Jarv’s Schlock Vault: One Eyed Monster
Want to know what the hell it sounded like? I think it sounded like… 30 men getting massacred by a dick
Jarv’s Rating: 2 and a half Changs out of 4. Honestly, and I know this sounds like the dumbest thing you’ll read all day (with the exception of the rest of the review), but this is intentionally funny.
Sometimes when a poor sap is forced to work on a Saturday he just wants to come home, have a beer, smoke a spliff and watch something very silly. This weekend that poor sap was me, and after a hard day’s feigning interest in the office, I duly came home, drank a beer, smoked some weed and put on One Eyed Monster. Which, to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of hope for.
One Eyed monster is a hugely juvenile premise. A group of adult film makers (including Ron Jeremy and Veronica Hart playing themselves) go out into the ass end of nowhere to make a scud film. Accompanying them is Buffy alumnae Amber Benson as a make up girl with an improbably crush on Jeremy, two sound/ lighting guys (Jason Graham and Caleb Mayo) a sleazy director who is in debt to loan sharks (Jeff Denton) and a whole host of porn stars (some of whom such as Carmen Hart are actual porn stars). Eventually through a really stupid deus-ex-machina Ron Jeremy’s cock gets possessed by an alien and then proceeds to spend the rest of the film menacing/killing the cast.
Believe it or not, but this is actually quite good. The whole film is played completely straight as an homage to films such as the Alien series, The Thing etc (there’s even a nod to our beloved Tremors in it), and is, actually genuinely quite amusing. Sure the premise is unbelievably crass, but the film itself is a bold, brazen, amusing little effort. Take, for example, the closing credits- there’s this little gem included if you pay attention:
The characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional, except for Ron Jeremy who really does have a 9 3/4 inch penis and who once fellated himself.
That’s indicative of the tone of the movie- straight as a knife blade but with a knowing edge. It’s also nice to see that the porn actors were clearly in on the joke- Jeremy himself (obviously), but the rest of them also seem to be having a whale of a time sending up themselves, their image and their industry.
The script is full of great little jabs at pornography- Ron explaining the terrors of aging and image problems to Veronica is astonishingly quite touching, but culminates with the hilarious “but I can’t suck my own dick any more”. Or take, for example, his forlorn paean to the way things were in the 70’s. Ron’s gutted because back then, his films had an actual plot, and best of all he had his very own trailer to chill out in. I particularly liked Carmen Hart rehearsing and having to stop because she couldn’t remember the line (which is, incidentally, “Fuck me harder”), it’s a very funny scene.
Which brings me on to the acting. I’ve never seen a Ron Jeremy smut film, but I do believe that he might actually be able to act. He’s touching on occasion here, and portrays a world-weariness that is quite surprising. Although it does have to be said that the high point of his performance is his deliberately wooden acting during the only porn sequence shot- it’s damned funny. Veronica Hart is also surprisingly good as the past it ex-porn star, and Graham and Mayo are both excellent. However, the real acting kudos go to Charles Napier who reels of a lengthy Quint-style Lusitiania speech about a killer dong he saw in ‘Nam. He’s absolutely first-rate and really steals the film from the other actors.
Surprisingly, for a film about pornographers being menaced by a killer schlong, there’s not a lot in the way of nudity or shagging. There’s a few very soft-core fully dressed fuck-scenes (one of which is the aforementioned porn shoot), and Carmen gets her juggs out briefly, but that’s it. There’s also virtually nothing in the way of gore in the film. It’s playful rather than nasty and the killings as a rule (there is one exception) don’t take place on camera. As a result, there’s no need for special effects here (which is just as well as they don’t have the budget) and the film is arguably the better for it. I, personally, don’t want to see a killer unit bash its way through a starlet’s head, and so I can happily live without this.
To replace the lack of gore and nudity this is a film stuffed full of references to other films, and it’s actually quite good fun spotting them. There’s the aforementioned nod to Jaws etc, but probably the most amusing is that they rip off Alien wholesale by having the two behind scenes guys jury rig a motion detector. This is funny, believe it or not, and the whole film is stuffed full of touches like this.
Now for the downside, and it is fairly substantial. One Eyed Monster is a one-joke film, and it can’t possibly keep it going for a full feature run-time. The natural end of the film is actually fairly early on, but the film limps on and on past this point. The end, when it comes, is both boring and embarrassing and despite being pathetically foreshadowed in the early scenes of the film, just falls completely flat. It’s a shame, actually, because with a better third act this could have been a storming little film rather than a mildly amusing one.
Furthermore, as a horror comedy, it’s a failure. I’m sorry to say, but at no point is One Eyed Monster scary. The last two-thirds of the film are essentially structured as a horror film, but they don’t really work. The film is at its most comfortable when sending up porn and pornographers and feels unsure of itself when it is forced to become a horror movie. There are sequences that just don’t work (the rat and the chase through the cave) for example, and the film feels like it needs some gore and violence. Which it can’t show, because it’s treading a very fine line here, and the potential to pass over into “sick” is just too high.
Overall, I do actually recommend this. I was fairly intoxicated when I watched it, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting and furthermore One Eyed Monster supplied plenty of belly laughs that were just the job after being forced to work on a Saturday. I’m nigh on certain that it won’t stand up to repeat viewings, but as a one-off it certainly passed the time. Oh, and I love that strapline.
Until next time,