Anthology Week Day 4: Monsterland (2016)

How can a film called Monsterland have so few monsters?

Previous Days: Day 1: Cat's Eye
                           Day 2: From a Whisper to a Scream
                           Day 3: Zombieworld

Released by RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: Jun. 7th, 2016

Starring: Josh LaCasse,  Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Written by: Kaspar Ainelo, Jan Andresson, Jack Fields, Kate Fitzpatrick, Erik Gardner,  
                     Cody Goodfellow, Dick Grunert, Patrick Longstreth, Sander Maran, 
                     Peter McCoubrey

Directed by: Jack Fields, Erik Gardner, Andrew Kasch, Josh LaCasse, Patrick Longstreth
                      Sander Maran, Peter McCoubrey, Corey Norman, John Skipp

Rated NR (Not Rated): (Language, Graphic Violence, and Nudity)

In my review for Zombieworld, the film that Dread Central released prior to this one, I said that anthologies usually have a few good stories and a few bad ones. I also stated that there was only one film that I have seen that has no bad stories, and that was Trick ‘r Treat. Well, I have found an anthology that has no good stories. That film is Monsterland.

To save some time I am going to run down the films that are presented here and then I will end the review.

Just like in Zombieworld there is a wraparound story.  Unlike Zombieworld, this one is terrible. We find ourselves in a movie theater where a man is taking refuge from Monsterland, I guess. He grabs some popcorn and starts watching films. Who is running the projector, I have no idea. This is probably the laziest wraparound story I have ever seen in an anthology film. Zombieworld had the newscaster who was slowly turning into a zombie. Monsterland has a guy watching the films we are watching. Big step up. (star ratings are out of four as per usual)

Don’t Go into the Water: A group of teenagers or twenty-somethings go skinny dipping in a lake in the middle of the forest at night. This is a supposed monster film so something is going to happen. A monster (that we never see) kills each of the skinny dippers one by one. That is it. We see some blood, but nothing else. This is one of the worst films I have ever seen. The only reason this film is included is because there is a brief shot of some tits. That’s it. Tits over story, character, and monster. Way to go. (zero stars)

The Grey Matter: A parasite bores holes in the backs of peoples heads. That is actually it too. The parasite talks to the main character, but nothing really happens here. Another wasted opportunity to have something happen. (1/2*)
Curiosity Kills: This is the one story in the entire film that isn’t as bad as the others. There is no dialogue in the film. There is sound, but no talkin’. The story is about a kid whose mother’s boyfriend(?) brings home a suitcase with a radioactive symbol on the front. The kid has to know what it is so he takes it. He starts messing around with the chemicals found inside and soon his pet rat is glowing green.

The story is told through close calls and ,eventually, violence. I give the filmmakers credit for trying to do something different, but there isn’t much here. (*1/2)

Hag: Here we find a husband and a wife. Every morning the husband is woken up to find his wife standing at the window, muttering things to herself. Every morning things are ok. The wife doesn’t remember anything. The same thing happens over and over again until the big reveal which I will not spoil.
The filmmakers tried for an atmospheric approach, but they fail because they don’t really establish much for the atmosphere to work on. I wanted to like this one, but it falls flat. (*)

Monster Man: This is an animated  film about a man who is running from a monster. He calls the  “Monster Man” to help him. The Monster Man does show up and then there is a twist.

The short is decent, but could have been a lot better. The animation is decent for something made with flash, but outside of that this is a totally forgettable entry. (*)

House Call: A man shows up at another man’s house, with a gun, begging him to remove his fangs. The man believes that he is turning into a vampire. The other man, who is a dentist, says no, but decides to do it anyway. He pulls the teeth and then a twist.

There is nothing happening here. Have you ever heard somebody say “It was worse than pulling teeth.”? This is that film. (1/2*)

Happy Memories: I have no idea what the fuck is going on here. There are a bunch of puppets and they do stuff and then there is a man who does stuff and then the end. Why this is included I have no clue, but the person making the decisions was probably smokin a big fatty when he saw this. (zero stars)

Stay at Home Dad: A man decides that he is going to be a part of a clinical trial where he would grow breasts and nurse his child. This is a really weird story that, surprisingly, has a twist. I got nothing more to say than I hate this shit (zero stars)

Hellyfish: Some toxic chemicals get dumped into the ocean and the jellyfish start attacking people. This is the type of film that I wanted more of. Monsters vs People. But it also comes too little too late. By the time this story happens, we just don’t care anymore. We have been run down by so many shitty films that a good one could come and go and we wouldn’t care. The effects are pretty good. (**)

So there you have it. Monsterland is one of the worst films of 2016. It didn’t even seem like anyone was really trying here. I do applaud Dread Central for putting a film like this out there, but they need to pick better films if they are going to continue. I hated this film so much that I wanted to call it quits twenty minutes in, but I braved it for the review. I wish I hadn’t.

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