Starring: Dean Iandoli, Diana Frank, David Marriott, Robert Lind
Director: Rudiger Poe (credited as Rudy Poe)
Distributed by: Lightyear Entertainment
“A Cosmic Campus Comedy”
Sometimes, a film can be so bad that it becomes hilarious, or quotable, or becomes memorable for the outlandish characters in it. Monster High is not one of those films.
Monster High starts out with The Monster in Charge (Bob Cady) discovering that the demon Mr. Armageddon (David Marriott) has been released from his prison and brought to Earth just in time for the end of the world. At a small high school, Mr. Armageddon begins to take steps toward starting the apocalypse. We are introduced to a couple of different characters including our hero Norm (Dean Iandoli). Norm is a typical loser high school student who has a crush on one of the popular pretty cheerleaders of the school, Candice (Diana Frank). Quickly, strange things begin to occur and students are either killed or turned into servants of Mr. Armageddon. After a while, Norm comes face to face with Armageddon who decides for reasons unknown to make Norm his prophet of doom. Our hero decides to save the world by challenging Mr. Armageddon to a basketball game. If Norm wins then the end of the world is put off for a thousand years. If he loses, the world ends.
This schlocky horror-comedy misses all the marks to make it memorable. It is completely mediocre and mundane. The comedy draws little to no laughs and the horror aspect feels like someone threw a bunch of cliche generic characters together and hoped for the best. We get a very generic zombie, a couple of bumbling aliens, a living statue, a mummy, some mutant creature born from some odor-eaters (not worth explaining this) and a cyborg. They are basically filler characters and do very little in the movie beyond making up Mr. Armageddon’s basketball team. Sometimes they get their own scene to cause destruction, but those are even mild.
Monster High does seem to be geared heavily toward the comedy genre and has some scenes that feel like they should be funny. You recognize the setup for a humorous death or a one-liner or maybe some slapstick, but then nothing. The lead-in for comedy is poor or the punchline fizzles. Some ideas in this film show great potential. There is a whole situation with a student who is constantly experiencing near death, but then wakes up in his bed. This has a predictable ending, but it still gives a couple of enjoyable moments. I don’t know if you can blame timing, reusing tired comedy tropes, or flat acting, but whatever the reasons, there is not a laugh to be found in Monster High.
We do get a story wrap involving a cosmic being known as The Monster In Charge (with a ridiculously long name that is not important or referenced again) who is monitoring what is happening with Mr. Armageddon. It is unclear what The Monster In Charge (MIC) goals are in the film. At first, it seems like he is agitated that Earth’s destruction has been postponed. Then when he hears that Armageddon has been released, he becomes irate about that. He spends the entire film as a cutaway with a view commentary lines about what he is watching.
The time frame of the film also gets confusing. MIC asks for a report of Armageddon’s last twenty-four hours and a voice-over begins to read the report while MIC watches the events on a monitor. The narrator continues to give exposition throughout the entire film implying that MIc is still watching a report on past events. This conflicts with the ending of the movie and muddles the entire timeline of the film.
I usually like to talk about special effects in films. These can either be a redeeming quality to an otherwise poor film or can bring an excellently written film down many notches. Unfortunately, like many other aspects of this movie, the effects are humdrum. For practical effects in a low budget film, they aren’t bad, but they are not exceptional either.
I am a big fan of b-films, but this is one I regret having in my video library. The story is riddled with plot holes, the acting is sub-par, the comedy completely misses the mark, and the creature effects do not help redeem this poorly conceived film. I feel with some adjustments to the plot and a few better jokes, this film could have become an acceptable comedy. To its credit, it has a small cult following, but should not be put on the same level as films like Office Space, They Live, or even Eraserhead. If you have a goal in life to see as many bad movies as possible, add Monster High to your list. If you don’t want to be bored or waste an evening of your life, then please skip this movie.
This film is just not worth the watch. The acting is sub-par, the jokes are either juvenile or flat out not funny, and the creatures are forgettable. I was bored, slightly confused, couldn’t wait for the end credits.