'Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer' doesn't live down to its billing

Sentinel Movie Critic

Jon Knautz and writer John Ainslie have cooked up a "midnight movie" that doesn't quite live down to its billing. A slice of cheese stuffed with stunt men in rubber suits, it's a horror comedy that is all too content to rest on "We got Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) to be in our monster movie!" A bit more writing effort and it could have been a romp.

Jack (Trevor Matthews, dull) has lived his life coping with memories of the monster that killed his parents. Now he's a plumber, studying chemistry in night school, trying not to go back to the shrink who urges him to manage his anger better.

But that anger will come in handy later in life, right?

The chemistry teacher (Englund) digs up something in his yard that causes a transformation; Jack gets involved through the man's plumbing problems; and after pretty much an hour of unamusing exposition, we get to Monster Slayer's payoff — monster slaying. A plumber with a little chemistry training does battle with hilarious-looking fake beasties.

Important lesson to indie filmmakers — spend the bucks on rubber suits if you want. But if you don't show those rubber suits until the finale, you'd better have a lot of funny in front of them.

Screening at: Friday, April 4, midnight–1:45 a.m. at Regal; Saturday, April 5, 9:30 p.m.–11:15 p.m. at Regal

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