Tuesday, June 21, 2016

MONSTERLAND (RLJ DVD Review) - Short Film Horror Courtesy of Dread Central

I’m a sucker for short film Horror. That means that anthologies are just about the perfect way for me to enjoy a collection of stories that may or may not be related, but hopefully have a common thread. I think of them as a stew of Horror. With so many shorts being slammed into portmanteau’s with all different manners of packaging, it can get tricky. Which anthologies do you trust? Just because a big name director is attached to the production means jack shit (remember that Tom Holland debacle?). I’ve noticed some folks getting it right recently. Yes I enjoyed the experiments known as V/H/S and ABC’s of Death, but those are a bit too gimmicky. They’re like film school projects rather than cohesive anthologies. That brings us to Monsterland, the follow up effort by the same folks who did Zombieworld (see what they did there?). RLJ put this one out on DVD created by Ruthless and Dread Central, and I was pretty impressed.

For those of you who read this thing often, I reviewed Zombieworld some time ago. It was hit or miss with a variety of unconnected stories. Some worked. Some did not, but that’s actually okay. There was a bit of glue in the focus of the project, namely zombie related short Horror with an adequate wrap story that made the whole project flow nicely. Zombieworld was fun. It wasn’t perfect, but we don’t need perfect Horror. It was a great way to expose the viewer to a variety of filmmakers and to freshen up an oversaturated zed market.  

Now we have Monsterland. The same thing hold true here. We have a bunch of seemingly unconnected monster short films. Some are great. Some are not. You have animated features, practical effects and plenty of CG monsters. There’s a great deal of variety in the his subject matter, so it’s actually more tolerable than the zombie subgenre. The wrap story works featuring  some theater goers with their last ticket before the end of times. The writers and filmmakers are varied, and there’s plenty to enjoy.  

Also as with the Zombieworld, I totally dig the cover art. I think it’s a handsome way to package an anthology. Short film Horror freaks like me… this is for you. You won’t like everything, but you’ll find something to enjoy. Remember that we are dealing with filmmakers who have low budgets so some of the work may seem less than perfect. Focus on story, actors and the intent of effects. Try to see potential in the possible new blood making Horror alive. 

You can pick up Monsterland now on DVD or check it out onVOD.

From RLJ Entertainment
AVAILABLE ON DVD and DIGITAL: June 7, 2016 (Out NOW!)

DIRECTED BY: Graham Denman, Jack Fields, Erik Gardner, Andrew Kasch, Patrick Longstreth, Sander Maran, Robert Mclean, The McCoubrey Brothers, Corey Norman, John Skipp, Frank J. Sudol

WRITTEN BY: Jan Andresson, Kaspar Ainelo, Jack Fields, Kate Fitzpatrick, Erik Gardner, Dick Grunert, Cody Goodfellow, Patrick Longstreth, Sander Maran, Peter McCoubrey, Haley Norman, Frank J. Sudol, Tyler Wood 

CAST: Josh LaCasse, Ebon Moss-Bachrach 

SYNOPSIS:  Amidst a bloody backdrop of chaos and carnage, one panicked, lowly survivor of the Monster Apocalypse takes shelter in a movie theater to buy himself a few extra moments of precious life. Little does he know, he’s taken a flying leap out of the frying pan and smack dab into the fires of hell by attending the last movie marathon he’ll ever see. Welcome to Monsterland! A terrifying place where savage beasts, carnivorous creatures and grotesque abominations are the new normal, and the human race is now at the bottom of the food chain.

RATING: Not Rated 


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