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Case Number 22356: Small Claims Court

Buy Muckman at Amazon


Chemical Burn // 2009 // 79 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis (Retired) // September 23rd, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge Daryl Loomis says this movie is yuck, man.

The Charge

The terror you will never forget.

The Case

The career of TV monster hunter Otto Van Sant (Buzz Cartier) has been ruined after being caught perpetrating a completely obvious hoax about a monster called the muckman. After a ton of begging, his producer agrees to give him one last shot to redeem himself, so he sends his team out to the woods to hunt down this mythical swamp creature. While they do find some evidence of its existence, this is quickly proven to be a blatant scam, as well. As Otto and his top reporter, Asia Buchanan (A.J. Kahn, The Erotic Diary of Misty Mundae) try to cover their tracks by criminal means, the real muckman finally shows itself. Will the team be able to make it out before they become the latest victims of the swamp?

Probably, but who really cares? Muckman is another in the line of Z-grade productions released by Chemical Burn and, while it isn't the most inept movie I've seen come down the pike, it's pretty dumb. The concept is decent enough, I suppose, with a reality TV show host trying to redeem a hoax by putting together a second one. Only occasionally is anybody actually fooled and one person, who doesn't believe it for a second, starts putting the pieces together immediately with a mind to fully expose them, which sets in motion the retaliation of the second half. But, when the bad-looking costume of the hoax is replaced by another bad-looking "real thing," the film quickly loses any credibility it might have had.

Muckman is much more comedy than horror, but director Brett Piper (A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell) doesn't really handle either very well. The jokes are mostly based around bumbling hicks who drink moonshine and sleep outside, with the occasional stoned perv gag thrown in for good measure. Piper even tries a little Swamp Thing sentimentality to shake things up, but that's all quite stupid, especially given how ridiculous the muckman looks.

The only redeeming quality in the movie is that its heart is in the right place. The performances may be bad and the effects even worse, but it's a good-natured movie that isn't overly violent. Everyone looks like they had fun making it, which counts for something in my book, so while there's nothing here that can reasonably be called good by any measure, I can't really hate it. That doesn't mean I want to sit through it again, though.

We were sent a screener for review and, while the release disc will likely perform a little better than what I watched, it's unlikely to help matters much. The image is non-anamorphic, so it's tiny in the frame and features a near-constant reminder that I'm watching a screener, as if the shrunken image wasn't clue enough. Compression issues about, but that should resolve itself somewhat. The stereo sound is tinny and weak. There are no extras.

I may not despise Muckman like I do some of the other recent bottom-barrel films that I've watched, but that doesn't mean I can recommend it.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 55

Perp Profile

Studio: Chemical Burn
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 79 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Horror
• Independent

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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