Big Monster On Campus (2000)

This film takes a familiar story, namely Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, gives it a modern makeover and in doing so makes it one of the most predictable yawn-fests I’ve ever been privy to.

After the opening failed to pique my interest even a little, I didn’t get my hopes up and I was right not to. To call this movie formulaic would be something of an understatement, to call it entertaining would be a downright untruth.

The writers appear to have cross-bred the classic tale of man-made monster and blended it together with the plot of the early 90’s, Brendan Fraser vehicle California Man. In California Man we have geeky Sean Astin falling prey to school bullies and then mysteriously digging up a caveman in his backyard which in turn makes him popular, he gets the girl, hilarity ensues. In Big Monster On Campus we, instead, have geeky Matthew Lawrence falling prey to school bullies who accidentally kill the goth kid one night at a party. They turn to him for help, science whiz Lawrence inserts a serial killers brain into dead goth kid, dead goth kid becomes re-animated popular kid and our protagonist leeches off his popularity, he gets the girl, boredom ensues. See the similarities?

The one and only saving grace was a fairly entertaining turn from Ryan Reynolds as the titular Franken-teen, honing his recognisably charm-fuelled shtick that has made him famous. He makes an otherwise awful movie, semi-watchable. Unfortunately he alone is not enough to rescue this from straight to Television, bargain bucket Hell. It’s sad but telling, that former stars Shelly DuVall and Judge Reinhold take a backseat to the little brother of that dude from Blossom, whose over-acting is painfully mediocre.

As a bit of a gorehound I was also very disappointed with the, almost, total lack of blood, nudity or violence. Are these not the things that define a horror movie? A bit of either three would have pushed this past ‘dire’ and into ‘passable’. With that in mind I’m a little lost as to why this flick is even saddled with the ‘horror’ tag (although, that said, I’m loathe to peg it as a ‘comedy’ either!) It’s not horrifying, it’s just horrible. On second thought, maybe that’s what makes it a horror film. Lord knows, it’ll probably give me nightmares for weeks.

I wish I could be more specific with my criticisms but in all honesty, I couldn’t bring myself to pay enough attention to this movie for any long period of time for fear of it giving me some kind of brain-rot.

In a nutshell, I hope that all those involved are thoroughly ashamed of themselves and wish that this were stricken from their CV.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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