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Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Fox, Daniel Kash, Robert Englund, Rachel Skarsten, James A. Woods
  • Directors: Jon Knautz
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: Dec 8 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,808 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randolph Lalonde on Jan. 23 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I won't go into details about the plot here, that's been covered by other reviewers extensively.

A copy of this film sits beside another great comedy / horror - Army Of Darkness. While Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer doesn't take as many risks as that film did, it certainly delivers a good time to people who love the horror comedy genre. With a fairly inexperienced cast - except for Robert Englund, a love of foam rubber, exciting directing style, and a story that works better than your average horror movie, this film surprised me.

The performances are energetic, fun, and when they cross over into camp, they don't try to be too serious. The special effects are very well done considering the materials and the actors know how to sell the situations they find themselves in. When things are too rubbery to believe, they push things a little further so they become intentionally comical.

These film makers seem to realize something that Hollywood has forgotten. There's room for serious camp in the film industry, and when it's done well, it is just as entertaining as anything else to the right crowd. Aside from that, there are plenty of young actors in this film that I think we'll see a great deal of in the future.

Bottom line? If you're a fan of the Evil Dead series, liked Return Of The Living Dead, or enjoy other classic camp in general, this DVD belongs on your shelf.
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Format: Blu-ray
Jack Brooks Monster Slayer is directed by Jon Knautz and starring local Ottawa (my hometown) actor Trevor Mathews. I could go on about the tecnical good and bad of the film and bore you with details that as a viewer you probably wouldn't care about, but I'm not going to do that. The bottom line is, this movie is a low budget production, and for a low budget production, Jack Brooks Monster Slayer is a genre film worth picking up. I've seen a ton of low budget films over the years, and very few can proudly sit on the same shelves as some our cherrished genre icons and masterpieces. Jack Brooks can! It may be far from a masterpiece, but it holds a charm that is found in most 80s classics. Yes the film has a very 80s feel to it, and if this were made 20+ years ago, it would definatley be one of the best of it's time. Any fan of the genre should own a copy of this film.
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Format: DVD
This movie is a horror-comedy hybrid about a simple-minded plumber named Jack Brooks who as a child witnessed the horrific slaying of his family to a monster in the woods. 20 years later, Brooks comes across another monster in the form of his science teacher (Robert Englund) who transforms into a hideous creation.

This is a great little horror film, reminiscent of the 80's glory years of horror, also strongly reminded me of the Evil Dead movies. The concept is totally outrageous and the cheese factor enormous however there's lots to enjoy here for the devoted horror fan.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 19 2008
Format: DVD
A plumber with serious anger management issues fighting monsters -with Robert Englund thrown in for good measure. That sounds like a pretty good formula for success. Unfortunately, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer pretty much lays an egg. It's a movie without any soul and very little identity. I hate to call it a horror comedy because it fails on both counts. Sure, there's gore aplenty, but it's all so over the top as to be more pitiful than anything else. On top of that, it sort of annoyed this devoted horror fan to hear the filmmakers say they chose this genre for their first feature film basically because there would be a ready market in place no matter how badly they might screw the whole thing up. In other words, they thought a horror film was much easier to make than, say, a drama. Oh, they also thought it would be a lot of fun to play around with all the special effects and makeup. Obviously, I have to question their commitment and level of respect for the genre I love most in the world. In fact, I would argue that the film actually ends up making a mockery of the entire horror genre. And comedy? Please. I don't remember even one remotely funny scene in the entire film. The whole thing's laughable, but it's not funny.

So just who is Jack Brooks? Well, he's a plumber, and he's taking a night school science class because his incredibly annoying girlfriend somehow talked him into it. Jack (Trevor Matthews) has some issues - having watched his family slaughtered by a troll (yeah, you read that right: a troll) back when he was still a kid, he is prone to intense outbursts of anger (borne of his guilt over running for his life while his parents and sister were brutally killed). He's seeing a therapist, but let's just say that no personal breakthrough seems likely any time soon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 96 reviews
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Jack Brooks isn't the only one who needs a counsellor, I'm conflicted too. Oct. 9 2008
By Karen Shaub - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Perhaps if I had stumbled over this film as a rental first instead of buying it outright sight unseen, brand new at Best Buy I might feel more kindly disposed towards it. "WTF?" you are no doubt saying at this point. "You've given it 4 stars and you're saying that you don't like the film?" Well yeah, kinda sorta. I made the mistake of buying it on impulse based on the rave reviews on the cover, the blurb on the back, and some cover art that made it look like the greatest thing since RE-ANIMATOR, EVIL DEAD 2, and ARMY OF DARKNESS. And I can't afford to throw my money away like that, but I took the chance anyway. Needless to say the film didn't deliver what I had been expecting/hoping for, which was something along the lines of a story built around a character like the one John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin from CHEERS) played in HOUSE 2. You know, the electrician who is also an "adventurer" on the side? He takes one look inside the walls of the house and drawls matter of factly, "Yeah, it looks like you have some sort of alternate universe in there." Of course I know better than to go into any film with preconceived notions like that, but in this case my mind just ran away with me and I couldn't help it.

