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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

How to Make a Monster

How to Make a Monster is another in the Creature Features from Cinemax which took the titles of old American International Pictures and refashioned them into new films. Unlike Earth vs. Spider, this one doesn't work at all.

The setting is a software company. A team of programmers has been hired and given four weeks to make a video game scarier. They are led by fast-talking Steven Culp, and include a mountainous weapons nut (Tyler Mane), a stereotypical nerd (Jason Marsden), and a egomaniac (Karim Prince). They are given an opportunity at a million-dollar bonus, so compete with each other to make the scariest monster they can. Also on hand is a sweet intern (Clea Duvall).

A somewhat amusing scene has my old friend, scream queen Julie Strain, playing herself, wearing a motion-capture suit (with her tits hanging out, for some gratuitous nudity). Combining computer mumbo-jumbo and an electrical storm, the suit comes to life, playing the game for real. Bloodshed ensues.

Unlike Earth vs. Spider, there are no real characters here, just cartoons. The film was made in 2004, and so the technology is a little behind the times (only one character has a cell phone, and another has a Palm Pilot). A movie about a video game character come to life might be a good subject (it was tried on a much grander scale with Pixels, which I did not see) but this, written and directed by George Huang, condescends to the lowest common denominator.

One of the producers is makeup and special effects wizard Stan Winston, and he does a nice job with the monster, though.

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