Review by: Josh Samford

Are you familiar with Motel Hell? If you keep an eye on the American Movie Classics channel during Halloween season you'll probably catch a dozen airings of the movie until you're almost sick of it. However much as that channel airs it, it doesn't change the fact that it's probably one of the most underrated horror classics out there. It's a film about an older couple that capture young people and then make them into meat pies which they turn a serious profit off of. Now, you may ask yourself why I'd bring up Farmer Vincent and his excellent meat pie specialty, but I couldn't help but be reminded of the film when watching The Green Monster. The big difference this time around though is that The Green Monster feels like what Motel Hell might have been if maybe H.G. Lewis and John Waters had decided to team up and tackle the project. Packed to the brim with disgusting characters at all facets of society and mixed well with a great deal of gory violence to boot. I don't think you'll find many willing to argue that this is going to change your life or anything like that, but if you're a fan of gory horror, stick around for this review.

Out on a gloomy street there resides a convenience story quite unlike any other convenience store. There resides a strange couple, Gerald and Molly, who regularly kill and hack apart bodies in their basement. Gerald has a knack for black and magic and regularly concocts his own magic chocolates that offer special healing abilities along with a euphoric feeling. Apparently the key ingredient for these chocolates is human flesh, which is what thrives Gerald's search for new nubile young flesh. These chocolates, working like a drug, have young teenage Bree addicted to the feeling she gets from them. She's a psychotic young girl even without the chocolates, and her involvement with these chocolates is merely the start of her evil doings. She's also heavy into the regular drug world, unbeknownst to her best friends who just assume she's just a bit on the strange side. After taking her best friends Leah (the heavyset brainiac) and Del (the very pretty practicing dancer) to the convenience store where they are introduced to Gerald, she returns home only to find her parents slaughtered by some local drug dealers from school who she has angered. She is raped and beaten before calling Gerald in for help. However... Gerald isn't the type of person you call for help. Now, with Bree missing and another young man moving in next door to Leah who shares a missing relative in his life (also thanks to Gerald) the group is going to have to get down to the bottom of this situation and in a hurry.

As you can tell by that plot synopsis, there's a lot happening in this one. The cast isn't exactly huge or anything like that, but they are very spread out throughout the story and that leads to a lot interconnecting plot lines that actually come together well. The best thing about the way they covered this is that it gives the film the appearance of a larger scope than the film could really cover. So yeah, it's a decent sized accomplishment with the budgetary restraints that it no doubt had. It's a very solid looking film as well, with some really well handled cinematography and lighting amidst all the gory FX work. The visuals can compensate for a lot, even when some members of the cast aren't quite up to the levels of some others, at least when your movie has a visual sheen to it the audience is still able to take it fairly serious. Not to say that the acting here is dreadful or anything of that sort, believe me I've seen so much worse, but some members of the cast certainly make themselves standout from the overall quality of the rest of the production. Characters like Gerald really stand out in the film, his character I genuinely liked even if I found his Louisiana accent to be a bit ridiculous, he stands out maybe moreso because of these other elements in the cast.

What I think is going to bring in the audience for The Green Monster though is the magnificent gore FX. Well, I say magnificent but this stuff is rather cheap you have to realize. That doesn't necessarily mean bad that, I'm actually a pretty big fan of hokey gore FX and this stuff is really fun here in The Green Monster. Now, some of it is done with CG, I must warn. I know a lot of horror fans, myself included, tend to frown on the use of digital gore. There's still a decent amount of practical FX work on display here. There's some real fun grue on display and it's just nice to get a fun cheap gore flick in the mail once again. Some of the things you can expect: lots of cannibalism, some intestinal fun and a particularly nasty birth sequence to start the movie off. Usually these low budget horrors don't have the gumption to try and be so shocking, but between all the gore and rape I found something tacky and fun in this one. Truthfully, although not as extreme as most of their stuff, if you like the independent North American stuff that Unearthed Films releases on a regular basis, you'll really dig this one. Not quite as violent as Bone Sickness, but certainly as entertaining as Two Front Teeth which I also enjoyed. It has that similar feeling of fun splatter that something like Andreas Schnaas or Olaf Ittenbach's work generally does. It's cheap, it's gory, it's a bit silly but there's some mindless fun to be had.

It's a film obviously made by true horror fans (Gerald is seen reading Rue Morgue magazine at one point even!) and the quality of the production is actually pretty high for such an independent production. It may not be perfect or a new horror classic, but I don't think you can really go wrong with it if you're a gore loving horror fan. Both the characters of Bree and Gerald totally make it worth seeing if only for their involvement. Fun characters on display in this one. You can find more about the film from its official site at http://www.thegreenmonstermovie.com.  Hope everyone gets a chance to check this one out!