Review by Robert Long II ©2012
Starring Matt Farley, Kevin McGee, Sharon Scalzo, Jim Farley, Chris Peterson, Elizabeth Peterson, Tom Scalzo, James McHugh
Produced by Matt Farley
Directed by Charles Roxburgh
2012 brings the return of the New England Dynamic Duo – Matt Farley and Charles Roxburgh. Their film is the new monster flick DON’T LET THE RIVERBEAST GET YOU. This is a lot of fun. Now a little bit of background before we get into the main story. FREAKY FARLEY was the first movie sent to me from these gents, and it was the strange tale of a disturbed young man that goes wacko and commences to start a killing spree in his home town. Parts of it borrowed very heavily from Silent Night Deadly Night pt2. What made it really strange is that it also involved a ninja, a town witch, and guys in gorilla suits during an apple bobbing fest. It was a fun movie – with some laugh out loud moments – but I did have some difficulty wrapping my head around the plot.
I had an even harder time understanding their follow up movie MONSTERS, MARRIAGE, AND MURDER IN MANCHVEGAS. A lot of the same cast returned for this one, but the plot was a little too out there for me. You had a group of three twenty-somethings that acted like pre-teen kids. They got involved with a plot the involved the murder of young brides. Plus – monsters were involved again. So it was rough going for me trying to figure out how you mix Pee Wee Herman with Scooby Doo with a dash of slasher flick involved.
However – with DON’T LET THE RIVERBEAST GET YOU this creative team has hit a home run. The plot is simpler to follow and the story and acting were uniformly tight. The breakdown is this: Neil (Matt Farley) said he saw a Riverbeast creature terrorizing the community – and became the laughingstock of the town. So he has been in exile for the last three years. He comes back to go to a wedding plus pick up a tutoring job to boot. He is also bound and determined to find the Riverbeast, clear his good name, and to win back the heart of the woman he loved. Now THAT is a pretty straight forward.
There are a lot of layers to the plot, which has become quite the trademark of Farley and Roxburgh. You have a young finishing school student (Sharon Scalzo) being menaced by a lecherous college professor (Chris Peterson). There is also the bucket-playing band the River Mud Warriors performing at an outdoor wedding. Jim Farley and Kevin McGee appear as a couple of guys hunting down the titular creature, and the beautiful Elizabeth Peterson is on hand as Farley’s long lost love.
And what of the Riverbeast? Glad you asked. The creature design is wonderful. I mean – it’s a guy in a suit – but this thing looks really cool. Think of it as the Creature of the Black Lagoon‘s ugly 3rd cousin. Add on top of that a performance that makes this thing out to be one mean man-eating beastie, and it’s all good. There really is not anything to distract or denounce on this motion picture. The production values are pretty good, it is shot and edited well, and for the most part the main cast of characters do a great job with their roles. There was one laugh out loud moment for me at the end where an actor gets to play a statue of himself. He does a super job but it gave me the giggles nonetheless.
The DVD comes with a fun commentary track from most of the people involved. Also on the disc are some behind the scenes footage, some bloopers, and a rock video for a song that will get stuck in your head. The only thing I could have wished for was some nudity and gore. However as Shock Marathon’s movies tend to be pretty family friendly, that ain’t gonna happen.
Smash or Trash gives this a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. Pick this up and have a good laugh, and help support these creative individuals.
Pick up the excellent movie HERE.