The first time I saw this movie was at the Music Box Massacre IV back in 2008. I am pretty sure it was shown at six in the morning when no one had any idea of what was going on in their lives. It might have even been later than that, I don’t feel like using my brain to remember that detail at this very moment. The parts of it that I remembered were fun, and I told my friend Duke that it might be something he would like. Another reason I thought he would like it was the fact that Jack Brooks was a plumber, so he was often wearing a tool belt and fixing things, and Duke is a carpenter, so there was that connection. A couple of weeks after seeing it, I said we should try to watch it, and Duke bought it for me for my birthday, which falls shortly after Halloween. All of these reasons combined add up to this movie being more of a nostalgic favorite of mine, rather than it actually being all that good. And the fact that it’s Canadian certainly doesn’t help matters much.
The facial hair/baseball hat combination also kind of looks like my friend Duke. But that denim jacket? ALL WOLFMAN STYLE.
Jack Brooks, played by Trevor Matthews (who was also one of the producers and helped come up with the story) has an anger problem, which certainly wasn’t helped by the fact that his family was killed by a monster when he was a kid. As in, a real life monster that came out of the woods. He’s unhappy with his life, his girlfriend, his job, and doesn’t really know what he wants to accomplish in his life. Lucky for him, his professor at night school, played by Robert Englund, uncovers some weird monster demon heart thing in his backyard that causes him to turn into, well, a weird monster demon thing. While all Jack really wants to do is coast through life without getting too much attention or disrupt the status quo, he is thrown into the thick of an epic monster battle as his professor has changed into full-fledged monster and is infecting other students one night. As Jack attempts to escape, the song he heard while his family was murdered comes on the radio, causing him to use his anger to destroy all of the monsters. He succeeds, and when the film ends, we see him confront the monster who killed his family, as well as venturing to remote parts of the world to do the one thing that had been calling out to him his whole life: SLAYING FUCKING MONSTERS.
This is what Robert Englund looked like when he turned into a monster. I guess it kind of sort of looks like him?
I wish I could provide a more enthralling dissection of this movie, but as you can see from the plot, it’s relatively straightforward. Robert Englund was awesome in this movie in his transformation scenes, and considering Trevor Matthews mostly just stood in at the last minute as Jack Brooks, he does a pretty decent job. All of the special effects and gore were practical effects, so it was good to see a movie that would sacrifice “believability” for how awesome practical effects look. I also can’t really say this film is completely a horror movie, because there are quite a few comedic moments in it. Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned multiple times, combining horror with comedy is a tricky subject because I feel like every attempt at the mixture ends up one or the other, but not both. Given that, I’d say this movie was a lot funnier than it was scary, but it did still have some pretty good practical effects. I’d say it was like a good SyFy movie that entertains you for 90 minutes, but unless you are like me and don’t have nostalgic memories attached to it, it’s not too memorable.
Wolfman (non-nostalgic) Moon Scale