The Berenstain Bears’ Comic Valentine (1982)

Bear Country Cousins versus the Beartown Bullies for all the marbles! Hot shot local talent and slap shot sexpot Brother Bear leads his team against the heavily favored big city goons (they all have a missing front tooth so they must be goons, right?) anchored by the hulking boogeyman of a goalie whose surely hideous visage is hidden beneath a fearsome hockey mask! The stage is set for a polar vortex Valentine’s Day Massacre! Continue reading “The Berenstain Bears’ Comic Valentine (1982)”

Night of the Scarecrow (1995)

Who is the worst Goodman man in the small jerkwater town of Hanford they inhabit? Is it the mayor for not wanting a serious investigation into a murder because he doesn’t want to jeopardize the new mall coming to town? Nah, if you’re getting a food court with both a Great American Cookie Company and an Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, you don’t want some long drawn out “killer on the loose” drama delaying all that deliciousness! Continue reading “Night of the Scarecrow (1995)”

Psycho Scarecrow (1996)

It’s true that after Floyd is inadvertently killed by one of his friends that he somehow returns dressed as a scarecrow and murders the lot of them with an axe, but it seems a bit harsh to label him as a “psycho” for doing what vengeance-seeking scarecrows have done in any number of other films.

Does anyone really think that he’s any more or less crazy than the resurrected preacher trying to mate with Jaimie Alexander in Hallowed Ground? Or the kid who murders Ken Shamrock after somehow being possessed by the spirit of a scarecrow he himself had earlier possessed in Scarecrow Gone Wild? When stacked up against those farm freak shows, a few axe murders seem relatively prosaic! Continue reading “Psycho Scarecrow (1996)”

Hallowed Ground (2007)

At first blush, following a prophecy seems like a pretty easy gig. The religious leader of your choice announces what’s going to happen and what you have to do to ensure it happens. Sure, it usually always ends up with you trying to score sexy virgins for your leader, bringing about the rapture by getting into a standoff with some obscure government agency or drinking weird tasting punch, but at least it’s all relatively straight forward.

In the small town of Hope though, the prophecy involves a preacher dead for 100 years coming back as a scarecrow and then being reborn in human form by forcing an outsider to have his not-so-immaculately conceived self somehow. It’s enough to give even the most brainwashed cult member pause. Continue reading “Hallowed Ground (2007)”

Phenomena (1985)

A psychic girl with the superpower to summon swarms of icky bugs teams up with a revenge-seeking razor-wielding chimp to take down the mother of a deformed kid who both have been out and about in the the Swiss mountains killing people! Truly, this is the logline of the gods!  Fellow Italian Lucio Fucli was probably kicking himself that Dario Argento thought of it first! Continue reading “Phenomena (1985)”

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today…

January 10, 2000 saw the launch of MonsterHunter with ten reviews of films including Gone With the Wind, Creature From the Black Lagoon and one of the Yamato anime movies. None of those reviews are still posted of course owing to the fact that they sucked, the random ramblings of a young punk who knew nothing about much, but still thought the world was desperate to know his thoughts about Rhett and Scarlett’s dysfunctional relationship.

Now two decades wiser, I realize no one still wants to know if I liked Gone With the Wind (it’s fine), but can’t wait to find out from me what I thought of some early 1970s ABC Movie of the Week or whether the latest Steven Seagal release is any better than the other three or four movies he released earlier in the year (spoiler alert – nah – I’m not even sure if he realizes he is making different movies).

MonsterHunter actually began in 1999 back with a long since disappeared geocities webpage. It was called Omega City 3000 for no other reason but that my 1990s self thought it sounded cool. I think the site talked about pro wrestling, movies and whatever else flitted across my awareness. All that remains of it now is the yahoo email address associated with it that I still use for this site (oc3k being short for Omega City 3000).

In late 1999 I decided to just write about movies, wrote ten reviews, and probably used some primitive WYSIWYG tools to build the original MonsterHunter on another long dead free web host, xoom.com. If memory serves, back in those days, there was also a “coming soon” section that detailed upcoming releases, but eventually that died when I realized other sites did that much better and was too much work in addition to writing, editing and posting reviews every week.

At some point the generous Nathan Shumate who ran Cold Fusion Video took note (or maybe pity) of MonsterHunter and offered to host it, making it part of his elite circle of sites known as the Cold Fusioneers. Eventually though the Cold Fusioneers were disbanded and MonsterHunter was again on its own.

Chugging along (now on actual grown up paid hosting!) through the first few decades of the 21st Century, MonsterHunter has posted almost 1000 reviews, fielded numerous complaints about his poor taste in film, and never made a dime off of any it!

“Who am I to criticize someone’s favorite film!”  “I wouldn’t know a great movie if it kicked me in the nads!” “You are a terrible writer because I disagree with you!” are the types of compliments I routinely find in the moderation que.

You know what my qualification is to write the review?  I watched the damn movie.  You know what the criteria is for whether it’s a positive or negative review?  Did the damn movie entertain me.  That’s it.  No other agenda.  I don’t get paid by anyone, get freebies, favors or know any of these people.  I’m just like anyone else – I find a movie that looks interesting and I watch.  Then I write about what I thought.  That’s the recipe for all the success you see on MonsterHunter!

So what happens now that you know the secret origin of MonsterHunter?  Am I quitting for like the tenth time?  Am I selling out? (I wish!  Please email with your offers of fame and riches!) Am I going to start reviewing Marvel movies and Fast and Furious sequels in an effort to get more people to the site than might be inclined to read reviews about some 40 year old Christmas cartoon or trashy Italian movie made by guys named Tonino or Sergio? (Uh no – no one really needs a review to decide whether a five hour long Avengers four-quel is for them.)

I’m going to keep posting reviews.  And if you read this far, you’ve certainly earned at least that! Please enjoy this thoughtful analysis on the forgettably generic Italian monster movie, Panic.

Panic (1982)

What happens when you team a pair of Italian trash cinema vets like David Warbeck (The Ark of the Sun God, Karate Rock) and Janet Agren (Hands of Steel, Karate Warrior) with director Tonino Ricci, a man with his own sterling Italian schlock resume of which Rush and A Man Called Rage are just a few of the highlights, and turn the whole lot of them loose with a camera crew in Britain? Panic! Pure monster prowling in the sewers panic! Why, after seeing this movie, I’ll never feel safe hanging around in my local sewers ever again! Click here to continue reading

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