• El Monstro del Mar!

    Released by: Vicious Circle Films/Breaking Glass Pictures
    Released on: 2/28/2012
    Director: Stuart Simpson
    Cast: Norman Yemm, Nelli Scarlet, Kyrie Capri, Karli Madden, Kate Watts
    Year: 2010
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    The Movie:
    Three tattooed chicks are on what seems a harmless and fun joyride near the coast Victoria, Australia. Beretta (Nelli Scarlet), Snowball (Kate Watts), and Blondie (Karli Madden) make their way to the side of the road, seemingly with a conked out car. A couple of Outback-looking red necks show up in a big old Cadillac to see if they can help the girls, and better yet, see if the girls can help them. But these girls are not as innocent as they don’t really appear, and decide the car belonging to one of the men will now belong to the girls by way of their actions. These chicks are not just out for kicks; they’re out for blood and apparently really get off on spilling it (as is revealed a little bit with some back story flashbacks). Two dead guys later and the murderous nymphets keep on trucking to the coast. They end up in a nearly deserted township/fishing village and hole up in a cottage on the beach.

    A wheelchair-bound old man named Joseph (Norman Yemm) lives next door and doesn’t take too kindly to all the noise they’re making. He tries to get them to get out of the water, which for some reason, known at this point only to the old man, that water shouldn’t be entered into with anything other than a boat. But the girls tell him to fuck off (yeah, they swear too; total bad-asses) and do what they want, but their curiosity is piqued when Joseph’s 17 year-old granddaughter enters the scene. Hannah (Kyrie Capri) is a timid young lady who takes care of her grandfather since her parents died, and to the three mean girls she looks mighty sweet. After they get her drunk and party all night, they wake up to find Snowball missing and some body parts on the beach, and quickly discover just what happened. Something in the water got woken up, something gigantic and monstrous, and now it’s up to them to take care of the situation.

    The movie starts out with what seems to be a tribute of sorts to Faster, Pussycat…Kill! Kill! but it moves away from that and becomes a flat-out monster movie. Foam, rubber and some stop motion are the tools of choice for the special effects, which is a nice change of pace, since it would have been a lot easier and cheaper to go the CG route. The monster’s appearance doesn’t play a huge part in the movie, not really showing up until close to the end, and the moviemakers did a wise thing by going with the “less is more” practice we used to see a lot more of back in the day.

    The acting is a mixed bag, with many first-timers in major roles, and at times the inexperience in film acting comes through, but mostly it works in the context of the story. Some lines sound too forced and unnatural, which could come into play with some of the wooden acting. Most of the characters are not really likeable, especially the bad girls, and that plays against the movie too. How can the viewer feel sympathy or empathy for people so violent? The old man comes off as the most likeable, and he’s the only veteran actor in the bunch, so go figure. Maybe if the acting were a bit better the movie would have been more enjoyable. That’s not to say that it isn’t an enjoyable movie, because it is. There’re plenty of elements in it to perk up the ears of B-movie lovers, such as scantily clad girls, lots of bloodshed, and a giant monster. The music is pretty good and the introduction of the monster when it attacks a bunch of men and a little girl while fishing is probably the film’s highlight. Sure it takes way too long to get to the nitty-gritty, but at an hour and fifteen minutes in running time, it moves along quick enough so that doesn’t become a problem. It’s just that once the movie hits the downhill run, it gets to the end too fast, but all-in-all, it’s a fun movie.

    With a 16:9 aspect ratios Monstro fills the screen with a nice image, vibrant colors, and plenty of detail. Skin tones (with all their fake tattoos) look accurate and the night scenes are clear and easy to see. The black and white sequence in the film’s beginning looks particularly nice and in all honesty might have put the movie up a notch if it stayed black and white. At any rate, early on in the film the disc pauses for about one and a half seconds, and there is one section with some very noticeable aliasing. Other than those, which are pretty minor and isolated, no issues to report. The audio is a 2.0 Dolby Digital track, which seems to be fine. The balance is good, the music comes through nicely, and sub-woofer gets some good action. No problems with the audio to mention.

    A lot of extras accompany this release. There are two audio commentaries, one by the crew and one by the cast. They are both what one expects from commentaries, with the crew one being the more interesting of the two, but that of course is up for opinion. This viewer is more likely to get something out of the people who put their sweat into the movie rather than the people who memorize lines and act them out. There is a four-minute behind-the-scenes, deleted scenes (6:36), cast interviews (13:34), two short films by the director, a photo gallery with production stills, and a trailers for the feature along with other Breaking Glass trailers.

    The Final Word:
    A entertaining movie made by people who obviously love B flicks. The supplemental materials add value to the disc, and it is certainly worth a look. It’s a solid indie effort.