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March 2018



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"Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer" (2007)

From the picture and description I thought this would be a horror comedy like "My Name Is Bruce" but it seems to be a straightforward B monster movie. There is some humor in the scenes with the professor (Robert Englund) turning into a monster in front of the class and his final monster form reminded me of "Dead Alive" more than anything else.

The ending was unsatisfying. I think they crossed some wires. The plot was that Jack Brooks saw his family murdered by a monster when he was a child. We learn from his visits to a psychiatrist that he has an anger management problem because he feels guilty for running away while his family was being killed. He has a whiny bitch of a girlfriend who doesn't understand or appreciate him and is flirting with the class drug dealer. There is a hot girl in class who is interested in him. When the professor turns into a monster and starts killing people Jack faces his fear and fights the monster, then goes on to be a professional monster slayer to solve his anger management problem.

The problem is that if his anger problem was caused by his guilt about running away then fighting the monster should have solved the problem. If he still needs to go fight monsters to control his anger then he hasn't solved his underlying emotional problem. It needs to be one or the other. Either fighting the one monster solved the problem or he fights monsters because he still feels guilty. If they want him to be a professional monster slayer violence has to be a solution to his problem not the problem itself.

I can think of three ways this movie would be better.

1. His family was not killed. He is just a geek who is obsessed with monster movies and afraid to talk to girls. When his professor turns into a monster he uses his geek knowledge to save the day, overcomes his shyness, and gets to kiss the hot girl.

2. His family was killed by the monster and he has anger management problems because of the guilt. He has a hot sympathetic girlfriend who is threatening to leave him because of his anger management problem. The professor is possessed by the monster who killed Jack's family. Jack kills the monster, that solves his anger problem, and he marries the hot girlfriend.

3. His family was killed and he was bitten/injured by the monster which gave him monster like powers of strength and speed as well as a monster anger management problem. His anger management problem is ruining his life, and his relationships. When the professor turns into a monster Jack realizes that his anger, speed, and strength make him ideal for fighting monsters. He gains social acceptance by channeling his anger into professional monster slaying.