When it comes to monster movies, they pretty much all follow the same simple formula: A group of characters end up going where they don’t belong and end up being terrorized by some unthinkable creature. So when I got into Stuart Simpson’s El Monstro Del Mar! I knew what I was getting into.
Filmed in Australia, it follows three bad-ass danger girls: Beretta (Nelli Scarlet), Blondie (Karli Madden) and Snowball (Kate Watts), just after they finished killing a bunch of heavies and stolen a load of money and are trying to find a place for a little R & R. They go to a friends fishing shack where they soon are warned against swimming in the ocean by the resident crazy-old-man, who of course, doesn’t bother explaining himself. They also meet his granddaughter Hanna (Kyrie Capri) whose parents drowned years ago in the ocean — or so they say. What everyone soon finds out is that the ocean is home of the massive Kraken, a massive squid that has snapping jaws on all of it’s tentacles. When the girls go for a swim, hilarity ensues.
El Monstro Del Mar! is a well shot film, that has great special effects. It’s certainly not a movie that you’re going to spend a lot of time thinking over. It follows your basic monster movie formula and provides some nice eye candy by way of the female leads. So if you’re looking for a movie that’s not heavy on the brain and easy on the eyes, then El Monstro Del Mar is going to be one to see. In a cinematic landscape with monster films like Sharkoctopus and the like, it’s not standing out very easily, but it is an entertaining film.
My only gripe is the amount of padding that is put into this film. The film goes at length on a number of occasions to create exposition to constantly remind the audience that the girls are bad asses and trouble makers. It’s established early on that they are brutal killers and party animals, but the I feel at times the film focuses too heavily on their antagonistic behaviour toward the rest of the cast. When the characters are not doing that, they’re seen partying — getting shit faced and high on coke. Okay, we get it, they’re bad ass — can we get on with our monster movie already? Understandably, the characters are supposed to be somewhat one-dimensional (it is a monster movie after all) but I find that given the isolated location of the plot, it left the characters with little to do other than rehash their character stereotypes.
But other than that, El Monstro Del Mar is an entertaining watch and a must see for monster movie lovers.