388 Studios and Macrocosm Productions’ collaboration, The Horrific Evil Monsters, is a recipe for success if you’re a viewer who has taken a deep dive into the world of independent horror. While watching the movie produced by Adam Steigert, Kristin Steigert, Christopher Burns Jr., Keith Lukowski, Norman Queeno, Dale Shero, Jennifer Zsiros and Michael Zsiros, I found myself discovering a new face, a new theme, a new gag and a new gasp hidden among the many many obviously inspired by The Suicide Squad. Now, you may read this review and think “did he really need to mention all of the producers?” Well, the answer to that question is simply yes – because The Horrific Evil Monsters expertly pulls off a few grand scenes that needed a little extra backbone. Managing a movie of this caliber would have been way too much of an adventure for one or two people to handle. Though it’s just on the heels of its own world premiere this weekend, I have no doubts that this picture will knab a home media distribution deal.
Written by Adam Steigert and Kristin Steigert, The Horrific Evil Monsters follows a secret government agency who recruit a misfit band of ghouls and killers to battle a biblical force that seeks to rule the world. Can a gang of murderers, mayhem makers and deviants put their differences and egos aside to save us all, or are we truly doomed to Hell on Earth? Directed by Adam Steigert, The Horrific Evil Monsters stars Bishop Stevens, Gregory Blair, Kaylee Williams, Jennie Russo, Jason John Beebe and Jamie Miller. It features cinematography by Adam Steigert (the director of FANG and A GRIMM BECOMING) and special effects by Phill Beith (wait until you see this guy’s alien make-up). While mentioning the cast real quick, I just want to say how overjoyed I was when I saw Gregory Blair was ‘the mummy guy.’ I had no idea it was him the entire time I was watching, and wanted to give a particular shoutout to him for being able to bring a character to life so well.
The Horrific Evil Monsters has the luxury of being a supernatural horror action movie without having to give too much attention to any of the three genres. And if you ask me, there’s a little bit of comedy woven in there, too. At its core, in my opinion, it’s more of an action movie than anything, but it also appeals to all the subgenres of horror – witches, mummies, aliens, werewolves, serial killers, zombies. No matter where your interests fall, every viewer will find a character to fall in love with – whether it’s one of the bad guys or one of the really bad guys. When I saw updates for this flick popping up on social media, I remember thinking “I don’t know about this one, Adam,” but The Horrific Evil Monsters destroyed my expectations and I found a movie with a lot of heart and a lot more than meets the eye. So, if I really had to give a complaint, it would only be that its run time is an hour if you slice out the opening and end credits. I would have loved to see what shenanigans could occur with an extra 15 minutes.
I also think it’s important to note a director’s growth between movies. While The Horrific Evil Monsters is a completely different journey than FANG, I’d be remiss if I didn’t notice how much cleaner and more high-quality Monsters looks opposed to FANG. If you weren’t a fan of this particular director before, you will be after watching this movie. It’s crazy to see the magnificent feats he pulled off with an independent movie, including renting out a whole city block packed with extras. Hell, even the movie’s environments in darker settings were picture perfect. My second complaint is only that the movie needed to be a little bit louder. The backing scores were just a little bit too low and subtracted from the overall ‘superhero monster team’ aspect that Steigert tried so hard to create. I mean, if my only two complaints are run-time and volume, then you should run to see this flick at a film festival near you… if those are even opening in the near future. Oh well, I guess VOD will have to do.
The Horrific Evil Monsters is a pulse-pounding, hair-rising, action movie whose level of bizarreness and heart hits home more than the features who inspired it. This is what The Expendables of Horror should really be in the world of independent cinema. Grading it for what it is, and how its promise became fulfilled from start to finish: final score: 9 out of 10.