Rock Monster (2008)

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A group of college kids off are stranded in the middle of nowhere in Eastern Europe when their bus breaks down. They set off to find the nearest village but on the way, Jason finds an ancient sword trapped in a pile of stones and takes it with him. When they arrive at the village, they are shocked to find the locals are very hostile towards them for removing the sword. A long time ago, an evil wizard terrorised these lands until he was killed by a knight, his spirit entrapped into the rock and a curse put on the sword which bound the rocks together. Once the sword is removed by a descendant of the knight, the wizard will be reborn in the form of a huge rock monster to continue to terrorise the lands. Now the rock monster is loose and it’s up to Jason to finish the wizard off once and for all.

 

One star for creativity at least? Come on people, have you ever heard anything like it? I’ve been moaning about the Sy-Fy’s creature feature films just being the same rubbish over and over again, continually dragging out the same monsters time after time (snakes, sharks, rats, crocodiles, you name it I bet it has been mutated or genetically enhanced at some point over the last few years). Yet here we are with a totally original story and a unique monster. Surely the recipe for success? Well think again. Rock Monster may seem fresh and original upon first glance but as soon as the film starts rolling, it’s back to wheeling out the same clichés only with a giant rock monster doing the damage to the local townspeople.

Rock Monster has a really goofy tone too which doesn’t help from the off-set. When a film tries to be funny and it clearly isn’t, then it’s just painful and toe-curling to hear jokes and attempted moments of humour fall flat on their face. At least this isn’t a live gig or else the comedian would have been bottled off the stage. Rock Monster is not an outright comedy but it was clearly only a couple of fart jokes short of being one and may have worked better if they had turned it into one. Take all of the annoyingly unfunny Eastern European supporting characters including the local army colonel who really hams it up during his ‘Quint’ speech where he interrupts a town meeting to say that he’ll find and kill the monster. Can these writers not reference other films for a change? Why does it always have to be Jaws? It’s so predictable. Yes I know everyone has seen Jaws but do we really need reminding every time someone writes a creature feature film?

What’s with the Bulgarian town being full of English-speaking peasants? They can afford to learn English and keep a large cache of weapons but not to build proper houses, eat well and dress properly? If it wasn’t so silly it may be insulting to portray Eastern Europeans like this but I guess it’s what we’re all used to now. If they are going to cast Eastern Europeans in some of the speaking parts, I wish they would actually find people who can talk without the thickest of accents. No doubt the script itself is a joke but when you hear Bulgarians babbling on about conquering the Earth in broken English, it just sounds like a jokey YouTube video. Don’t forget too that this is all set conveniently in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone coverage, no telephones and no chance of help. Why do people go to these places? If I’m going abroad, I want to be surrounded by as many people as possible!

There is one awesome thing about this film and that’s my discover of Natalie Denise Spearl, a smoking hot woman who plays the damsel-in-distress and, although her accent jumps all over the map, comes off as some uber-hot Russian Megan Fox. She’s definitely a positive but the only one, unfortunately.

The rock monster itself looks like it came straight out of a He-Man cartoon. It’s very poorly rendered although at least it’s different to a giant snake or crocodile. Now if only Jason had shouted out “I’ve got the power” when he pulled out the sword, it may have been game on. It also has the ability to camouflage itself as….well, erm a pile of rocks. Quite what a rock monster would look like remains to be seen so I guess this is as good as we’re going to get. If they looked like this then the word ‘monster’ would lose all meaning. And what is it with these creatures always deciding to bite people’s heads off? Humans have plenty of other body parts to devour so why is someone always getting their head lopped off? It’s clearly because the special effect is easy to pull off but it looks rubbish and lazy. The rock monster does a lot of damage and generally just squashes people although its battle with a tank has to be seen to be believed.

 

Rock Monster may have worked to a degree if it had gone the full hog and turned into silly low budget territory. But it doesn’t and, despite the story being at least original and fleshed, the film is just too daft and corny for its own good. This is one pile of rocks that needs sending to the crusher….pronto!

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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