Monsterland is a follow-up to Zombieworld (2014). In both cases the horror site, Dread Central, had a contest to submit your short film and they chose the best ones to head up their respective anthology films, both of which have bookends to keep all the tales in sync. I never bought Zombieworld because zombies aren’t my favorite movie monsters and nowadays are just way too overexposed. Everyone and their brother wants to make the next zombie apocalypse, monsters on the hand are more up my alley, which is why I thought I’d give this collection a try. I’m not normally a fan of short films unless they come in at a significant length, like (ideally) 20-30 minutes, but if the subject matter and production value are high I’ll give any length of a try.
Monsterland consists of eight short flicks, and a bookend scenario that felt like an homage to In The Mouth Of Madness (1995), specifically the final moments when the world has finally been thrown into chaos by the Lovecraftian horrors author Sutter Cane was manipulated into helping, of which Sam Neil’s character was a crucial cog. Neil, on the brink of madness, wanders into a movie theater and watches the events that have just unfolded in the movie unfold on the big screen, and goes mad in the process.
In Monsterland the world is being overrun by monsters of all kinds and this one survivor, on the brink of madness, wanders into a movie theater, gets himself a tub of popcorn and goes in to watch whatever the theater was were playing. Bodies are strewn everywhere. What he watches are these flicks here:
Don’t Go In The Lake (4-minutes): I wish this had more of a beginning, middle and end. As it stands it’s only a moment in time with a group of kids heading down to a local lake at night to skinny dip and get massacred by a monster under the water. The monster that is never shown. What is shown are a couple of topless chicks, and the gore.
The Grey Matter (16-minutes): A James Spader look- alike wakes one night in an alley. He’s covered in blood, but no memory of how he got there. At home he discovers a huge hole in the back of his head. He bandages it up, throws on a fedora and goes to work. No one seems to ask him about his odd taste in hats or that massive bandage around his skull. At home, he hears voices. He reaches into his head hole and pulls out a small talking parasite that wants to be his friend. You see this dude is dead. He doesn’t bleed, but he’s still walking around. And he needs to eat someone’s brain. This is a very cool homage to Brain Damage (1988), with high production value, but it just abruptly ends. Effects for the talking maggot are very good too.
Curiosity Kills (13-minutes): This plays out like a bloody Looney Tunes short. A kid exposes his pet rat to chemicals his father brought home from the Nuclear Power Plant. Said rat them goes on a rampage killing mother, father and the pet cat. This short did nothing for me.
Hag (17-minutes): The second best short so far. Again very good production value and creepy hell. Hag focuses on sleep paralysis. A husband has it, but his wife does odd things too. She sleep walks over to the window and mutters in creepy fashion to herself. Meanwhile, a Hag that hovers over him visits the husband every night. Eventually this Hag tears his lower jaw off with her teeth. That hag was his wife. Good effects in this one too.
Between these two shorts is one that isn’t even listed on the disc’s menu and it’s not titled either. It’s an animated flick that runs 4-minutes about a monster in the woods. An old man is called in and he kills it with his walker. This one did nothing for me either.
House Call (13-minutes): Another high production value short, and the third best. For those keeping score the first best was The Grey Matter. A dentist going through a divorce is the main character. One night a man with a gun visits and orders him to pull out two of his teeth because he thinks he’s turning into a vampire. He is, and he does and that poor dentist ends up being his first meal. Effects were good in this one as well.
Happy Memories (5-minutes): Personally, I thought this was the worst short of this collection. There’s no plot per say. Let’s say you just dropped some acid, or took some shrooms, this five-minute wonder might be a celluloid representation of your trip. It involves one human actor and a bunch strange puppets.
Stay At Home Dad (15-minutes): The third best entry in this collection and the weirdest. It’s about a couple having a kid and the father goes through an experimental treatment to grow a pair of ample breasts so he can breastfeed his daughter. I kept wondering, so where’s the monster? They show up at the end. It was his daughter and his wife. They’re some kind of Lovecraftian horror and the experimental breast milk triggered the daughter’s transformation, one she would have went through in puberty. I guess once that happens these creatures then eat the father! The huge tits the guy acquired could have been more real looking, but on a short film budget I understand that was as far as they could have gotten them to the real thing. Monster effects are very well done though.
Hellyfish (12-minutes): I reviewed this one a while back. See my review here, and this is the fourth best short of the collection.
For the most part Monsterland is filled with more winners than losers and the winners I wouldn’t mind seeing made into full length movies. Hellyfish is the only one I know of that’s getting a full length version by the way.
On June 7th Image Entertainment releases Monsterland on DVD only!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 2.35:1/1.78:1 widescreen—English Dolby Digital Stereo—No subtitles.
Except for Hellyfish the ratio for all the other films are 2.35:1.
There are no extras.
You Can Buy Monsterland Here At Amazon!
I’d like to see more of these collections. A Nature run amok would be fun, or a vampire, or a werewolf collection. How ’bout killer plants, or giant insects? Aliens? I got a it, a killer limb collection! Jesus, the possibilities are endless.