Jack Brooks Monster Slayer
This may be the shortest review of any film on CineNiche, and it's out of spite. Maybe not spite, but definitely to teach Jon Knautz a lesson. We wanted to love Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. It had been sitting on the unwatched shelf for nine months, just waiting for that right moment to indulge in an Evil Dead type of horror comedy. Finally, the day came - it was the right time - you know cosmos aligned and all that. Final summation: This is the longest 85 minute film you will ever see. It's not bad, far from it. The main problem with Jack Brooks is they didn't have content to fill the running time so a lot of details that are not needed are included. Here's a main example: Professor Gordon Crowly (Robert England) is possessed and ends up walking out his second story window and we cut to the next day. Crowly wakes up with no clue how he got there and sees his hands are covered in dirt. He turns around to see a hole that has started to be dug, so he continues digging till he finds a box. He hooks the box to his car and drags it up, and then carries the box to the basement before opening it. Believe me this is a near six minute sequence for no reason. Cut to the chase. Not that we're an ADD kids of the information overload generation that has no patients, we just want drawn out scenes when there is a meaning to them. The whole film is plagued by this idea that every detail must be shown as if the audience has no concept of the logic of an edit.
The title tells us this is a film about a monster slayer and we have a decent characterization of Jack Brooks becoming that man, but it didn't take 3/4 of the film to get him there - because the said monsters show up in the last 15-20 minutes when the film is good. We want to back off a bit from ripping this apart because there is merit here. This is a first feature for Jon Knautz, to which we grant him the pratfalls of editing inexperience, because in the end what makes this film good or worthy is that Knautz did not use CGI. At no point in this film are there digital special effects, and maybe that is why he saves it for the end because we all know that it takes much longer for the organic process than the digital one. Even though we didn't get everything we wanted out of Jack Brooks, we're still going to see his next film The Shrine and eventually the sequel to Jack Brooks.
Ed Wood said it best: "Next time I'll do better."