[ed. note: I’ve been sitting on this review forever, but over the weekend puremassacre mentioned the title character in his fun article on six comical horror movie villains. Which reminds me, I’ve gotta write that review of The Revenge of Mr. Willie…]
Monsturd (Rick Popko and Don West, 2003)
I’ll put it to you this way: what was the last horror spoof that was actually funny? I can actually answer this question, though I am terrified to watch the movie again (I haven’t seen it in decades) to find out how badly it holds up: 1981’s Student Bodies. Yes, I’m asserting that it’s been more than three decades since someone made a horror spoof that was actually amusing. (I have recently watched two other favorites from that era, 1982’s Pandemonium and 1981’s Saturday the 14th, and found both had aged… very, very badly. I WILL NOT DEFAME THE MEMORY OF THE HORSEHEAD BOOKENDS.) Now I grant you, these days the horror-spoof standard is measured by the pieces of celluloid defecated out by Team Wayans, who last did anything funny in the In Living Color days, and when you’re comparing Monsturd to, for example, Scary Movie 4 or Meet the Spartans, it’s hard for even… [I will note here for the record I am attempting to avoid every fecal-matter-based pun I desperately want to put into this review] …like this to not come up smelling like water-treatment-plant-processed roses. The problem is, you always still have the ghost of that fertilizer smell. While this is leagues above most of the horror spoofs of the past decade, it still stinks.
Plot: Jack Schmidt (ha! get it?) (Brad Dosland, whose only other screen appearance came in Popko and West’s even more revolting follow-up, 2008’s Retardead) is a serial killer on the run from the law. He hides in a toxic-waste-infested sewer, where his genes get inextricably linked to, well, the other things one normally finds in a sewer. Just in case you didn’t think being a serial killer made him enough of a shit… (okay, that one I couldn’t resist).
Juvenile toilet-humor jokes, atrocious acting, inept technical aspects (up to and including direction), and a brain-dead script only take one so far. It is absolutely possible to write a good horror-comedy these days, and even a politically-incorrect one; the hilariously profane Special Dead, from 2006, is all the evidence anyone should need that such is the case. But most of the people who are trying to mine this vein over the past few decades just aren’t trying. The American comedy has in the main degenerated into a quest for the quick buck, with no thought given to whether the director is making something timeless—or even something that will be remembered a decade later. The collected works of Chris Farley, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, etc. are testament to that. And it’s hard to blame Popko and West for playing in the same court if it actually works vis-a-vis making said quick buck, but don’t you wish every once in a while someone in this country would at least attempt to make another Bringing Up Baby or Sullivan’s Travels or The Apartment? Monsturd ain’t it. *
Trailer (the full movie is also officially available at Youtube).