Plot: Iris (Virginia Gardner) approaches a couple just as they return home, persistent with a message about the rain forest and even when she is rebuffed, she pushes on to get her point across. But she isn’t concerned with the environment, instead she is buying her friends inside the couple’s home more time, to get as much loot stolen before the front door opens. After the latest score, Virginia has to work her real job for a catering firm, but her friends want to make the most of her assignment. The client is a rich one and the house is an impressive mansion, so a score here could be huge and her friend Casper (Sam Strike) has a personal stake as well. His father is deep in debt and without the cash, he will likely be killed by the bookies. Virginia agrees to help with a heist, but the friends have no idea what kind of party they’re about to crash…
Entertainment Value: This is a slick, polished thriller with some strong horror vibes, a capable and brisk flick that kept me reeled in from the start. I might be biased of course, since I have an interest in all things serial killer, but I think Monster Party brings some fresh energy into the serial killer thriller realm. I’ve seen the premise of “serial killer support groups” before, but this approach feels more interesting than most, especially as true selves begin to shine through. The story has a good hook, some nice twists, and a terrific cast, the latter of which is one of the main reasons the movie fares so well. This kind of cast can elevate material and with competent material like Monster Party, they really make it shine. I also like the visuals involved, as the movie looks so polished and stylish, which again boosts the entire experience. The technical merits here are rock solid across the board and leagues above the usual indie horror/thriller crowd, making it stand out even more. The cast performs well, with some creepy efforts from Julian McMahon, Robin Tunney, and Erin Moriarty, while Virginia Gardner tends to steal the show in her scenes. I had a lot of fun with Monster Party and for fans of horror and serial killer cinema, it is well recommended.
Not a lot of sleaze in this one, especially given multiple strip club sequences, but we do have a few, albeit brief topless moments. But the movie delivers on the bloodshed front, especially for a movie that straddles the line between thriller and all out horror, with some wild, vivid gore on showcase. The most valuable moment has to be an insane head cleave, as the effects look solid and it is a crazed sequence. But we also have a hand lopped off, a foot hacked off, and a pretty juicy disembowelment, delivered by a katana, no less. The movie also has splashes of the red stuff sprinkled throughout, some off screen, but a decent amount visible as well. This includes a chainsaw gut grind, a lot of crimson splatter, blade wounds, and assorted other violence. A nice, nasty volume of bloodshed indeed. The dialogue has some fun moments and is mostly sharply written, with some creepiness and barbs to go around. Not a lot of big money, quotable moments though, which is reflected in the lower score. But I did appreciate how capable the writing is, so there’s that. The craziness is solid, between the wild characters, brutal violence, and interesting premise, but it never feels unhinged, just out of control in a mask of sanity has slipped kind of way.
Overall Insanity: 4/10