Trashy and Exploitative: a Review of Carnal Monsters
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 5m
Director(s): Joe Cash
Writer(s): Joe Cash
Cast: Harmony Filth, Lauren Annetts, Ian Sen
Where To Watch: coming to Blu-ray and Prime Video on 28th February 2023 from VIPCO & BayView Entertainment. Pre-Order on Blu-ray at www.amazon.com
RAVING REVIEW: CARNAL MONSTERS is an indie flick that takes a group of friends on a wild and dangerous ride. They find themselves outside a nuclear facility, where two unconscious girls turn out to be more than meets the eye. But wait, there's more…
The film delivers experimental exploitative genre filmmaking, with plenty of nudity, some practical effects, and not much in terms of a storyline. Randomness is the primary issue, making everything feel disconnected, from random clips, to “news” segments. It felt like an idea existed, but the process got in the way.
CARNAL MONSTERS is a cleverly made film that utilizes archival and stock footage for scenes that don't fit within the budget. This includes “cameos” by Stan Lee and the legendary Troma film head Lloyd Kaufman. One of my most extensive critiques in low-budget filmmaking is using “home video” filters. I understand why people want to use them, but ultimately they take me out of the film instantly, mainly if they’re looped and used for the entire movie.
The level of acting in the film was expected; this was a friend group (and maybe some “new” actors) that wanted to make a movie. The movie has nudity reigning supreme over anything else, even at the cost of making sense, although that’s common in indie genre films like this, so viewers should know what to expect. The film's biggest sin is the audio troubles; while I don’t have a perfect sound system, there was no happy medium.
In conclusion, CARNAL MONSTERS is a dirt-cheap film, the lack of funding is not a fair criticism, especially for a movie with only $500. It may not be a masterpiece or a tour de force, but it will undoubtedly be entertaining, especially for fans of this film style. If you're a Troma or exploitation cinema fan, this one's for you.
Trailers and a Music Video
For more reviews and my YouTube channel, please visit linktr.ee/Overlyhonestmoviereviews
Follow me on Letterboxd, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Find my social media accounts on most platforms simply by searching Overly Honest Movie Reviews.
I’m always happy to hear from my readers; please say hi or send me any questions about movies.
[photo courtesy of BAYVIEW ENTERTAINMENT/VIPCO]