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Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

3.6 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After witnessing the brutal murder of his family when he was just a young boy, Jack Brooks is
left with an unquenchable fury. Now working as a plumber, Jack attempts to fix his Professor s
plumbing, only to unknowingly awake an ancient evil. Prof. Crowley becomes possessed and
starts a slow, gruesome transformation into the depths of evil. Only then does Jack realize that
he can t run from his past, and quickly discovers the true purpose of his inner rage.


A delirious performance by horror vet Robert (Nightmare on Elm Street) Englund and the filmmakers' predilection for old-school monster suits over CGI help to make the Canadian indie horror-comedy Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer an enjoyable and entertaining alternative to the current rash of relentlessly grim fright fare. As played by co-producer Trevor Mathews, Jack Brooks is no barrel-chested pulp hero, but rather an aimless small-town slacker with a hair-trigger temper (the result of childhood trauma involving his family's death at the hands of a monster). Plagued on all sides by a nagging girlfriend, a hapless shrink and a dead-end job as a plumber, Jack seems destined for mediocrity--until his night school professor (an terrific, unfettered comic turn by Englund) unearths an ancient evil and begins to change into a ravenous, slobbering creature, thus giving Jack both a purpose and an outlet for his anger issues. Director Jon Knautz's feature debut pays loving homage to all manner of boyish pop-culture touchstones, from Marvel Comics and Ray Harryhausen epics to the early works of fellow do-it-yourselfers like Sam Raimi, and if his set up feels belabored in its telling, he delivers the goods once Jack straps on his plumbing toolkit to square off against the monster-fied Englund. Inventive and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, Jack Brooks is one potential franchise series that actually deserves a follow up film. The DVD includes commentary by Knautz, Mathews and members of the production team, as well as lengthy featurettes on the film, its soundtrack and the monster FX. Deleted scenes, conceptual art galleries and the original trailer are also included on the disc. --Paul Gaita

Stills from Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (click for larger image)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Trevor Matthews, Robert Englund, Daniel Kash, Rachel Skarsten, James A. Woods
  • Directors: Jon Knautz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001C0NMU2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,085 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Perhaps if I had stumbled over this film as a rental first instead of buying it outright sight unseen, brand new at Best Buy I might feel more kindly disposed towards it. "WTF?" you are no doubt saying at this point. "You've given it 4 stars and you're saying that you don't like the film?" Well yeah, kinda sorta. I made the mistake of buying it on impulse based on the rave reviews on the cover, the blurb on the back, and some cover art that made it look like the greatest thing since RE-ANIMATOR, EVIL DEAD 2, and ARMY OF DARKNESS. And I can't afford to throw my money away like that, but I took the chance anyway. Needless to say the film didn't deliver what I had been expecting/hoping for, which was something along the lines of a story built around a character like the one John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin from CHEERS) played in HOUSE 2. You know, the electrician who is also an "adventurer" on the side? He takes one look inside the walls of the house and drawls matter of factly, "Yeah, it looks like you have some sort of alternate universe in there." Of course I know better than to go into any film with preconceived notions like that, but in this case my mind just ran away with me and I couldn't help it.

The film stars Robert Englund in one of his best performances in ages as a night school science teacher, Professor Crowley, who has in his class our title character Jack Brooks. Now Jack (played by Trevor Mathews who also co-wrote the story on which the screenplay is based) is just loaded with History. It seems at a very tender age he witnessed his whole family's slaughter at the claws and fangs of some sort of man/monster while they were out camping in the woods. The only thing that saved little Jack's life was the fact that he ran. Running wound up taking control of the rest of his life.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Do you hate CGI??
Jack Brooks does.
Do you miss the days of corn syrup, latex, and paper-mache'??
Jack Brooks sure does.
Not only is Jack Brooks whipping monster arse,
cracking their jaws in half & taking their ugly names,
but he's doing it old-school style.
Jack Brooks likes the old-school.
Plenty of monsters there.
Plenty of monsters, but not 1 Computer Generated Image in sight.
But......(there's always a but)
Jack Brooks has a bit of an anger problem.
One he's having trouble controling.
Ok so it's a major anger problem.
But can you blame the guy?!?!
His family was killed by a forest troll when he was just a boy.
A helpless boy who stood by unable to help.
Now Jack Brooks has a psychiatrist.
A partiularly useless one.
One who might need to get punched in the face.
And then there's school to worry about too.
Which is hard enough in itself,
without having to deal with a teacher mutating into Krueger The Hutt.
Yeah it's a hard life for Jack Brooks,
but a monster slayers gotta do what a monster slayers gotta do.

Ok seriously though,
You're gonna love this movie.
It has excellent character development brought to life by a great cast.
It has barrels of black-comedy laughs.
And lots of Non-CGI monsters. (remember those??)
I went into this one thinking it was going to be as lame as a paralyzed sloth.
But boy was I pleasantly suprised!!!
You've made me a believer Jack.
Now I'd like to see Mr. Brooks take on monsters that exist in other movies.
Tremors, Critters, Vampires, Sleepwalkers, whatever!!

So many monsters. So little time.
Anger Management is the ability to slay 2 monsters at once.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is by and far one of the most enjoyable original titles to come from Anchor Bay, and it's easy to see why. Co-producer and co-writer Trevor Matthews stars as the title character, a plumber with some huge anger issues who witnessed the brutal murder of his family by monsters when he was a child. Along with his annoying girlfriend (Birds of Prey's Rachel Skarsten), Jack is taking night classes, but sadly his professor (genre stalwart Robert Englund) has accidentally unleashed a demonic force that is horribly transforming him, and soon enough it's up to Jack to put his rage to some monster-slaying use. With its tongue planted firmly in cheek, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is an awesomely enjoyable and bloody treat. The only real flaw with the film is that it's too short, but there is ripe potential here for Jack's monster slaying to continue. Hopefully, it will.
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Format: DVD
I had heard good things about this flick online, but being a long-time watcher of all manner of horror and monster movies, the description on the DVD rental case made me sneer in cynicism. The thought of watching yet another no-talent mess filled with pandering humor and the usual (yawn) gore and (yuck) CGI FX trying real hard to be another "Re-animator", "Evil Dead 2" or "Tremors" just annoyed me to no end, so I put it back. The next time I was there, I must have been in just the right mood, because I recalled having enjoyed a fairly recent one of these called "Feast", which was typical, but outrageously so to such a degree that it elevated itself to being a must-see for genre lovers, so, I rented "Jack Brooks". Boy, am I glad I gave it a chance.

First of all, don't expect a hectic pace from start to finish as in "Feast" or "Evil Dead 2". The plot for this one unfolds more like a typical B-movie, starting with scenes that establish the characters and situation, then escalates the horror elements as the story progresses towards the finale, a story structure more like "Re-animator" or "From Beyond", but with the accent a little more on the humorous side than those 2 worthy films. However, "Jack Brooks" lacks the feeling of inventiveness that those movies had. Speaking of '80s horror classics, the good news here is no cheap CGI effects, but honest-to-goodness monster suits and make-up that you can sink your teeth into. Someone finally got it right when they decided to give us something real rather than a cartoon.

Plot summary: when a child, Jack Brooks witnessed the murder of his family by supernatural creatures, so as an adult, he still has serious anger issues stemming from the trauma of that childhood incident.
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