Fifteen years after a family vacation took a horrifying turn when they were children, sisters Marla and Carla are heading up to Uncle Slavko's All-American Family Lodge for their first official vacation since that incident. They're also planning on surprising Carla's fiancé, Johnny, who recently took a job playing as Bigfoot at the lodge to entertain guests. However, the dumping of toxic waste in the water supply causes Johnny, and other costumed employees, to become savage mutants who are dressed as Bigfoot. Now Marla and Carla, and the few remaining survivors, must fight for their lives against the flesh-hungry Bigfoot wannabes.
There appears to be a renaissance in Bigfoot cinema and I am absolutely okay with that, even if they don't have the best track record for quality. Matt Jackson's feature film debut, "Love in the Time of Monsters", caught my attention because it brought an interesting twist to the monster sub-genre. Instead of being about Bigfoot, it's about mutated psychos wearing Bigfoot costumes that terrorize a lodge full of tourists in a small town.
It's something I feel bares repeating: "Love in the Time of Monsters" is about psychotic mutants wearing Bigfoot costumes that are killing tourists...
If Film Bizarro were any other web site (and I didn't completely hate the Tarantino culture), you'd probably see the, "You had my curiosity. But now you have my attention." meme right around here. Or maybe off to the right. It depends on what worked best with the layout. It's hard to say at this juncture, really.
To expand further on the film's plot (although why do you need to know anything else?): Sisters Marla and Carla are off to the mountains to surprise Carla's fiancé, Johnny, at his weekend job -- playing Bigfoot at Uncle Slavk's All-American Family Lodge. However, during a staff meeting, Johnny and his fellow Bigfoot-players (which includes Kane Hodder) get into a scuffle and fall into a pond tainted with toxic waste and emerge as flesh-hungry, primitive psycho killers. Now Marla, Carla and the other few remaining survivors must fend off the monsters while trying to find a way to save Johnny, and themselves.
To say I was interested seems like an understatement. I would say I was actually excited to watch "Love in the Time of Monsters". With the film's plot being about mutants dressed as Bigfoot, I knew full well this was a movie that would be more comedic than serious. What I wasn't expecting was just how silly the movie actually turned out to be and I'm kind of on the fence as to whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing.
The important thing is that in the end I did have fun watching "Love in the Time of Monsters" and at no point did I hate it. My confusion on how much I actually enjoyed the movie comes from the expectations I had versus the reality of what the movie is and what it was going for. "Love in the Time of Monsters" held nothing back and it's as ridiculous and over-the-top as you'd imagine. It gets extraordinarily silly to a point that I would actually say it's stupid but, thankfully, it's a non-offensive level of stupid. And even putting it like that makes me feel like I'm insulting the movie even though I'm not trying to. The goofy nature of "Love in the Time of Monsters" is at a Troma level of self-awareness: it knows how ridiculous the concept is so it's just trying to be fun and entertaining.
Which the movie succeeds at doing because, again, I had fun watching "Love in the Time of Monsters". At some point between the electrified Bigfoot, the mutant moose, and the scene of trout reenacting scenes from "Piranha" (the good "Piranha" -- Joe Dante's 1978 "Piranha), I couldn't help but think how I would have liked to have seen a movie that was less silly. Even now I imagine what the movie would have been like had it been just guys in Bigfoot costumes going psycho, and I think I might have fallen in love with a movie like that.
And unfortunately, that's how I felt while I was watching the movie. I kept thinking that, while I was enjoying the movie for what it was, I also wanted something different. Something less goofy and less over-the-top. Then again, if it was less goofy, I would have gone my entire life without seeing a rabid squirrel pop out of a woman's chest and that's not acceptable. Of course I can't fault Matt Jackson or his movie for my wishy-washy feelings about the movie because it has more to do with my own personal preference above anything else. What few genuine problems I think do exist are minor in the grand scheme of things. Well, other than the movie feeling like it dragged in the middle, but I digress.
"Love in the Time of Monsters" is a fine movie; with a unique concept, a completely absurd and ridiculous comedic-horror movie was produced that is actually very well made. I don't see this as being a love it or hate it kind of movie because I think most people will have fun watching it, especially if viewed within a group setting. Personally, I don't see myself returning to this movie anytime soon, unfortunately. BUT I would recommend that you gather some food, some drinks, and friends to watch "Love in the Time of Monsters" for a night of ridiculous gory-mutant-Bigfoot goodness.