Movie Magazine

Headbanger Movie Review

By Mad Professor Mike

The Monster (Il Mostro)

Italy - 1994 (US release, 1996)

Hello, America!! This is Mad Professor Mike with the Headbanger Movie Review!! I went into "IL MOSTRO," or "THE MONSTER," expecting something a bit different from what I got. "THE MONSTER"--the highest-grossing movie in the history of Italian cinema--is about a serial killer whose impulse to murder and mutilate is triggered by sexual arousal!

"Hot Damn," thought I! "A new Argento movie!! A new masterpiece of Italian schlock cinema, full of beheadings and beautiful European models screaming badly dubbed screams as black-gloved hands holding large phallic weapons fill the screen!"

Well, I was wrong. Silly me... "THE MONSTER" is a COMEDY about a serial killer whose impulse to murder and mutilate is triggered by sexual arousal. What a knee-slapping concept for wacky, kooky laughs for the whole family!!

Okay... That's a little misleading. The plot involves a bumbling Italian small time con-man, played by Roberto Benigni, who is thought by the cops to be said serial killer: The Monster. It's a mistaken identity comedy--part of a long tradition--and it's pretty good, but not the "roll-around-on-the-floor-cackling" kind of time you'd expect from something that grossed more lira than any other hunk of celluloid.

Sure, there's gags a plenty. And sure, Roberto Benigni is a comic genius who executes the gags really well. But the gags are all old. Chaplin and Keaton and Tati did these same gags better years ago--y'know... running away from angry crowds and ducking into a corner, double takes, all the classic bits. And the mistaken identity bit just felt like "THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE," after a while.

There's nothing wrong with "THE MONSTER." It's just that it doesn't really have enough going for it to make it worth your while when you can stay home and get more laughs from a good episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

"THE MONSTER" gets two and a half headbangs. With the Headbanger Movie Review, I'm Mad Professor Mike for "Movie Magazine."

© 1996 - Michael Marano - Air Date: 5/1/96

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