Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So in this Sci-Fi Original ‘Rock Monster’ some kids are traveling via bus through some Eastern European country, I don’t know which country it is supposed to be but I do know this film is being shot in Bulgaria. I know this because apparently when you shoot a movie in Bulgaria, there is a group of very recognizable Bulgarian actors you absolutely, positively, have to use or they won’t let you shoot there. These kids consist of Jason (Chad Michael Collins), his tough BFF Toni (Alicia Lagano), Warren (Daniel Hembling) the whiney British dude and Benny (Michael Flemming) the scared Black Guy… Note that the characters for Benny and Warren are listed nowhere, anywhere on the Internet in connection with this movie, shame I guess, so I had to cue up this movie again, fast forward to the end credits, and pull their names from that. I found you Benny and Warren! No escape! Anyway, the bus breaks down and they have to take a shortcut through the woods. They stumble upon an Excalibur styled sword in a rock, the British Dude and the Black Guy try to remove it but can’t, but with almost no effort Jason makes it happen. You would think that this is a cool thing, but Jason has just freed the ROCK MONSTER!!!

So our heroes make it to the local pub, and everybody at the local pub, once they see the sword, wants to kill them. You see, the last thing anybody should ever do is remove the sword from the rock. Hey, townsfolk, how about a sign or something? Better yet, since only a descendent of Lazar, Jason’s people, can only remove the sword, how about a sign that says ‘If you are a descendent of Lazar, don’t touch this! YOU WILL KILL US ALL! Everybody else… have at it’. It’s a good thing Dimitar (David Fliglioli) was there to save Jason and his crew. Not really. He just wants the sword for something bad. I know this because he’s he wearing a floor length black leather coat and nobody else in this town is wearing anything close to that. Also, Jason has been smitten by the insanely lovely barmaid Cassandra (Natalie Denise Sperl) who will be using Jason later on for her green card.

By this time the rock monster has assembled itself and killed the whiney British dude, and it has also killed up some villagers. It is clear that we need help and thus the Colonel (Jon Polito) has been summoned. The Colonel has guns. Guns completely don’t work against Rock Monsters. Nobody cares about this. In fact this is one of the most

entertaining things about this otherwise terrible film. Scenario: I have guns, lets shoot the rock monster. Our villagers shoot the rock monster, it doesn’t work, many die, they are befuddled. Damn… that didn’t work, any other suggestions? I know, let’s shoot the rock monster. Hell, that should work. They shoot the rock monster, it doesn’t work, many die, they are befuddled… and they do this over and over again. That’s Outstanding.

Another great thing about this movie is Benny the Scared Black Guy. When the Rock Monster Posse forms so they can ineffectively shoot at it, Benny is having nothing to do with that because it’s stupid. He’s right of course, but his plan is even worse. He’s going go back to Indianapolis. There’s a train depot forty miles away through the woods, yes forty miles and unless Benny has some kind of Train Depot Beacon built into his brain, he wouldn’t make it even if the Rock Monster didn’t exist. Not that this matters of course, because Benny thinks it’s way safer to walk through the woods all by himself, with a gun that won’t work even if he got the chance to use it, to avoid the rock monster. Did this work for Benny? Think Benny’s in Indy right now? No he’s not, not that his trusted friends cared because after Benny departed on his doomed journey, his name was never mentioned again. Maybe Jason looked him up when he made it back stateside?

Regardless, Dimitar has some kind of wacky plan to merge his soul with that of the Rock Monster which will make him the greatest human ever, unless Jason, his hot girlfriend looking for a free ride to America, and his nutty but equally hot best friend with a tank (it’s complicated) can end the Rock Monster madness.

True enough, in the grand scheme of things ‘Rock Monster’ isn’t a good movie. The monster looks silly, the story supporting it is pretty nonsensical, and as goofy as the monster might look, we did prefer the monster stomping mayhem to some of the painful dialog and the various mating rituals going on in the periphery. The good thing about ‘Rock Monster’ is that nobody in director Declan O’Brien’s movie seems to be taking this very seriously. Jon Polito was chewing up scenery like it was a stick of Juicy Fruit, if there’s an award for an overacting bad guy, David Figlioli would certainly be in the running, the British dude and the Black guy provided endless comic relief, and watching Chad Michael Collins and Natalie Denise Sperl in a scene together as a ‘couple’ should give all geeky guys the world over that acquiring an impossibly hot chick is as close as the depressed economy of the nearest Eastern European country. You can’t beat that.

A good movie? Of course not, you know better than this. But yet again, there is still value here in this otherwise terrible movie if you are willing to dig for it. I understand you shouldn’t have to do this, but we do what we do.

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