One-Eyed Monster (2008) Review

OneEyedMonsterWhen the cast and crew of a hard core porn film travel to a remote abandoned army base to make their latest movie, they find themselves under attack from an alien being who has taken possessed one of the cast members…erm cast’s members.

Sometimes late at night I’ll browse Netflix or Amazon Instant looking for a film that fulfils couple of simple criteria: it has to be less than 90 minutes long and not require too much concentration. Encouraged by the presence of a vaguely familiar name – Amber Benson (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) and the late-night-logic thought that because I’ve seen “Teeth”, I need to watch a movie about a murderous monster penis to ensure gender balance, “One-Eyed Monster” won out.

It’s actually not a completely terrible film. Yes, the script is pretty poor with too many plot contrivances and the dialogue is awkward and unnatural throughout. It’s also clearly directed with frugality in mind, shots, angles and editing all working hard to mask the limitations of the budget. Despite all this, it manages to tell its story reasonably well, relying on the old “Jaws” trick of not showing the ‘monster’ until late in the film. When it finally does appear, it’s not on screen for very long, although it is pretty long on screen.

The cast, bolstered by the appearance of real-life veteran porn stars Ron Jeremy and Veronica Hart (as themselves, kind of), play it deadly serious for the most part which makes what humour there is seem accidental and it’s entirely possible this was classed as a horror/ comedy only after it had been put together.

Not being familiar with Mr Jeremy’s body of work, I can’t speak to the quality of his performance compared to what’s gone before but in this he does pretty well, and comes across as a down-to-Earth, self-deprecating kind of guy, which makes it a shame that it’s his penis which detaches and wreaks havoc amongst the rest of the characters. Veronica Hart hams it up as the ‘put out to pasture’ ex-porn star who still has some tricks up her (wizard’s) sleeve and the rest of the cast do their best although only Jason Graham as camera man Jonah and Caleb Mayo as sound guy T.J manage to rise to the occasion. Oddly, it’s Amber Benson who gives the film’s weirdest performance, delivering a trippily uneven and atonal performance that I think was meant to be inscrutable and ambiguous but kind of comes across like she’s taken some extra-drowsy cold medication.  One highlight to look out for, though, is an appearance by veteran character actor Charles Napier who delivers possibly the most bizarre and phallocentric homage to Quint’s USS Indianapolis monologue in “Jaws” that’s ever been committed to film.

For a horror movie about the production of a ‘hard core porno’, the film’s pretty coy with nudity (there’s one topless scene), sex and gore. Much of the film’s 18 certificate is driven by the frequent swearing and adorably self-conscious ‘frank conversations’ about sex and the porn industry. Despite a half-decent cast and a crazy but fun premise, poor production values (at least it wasn’t found footage) and a script in desperate need of a lot of polishing mean “One-Eyed Monster” just feels a bit flaccid.

4/10 Score 4

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