I’ve always enjoyed debating an entertaining hypothetical scenario, and the crazier the better; from insane vs. match-ups of different competing franchises, to the animal kingdom, or even warring countries from different time periods. It’s especially enjoyable when those debating can defend a side by reeling off near encyclopaedic knowledge to back up their reasoning. Yet, what if instead of just discussing these theoretical battles, they were used as a basis for a horror film that cuts out any unnecessary plot and gets straight to the gritty death matches? If you have ever had this thought then you are in luck my friend, because Monster Brawl may just be the answer to your prayers.
Monster Brawl is a 2011 Canadian horror comedy, written and directed by Jesse Thomas Cook with additional writing from Jason David Brown. Brown is known for directing other low budget horror films such as Scarce (2008), Septic Man (2013) and The Hoard (2018) but unlike these examples, Monster Brawl is considerably different in style and tone.
“Eight of the world’s most legendary monsters, along with their diabolical managers, compete in a wrestling tournament death match to determine the most powerful champion of all time. Interviews, pre-fight breakdowns, trash talking, and monster origin segments round out this ultimate fight of the living dead.”
Presented as a pay per view event, Monster Brawl utilizes this framing effectively, even including commentators who perfectly embody the over the top energy displayed by their real life counterparts. The fighters are all introduced with their respective backstory as well as interviews with themselves and their managers, emulating the entire charade in an entertaining manner.
However, those hoping for huge franchise characters such as Freddy or Leatherface will be highly disappointed, with the roster of fighters consisting of public domain monsters rather than spending large qualities of money on character rights. A mummy, a lady vampire, a cyclops, and a werewolf are just a few of the contestants battling it out for superiority against their fellow monsters. Though the characters are fairly competent in design, a number of the actors, who are not wrestlers, struggle to strengthen this pretence with some weak promos and smack talk.
Although there is a level of storytelling interwoven into the creatures backstories, with each fighter receiving a competently produced five minute short story about their creation, the bulk of the film is portrayed as rounds of a one-on-one death match. This makes it difficult to classify Monster Brawl as an actual film because it lacks any real substance other than some mindless simulated violence over the course of 90 minutes.
Nevertheless, Monster Brawl may be the perfect feature to gather some friends together, become inebriated and place some bets on your favourite classic monster archetype. Although, its understandable that the film will only be entertaining for the first viewing, with little re-watch value coming from knowing the outcomes already. Despite this, Monster Brawl is certainly a unique concept and is sure to entertain those looking for a good smack down.
Hey there, I’m Jim and I’m located in London, UK. I am a Writer and Technical Director here at Grimoire of Horror. A life long love of horror and writing has led me down this rabbit hole, allowing me to meet many amazing people and experience some truly original artwork. I specialise in world cinema, manga/graphic novels and video games but will sometime traverse into the unknown in search of adventure.