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Article Archive >> Entertainment

Movies From the Black Lagoon: Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer - 2008, Rated R
By Tom Doty

A plumber's efforts to curb his temper are put to the test when a demon possesses his night school chemistry teacher in this light romp that combines "in your face horror" with an independent film vibe.
We first meet Jack as a rebellious teenager getting chewed out by his gym teacher for beating on a classmate. Turns out he has struggled with anger management since he was a ten year old boy. A flash back sequence reveals that a camping trip with his family turned savage when a monster invaded the party and devoured his parents and kid sister. Jack never got over the fact that he ran for his life and is struggling with guilt as well as 'survivor's syndrome.
Jack's adult life isn't any better. He is barely making it as a plumber and spends his spare time attending community college courses with his obnoxious girlfriend, Eve. He isn't much of a businessman either and agrees to help his chemistry teacher, Prof. Crowley, with some water issues for free. Turns out his services are worth the price he charged as he only succeeds in loosening up enough debris in a pipe so that an ancient demon can rise up through the pipes in the form of a vapor.
The demon soon possesses the professor while an unknowing Jack seeks out an ancient plumbing supply dude that can order him the parts he needs. Said guy knows a ton about the vapor (who knew) and warns Jack to stay away. Brooks assumes the guy is a little loopy and ignores his story.
Before you know it Professor Crowley has morphed into a demonic beast that plans to pass all of his students.... through his digestive track. The ensuing massacre kicks the film into high gear as Crowley sprouts enormous tentacles that chase down his fleeing students until he can consume them. Jack helps his girl friend escape but abandons her on the road when the incident kicks up memories of the last time he ran away from something.
Jack proceeds to class and takes his professor to school. His lesson plan involves demonstrating how a vanload of plumber's tools can be used in ways that are not covered by the warranty. Suffice to say he is all about plunging his way through tentacles, demonic zombies, and Crowley's own cranium. It's a brutal showdown that should please gore fans. The last scenes showcase Jack's ongoing adventures as a slayer of beasts and will, hopefully, lead to a sequel.
This is tongue in cheek horror that will please fans of "Reanimator" and the "Evil Dead" trilogy. The buildup is a little slow but at least they have sharp dialog and characters that are somewhat developed. Trevor Matthews is well cast as Jack but the film gets high jacked by horror veteran Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger himself) who explodes all over the screen, literally, as Crowley. The monster make-ups are good too and the whole thing is over in less than ninety minutes. Just what you want from your brain candy.
Best Line: "So he ate your hand. How did you dig the hole?"

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@myactv.net.

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