Director Jesse T. Cook has put together an offbeat and amusing horror movie. It’s a pure fan film as it plays just like a wrestling pay-per-view event, only with monsters as the combatants and the heart of a graveyard as the ring.
This particular combination ensures that teen boys will flock to it as the long discussion of who is the best monster in a fight is played out in real-time. From the warm up rounds right to the closing credits, we are treated to a running commentary from our hosts while the action is unfolding before us.
As a result, this plot is minimalistic, however this fact has little effect on the quality of the film as the monsters fighting is really the only reason to watch and man do they throw down in spades.
Buzz Chambers (David Foley) along with Sasquatch Sid Tucker (Art Hindle) provide the running commentary, with Foley doing an amusing Howard Cosell impression. The actors play their parts perfectly by bringing us the required witty banter and mimicking wrestling’s overblown showmanship to the hilt. Long time wrestling fans will recognize Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart as the pre-fight announcer and mixed martial arts fans will cheer to see beloved UFC referee Herb Dean. As well, Lance Henriksen makes an audio appearance as the voice of the announcer.
The monsters themselves are the stars of the show, with back stories presented for each, prior to the festivities. Fights are between Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy, Lady Vampire and other classically inspired creatures. Even if the characters aren’t as well known, the back stories provide a reason to cheer (or boo) for them.
There are five fights total. The first two are middleweight, the second two being heavyweight and the final fight being the winners of the two heavyweight bouts facing off. The flow of events never feels rushed nor drags. Roughly equal amount of time is given to the fights and the transitions between the fights. The fights themselves are a little underwhelming and feel just as staged and formulaic as the wrestling they seek to emulate. Rather than focusing on each monster’s unique talents, the film instead has heavy reliance on the wrestling style the rest of the film emulates so well.
The makeup is well done, as are the effects. While not having a significantly large budget could have harmed the film, the effects and graphics actually enhance the impression you are watching a Wrestlemania event. The Gore Brothers have done a terrific job creating each of the monsters and the in-fight effects. The set is appropriately creepy as a graveyard is made into a battleground, (complete with fog and a grizzled caretaker who warns of evil disturbed). The between fight stats along with the title sequences are very well done and lend an air of creditably to the proceedings.
Overall this is a fun and campy horror film. Recommended as a nice alternative to some of the harsher and darker films of the horror genre. I would consider it for teens and above as the graphic violence may be too much for younger viewers.