I’ll never forget a quiz from a geology lesson in a sixth grade science class. One question stands out to this day; "What is the difference between a rock and a mineral?" Faced with such a diabolical question, the girl to my left – I’ve forgotten her name, but not her answer – wrote in a very confident, "No." Mayhaps she thought the question was "Is there a difference…" Mayhaps. But I never forgot that answer. An answer wrong at every turn, save for it being written in the same language as the question.
It is fitting then that ROCK MONSTER, a movie whose name explains everything about it, is the film equivalent of that answer. Jason (Chad Collins continuing his LAKE PLACID 2 winning streak) receives a letter from the mayor of a fictional Eastern European town informing him that he has inherited a house from a long lost ancestor. So the slacker perpetually in college takes a trip with two friends to claim his homestead. During the first of many, many forest wanderings the group come across a sword sticking out of a chunk of stone. Jason is the only one who can remove it from the rock. But it wasn’t a rock. It was a rock monster.
Aaah, Aaahh, Aaahhhh, Aaahhhhhhhhhh.
The plot consists of Jason’s ancestor having trapped a wizard in bunch of rocks with said sword. Jason extracting the sword brings the monster back to life, which then proceeds to stomp all over a bunch of extras in what has got to be the most depressing Eastern European town imaginable. It has roughly 5 buildings and only one road, which is used maybe twice in the movie. Maybe roads in this ‘lovakian are painful to walk on? No one uses an effin road in this joint. Then again no one bothers to question a giant, walking pile of rocks, either.
Both Jason and his traveling companion Toni fall in love with the only two attractive people the town of drunks and ancient cars has to offer. The third in Jason’s original group, who might as well be wearing a Jazzy Jeff costume, announces he wants to go back to the States instead of fighting the monster from GALAXY GUEST. So what does he do? He wanders off into the woods and proceeds to lean against a rock cliff to take his water break.
Acting is hit and miss. By far not the worst thine eyes hath seen, though that is the extent of the compliment. The cast seems to have fun in their roles, which is about all one can ask for from this kind of fare. Particularly Jon Polito, who trades in his greasy gangster typecasting ("I’m sick a’ the high hat!") for a drunken, something ‘lovakian military leader only referred to as The Colonel. It is Polito who fills the Quint shoes, announcing at a town hall meeting that he will slay the inexplicable beast.
The special effects are not deserving of the word special (though the push-up bra on Jason’s love interest is), but are serviceable all the same. There are a few, and I should stress few, instances of gore, but for the most part it is just a poorly rendered pile of rocks stomping on people. The script does boast a decent sense of humor and maintains a chuckle worthy running joke or two, though its stories, both historical and contemporary, are loopy mumbojumbo.
I can’t beat up on it too bad. I have seen far worse and no one seemed to be taking anything on set in earnest, which gives the production a light air. It works as a passable flick for a Saturday night joking with friends over a few slow drinks, so I will give credit to director Declan O’Brien for striking the laughing-at/laughing-with balance. That is all I ask of ‘The Most Dangerous Night of Television’.