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Monsturd (2003)

DVD Cover (Brain Damage)
Genres:
Gross-Out Comedy, Horror, Horror Comedy, Natural Horror, Sci-Fi Horror
Directors:
Rick Popko Rick Popko
Dan West Dan West
Starring:
Paul Weiner Paul Weiner
Beth West Beth West
Dan Burr Dan Burr
Dan West Dan West
Rick Popko Rick Popko

3.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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A serial killer mutates with a chemical inside a sewer, to become a monster made of human waste just as the FBI and police are onto him. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: March 27, 2011
Let's put this right here in the first sentence of the first paragraph: Monsturd is one of those movies that doesn't need a lengthy review. As a reader and a potential watcher, all you have to do is look at the title of the film and the DVD cover in order to decide whether or not this would find a loving home in your household. Do you want to watch a horror / comedy flick that deals with a serial killer made out of shit? Are poop and fart jokes your idea of hilarity? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, you will love this film. If you answered "no", then the film will not surprise you in any way and will be seen as nothing more than a piece of shit (sorry, I had to).

The story takes place in Butte County, and it begins with Dr. Stern (Dan Burr) discussing how Dutech, the company that he owns and operates, will soon be turning a tidy profit by selling their experiments to the government. We also discover that they are less than ethical with their disposal policies, and by that, I mean that they dump their failed experiments in the sewer. I smell trouble already...

We then cut over to the local prison, where we discover that serial killer Jack Schmidt (Brad Dosland) has escaped and is on the loose. He eventually makes his way into the sewer, where he is confronted by the police and cornered. He decides to rush them in an all-or-nothing move, and he winds up with a bullet in his chest which causes his body to fall into a pipe... a pipe that just so happens to contain plenty of those failed experiments. Before you can say "Holy shit!", the goop merges his DNA with the feces that is floating around down there, and he becomes a living, breathing, nine-foot-tall piece of shit with vengeance on his mind.

It's up to Sheriff Duncan (Paul Weiner) and Agent Hannigan (Beth West) to put an end to his murderous ways, and in the meantime, they beg the townsfolk to keep their asses off of their toilets so that Schmidt has no targets during his last few days on earth. Of course, with the chili cook-off just days away, that is easier said than done, and the chili committee refuses to shut it down because... well, who believes that there's really a living piece of poo in the sewers? Besides, the town needs the money!

I'll be honest, I had low expectations going into this film. I knew that it wasn't going to be a horror classic and would focus heavily on the humor side of things, and while I enjoy toilet humor as much as the next guy, I didn't think that it would retain its charm after ninety minutes. I mean, shit jokes are funny, but not when they are looped over the course of an entire film. I was shocked to find that I enjoyed the hell out of the film, thanks in large part to the execution.

You see, there are a handful of jokes and one-liners sprinkled throughout the running time, but not near as much as I expected. The filmmakers were content to simply let the absurdity of the situation speak for itself instead of rubbing our faces in it, and at the same time, they gave us an honest-to-goodness monster movie. Yes, the villain is made out of shit, and yes, it's a hilarious sight to see... but the filmmakers basically play it straight. Yes, it's downright silly that flies are one of the biggest weapons against it, but again, this revelation is made as a matter of fact, not with laughs and giggles. You'll get some laughs out of the ideas here, but you rarely feel like you're being baited.

As a result of this, the movie plays out more like a legitimate monster movie than a typical Troma gross-out flick. The entire formula is there: serial killer who gets special powers, revenge, a body count, police hot on his trail, and even the tried and true "You're full of shit, let's do the one thing that would give the villain an enormous bump to his body count" plot device. Obviously, there are no scares to be had (it's hard to be afraid of a piece of shit, even with the lights turned down low), but the formula is there and it makes the movie flow rather nicely.

Just to spice the deal up a little more, the entire affair is very professionally shot. I expected shaky cameras and amateur actors in a movie like this, but that is not what we got. It's a low-budget affair, granted, but it was filmed by people who knew what they were doing behind the cameras and it looks great. The actors, while not award-winners by any means, were far and away better than a movie like this had any right to feature, and the entire package felt like a small step down from something you'd see released by the big boys. Also, there are an abundance of practical effects that look great: the shit-man himself is awesome, and the close-up of a fly attacking him is pretty neat. There is a single usage of CGI towards the end, but other than that, it's all practical effects and looks nice.

Overall, I'm giving Monsturd a thumbs up, and if it sounds like your cup of tea, you will too. You won't enjoy this if the idea of shit-men and poop jokes sounds stupid to you, but if you got a little giggle out of the idea or the DVD cover, you'll definitely enjoy the film proper. I certainly did. 8/10.
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