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Muckman

USA 2009
produced by
Mark Polonia for Polonia Brothers
directed by Brett Piper
starring Anju McIntyre (= A.J. Khan), Alison Whitney, Ken Van Sant, Danielle Donahue, Ian Piper, Jared Warren, Steve Diasparra, Buzz Cartier
written by Brett Piper, Mark Polonia, music by Jon Greathouse, special effects by Brett Piper

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Some time ago, the show Creature Seekers was cancelled because the last creature they were trying to track down, the legendary Muckman, was pretty much revealed as a drunk actor in a monkeysuit live on the air. But now host Asia Buchanan (Anju McIntyre) and producer Mickey O'Hara (Steve Diasparra) want to give the show and in particular the Muckman-subject another go - so Asia takes off to the backwoods with a clueless skeletal crew (Danielle Donahue, Ian Piper, Jared Warren) to let a local guide, Cletus (Ken Van Sant) and two hicks take them to where the Muckman is believed to live. And soon enough, they have encounter after encounter with the Muckman, who is seemingly able to appear out of and disappear into nowhere, and is extremely good at appearing only in shaky camera shots, so nobody can really tell what it is - which in theory makes it all the more real or at least realistic, right?

Of course, the whole thing is just a setup dreamed up by Asia, Mickey and Cletus, but they figure if the crew isn't in on the hoax, that adds an extra layer of authencity. Too bad then that their unconspicuous produc tion assistant/driver/van owner Billie (Alison Whitney) is smarter and more capable than the lot of them, and it doesn't take her long to not only figure out the hoax but collect enough proof on video - until of course she's found out by Asia, Mickey and Cletus, and while Mickey and Cletus are quick to admit defeat, it's Asia, seeing her career in peril, who convinces the others to kill Billie.

Cletus throws Billie off a bridge to her death, but then he sees her dragged off ... by the actual Muckman - which is just as well I suppose. The Muckman though turns out to be an intelligent, gentle creature who nurses Billie back to health, but only lets her go after she promises him to remain silent about their encounter, because above anything else, the Muckman wants to be left in peace.

Billie arrives with the camera crew just after Cletus has told them that she is dead, and seeing her alive, Cletus quickly gives away all of Asia's evil plans by accident - but then Asia and Mickey arrive, manage to overcome their adversaries, tie them up and want to bur the hut they're in to get rid of unwanted witnesses ... when the Muckman does interfere, and he chases them off before a tentacled monster crashes their escape vehicle ...

But how come, you may (or may not) ask, Billie was so adamant to expose her employers' hoax?

Because she's the host of a show called Hoax Busters, that's why.

 

Above all else, this film is fun!

It's an hommage to 1950's monster cinema and a spoof of today's crappy so called reality shows alike and succeeds much better than most other films of its ilk by telling a non-formulaic story, populating it with interesting characters played by a capable ensemble cast (especially Alison Whitney is a likeable enough lead, Ken Van Sant and Steve Diasparra give fun character performances, but it's really Anju McIntyre's bitchy wannabe-celebrity who owns every scene she's in, and hilariously so), and keeping its humour above mere gross-out level at least most of the time. And the wonderful old school effects (including the stop-motion tentacled monster) don't hurt one bit either, naturally.

I've read somewhere this the cheapest movie director/old school special effects wizard Brett Piper has ever made - but it was certainly not his worst one by a longshot.

Recommended, actually.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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directed by
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written by
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