Today: February 24, 2024

Monstro!

Three tattooed and pierced femme fatales find themselves stuck in their broken-down car in the middle of the Australian outback

Three tattooed and pierced femme fatales find themselves
stuck in their broken-down car in the middle of the Australian outback
, wondering how they’re gonna get out of this
latest fix, when along come two local rednecks to solve the problem. On the
promise of some skinny-dipping in the local swimming hole the two numbskulls
get to fixing the car but before you know it the flick knives are out and the
boys are spurting claret all over the place. The girls commandeer the dead boys’
now vacant Chevy and continue with their road trip.

The trio of Tura Satana clones (Faster Pussycat!
Kill! Kill!) end up at an undisclosed little fishing town and decide to go for
a dip to cool off, only to have a clichéd wheelchair ridden, crazy old man come
and warn them not to swim in the sea. “Damned whores, they don’t know what the
hell they’re getting into”! Quite. It’s not long before the hard-drinking,
hard-smoking, coke-snorting hell-raisers are causing chaos and tempting the
local virgin Hannah (Kyrie Capri 17
going on 30!) into their partying, live-life-to-the-full, bad girl ways.

Meanwhile some of the
locals are doing some night fishing while shooting the breeze, with a little
spying on the girls, but what they hook up on the end of their line certainly
ain’t no Monkfish! In fact it’s got more tentacles than a wardrobe full of
octopuses, and it’s not happy…

Monstro tries to come over
as a low rent version of Russ Meyer’s
ultimate 60s girl-power flick, Faster
Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
but doesn’t come close to replicating that cult
classic. The acting by the three female leads isn’t too bad, considering
they’re first timers, but they certainly won’t be troubling the Oscar
ceremonies any time soon.

Monstro! is director Stuart Simpson’s second full length
feature and there’s nothing wrong with his directing, there’s some nice
intercutting of scenes and of course the obligatory drug/trip scene but it’s
just the hackneyed script that lets the film down so badly. It’s another
example of why most directors should never film their own scripts. Although
having the first scenes in Noir-esque Black & White was a nice touch, kicking
into technicolour tawdriness on the first slit of a throat. The soundtrack is
actually pretty good, filled as it is with loud alternative rock (too loud at
times, drowning out the dialog), 40s & 50s styled Hawaiian hula and
mariachi ditties, giving the film some retro cool.

Monstro! tries to sell
itself as a 50s styled exploitation flick but there’s too little sex, zero
nudity and hence little to exploit. What the film does have is plenty of
acceptably staged gore to keep things lively and creature effects above average
for a film with a low budget. But even with a 75 minute running time it still
feels over-long and takes forever to get to the blood soaked finale. The girls
hold a flick knife like they’re wielding set of hair straighteners, wave machetes
like they’re on a badminton court and generally totter round the outback like Crocodile Dundee in heels and a pencil
skirt. Only Kyrie Capri and Norman Yemm
show any real acting skills in their roles as the virginal heroine and her
wheelchair bound father Joseph.

Simpson tries to inject
some social commentary and emotion into the script, notably when Hannah realises
that there might be more to life, besides looking after her crazy old man after
a drunken night with the girls, but it’s half hearted and never really followed
through. There is one classic line uttered by one of the fishermen to his lovelorn
son “Women are all the same son… sluts just like your mother”, not exactly
‘When Harry Met Sally’….

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