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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Monster High
Monster High
Sony Music // R // October 4, 2005
List Price: $14.94 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted September 24, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

The funniest thing about Monster High is the promo blurb that's plastered on front of the DVD case: "From the producers who brought you Return of the Swamp Thing." It's funny mainly because somebody out there must think that such a connection would act as a selling point for the Monster High DVD ... but also because they got the title wrong. It's The Return of Swamp Thing.

But why stop there? When you're trying to unload late-80s garbage-cinema of the goofiest degree, you need to trumpet those credits as loud as possible! Why not include blurbs like "From the editor of Angel III: The Final Chapter!" or "From the costume designer of Puppet Master!"? Anyway, of the two producers in question, Annette Cirillo hasn't worked on a film in 15 years, and Tom Kuhn has gone on to grace the universe with stuff like Amazons and Gladiators and Warrior Angels ... so perhaps now I'm beginning to understand why Sony opted for the Return of the Swamp Thing reference, even if they still got the title wrong.

So yeah, Monster High. Sheesh. Imagine Killer Klowns from Outer Space without all the subtle subtext and cerebral wit, and you're halfway to understanding how drop-dead doofy this mega-broad horror/comedy is. This flick is firmly in the Saturday the 14th Strikes Back mold of moviemaking, and if you completely understand what that comparison means, then you completely understand how far you should stay away from Monster High.

The plot, so far as I could follow it without having to shake my head and make that "yi-yi-yi" sound, has to do with an interstellar visitor called Mr. Armageddon who makes himself comfortable at an American high school by slaughtering cheerleaders, scaring the boys, and turning random people into monsters.

Already I can tell that my plot descriptions make the flick sound a lot more FUN than it really is, and since that's something I'm not happy about, I'll add a disclaimer right now by stating how freaking bad this movie is.

Despite the fact that Monster High contains a marijuana monster, killer sneakers, a bunch of alien goofballs, and frequent flashes of bare boobage, the migraine-inspiring farce has no sense of wit or color or comedic timing. It's like a bunch of crappy flicks were wedged into a blender and the resulting splatter was packaged (by the producers of Swamp Thing 2, don't forget) and blandly re-named Monster High.

The DVD

Video: The movie is presented in a swollen and perpetually fuzzy FULL FRAME transfer, which I do not believe represents the original aspect ratio. So basically, Monster High looks and feels like a long and particularly stupid episode of The New Munsters.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0, which is all muffly and jittery and generally unkempt in every aural fashion imaginable. Optional subtitles are available in English and Japanese.

Extras: Just a bunch of trailers for Boogeyman, Devour, Kingdom Hospital, Vampires: The Turning, Frankenfish, and Chupacabra Terror, which, when combined, make for a much more entertaining expenditure of time than Monster High does.

Final Thoughts

Just because a movie is made "campy" and "bad" on purpose, that doesn't automatically earn the flick some sort of Get Out of Jail Free card. It's obvious that Monster High is shooting for a broad and likable degree of intentional stupidity, and that's all fine and good, but it's really tough to be entertained by anything this inane, chintzy, and uninspired.

Plus it ain't near scary and it's never ever funny.

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