Love in the Time of MonstersTitle: Love in the Time of Monsters (2014)
Director: Matt Jackson
Runtime: 97 minutes

There I am, minding my own business on Twitter, talking about Zombeavers, when the Twitter account for Love in the Time of Monsters sends me a message saying that their film has something in common with the movie I was tweeting about. I told them to send it my way and I would give it a try. It’s this kind of interaction on social networking sites that makes writing these reviews fun, and I get to hear about and experience films I would have otherwise missed out on.

In Love in the Time of Monsters, two sisters head to a cheesy theme park to surprise the one sister’s boyfriend who is working there as a bigfoot actor. Unbeknownst to them, some toxic waste is being dumped into the local lake, and when the bigfoot actors fall into this mess they become rabid, zombie-like attackers.

Yes, Love in the Time of Monsters is as cheesy as it sounds, and at no point do you believe these folks set out to make a grade-A horror film. It’s a throwback to the likes of Return of the Living Dead. The characters are perfect stereotypes, the dialogue is just the right amount of cheese, and the creature effects in the finale are mind-numbingly bad, and I love it for that. Oh, and the electricity “thing” is hysterically bad.

I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of this film sooner because Kane Hodder plays one of the bigfoot actors, and he just hams it up to his hearts content. If you know me, you know that I’m a huge fan of his, and while this isn’t his typical role persay, he’s still really entertaining here. Hugo Armstrong plays Chester, the hunter that lives nearby, and I loved him in this role. He just hits it right on the mark. The rest of the cast is filled with actors I didn’t know previously, but they all do good work with what they’re given.

This is director Matt Jackson’s first feature film, and I’m surprised he does such a nice job with a budget of only roughly $500,000. When it comes to independent horror, you walk a fine line of what you can pull off. That said, making the monsters “fake”, and in a costume, it allows the budget to breath a little easier, and keeps the gore effects mostly practical. The film does drag a bit, but only because so much happens early on, and you’re left wondering what more they can do in the next hour. The answer is a lot, and there’s plenty of fodder to last the 90-minute runtime.

Love in the Time of Monsters might not win any big Oscars, or stick out in anyone’s head, but it has enough charm that it might hit a weird, cult status in a number of years. Indie horror is where the best stuff is happening right now, and while this isn’t top tier, it’s still a fun little ride that is worth checking out if you like some cheese with your horror comedies. Going in with an open mind is the best way to address any of these indie horror films.

two_and_a_half_stars

Chris Ranson
Film Critic at Cinefessions

Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.