I’m not sure what I was expecting from Adam Steigert’s latest film, The Horrific Evil Monsters, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just after Fang and Ombis: Alien Invasion I wasn’t expecting a somewhat lighthearted mashup of Men in Black, Suicide Squad and The Monster Squad. And if that sounds weird, wait until you see it.
Conquest (Jennie Russo, Return to Splatter Farm, Konga TNT), War (Jason John Beebe, WrestleMassacre, Crossbreed), Famine (Gregory Blair, Ugly Sweater Party, For Jennifer) and Death (Michael Zsiros, A Grim Becoming), A/K/A The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have decided that it’s time to ride.
In order to stop them, a top-secret government agency led by an agent known only as Mick (Christopher Brechtel, Gore) has put together a team that includes Gore (Norman Queeno, Dead Sea) a Leatherface like killer, the alien Obji (Will Nemi, Casting Couch Slaughter 2: The Second Coming) and his action hero buddy Alex Creed (Bishop Stevens, Girl on the Third Floor), Anna (Kaylee Williams, Ahockalypse, Black Creek) who’s a smart-mouthed zombie, the Grim Reaper (Sean C. Sanders, STAR [Space Traveling Alien Reject]), Mrs. Unknown (Xia Orozco, Bigfoot’s Bride), and in his last role, the late Michael O’Hear (Widow’s Point, Lycanimator) as the Dr. Loomis-esque William Sanders.
That’s a large, and impressive, cast for a low-budget film. And that’s both a good and bad thing. Because at an hour-long, seventy minutes with credits, The Horrific Evil Monsters has to devote a substantial amount of its time to introduce all of its characters, especially the heroes. The bad guys on the other hand are quickly introduced and allowed to go be villainous. Which they do with equal parts menace and humour.
The script by Adam and Kristin Steigert, while not laugh out loud funny, is full of grin inducing moments. Never taking itself quite seriously, it pokes fun at horror and superhero tropes without ever becoming an outright parody. While I was expecting a more straightforward, and darker, film, this probably was the best way to go with The Horrific Evil Monsters given its budget and plot.
Keeping it light means there’s less need for expensive gory effects although we do get some in the final battle. It also means the plot can sort of go where it needs to without worrying too much about logic. Not that a film that features the kind of characters that The Horrific Evil Monsters does is going to be that concerned with being realistic in the first place.
When the two sides finally do battle I have to admit it felt a bit underwhelming. It’s over fairly quickly and the fight choreography leaves something to be desired. The Horrific Evil Monsters actually needed about another ten or fifteen minutes added to the runtime, mostly to the end. The whole film builds to this showdown, it really needed to deliver a bit more than the quick scuffle we get. A good fight choreographer would also have helped immensely.
Overall, The Horrific Evil Monsters is fun even if it’s not all it could have been. The Horsemen are hissable villains, and Famine is actually fairly creepy in his appearance and mannerisms. The good guys are likeable for the most part. A couple of them are underused to the point that it might have been better to have left them out and concentrated on the rest. The ending teases a sequel, if it happens hopefully they’ll go with a smaller group, or let the film run a bit longer.
The Horrific Evil Monsters is currently available to stream on Vimeo and other platforms. You can check the film’s Facebook page for details.