Held in a secret graveyard on cursed soil, the Monster Brawl is the ultimate collision of legendary monsters and undead ghouls! You’ve never seen extreme sports like this as creatures from around the world converge in a no-holds-barred battle to the death – and beyond! Dave Foley (Kids In The Hall) and Art Hindle (Black Christmas) emcee as the Mummy, Cyclops, Frankenstein, Lady Vampire, Swamp Gut and other forces of darkness pummel each other into the netherworld. Also featuring WWE wrestlers Robert Maillet (300) and Kevin Nash along with UFC ref Herb Dean and narration by horror favorite Lance Henrikson (Pumpkinhead), this is the greatest monster mash of all time!
Monster Brawl 7.25
I don’t like boxing, wrestling, or mixed martial arts much; watching brutes pummel each other to a pulp is not my idea of excitement. But I do like monsters, especially the classic ones. So when I heard that there was a movie that merged MMA with monsters, I was intrigued enough to want to check it out.
I was quite into it at first, I must admit. I loved that it tried to recreate the vibe of these types of pay-per-view events, with small intros for each monster, announcers, girls in bikinis, trash-talking segments with each of the fighters, …etc. I thought that ‘Monster Brawl’ tapped into the spirit of things quite well.
My only real problem with it is that, unless you really like MMA, it gets tired fast. Let’s face it, this has no story whatsoever: it’s basically one match after the other with only a handful of distractions along the way. And even the banter between the emcees (masters of ceremony) became tiresome after a while; Dave Foley and Art Hindle were fun at first, but it was more of the same as the show wore on.
The monsters featured in this picture aren’t all super amazing either. It’s bad enough that the budget limitations of this Canadian production meant poor make-up and appliances (and character designs!), but the choice of creatures left a little to be desired at times:
Cyclops: Cyclops is hardly a classic horror film creature, so the excitement of having him included here was nil. Add to that his gawdawful face makeup and he looked even less impressive than one can imagine; he looked like had no eyes but had a round ornament burned into the middle of his forehead. Lame.
Lady Vampire: Firstly, they made her into a wrestler with modern vampire make-up, instead of going for a classic look. It’s bad enough that it wasn’t Dracula himself, but a short and stocky undead woman didn’t fit the bill in my mind. At least she was good at wrestling; she may even have been the best of the bunch.
Swamp Gut: He was alright as a Swamp Thing/Man-Thing/Creature from the Black Lagoon type of monster. My main beef is his moronic name and the fact that his fat-suit really sucked. Why didn’t they just make him of average build, and save themselves the hassles of a crappy fat-suit?
Werewolf: The Werewolf was cool, but far too cocky and eager. He reminded me of Teen Wolf too much and, thus, offered no real sense of danger.
Witch Bitch: Witch Bitch is not only a dumb-@$$ name, but it was a really pathetic character to boot. I mean, really, a wrasslin’ witch with no powers? What’s the point?
Zombie Man: This dude was so slow and pointless that I didn’t see any threat here at all. To make matters worse, the guy they used looked like a greasy Italian goth dude with terrible undead make-up on (nota bene: I’m not saying Italians are greasy. I’m saying he looks BOTH Italian AND greasy). I would have preferred a traditional, decrepit, rotting walking corpse instead of a reject from the local after hours club.
The film had two sets of match-ups: the Creature Conference and the Undead Conference. Each had a stand-alone, middle-weight fight and each had a major duel before the Conferences would duke it out together. It was all done in a Mortal Kombat fashion, with amusing, if cheesy, comments from narrator Lance Henrikson when the monsters used some of their special moves (ex: the Cyclops’ laser blasts from his eye). A jolly old idea, but one that got old fast.
The acting is slightly below-average, but it’s hardly surprising in a low-budget film of this ilk (and probably lower than usual, given that it was made in Canada). They probably spent all their cash on Lance Henrikson, Jimmy Hart and Dave Foley and couldn’t get anyone else after that. Even then: I found Jimmy Hart grating at times. And the girls he was paired up with were cute but posed in unrealistic ways, in a sort of Maxim-like version of what seduction might be like; they were clearly non-actresses (and probably not even actual models ).
All in all, ‘Monster Brawl’ had its fun moments, but it’s a chuckle-friendly idea that could have been developed a bit better. It was good for the first 45-60 minutes, then it over-stayed its welcome; there’s only so much fighting that one can watch without finding it boring and/or repetitive (personally, I honestly have no idea how people can watch boxing, wrestling or MMA regularly ). Having said this, the novelty alone was well worth the price of admission. I might even check out a sequel, should there ever be one.