Images via twitchfilm
Frankly I’m not much of a wrestling fan, so outside of the inherent comedy of mashing up monsters and fight tropes the theme didn’t do much for me, but I can see how it could be fantastic for long-time fight fans. Especially with the celebrity cast filling out various roles, from well-known manager Jimmy Hart and UFC ref Herb Dean to WWF wrestler Kevin Nash. All three bring the usual cheese of wrestling melodrama to their performances, fitting the tone of the film very well save for Hart who gets a bit grating at times.
Rounding out the celebrity cast is Dave Foley and Art Hindle sitting in as the commentators for the matches. While all the actors are enjoyable for the most part, the reliance on cameos for their own sake becomes apparent once in a while, somewhat taking away from the experience.
Images via twitchfilm
The film itself follows the wrestling set-up very closely, with a heavy amount of padding and exposition in between matches. The back stories for each of the fighters and motion graphics are consistently awesome, but often feel like a series of shorts which were sort of mashed into another film.
The actual fights are all the right kinds of bloody and gross and call on plenty of wrestling staples, from interference and foreign objects entering the ring, to choke holds and last-minute character revivals. By the fifth match though they really start to retread the same motions and lose a lot of impact. The final fight also goes on way too long and by the end you are happy it’s over. The film also ends like it starts: out of nowhere for no reason, but that sort of fits the television special style.
The makeup and individual monsters on the other hand are excellently put together and, save for my personal disinterest in wrestling, the film manages to be a fun and enjoyable experience overall. A worthwhile watch for monster and wrestling fans alike.
Jesse T. Cook has also produced another film which is in the festival this year called Exit Humanity which made TdotComics’ Most Anticipated Films of Toronto After Dark. It plays tonight at 7:00PM and I highly recommend checking it out.
On a second note, Monster Brawl’s screening last night was preceded by the fantastically awesome, hilariously gruesome musical short The Legend of Beaver Dam. Starring musical comedian Sean Cullen as a disgruntled scout leader and a host of talented children, this short had all the right amounts of music, horror and gore. I was laughing and cheering throughout the entire film and can’t possibly recommend it enough.
While I couldn’t find it online you can check out the trailer below and cross your fingers that it gets released soon.
That’s it for the first night of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011. Check back tomorrow for a roundup of the 2nd day’s awesome lineup. If you want some more details on the upcoming films or for some reason haven’t bought tickets yet you can check out more information at torontoafterdark.com.