Todays FanTasia Festival report is a very special one to me because it covers everything that is dear to me- hatred and love. Not only did Dom get to chill with the makers of Freak Out! (review), the most kickin’ dudes in all of the UK- Dom got to see Michael Davis’ Monster Man (review)! I was a little nervous that he wouldn’t like the film- but he loved it. Not only that but Dom really made my evening by destroying the ten-minute clip from Day of the Dead: Contagium, read on for a good laugh!
As soon as I woke up, I knew that today was going to be a day I would remember for the rest of my life. It all started when I got a call from Yazz Fetto, monkey enthusiast and co-producer of this year’s most eagerly awaited film Freak Out. He told me that him and his cohorts, director Christian James and star Dan Palmer, had finally shaken off their jetlag and were looking forward to meeting me. This couldn’t be more reciprocal. I told him that I was definitely going to see the film Monster Man. I’d been looking forward to it ever since Mr. Disgusting gave it his stamp of approval. Yazz told me that they would be there as well and to just look for the three guys with confused looks on their faces. Wow! Thanks! That could mean just about anybody! He obviously doesn’t know the FanTasia crowd yet!
Well, they were pretty easy to spot after all. After promising them fame, fortune, and a bevy of screaming teenage girls, we entered the Hall Theatre to see “Monster Man”, but first, a treat: a ten-minute promo reel for the upcoming “Day of the Dead: Contagium”. Well, it was promised to be a treat. It was more akin to root canal work. This thing was an absolute joke! Honestly, it makes “Children of the Living Dead” look like “Breathless”! Zombies looking at the camera half-smiling, ludicrous dialogue, rubber guns that were obviously bought at the dollar store, you name it. The “Freak Out” guys and I were giggling all the way through. It was cheap, it was pathetic, it was an absolute travesty. End of story. The dumbasses responsible for this vile and putrid piece of crap should burn the negative and find another arena to exploit their limited talents. I hear McDonald’s is hiring…
After no applause whatsoever (Hell! Even “Thundercrack!” got a round of applause!), it was time to experience the sheer lunacy that is Michael Davis’ “Monster Man”.
“Little wussy” Adam is driving across the country to finally express his undying love to a long-time friend. But there’s a slight problem: she is to be married in three days! After discovering that his loudmouth friend Harley has been hiding in the back seat, this mismatched pair pick up an attractive hitchhiker and encounter trouble from all sides as they are stalked by a strange man driving a freaky monster truck. Will Adam make it to the wedding in time to tell his beloved friend that he has been carrying a flame for her all these years? Will he make it there at all?
This film was a trip! Combining elements of many genres (road movie, buddy movie, gross-out sex comedy, and gore!), this film has all the elements to please even the most discriminating film fan. While, for my taste, the film is weakened because it doesn’t truly settle on one genre, it was still a very enjoyable flick. Kudos to Michael Davis for daring to do this in the first place. “Monster Man” is unlike any film you’ve ever seen. Or rather, it is like many films you’re seen before, but never all as one. The film is ideally cast as well, especially Eric Jungmann as Adam. His quirks and mannerisms are all spot on, and the stuff of comic brilliance. Even though most of his dialogue is really funny, he made me laugh more often by saying absolutely nothing. But, as funny as this film is, it is definitely creepy and gross as well. The chase scenes are straight out of “Duel” or “Jeepers Creepers”, except that in this case, the truck following them looks like the love child of a “Road Warrior” vehicle and one of the aliens in “Starship Troopers”. The driver of this menace on wheels looks like Stuart Gordon’s “Castle Freak”, and is menacing as Hell. The gore and FX work is unbelievable. I won’t spoil anything for you but with its climax, “Monster Man” has brought the term “road kill” to whole new level.
Next up for me would have been a Godzilla double feature, but I was more in the mood to go out and chat with my new “Freak Out” buddies. We went to a nearby pub where I conducted a hilarious, if slightly chaotic, interview with them. You will be able to experience this for yourselves in the near future when it is posted. After a few pints, we moved to another bar to meet up with some FanTasia folks. I will not divulge their identities to avoid any kind of embarrassment on their part. Many more drinks were consumed and we all laughed ourselves silly. In case that wasn’t enough, we finally ended the night at a near-empty Karaoke bar! More drinks were consumed by all. Some, more than others. The “Freak Out” guys and I had an awesome time singing such classics as Devo’s “Whip it”, The Knack’s “My Sharona”, Wang Chung’s “Everybody have fun tonight”, and Cameo’s masterpiece “Word Up!” What a night, what great guys, and what a fantastic performance!
Although, “Word Up” could have been just a tiny bit better.
Not one of us was wearing a red codpiece… “Ow!”
Cut to credits.