The film stars Robert Englund in one of his best performances in ages as a night school science teacher, Professor Crowley, who has in his class our title character Jack Brooks. Now Jack (played by Trevor Mathews who also co-wrote the story on which the screenplay is based) is just loaded with History. It seems at a very tender age he witnessed his whole family's slaughter at the claws and fangs of some sort of man/monster while they were out camping in the woods. The only thing that saved little Jack's life was the fact that he ran. Running wound up taking control of the rest of his life. He ran from all of the important things in life only to have his pent up rage at his own perceived cowardice erupt at unexpected moments. Anyhoo, one night after class the kindly professor asks Jack (a plumber by trade) if he could possibly stop by his house and help him with a problem he's having with his pipes. (Get your minds out of the gutter, that's not the kind of pipes I meant.) Jack's got nothing better to do, so that very night he checks it out. It seems simple enough at first, but isn't that the way it is with every plumbing problem? Before you know it all matter of disgusting matter is hitting the fan and Jack has to order a new gasket and come back in a couple of days. But by then it will be too late! For no sooner has he left than than a noxious ooze seeps from the ground and its fumes start turn the sweet ol' professor into a meat craving monster!

This flick has an awful lot going for it. For one thing there is (as far as I can tell) absolutely no CGI anywhere! Everything is done the good old fashioned way--with prosthetics, puppets, and men in monster suits. Professor Crowley literally erupts into a tentacled creature from hell that sucks the life out its victims and turns them into flesh eating beasts themselves. MONSTER SLAYER is, as it claims to be, a tribute to some of the best flicks from the 1980s, but yet it just doesn't do it for me. The humor it claims to have simply isn't there for one thing, and for me that is a very, very big point indeed. The 1980s was the Golden Age of horror comedy and a large part of the appeal of those flix WAS the humor, whether it was the droll wit of RE-ANIMATOR or the "splat-shtick" approach of Sam Raimi in EVIL DEAD 2. And what's worse JACK BROOKS is a very bland hero! I think the role practically screams for someone who can portray an ordinary everyday man and then rip away all that blandness and channel the comic book spirit of Bruce Campbell when the situation calls for it!

I don't know, I just don't know. Perhaps when I watch this film again in a few months all the wonderful parts, the old school effects and so forth, will triumph over my disappointment. That's why I've given it 4 stars instead of 3. Perhaps they intend to make a series out of this character. That has some great possibilities. Oh no! Don't start thinking about what COULD be again, it will only lead to disappointment.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Highly entertaining throwback to the 80s Nov. 6 2009
By Dave. K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product

**** Out of 5

Release Date- August 15th, 2008

Running Time- 85-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- John Ainslie & Jon Knautz

Director- Jon Knautz

Starring- Trevor Matthews, Rachel Skarsten, Daniel Kash, Ashley Bryant, David Fox and Robert Englund as Professor Gordon Crowley

Going into Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer I had rather low expectations, while the movie looked fairly decent these low budget movies these days are very much hit or miss unlike days of past when these movies were often the strongest the horror genre had. But I have to say Jack Brooks was actually a really entertaining movie that was a fun throw back to low budget horror flicks of the 80s and the influence of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead is quite obvious, which is a good thing.

I'm not really a fan of CGI, but I can tolerate it when used a little bit, but I hate when low budget horror flicks use CGI since it almost always looks horrid. I've seen a few movies I enjoyed, but the poor CGI would lower my rating. Jack Brooks goes back to the way these movies should be made without any CGI and fans of that era should at least be pleased with that even if you don't like the movie.

The biggest complaint about the movie was the slow pace, but I disagree with that. While Jack Brooks isn't the fastest paced movie I have ever seen I thought the main character was interesting enough to keep my interest until the action kicked in. Jack Brooks may not be a perfect movie, but it is a lot of fun and an excellent throw back to the 80s. A lot of the times the filmmakers tend to try too hard and it often comes out as a mess with a good idea, but where other movies might fail I personally felt Jack Brooks pretty much got it all right.

The screenplay by John Ainslie & Jon Knautz was highly entertaining; this isn't meant to be an Oscar winning material, but it's meant to be fun and the script gets it right. The character of Jack Brooks played by Trevor Matthews is an interesting character and is fairly well developed as well. The rest of the characters aren't as interesting, but they all serve their purpose. While the script is a homage to 80s horror it never comes across as a fanboy script, which often is what ruins these movies.

Co-writer Jon Knautz makes his feature film debut and it's a movie he can be proud of. Jack Brooks is meant to simply be a fun movie and it always is just that. Like I stated earlier some have complained about the pacing being too slow, but I disagree. Even with the lack of action Knautz always keeps the movie interesting and the pacing never lags. I suppose Jack Brooks could have benefited from more action, but in the end I felt it all worked out well. The final act is a bit over the top, but works well. Even in movies not meant to be realistic sometimes it can still be too over the top, but Knautz makes it work. There isn't much suspense, but I don't think that was the goal by the director, but the action scenes is well done and the comedy aspect adds to the fun level.

