Monster High

Monster High

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Today’s feature is the 1989 horror comedy, Monster High.

Monster High has two credited writers: John Platt and Roy Langsdon. The two also wrote the screenplays for 1990’s The Forbidden Dance and Out of Sight, Out of Mind. They  later became producers on a variety of reality television shows, including Big Brother, Brat Camp, The Surreal Life, Kid Nation, and Flipping Vegas.

Monster High was directed by Rudy Poe, whose only other directorial works have been a couple of documentaries. However, he did produce a number of Playboy videos in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The cinematographer for the movie was Eric Goldstein, who was a camera operator on such movies as The Island of Doctor Moreau, New Nightmare, Hard Ticket To Hawaii, Kingpin, and American Pie 2.

The editor for Monster High was Warren Chadwick, who cut the films Jungle Warriors, Hollywood High Part II, Scared to Death, and Walking the Edge.

The producers for the film were Annette Cirillo (Return of Swamp Thing), Andrew Deane (The Black Cat, Pick Me Up), Richard Gitelson (Rugrats), Arne Holland (The Lemon Sisters), and Tom Kuhn (Playboy’s Really Naked Truth).

The music on Monster High was provided by Richard Lyons, who also scored the notorious Clint Howard horror film Ice Cream Man.

The effects work on Monster High was provided by the team of David Domeyer (Mulholland Drive, The Running Man), Richard Miranda (American Ninja 4, The Mangler Reborn), Matthew W. Mungle (The Midnight Meat Train, Deep Blue Sea), and Howard St. James (Hobgoblins, Death Street USA).

monsterhigh3The reception to Monster High was generally negative: it currently holds a 35% audience aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 3.3 rating on IMDb.

This movie is far more comedy than it is horror, and fails in that endeavor in just about every way.  For example, most of the movie is accompanied by a narrator, who is sure to explain any and all of the cheesy jokes and exposition, despite the fact that everything is clearly laid out to start with. This isn’t just grating, but it drags most of the sequences out longer than they need to be.

The humor in the movie, for the most part, is what you would expect from a modern day Scary Movie sequel: vapid sex comedy and gross-out humor. There is also a bit of self-awareness of the genre’s tropes, but it is mostly buried underneath a mountain of boob, condom, and weed jokes.

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Example: asphyxiation via giant condom

The creative deaths that pop up throughout the film are about the only value it has, courtesy of its extensive class of monsters. This film offers just about every kind of monster you could imagine: aliens with ray guns, mummies, killer plants, an evil computer, zombies, etc, and the variety of deaths go along with them. It seems to me that the effects workers had an absolute ball coming up with the gimmicks and squibs, and they mostly look pretty impressive considering how cheaply the movie was made.

The thing that stood out the most to me about Monster High was the plot, which essentially turns into Space Jam in the last act. An evil alien creates an army of monsters to end the world, and the students at the ground zero high school challenge him to a basketball match to save the planet from destruction. Unfortunately, neither Michael Jordan nor Bugs Bunny make an appearance.

Overall, this movie isn’t good for much more than some vapid, mindless fun. Personally, it isn’t my cup of tea, but I can see how some people would get a kick out of it. The effects are generally impressive, as I mentioned before, but the writing and acting are just atrocious, enough so that I would generally advise avoiding it. That said, if you are into horror comedies that rely on boobs for viewership, this one might be up your alley.

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