MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET (2022)
Directed by The Snygg Brothers (John Bacchus aka Zachary Snygg & Spencer Snygg).
Written by The Snygg Brothers, Jasmin Flores, Denyse Arlene Hollis, Luke Cousins, Carmilla Crawford
Starring Tom Cikoski, Jasmin Flores, Luke Couzens, Shanna Bess, Valerie Bittner, John Paul Fedele, Camilla Crawford, Jordan Flippo, Denyse Hollis, Francis James, Sarah Marable
MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET is an anthology story all done by low budget gurus the Snygg Brothers who were responsible for such cinematic delights as BEASTERDAY: HERE COMES PETER COTTONHELL, GIRL EXPLORES GIRL: THE ALIEN ENCOUNTER, BATBABE: THE DARK KNIGHTY, THE EROTIC WITCH PROJECT series, and who could forget THE HEAPING BOUNCING BREASTS THAT SMOTHERED A MIDGET?
While previous films mixed T&A with the genre, this anthology seems to simply embrace the horror and leave the naughty stuff behind. The wraparound story focuses on Jasmin (Jasmin Flores) the daughter of a famous writer Raymond Castle (Tom Cikoski) who returns home to see what her father was working on before he passed away. Turns out, Raymond was mixing black magic with his writing and found a way to make his stories come to life soon after someone reads them. When Jasmin begins reading her father’s stories, they begin to terrorize her throughout Raymond’s run-down house. While Jasmin is running around the house from zombies, slashers, and invisible monsters, the stories are told to us in anthology form.
“Please Kill Me Again” is not an original zombie story. It basically tells the tale of one woman who is bitten and then becomes a zombie from her POV. So, we get a lot of inner dialog as if she were still human and watching her body do all of these zombie things. But as the story went on, I found myself truly entertained both by the comedic timing and the punchiness of the dialog. There’s a lot of DIY gore, but honestly, I was surprised how fun this first tale was and it sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the film.
The second tale, “Home Improvement”, was even a bigger surprise. Newlyweds Zeke (Luke Couzens) and Maureen (Shanna Bess) buy a house but aren’t prepared for the amount of fixing this fixer-upper requires. It’s fun seeing the loving couple devolve over time into loathing one another. The banter is quick and downright hilarious at times as the two barely can contain their hatred for each other the more work they have to do on the house. Reminiscent of WAR OF THE ROSES meets THE MONEY PIT and ending quite gorily, this was my favorite segment of the film.
While decently acted, “The One Percenters” is probably the weakest story of the bunch. It’s about a rich girl who convinces her rich father to allow her to go on a camping trip in the woods with her friends. Of course, once she is there, she’s miserable. Things take a turn for the worse after a gun mishap. Out in the countryside, the low budget of this production is highlighted even more. Add in some very predictable beats and I was ready to move on to the next story.
Finally, “Frankenstein’s Wife” finishes out this anthology and, surprise surprise, this one was pretty great too! This one focuses on a not-so-mad scientist named Dr. Frankenstein (John Paul Fedele) who accidentally kills his wife (played by Valerie Bittner), yet saves the day by reviving her in his lab. The only thing is Mrs. Frankenstein is horrified by the way she looks and kills herself again. This begins a never-ending cycle of the doc reviving his wife in an even worse-looking state every time she offs herself. This short proves repetition is quite funny as Mrs. Frankenstein becomes less and less human as the suicides go on. It’s wrong humor, but it hit me in the right funny way and was a darkly whimsical way to end up the collection.
The wraparound served its purpose and actually had more thought put into it than most anthologies. Plus it wasn’t unappealing to see the curvaceous and beautiful Jasmin Flores running around the house in skin tight clothing. MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET is filled with schlock and put together on a shoestring budget, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time. I thought a lot of the writing was pretty sharp and witty and the low fi computer blood and gore added another enjoyable layer of cheese. If you’re into low budget horror, you should check this one out. MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET epitomizes everything I love about the do-it yourself horror genre.