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MONSTURD

Yes, this is a real movie and that’s its actual title: MONSTURD, the world’s first and thus far only monster turd movie.  No, it’s not a scatological porn movie, just a fairly tame horror-comedy.  It has some funny moments, but overall MONSTRUD is as you might expect: shitty

The Package 
     This film, a shot-on-video no-budgeter, received some fairly effusive reviews when it played the festival circuit back in 2002, which are enthusiastically quoted on the Elite DVD cover (“MONSTURD actually falls into that one elusive percentile of way-cool”; “The acting is great, the directing is fast-paced and the score is incredible for movie on this budget level”--did these people see the same MONSTURD I did?).  I’m assuming the reviewers were being EXTREMELY generous or were just over-impressed by the audacious concept.  For that the film does deserve credit, I guess, it being the first of its kind...never mind that it’s crappy and derivative in most other aspects. 

The Story 
     A little girl wants her dad to tell her a bedtime story but he begs off, so she decides to tell him a story.  Its set in Butte County, CA, where a serial killer named Jack Schmitt escapes from prison just as an accident at a nearby research laboratory unleashes toxic waste into the city sewers.  Guess what?  Schmitt runs into the sewers and gets dissolved by the toxins--but then he’s resurrected as a hulking shitman, and as such takes to bursting up through people’s toilets, devouring them and leaving behind his signature line, written in shit on bathroom walls: “DON’T GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN!”  The cops are baffled at first, but have to accept that a homicidal turd man is loose--one of them solemnly vows, “I’m gonna get that piece of shit!”
     The residents of Butte are advised to stay off their toilets and to relieve themselves in buckets or behind trees, if not in their pants.  Meanwhile the cops prepare for a confrontation with Schmitt by wrapping their extremities in diapers, filling canteens with Pepto Bismol and arming themselves with toilet plungers.  They then make their way into the sewers, where they and some flies do their duty and get rid of Schmitt.
     And so the little girl finishes her story, but adds a terrifying coda: the tale of the Monsturd was sold to Hollywood and made into a $100 million movie! 

The Direction 
     A $100 million movie?  Well, MONSTURD clearly isn’t it, as the ultra-cheesy video stock, unbelievably unbelievable “special” effects (the swarm of “flies” that show up near the end are particularly tacky) and cheesy synthesizer muzak make clear.  Still, the Monsturd itself, a big guy encrusted with shiny brown turds, is a reasonably impressive creation.
     Lacking any compelling characters (the acting by a largely amateur cast isn’t exactly award-caliber), the moviemakers (over)rely on a plethora of bathroom jokes, which are, I’ll have to say, kinda funny, being tailor-made for the twelve-year-old in all of us (who among us wouldn’t cackle at a town named Butte County?).  The film could have used a bit more creativity, because as it is there’s very little...although the climax, in which the cops outfit themselves with diapers and Pepto Bismol, is inspired.
 

Vital Statistics 

MONSTURD
4321 Productions

Directors: Dan West, Rick Popko
Producer: Rick Popco
Screenplay: Dan West, Rick Popko
Cast: Paul Weiner, Beth West, Dan Burr, Rick Popko, Dan West, Dan Ellis, Hannah Stangel, Timm Carney, Brad Dosland, Mark Pirro
 


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