Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

Joyce: Honey, a-are you sure you're a Vampire Slayer?...I-I mean, have you tried not being a Slayer?

-"Becoming, Part Two" 2.22

This afternoon I watched the trailer for Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer with Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund and Trevor Matthews. It looks like a fun flick and it is sure to please, in particular, the generation of fans that grew up during the glory days of horror films.

The trailer can be found here at the film's official site or it can also be viewed over at the Apple movie trailer website.

The Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer synopsis:
After witnessing the brutal murder of his family, Jack Brooks (Trevor Matthews) is left with an unquenchable fury that he is constantly fighting to control. Now working as a local plumber and struggling in a relationship with his girlfriend Eve (Rachel Skarsten), Jack’s life has become a downward spiral. One night, Jack attempts to fix Professor Crowley’s (Robert Englund) old, rusted pipes, but unknowingly awakens an ancient evil. Lured by this demonic power, Professor Crowley discovers a monstrous black heart that quickly forces its way inside of him. Possessed by the heart now beating in his chest, the Professor starts a slow, gruesome transformation. It is at this moment that Jack realizes he can’t run from his past, and quickly discovers the true purpose of his inner rage.

Obviously there is more than a little "textual poaching" going on here. I'm sure that the nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the title won't be the only one. I could see a similar Buffy poster with the titular character of Jack Brooks wielding the Slayer Scythe. Could that be a minor appropriation as well? The movie is probably not looking to reinvent the horror genre, by any means, but rather bring it back to the basics-no CGI as far as I can tell for example. The style of the movie is clearly invoking the low-budget, dark-humor and tone of many 80s horror flicks-to which I was introduced with a heavy hand by my last roommate several years ago-especially Sam Raimi's fantastically fun gorefests, Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992), with Jack Brooks taking on the role of Slayer here as reluctantly as Bruce Campbell's "Ash" Williams assumes his role in fighting the forces of evil. Although, don't forget about one of my all time favorite camp-horror films, Dead Alive-as it is known in the U.S-directed by none other than a pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson. It also appears that the content and tonality of Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer runs along the lines of contemporary films such as Black Sheep, Slither (starring Nathan Fillion) and Evil Aliens-all of which are worth checking out for the dark-comedy/horror enthusiast.

Speaking of the Evil Dead series of films, did anyone who has been following the continuation of Angel's storyline in Angel: After the Fall notice that as Angel is performing a healing spell, he is blatantly reading from the Necronomicon-the powerful "Book of the Dead" prominently featured in the Evil Dead trilogy-in several panels of After the Fall Issue 4? Such a great reference!

It has been often rumored that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell would reunite for a sequel or possible remake of The Evil Dead and it looks like that the latter may still be in the works according to the page on IMDb.

I hope that Jack Brooks: The Monster Slayer gets a wide release and opens in Seattle, at least at one of the many fine Landmark Theatres we have here, soon.

I'm always up for a little slayage.

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