The performances were fairly good with Trevor Matthews and Robert Englund being the strongest of the cast. Englund is a cult Icon due to the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street, but at times he's been limited by some poor movies, but this stands among one of his best movies in quite some time and it shows in his performance. Trevor Matthews shows some great potential and I really look forward to seeing him in other roles.

When all is said and done Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is highly entertaining, but like any movie not everyone will like it. Fans of 80s horror flicks are the main audience for this movie.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This "Monster Slayer" Delivers Unexpected Suspense And Great Perfomances--Really! Oct. 25 2008
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product
As someone who has watched countless "bad" horror movies through the years (many DVDs packaged by Troma and Anchor Bay leap straight to mind), I've come to know what to expect. Just because they're "bad" doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable on some level--they usually play as dumb fun. But, there is a certain laziness inherent in many of these films. It's as if everyone involved knows they are making a stinker, so they go for the cheap laughs and gratuitous gore. They don't take themselves seriously, so the scripts and the actors can be groan-worthy. What do you think I expected from "Jack Brooks Monster Slayer?" (Yes, Anchor Bay). I expected a whole lot less than this nifty little film delivered.

Yes, the plot is a bit silly. (I won't even go into it, the title of the film is sufficient). Yes, the creatures are superficially more laughable than scary. Accepting these limitations, however, "Monster Slayer" was a big surprise. The biggest surprise was in the performances. This film is filled with believable actors--most noteworthy being Trevor Matthews. Matthews, as plumber Jack Brooks, delights with a deadpan humor and actual character development. Brooks has a bit of an anger management problem, and Matthews nails the intensity to give early scenes a real impact. When he kicks into hero mode, I was right there with him.

The film builds to a climax involving a dozen characters trapped within a high school, and this is done with genuine suspense. The score is terrific and adds to the drama. In this half of the film, in particular, the screenplay excellently balances silliness and horror. I laughed when appropriate, but the film also delivered effective action sequences and a sense of real danger. I am genuinely surprised to be recommending "Monster Slayer," but I most certainly am--particularly if you're a fan of the genre. So give this unassuming film a try. And I hope to see Matthews again, I see real breakout potential! KGHarris 10/08.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Awesomely enjoyable Oct. 7 2008
By N. Durham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is by and far one of the most enjoyable original titles to come from Anchor Bay, and it's easy to see why. Co-producer and co-writer Trevor Matthews stars as the title character, a plumber with some huge anger issues who witnessed the brutal murder of his family by monsters when he was a child. Along with his annoying girlfriend (Birds of Prey's Rachel Skarsten), Jack is taking night classes, but sadly his professor (genre stalwart Robert Englund) has accidentally unleashed a demonic force that is horribly transforming him, and soon enough it's up to Jack to put his rage to some monster-slaying use. With its tongue planted firmly in cheek, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is an awesomely enjoyable and bloody treat. The only real flaw with the film is that it's too short, but there is ripe potential here for Jack's monster slaying to continue. Hopefully, it will.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Move over Van Helsing, You've been Replaced!!!!! Feb. 19 2009
By Captain Insanity - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Do you hate CGI??
Jack Brooks does.
Do you miss the days of corn syrup, latex, and paper-mache'??
Jack Brooks sure does.
Not only is Jack Brooks whipping monster arse,
cracking their jaws in half & taking their ugly names,
but he's doing it old-school style.
Jack Brooks likes the old-school.
Plenty of monsters there.
Plenty of monsters, but not 1 Computer Generated Image in sight.
But......(there's always a but)
Jack Brooks has a bit of an anger problem.
One he's having trouble controling.
Ok so it's a major anger problem.
But can you blame the guy?!?!
His family was killed by a forest troll when he was just a boy.
A helpless boy who stood by unable to help.
Now Jack Brooks has a psychiatrist.
A partiularly useless one.
One who might need to get punched in the face.
And then there's school to worry about too.
Which is hard enough in itself,
without having to deal with a teacher mutating into Krueger The Hutt.
Yeah it's a hard life for Jack Brooks,
but a monster slayers gotta do what a monster slayers gotta do.

Ok seriously though,
You're gonna love this movie.
It has excellent character development brought to life by a great cast.
It has barrels of black-comedy laughs.
And lots of Non-CGI monsters. (remember those??)
I went into this one thinking it was going to be as lame as a paralyzed sloth.
But boy was I pleasantly suprised!!!
You've made me a believer Jack.
Now I'd like to see Mr. Brooks take on monsters that exist in other movies.
Tremors, Critters, Vampires, Sleepwalkers, whatever!!

So many monsters. So little time.
Anger Management is the ability to slay 2 monsters at once.