Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (DVD)

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer DVD reviewReviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Robert Englund, Trevor Matthews, Rachel Skarsten, James A. Woods, Daniel Kash

Directed by Jon Knautz

Distributed by Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Oh look. Another movie featuring a chick tied to a chair going all screamy. Pass. Wait, here’s one that has some people wearing pale make-up while running around pretending that they’re zombies. Yawn. A new PG-13 rated horror flick this weekend? God no. How about a remake? I want to die. Now. Where has all the fun gone in our favorite genre? It’s like we’re in a state of cinematic recession. I’m so sick to death of the aforementioned cookie-cutter safe-street nonsense. Luckily for us every now and then a flick comes along with some attitude. A movie with balls! Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer be thy name.

After watching his parents slain by a beastie, young Mr. Brooks grows up to be a very angry man. Working as a plumber isn’t cutting it in terms of getting out his pent-up aggression, and neither is therapy. Our hero needs something a little more visceral. Good thing for him one of his college professors has unwittingly set loose a monstrous force that’s hellbent on killing folks and spawning other creatures. Finally! An avenue for revenge! Can the world be saved by someone who’s traded in his plunger for an axe? Damned straight it can. In glorious limb-flying detail!

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer DVD reviewThat’s the story in a nutshell for Anchor Bay’s newly released gem Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. For the most part this flick succeeds in everything that it tries to do and deliver, but there are a few bumps along the way. Jack’s Achilles Heel is pacing. Simply put, the movie takes just a bit too long to get to where it needs to be. There’s no doubt Brooks is a great character, but he needs to be put to work a hell of a lot faster than he was here. The entire second act feels like a crawl to the third, but once we get there? All bets are off! The final act of this flick shines like the dark star that we hoped it would. The monster effects are incredible, the score is epic, and the gore is slathered on with maniacal glee. We need more of this stuff, and we need it like yesterday!

Also of stellar proportions is the DVD itself. In true to form fashion Anchor Bay deals out another winner. Things kick off with a hilarious audio commentary by director Jon Knautz, producer Patrick White, producer/actor Trevor Matthews, and composer Ryan Shore that actually helps the second act play way better than it does without it. It’s an absolute good time. From there we get several making-of featurettes that, when all is said and done, end up clocking in at around an hour and a half’s worth of cool extra stuff; five deleted scenes that include a bit more monster action; storyboards; an art gallery; a still gallery; and finally the trailer.

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer DVD reviewIf you don’t have the time to sift through all of that, do yourself a favor and dig on the Creating The Monsters featurette. The monsters featured in this flick are some of the best we’ve seen in decades, and the best part? They’re all done practically. You may not know the name of F/X artist David Scott just yet, but I’m pretty sure you will soon. The guy’s a genius.

At the end of the day, despite its imperfections, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer still manages to kick a copious amount of ass by breathing some much needed fresh air into the flattened lungs of our genre. Best of all — it’s a good old-fashioned fucking monster movie, man! The creature feature subgenre has been under-served for far too long. Viva la dudes in rubber suits! How we have missed you! Here’s hoping for an action-packed sequel that will feature more of what we want — and maybe even a couple of plunger-stuffed anal probes for shits and giggles!

Jack Brooks … Not a pussy!

Special Features

  • Audio commentary by director Jon Knautz, producer Patrick White, producer/actor Trevor Matthews, and composer Ryan Shore
  • Behind-the-Scenes featurette
  • Creating The Monsters featurette
  • Creating The Music featurette
  • World Premiere: Sitges, Spain featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Storyboard comparisons
  • Conceptual art gallery
  • On-set still gallery
  • Theatrical trailer


    3 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    4 1/2 out of 5

    Discuss Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer in our forums!

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    Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • arandomthought

      Just watched it, and it’s a good beer-night kick-ass movie. Jack looks like one of my good friends who actually acts like that.

      Robert England popped a good performance this time, so I’m happy with that as well.

    • MagusMaleficus

      Finally got around to putting this on my Netflix queue. I gotta break in my new home theater setup with some new(ish) horror flicks, dammit!

    • Rob

      I have to agree with Andrew on this. It was dull, and dragged on way too long, and even the last 15 minutes were nothing that good. It had cool creature effects, I’ll give it that, particularly the troll that killed Jack’s family, that was a badass looking beast.

    • frank_dracman

      Creepy, I agree with your rating 100%. I hope this one gets a proper sequel. The characters have been set and there are tons of stories they could go with. I have a soft spot for practical effects and loved all the creature designs. We need more of this stuff.

    • CrimsonKing82

      Hey Rotten
      Not sure if you live around the T.O. area or not, but did you get a chance to check it out when it screened for a week up here?

      For the cost that they had this is pretty damn good, would love to see what they could do if they had a bit more $$$, which I think is why the movie has some Pacing problems.

      Feast – The Only Movie Were you Can see a Tiny Monster Fuck Start a Woman’s face!

    • Sirand

      It may have had good intentions, but Jack Brooks is just kind of dull. Nothing happens till the ending 10 minutes, the characters aren’t memorable, and the whole thing reeks of a “Raimi-wannabe.”

    • Rottenjesus

      Best of all it’s 100% Canadian made. Nice to see some great stuff coming from my neck of the woods that isn’t half-assed goth/slasher/lesbian killer dolls crap.