El Monstro del Mar! Movie Review
Written by TGM
Written and directed by Stuart Simpson
2010, 72 minutes, Not Rated
Nelli Scarlet as Beretta
Kyrie Capri as Hannah
Karli Madden as Blondie
Kate Watts as Snowball
Norman Yemm as Joseph
Scott Brennan as Jim
Steven Stagg as Dave
If you’ve ever sat around thinking that Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! would have been better if it contained a vindictive sea-monster then I have a special treat for you. Undeniably the most fun I’ve had watching a movie this year, Stuart Simpson’s El Monstro del Mar! (that means Monster of the Sea for all you WASPs in Vermont) is a violent, sexy, pitch-perfect homage to Russ Meyer’s campy B-movie exploitation classic. Leaving a bloody trail of dead horny men behind them, three sadistic super-vixens stumble upon a quaint seaside Australian ghost town gripped by fear of a huge one-eyed multi-tentacled monster that feeds off of anyone who dare set foot in the ocean.
Everyone with half a brain has already moved to a far away landlocked locale, yet for some reason a few dopey fishermen, a curmudgeonly geezer in a wheelchair, and his hot virgin granddaughter still choose to live within a stones throw of the water’s edge. Unaware of the areas dubious history, the three sex-kittens sputter into town on fumes and immediately start to frolic in the sea while ignoring the vague warnings from the senile old coot. Of course this act of defiance angers the sea-monster, who immediately begins to use its razor-toothed tipped appendages to wreck havoc on anyone and everything they come in contact with. The movie culminates in a ridiculously cornball, yet simultaneously uber-violent and completely effective, blood soaked battle between the girls and the monster complete with Harryhausen style animation, an overabundance of B-movie special effects, and a kick-ass rockabilly soundtrack.
My only gripe, and it’s a small one, is the decision to switch from glorious black and white to color about 10 minutes into the flick. The opening scene is so well done that you’d be hard pressed to think it wasn’t shot in the ‘60s as part of some outtake from Faster Pussycat! The stark black and white contrast truly makes the girls pop off the screen, and should have been preserved throughout the remainder of the film. This movie also clocks in at an economical 72 minutes in length. While I almost always advocate for leaving the audience wanting more rather than tediously overstaying your welcome, this is one of those rare few times in reviewing low-budget indie horror that I would have liked the proceedings to continue for another half-hour or so. With that said, it’s always tough to criticize a movie for being too short as that usually means you really dug it. Other than those minor quibbles, El Monstro del Mar! is a B-movie exploitation lover’s wet dream. The ending sets up the possibility of a sequel (or Monstro-Girl franchise perhaps?) of which I will be eagerly awaiting with bated breath.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.