Fantasia - Monster Brawl

Directed by Jesse T. Cook
Written by Jesse T. Cook
Cast Dave Folley, Art Hindle, Jimmy Hart, Robert Maillet, Lance Henriksen
Produced by Jesse T. Cook, John Geddes, Matt Wiele

Legendary monsters and wrestling - that pretty much sums up Monster Brawl. This clever hidden gem is edited like a real wrestling match; you have your heavyweights and middleweights, then two more categories distinguishing the monsters by “Creatures” and the “Undead”. Ladies and gentleman! Hurry Hurry to the old, mysteriously haunted graveyard for the wrestling event of the century! Narrated by the lovely Lance Henriksen, the audiences is engaged and ready for the rough and tumble fighting to begin. Eight monsters are introduced to the audience, each with their own background story. It was a good idea to work their histories into the film; it would have been a little empty and dry without knowing your fellow contenders. Cyclops, Witch Bitch, Lady Vampire, The Mummy, Werewolf, Swamp Gut, Zombie Man and the great Frankenstein are the lucky gals and ghouls who have been entered into this illegal secret underground battle. The wonderful and hilarious ring side announcers are legendary themselves, played by the great Dave Folley from Kids in the Hall and the magnificent Art Hindle from Black Christmas. They offer some side clenching humour; without them, personally, I know that the film wouldn’t have been as amazing as it was.

The wrestling looks as really as it can get and each contender has secret abilities and weaknesses. Sometimes their managers even get in the ring alongside to help guarantee a win. There are even secret fighters who end up wrestling some of the monsters, and a couple WWE cameos that are worth watching.

The film is fun and entertaining as hell. I don’t really enjoy watching real life wrestling matches but I would watch these matches over and over again. They are outrageously funny and really fun to watch and to predict who will win and how. The constant appearance of secret fighters who kept coming in to the ring to help make sure that some of the monsters are dead and gone did make me wonder when the film would end.

Over, it's one hell of an idea for a film and I’m glad people were able to cheer alongside it when screened at Fantasia. The director was at the screening and was quite humble about his very personal project. He was overwhelmed by the audience’s response and couldn’t have been happier with the end result. You should not take this film too seriously but regardless, it’s kind of epic.

4 out of 5 stars

-Andrea Boulet