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(aka "El Monstro del Mar" )

 

directed by Stuart Simpson
Australia 2010

 

Three deadly femmes on the lam - Beretta (Nelli Scarlet), Blondie (Karli Madden), and Snowball (Kate Watts) - raise more than hell when they hideout at a seaside shack in a remote village. Blithely disregarding the warnings of wheelchair-bound codger Joseph (Norman Yemm, RAW DEAL) about swimming in the water, they awaken a long dormant sea monster responsible for the village's drastically-reduced population. When the monster decimates much of the remaining population of fishermen, the women team up with Joseph's granddaughter Hannah (Kyrie Capri) - who also lost her mother to the monster years before - to fight the monster as it besieges Joseph's cottage.

While it may be too soon to declare MONSTRO! - originally titled EL MONSTRO DEL MAR - the return of Ozploitation, the film is an entertaining throwback to seventies exploitation (viewed through Tarentino-tinted lenses) with a touch of Russ Meyer and a refreshing reliance on largely practical creature and make-up effects (press materials cite only minimal CGI augmentation). Yemm and Scarlet make the more effective impressions of the cast given the thinly scripted characters (the killer trio are visually striking but not very well-delineated), but the diverse soundtrack, Simpson's often striking visual sense, and the entertaining climactic siege make the finished feature a promising start.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: Monster Pictures/Eureka Video - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Monster Pictures/Eureka Video

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:12:27 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.16 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Monster Pictures/Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Stuart Simpson, effects artist Nick Kocsis, camera assistant Chris Malone, costumer Claire Mueller, and producer Fabian Pisani
• Audio Commentary with actresses Kate Watts, Nelli Scarlet, and Karli Madden
• Behind the Scenes (16:9; 3:42)
• Cast Interviews (16:9; 13:05)
• Deleted Scenes (16:9; 6:22)
• Trailer (16:9; 1:46)
• Short Film ACID SPIDERS (16:9; 15:43)
• Short Film SICKIE (16:9; 7:17)
• Insert booklet with director's essay

DVD Release Date: October 22nd,  2012
Amaray

Chapters 9

 

Comments

MONSTRO! has a variable color palette with virtually every scene treated to various digital color enhancements, so I'm going to assume that Monster Pictures encoding is a good representation of the film's bleached look. The 2.0 stereo mix nicely balances the dialogue and the music-heavy soundtrack. The crew commentary is un-listenable in many spots since the feature audio is mixed too loud and some of the participants are soft-spoken (director Stuart Simpson's essay in the insert booklet is helpful). The cast commentary fares better because the rowdier participants speak louder.

The behind the scenes segment isn't very illuminating, but the cast interviews (reacting to a rough assembly) is a nice touch. Two short films by the director are also included as extras. The fifteen minute ACID SPIDERS seems like a dry run for the feature with its mostly female cast, puppet monsters, and practical gore effects (SICKIE is a less ambitious effects gag). The film's trailer rounds out the extras.

MONSTRO! is also available on Region 1 DVD (HERE) under its original title EL MONSTRO DEL MAR from Breaking Glass Pictures offshoot Vicious Circle Films.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Monster Pictures/Eureka Video

Region 0 - PAL

 




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