Sony // 1989 // 84 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // October 4th, 2005
Every school has its share of space cadets.
Monster High is a schlock fest about a psychotic alien who comes to Earth and wreaks havoc at a California high school. It wants to be a goofball comedy, but nothing about it is funny. It wants to be a horror flick, but nothing about it scary. Wait, let me go back. The production values and acting are laughable, and it's frightening that the movie ever got made, but those aren't really good things, are they?
Okay, so the story revolves around a couple of bumbling aliens named Dume and Glume (funny, huh?). They steal a crate containing what they believe to be a doomsday weapon, but it turns out the crate is actually the prison of a murderous alien named Mr. Armageddon. Dume and Glume end up on Earth, accidentally free Mr. Armageddon, and become unwitting pawns in his plan to destroy the planet. Out to stop Mr. Armageddon are high school students Norm Median and Candice Caine. In between various encounters with our heroes, Mr. Armageddon reanimates a mummy, breathes life into a stone gargoyle, creates a killer man-machine hybrid by melding a geek with his computer, and spawns a deadly marijuana monster. The fate of the world is ultimately determined by the outcome of a basketball game between Mr. Armageddon's minions and the high school's undefeated hoops team. In other words, this is simply 84 minutes of my life I will never get back.
Monster High is undoubtedly awful, but not in a fun or entertaining way. The people behind the movie set out to make a schlock film, but the end result isn't enjoyable on even that level. The jokes don't work, and the carnage is ho-hum. If the director (some guy you've undoubtedly never heard of) and his writers (the same duo responsible for the classic Lambada, the Forbidden Dance) had actually tried with the movie, that would be one thing, because then I could do my usual routine and make some cheap shots. Problem is, they aimed as low as they could, so, other than telling you it is unabashedly awful dreck, there's really nothing more to say about the movie.
Wait, before I forget, there is one thing I would like to mention. Diana Frank, the non-actress who portrays Candice Caine, has three topless scenes in the movie. Apparently Diana refused to show the goods, so body doubles were employed for these scenes. That's right, more than one set of stand-in jubblies is featured, and it's fairly obvious, as Candice's breasts get bigger with each successive nude scene. (I have to wonder why Frank was hired in the first place. Think about it: she can't act, she's not very attractive, and she won't take her clothes off. Jeez, why bother?)
The technical presentation is as wretched as the movie itself. The full frame transfer looks like a VHS dupe of an old cable broadcast. It's dull, dingy, noisy, and washed-out. The stereo soundtrack is one of the worst I've ever heard. It creaks, cracks, and pops; it's also out of sync at times, and the dialogue is almost always unintelligible. The only bonus feature is a selection of trailers for other Sony horror releases. (Man, they never give up on trying to push Frankenfish, do they?)
Court is adjourned. I'm going set my clock back 84 minutes.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 1989
MPAA Rating: Rated R