cornered and wounded by law enforcement authorities, he falls into a sewage tunnel where the chemical company Dutech has also been dumping its toxic waste.
The poisonous mixture of feces and chemicals mysteriously transforms Jack into a part-human, part-feces monster who sets out on a deadly rampage.


Review:

You are probably wondering why in the world am I reviewing a movie with 'turd' in the title. . .
Well, the other day, my contact at Scars Magazine informed me that he had an interview available, with the directors of this year's RetarDEAD.
When researching RetarDEAD, I discovered that the movie was actually a sequel to the 2003 movie Monsturd. (To be completely honest, I almost said no to the interview, as I wasn't quite sure that I could talk about a sequel to a movie titled Monsturd seriously. Then I realized that was probably the point of the movie, in the first place.)
All I have to say is that I am glad that I agreed to the interview! Not only are Rick & Dan very cool and very funny, so is this movie! :-)

At the beginning of the movie, a little girl cries out in the night. Her father (played by the same actor who plays the Sheriff) rushes in to check on her. The little girl then asks for a bedtime story, and the father jokingly replies that he is always the one to tell a story, and asks his daughter to tell him a story this time. Thus begins the tale of Monsturd. . .

I have seen my share of low-budget, independent horror films, and some are absolutely awful while others are very worthwhile. Luckily, this film falls into the latter category. (honestly, I was not expecting it to, but I am glad to say that this film is well worth it!)

There is just something charming about watching low-budget films.
For instance, in Monsturd - viewing a huge laboratory, in the middle of a crisis situation, with maybe 4 or 5 people running around. Or a Maximum Security Prison, with very few prisoners to be seen. Or the fact that folks are dumping an entire barrel of toxic waste, right in the middle of a residential neighborhood! This stuff just brings a smile to my face! :-) Watching this movie though, you can tell it is a labor of love.

If you enjoy low budget horror movies, then I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy this one!
Rick & Dan did an excellent job Directing and Editing the film. The Sound and the Score were both great, as were the practical special effects. [when you first see the big, steaming pile of poop that is to become the Monsturd, I literally felt like gagging from the smell that my mind was conjuring - it was gross!] :-)

Probably what I enjoyed most about the movie, was Rick & Dan's portrayal of the town's two idiot deputies. They were hysterical. There is one scene where Rick has a ventriloquist's dummy - horribly made up to look like a hippie - the dummy's name is Donnie the Doper, and he is used in the community's Anti-drug program. (the community, by the way, is Butte County, in California) This is even funnier, because when we were in California, last year, and drove through the state, we actually drove through Butte County, and my daughter mispronounced it as Butt County, which fits this movie perfectly! This gives you an idea of Rick & Dan's humor. Just look at the tagline for the movie: Don't get caught with your pants down (also, the icon on the DVD Menu is a little pile of poop) You can see it in the script as well. Lines like, "we need to get to the 'bottom' of this" or "we are going to have to 'flush' it out into the open" And just wait until you see how they end up beating the Monsturd - Too Funny!! :-)
Be sure to pay attention to the little things in the background as well. There is a scene, in the Sheriff's apartment, where there is a mini Oscar statue sitting on a book shelf, right next to - I don't even know what!

There are plenty of 'homages' as well. There is a chili-cook-off, at the end of the movie, that is in jeopardy of being shut down (a'la Jaws) Also, the final preparation to battle the Monsturd is reminiscent of The Evil Dead and Aliens! There is also a jab where Deputy Dan calls Agent Hannigan an X-Files reject :-)
Best of all, is the song that plays during the final credits - hysterical - I can still hear it. . . Number 2, it smells like poo. . . hahahahahahahahaha :-)

I only ask that you do not judge this fecal-humanoid movie, until you have seen it for yourself.

As for me, I will be purchasing the DVD, as it also has a Commentary, as well as some Behind the Scenes footage, which I cannot wait to see. (I rented this from Netflix, which is what I do - then, if I like it, I will buy it for the additional features, etc. So, if you have Netflix, lower your expectations, and add this movie your Queue - you will not be disappointed)


Be sure to visit Rick & Dan's webpage: http://www.4321films.com/

If you are interested in reading the Interview between me, Rick, and Dan - the direct link is http://www.horrordecor.net/scarsinterviews.htm#monsturd (note: the interview is done under my MySpace pseudonym - Thanatos)

Also, Dan West also has a Blog page: http://danwesthatesyou.blogspot.com/

Stay tuned for a review of the sequel to Monsturd - RetarDEAD [coming soon - Rick just mailed me a screener copy, yesterday] I am looking forward to it! :-)

Jason

8 comments:

Jenn said...

It kind of sounds like it runs along the lines of Toxic Avenger. Since I LOVED that movie, I'll have to check this one out:-)

thebonebreaker said...

Good call Jenn - it does have a slight Troma feel to it. . .

Get back to me, after you have checked it out ;-)

J

fxguy said...

Jason,

I've had Monsturd for years on VHS. The director sent me a press release way back when, along with a Hershey Bar with "Monsturd" as it's label(!).

I loved it, as well. Nice, fun, and campy. Also, you gotta love the song at the end!

I'm curious to see what RetarDEAD is like!

thebonebreaker said...

Dude,

... and you never shared this little gem with me! :-)

Stay tuned for a review of RetarDEAD - it should arrive one day this week. I am expecting it to be pretty good, as it continues from the end of Monsturd, with the same evil Dr. as the villain... :-)

J

fxguy said...

Cool, man!

Here's my review for Monsturd, from 2002, when I was known as "Gouda Cheesebrother".

If link doesn't work, here it is:

http://www.geocities.com/cheesebrothers/Gouda/g29done.html

:)

thebonebreaker said...

Dude,

That was an Oustanding Review!!!

Thanks for sharing!!
[if only you had shared the movie, back in 2002!!] :-)

J

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

I know a lot of people don't even want to check this one just based on the title alone, but I've enjoyed it ever since I first saw it many years ago. My kind of tacky trash. I love a good, smart, dark, deep film when I get to see it, but the truth is my heart really belongs to schlocky sleazy borderline-toxic cinematic junk food of exactly this breed.

thebonebreaker said...

I was almost one of those people Willam ~ fortunately I have an open mind when it comes to these types of films, and I am very, very glad that I saw this one! :-)

J