As monotonous as plumbing is, slaying monsters is far from unexciting. In fact, it is the main draw of Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. You might be thinking, “With a title like that, does the film live up to its name?” Well, even though there aren’t many scenes in which monsters are slain, the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity, which makes for some pretty splattery moments as Jack relies on his ingenuity to give the raving rousers a run for their money. For instance, you have the classic head crushing by way of a fire extinguisher which, aside from leaving a mark, is guaranteed to have you rooting for the titular hero as he puts everything he has learned from unclogging pipes into action. How’s that for putting Roto-Rooter out of business? Heh. On that note, if your sink happens to be clogged with God knows what, the house call is gonna have to wait as Jack is knee-deep in doing what he does best. But hey, if you leave a message, he’ll be sure to give ya a discount.

Chemistry may not be the most interesting of subjects, but Robert Englund makes it appealing as he lectures about sodium and conducts an applause worthy experiment, neither of which I remember from my high school chemistry class. Oh well. I guess sparking my interest wasn’t a concern of my teacher’s. Anyway, if you ever wanted to see a teacher transform into a monster, you will find that Jack Brooks delivers as Professor Crowley’s transformation has no shortage of disgusting moments, what with the vivacious vomiting and bulky bulging. Quite a pairing, innit? Well, the good news is that the effects are convincing, so you should have no qualms about enjoying them.

It’s not often that I go to the hardware store, but if I did, I wouldn’t be opposed to having a conversation with an eccentric clerk, especially if he were to regale me with the story of how he lost his hand as a child. While such isn’t likely to happen, there’s no denying that Howard is quite a character. Not only does he shed light on his experience, but he gets so enthralled with the valve that he orders for Jack that you’d be hard-pressed not to enjoy David Fox’s performance. It’s funny stuff.

This is a film that never overstays its welcome, so if slaying monsters sounds like your idea of a good time, give it a look. Chances are you’ll find that doing so doesn’t take much.

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