REVIEW: Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007): Reviewed by Bryan ‘SHU’ Schuessler
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007), directed by Jon Knautz, is the story of a boy that loses his parents on early on to, well, a monster. He is a little boy and after his sister gets snatched up, and he watches the monster brutally slay his mother and father, he runs. After all, he is a boy of maybe about 10 or 11 and has just witnessed some creature that nature and science cannot explain take his family from him.
Bounce ahead to the present-day and Jack is all grown up and going to night school and trying to make an honest living as a plumber. Only one slight problem, he has never fully understood what happened to him as a kid, has major abandonment issues on his part for running away while his parents got slaughtered, and he has a little bit of a problem with controlling his anger. He is going to therapy but it’s not quite worked out for him yet. So you have one angry young man who is dealing with the loss of his family, anger management, and courage issues.
Jack Brooks, played by Trevor Matthews, is then asked by his night school teacher Professor Gordon Crowley, played by Robert Englund, to come over to his newly bought house and fix his plumbing, after noticing his van with the plumbing decals on the side of it. Jack figures, “what the hell!”. It might even get his lousy grade up to a passing level. And that is where the story truly starts.
The film has a lot of character to it, with some well-scripted dialogue and humorous characters. I felt that Robert Englund and Trevor Matthews carried the whole film and made it much more than just a goofy B-Monster movie that was almost on the same level as one would have been had it been made during the 1950’s. It reminded me of some of the films of that era like The Blob, Godzilla, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Deadly Mantis, etc…You get the picture.
I was highly entertained with the amount of gore and monster effects. These were paired with a light-hearted tone that used many comedic elements to round out the whole affair.
I viewed this film originally on the big screen at the Music Box Massacre 4 at the Music Box Theater on Southport in Chicago last year or so. My memory is foggy these days and for that very reason I wanted to watch this film again and see if I still felt that same way about the film. I found that I appreciated it even more. I strongly recommend watching this film for some campy humor, outrageous gore, almost laughable B-Monster creatures, and just plain creativity and ingenuity.