It is most appropriate that the horror-comedy Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is opening in Los Angeles and other cities a day after media reports that a carcass of the long-elusive Bigfoot has been found. The movie's title hero begins his journey toward a beast-killing vocation after his family members are killed by a Bigfoot-like creature.
While tongue-in-cheek in concept and execution, the film's tone is fairly serious as Jack (a game Trevor Matthews) confronts his childhood demons (which happen to be literal demons) and embraces his destiny. The impetus for his doing so is an evil spirit's possession of a local college professor (played while still human-ish by Robert Englund of "Freddy Krueger" fame). Soon, Jack's friends are becoming monster chow and the entire town is at risk of being devoured unless someone can take down the voracious creature.
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (watch the trailer here) boasts some unusually high production values for a low-budget independent feature. The creature effects, music score, photography and art direction are all top-notch. A lot of fan-boy love on the parts of director Jon Knautz and his screenplay co-writer John Ainslie obviously went into the film's creation, and I recommend it to all fans of the monster-on-the-loose genre. Bigfoot and company, beware: there's a new sheriff in town!
UPDATE: Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is now available on DVD and Blu-rayfrom Amazon.com.
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.