Yesterday, my contribution to 73 Sports Movies In 73 Days was a lengthy retrospective on ‘Best of the Best,’ the 1989 Taekwondo classic I sincerely name as one of my favorite cheesy movies of all time. It was fun to write, and I got to watch ‘Best of the Best’ again.
My previous contribution was ‘Wrestlemaniac,’ a horrible POS horror movie I only know about because it has a wrestler in it. In it, Mexican wrestlers kill porn stars with backbreakers.
You’d think I’d wanna stick to the sports movies I love and not just go back to the “wrestling horror movie” well, but nope, here I am writing about Monster Brawl, quite possibly the only wrestling horror movie WORSE than Wrestlemaniac. Serious question: why is there ONE pro wrestling horror movie, much less SEVERAL of them?
Anyway, here’s a Canadian pro wrestling movie about monsters they couldn’t quite license doing Mortal Kombat to each other. Also, Jimmy Hart is there. No idea. Let’s handle this Best and Worst style, whatta ya say?
Best: The Concept, From A Stupid Child’s Perspective
This is exactly the kind of movie I wanted to write when I was eight years old.
I mean, I wouldn’t mind writing it NOW. A wrestling promoter who loves horror movies decides to promote a show featuring deathmatches between famous monsters. Wouldn’t that be the most fun thing to write? Jokes about the Wolfman “turning” on people! Witches having their matches rated on the Broomstick Scale! Frankenstein putting people in the torture rack! Dracula getting “you suck” chants! Not only is it the best IDEA of a child, it’s the kind of thing that could ONLY be written by a beautiful, weird little child.
Unfortunately the people who made Monster Brawl are adults.
Worst: Holy Shit, What Is This Movie
When I discovered Monster Brawl existed, I thought it was going to be presented as a wrestling show … a series of matches (that’s what they advertise on the box) featuring wrestlers as monsters. Sorta like Wrestleicious, but with costumes from the REST of the Halloween Express and not just the “sexy” section.
Monster Brawl fails on basically every level a movie about monsters wrestling can. The entire movie is built around wrestling, but they don’t actually wrestle. Aside from the Wolfman, who I am 90% sure is John Morrison in Michael J. Fox’s old makeup, the monsters just punch each other and use special attacks like magic and laser eyes to fight. They’re just doing it with ring ropes around them, so “wrestling.”
And to cement the fact that it isn’t wrestling, they have Lance Henriksen — yes, that Lance Henriksen, from Aliens and Dog Day Afternoon — pretending it’s Mortal Kombat, saying things like AWESOME and KILLER COMBO over the action. It’s so embarrassing you may facepalm your nose into your brain and die.
Worst: And That’s Not The Only Famous Person Mailing It In
Art Hindle and Dave Foley shows up as the Monster Brawl announcers, confirming the theory that you could approach Dave Foley with a dollar and a script titled “I Piss In Dave Foley’s Mouth For Eight Minutes” and he’d agree to do it. Foley drinks from a flask the entire time, and … yeah, he’s not acting. He’s drowning sorrows.
Here’s another example of Monster Brawl getting somebody way out of their league and having no idea what to do with them: UFC ref Herb Dean, basically the best MMA referee of all time, is the Monster Brawl ref. He gets his throat cut with a meat cleaver before the first fight is over, and is replaced BY NOBODY. The rest of the fights are reffed by narrator.
SORRY, HERB DEAN.
I hesitate to call him “talented,” but the big “get” of the movie is Kevin Nash, playing a no-nonsense army guy who wears camo pants and commands ZOMBIE MAN, who is a zombie. And a man. A zombie with the proportionate strength and speed of a man!
Best: Kevin Nash DOES Get Killed By Zombies, Thought, And That’s Fun To Watch
Best: And “Swamp Gut,” The Swamp Creature From The Not Black Lagoon, Is Just Triple H
This is him just before he kills a fisherman by spitting water into the air. No, seriously.
I think “swamp gut” was Triple H’s nickname when he was in Evolution.
Best: Jimmy Hart’s Introduction Is A Wonderful Statement On Indy Wrestling
“Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart appears in the movie but he doesn’t really DO anything. He just stands between two bikini models and says things like YEAH BABY WE’VE GOT A MATCH BETWEEN A MUMMY AND A WITCH COMING UP OR SOMETHING, YEAH BABY.
His intro into the film, however, is amazing. The first time we see him he’s in full costume, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, yelling through his megaphone at the driver to “hurry up” because he’s “gonna be late for the Monster Brawl.” The guy is using a horse and buggy to lead Jimmy Hart into a graveyard, and Jimmy’s all COME ON BABY HURRY UP, DADDY NEEDS HIS FIFTY BUCKS.
The next time your local wrestling promotion advertises the Honky Tonk Man or Tommy Dreamer, imagine them showing up to the armory like this.
Best: Also, Jimmy Hart’s Bikini Models Are Pretty Swell
They’re one of the best parts of the movie. Each model represents a monster and holds his banner, because this is f**king Game Of Thrones, and when their monster loses, they have to look mad or sad and tear it down. The other one gets to be happy and rub it in her face. Figuratively.
Oh, and when they get scared, the ACTING!
Best: The Monster Brawl Heavyweight Title Looks Better Than The ROH Belts, At Least
Spoiler alert: Frankenstein wins the tournament because he’s the only fighter played by a wrestler. Hey, remember Kurrgan? The second tallest guy in The Oddities? Yep, he’s Frakenstein, and he actually does a really fantastic job with it. The makeup is kinda corny, but he commits, which is more than I can say for the guy who got a vaginal prosthetic put on his face and called himself a cyclops.
Monster Brawl has the same problem as Wrestlemaniac, where it’s only like 65 minutes long from beginning to end, so they have to pad it as much as possible. MB gets TONS OF ENDINGS to pad it out, so when Frankenstein wins the tournament, he has to win it half a dozen more times. Wolfman keeps coming back out of nowhere, people randomly attack him, they start fighting with tombstones (wrestling jokes) and on and on.
And speaking of endings:
Worst: Monster Brawl Teases Its Own Sequel, Because Hubris
Kevin Nash didn’t get KILLED by zombie mans, you see, he BECAME Zombie Mans! And he arrives at the very end of the film to yell in Frankenstein’s face, setting up a match for the next … uh, show. If you weren’t 100% that this movie is Birdemic-level garbage, the movie ends with Nash and Frankenstein punching each other at the same time.
Worst: And Before I Forget, I This Movie Features A Character Named “Witch Bitch”
her name is Witch Bitch
Final Rating: Zero out of five The Kids In The Hall Members