Monster Man

Starring: Eric Jungmann, Justin Urich and Aimee Brooks
Tartan DVD
RRP: 15.99
TVD 3557
Certificate: 18
Available 27 June 2005

Sensible virgin college lad, Adam, is on his way to a wedding. The invitation comes from his sweetheart who is marrying somebody else. Adam intends to declare his true feelings for her and thereby prevent the marriage. Stowing along for the ride is his ex-best friend, Harley, a crude loudmouthed joker. Stopping along the way, Harley insults the redneck locals, and very soon it seems a madman in an armoured monster truck in on their tale, seeing them as fair game. This time the driver really is a monster. They witness the truck both maim and kill, and there doesn't seem to be any way to avoid being next. Events take a turn for the better when Adam and Harley pick up a sexy hitchhiker called Sarah. But is she too good to be true...?

The DVD cover of Monster Man contains a quote from Film Review which describes this as "Jeepers Creepers meets Duel in Texas Chainsaw country." Let me make clear from the outset that this movie doesn't reach the heights of any of those references. However, that doesn't necessarily make it a derisory film. It borrows most heavily from Jeepers Creepers, but there are elements of Duel. Texas Chainsaw should be replaced with Wrong Turn or perhaps The Hills Have Eyes. In fact it's difficult not to think of Monster Man as a mosaic of other people's ideas, rather than any single germ of originality.

From the behind-the-scenes documentary you get the impression cast and crew enjoyed the making of this film intensely, but I think SFX was closest, inferring that it's essentially a cheap beer and pizza treat. So treat it as such, and take note as it moves from predictable, to an edgy midsection, to a corny, disappointing ending. If subtle humour can work well with horror; Monster Man covers all bases by aspiring to horror, humour, road movie and teen coming-of-age.

Ty Power

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