Rarely do I get to watch movies while running a 102 degree temperature, but such was the case with The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue. Written by, directed by and starring Mike Bradecich and John LaFlamboy, the film follows the story of the Mugg brothers who own a dilapidated apartment building. Pets have gone missing for some time and tenants keep moving out. In order to keep the place running, the brothers have to clean it up and inadvertently discover that a mole man is living in the basement.
The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue is far from a serious film. The production value, albeit pretty decent, shows the low budget immediately. Overpowering this, however, is the acting abilities of Bradecich and LaFlamboy. Their ease of interaction makes the movie immediately seem extremely plausible – despite the hokey nature of the plot and story. And it is pretty ridiculous. Hilarity comes in many forms: A group of stoners spike a joint with hallucinogenics, causing the brothers to trip out for part of the film. Then, tenant Eliza walks around topless, oblivious to the fact, noting she is a webcam girl of some sort, while the two try to secure her apartment from mole man entry. And then the guys discover that Mr. Hezekiah Confab (Robert Englund) is a smooth talking ladies man despite his age, which sort of upsets them as they babysit his dog. The movie more or less is a string of silly incidents, pieced together by the mole man plot. And for what it is – it’s funny.
Exceptionally interesting is Justin DiGiacomo as the Mole Man. For the majority of the film, we only see a hand slipping from heating ducts or mail slots in order to scoop up a pet or two. But those brief moments when we see the Mole Man in action, it’s a bit eerie. The shuffling crouched movements of the being actually add an element of unease which helps this horror comedy along. It is definitely more comedy than horror, though. Obvious comedians, Bradecich and LaFlamboy rock their natural talent subtlety throughout the movie and keep it moving along. The same goes for Robert Englund’s performance. He is stellar in his small role. Yes, I’m an Englund admirer, but I’ve reviewed movies of his where I was not impressed, yet as Confab, he is the role. Viewers will also probably recognize T.J. Jagadowski as tenant Paulie (he is one of those guys in the Sonic commercials) and Tim Kazurinsky (aka Sweetchuck from the Police Academy movies) as Harold.
While it may not be the highest quality of horror comedy, The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue kept sickly me entertained with goofy fun for an hour and twenty minutes. With great chemistry fueling the creators, the movie is definitely worth checking out.
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