The Monster

"Good"

The Monster Review


I suppose that the problem with subtitled films is one of being literary. Sure, you can watch intelligent films until the cows come home, but the passerby on CNN's Showbiz Today said it best when he said "I don't like to read when I go to movies."

The fact is that most people don't like to read anymore. I am highly unusual in my affinity for the written word (I not only read books, but write them as a hobby), in my love of conversation as an art form. A small percentage of America likes that. This is the latter half of the 20th century. The information age where the only things that we like to read anymore are web pages. Our stories are told to us through movies. Our book reports are done courtesy of Cliffs (who, don't ask me why, did Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the easiest reads ever).

Who really blames anyone nowadays for having "subtitle-itis?" I have a friend who wouldn't see Life is Beautiful until his editor demanded it, and he's a critic. Perhaps this is partially because we have this association in our minds with subtitles being "high brow" and "intellectual" films that, much to my personal pity, the general public is not interested in. Perhaps it is just because literacy has been shelved.

Kurt Vonnegut said in Slapstick that in 20 years there would be scribes -- a select few which would be able to read and write -- once again. Of course, that book was written more than 20 years ago, but who cares?

Back to the subject of "subtitle-itis", this new epidemic has existed for years. We have this expectation that we don't have to read more than a few notes when we go to movies. Hell, some people have a problem that Trainspotting didn't get dubbed into American English because of heavy Edinburgh accents. The subtitle translates to the average person as a stay away sign because it means that they'll actually have to use their brains at a time when they normally wouldn't. Not to mention the films that people associate with being translated are the ones that are touchy-feely stories without any macho lines.

To address this I offer a film review and a factoid. The factoid, for guys who think foreign films have nothing to offer them, is that 1939's Ecstasy, with Hedy Lamar, was the first film to feature nudity. So there. The film review is that of 1994's Il Mostro (The Monster), an Italian sex-comedy from the director of Life is Beautiful.

Loris (Roberto Benigni) is a short con man who does odd jobs and slacks off on his maintenance bill. Through a mishap with thinking an old lady is a nymphomaniac and a later mishap with a chainsaw going out of control, Loris becomes suspected of being Il Monstro, the serial killer stalking the streets of the city. An obsessed detective assigns Jessica (Nicholetta Braschi) to trap him by using her... charms to catch him red handed. As put by the detective, "we need to trap his hand in the cookie jar, and one of you needs to be the cookie."

Almost as childish as There's Something About Mary, I can assure you that there is absolutely zilch that is high brow or ultra-intelligent about Il Mostro. It's childish, it's fun, and you can get it without understanding a single word of Italian... well, maybe not the third part but you still don't have to use your brain all that much.

For those who didn't want to be depressed by the Holocaust in Life is Beautiful, The Monster is the Roberto Benigni film you should check out. It's a guaranteed cure for "subtitle-itis."

Aka Il Mostro.



The Monster

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th April 1996

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Michel Filippi

Starring: as Dr. Ziska, Johnny Arthur as Johnny Goodlittle, Gertrude Olmstead as Betty Watson, Hallam Cooley as Amos Rugg, Charles Sellon as Russ Mason, Walter James as Caliban, Knute Erickson as Daffy Dan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.