Death of the Critic

Why Did I Watch That? - Monster Brawl

Written by: Tom Blaich


I watched a bad movie today. It is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Watching bad movies that is. I revel in the terrible plots, paper-thin characters, cheesy effects, and wooden acting. It fuels me. I love them in a way that I can’t quite describe, or feel about bad games or music. To me, bad films deserve to be recognized, talked about, and maybe occasionally ridiculed. This one is no exception.

Sometimes you find a rare movie that transcends quality and becomes something fundamentally different. There is no question that
Monster Brawl is objectively a shitty movie, but it is unquestionably a magical experience, a bunch of movie monsters wrestling as commentators throw jokes back and forth, riffing over everything. It has comically bad acting, terrible effects, and a miserable script, but there is something here that makes it so much damned fun to watch.

Each one of the wrestlers are introduced with their own video, some taking the shape of mock documentary pieces, or origin stories for the characters, from the shrieking “Witch Bitch” to the disgusting “Swamp Thing”, who’s preceded by a National Geographic-esque nature documentary following the monster in its natural habitat. He attacks hunters and waddles through his swampy home, surrounded by litter and mud.

Alongside them you have a government created zombie and his soldier companion, Frankenstein (actually it’s Frankenstein’s Monster if you want to be a dick about it) and more. They don’t look particularly great, but there is a commitment to the dumb premise that is commendable. Everyone here knows it is stupid, and they revel in it, creating possibly the best piece of wrestling entertainment ever made.

It is hard to talk about a movie like this because while I assuredly enjoyed the hell out of it and loved every second, it is still a god-awful movie. Indeed, that is really half of the reason that I enjoyed it so much. In the right mindset, it is a movie you can really fall into, especially if there are friends or copious amounts of liquor involved as you watch a zombie try to wrestle a lumbering Frankenstein’s monster. But if you go in with any semblance of seriousness, you’ll hate it, and that is probably the more reasonable reaction to this movie.

It is rare that I stand up after watching a movie for this series without hating myself a little bit. So this was a welcome reprieve, a beautiful bag of trash in a veritable landfill that I’ve been wading through for months. I will watch it again, and force my friends to join me, because I need other people to experience this absolute madness.



Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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