Assmonster: The Making of a Horror Movie

February 3, 2009
By Paul Pritchard

On learning that there is money to be made in selling exploitation films at horror conventions, three friends decide to make an exploitation film. Their inspiration is an appallingly low-budget tits and ass affair which convinces them that, if any old crap can make a profit at a horror convention, so can their crap. So, with nothing more than a title – Assmonster, if you hadnt already guessed intended to appeal to both the horror and porn audiences, our three heroes embark on their career in ultra low budget filmmaking.

The three clearly have no talent and their only equipment is a borrowed and badly battered camcorder. They also have very little idea of what they are doing apart from ogling the various women they manage to talk into flashing their breasts for the benefit of their future film stardom. Its not surprising, therefore, that things progress less than smoothly.

As with Metalheads, there isnt a huge amount of plot in here. Writer/director, Bill Zebub is clearly happy to step back and watch what develops as his characters lurch from one self-inflicted disaster to the next. Its an approach that can work and, in this case, one that does work remarkably well.

Although the film does take a bit of time to get going, the sheer ineptness of our putative filmmakers quickly comes to the fore with results that are often laugh out loud funny. A lot of the comedy here derives from the fact that the characters are very familiar, not just to those who have had dealings with the dregs of the film industry, but to anyone who has encountered the vain mix of pretentiousness and incompetence that is on display here.

No targets are spared here, as is underlined with a sub-plot revolving around the films lead, Bill (Bill Zebub) and his girlfriend which manages to be both funny and highlight the essential sleaziness of Bills attitude, as well as that of the people around him.

That said, Bill is a charismatic lead and an essentially likeable character who brings a surprisingly good-natured tone to the humour, and its this amiable underpinning that really makes this film worth seeing. No bones are made about what sort of film this is, or what sort of film its spoofing, but it is clearly a film made by people who know and enjoy their genre enough to be able to see the damage that can be done to it by the people churning out bottom of the pile tripe.

Overall, Assmonster: The Making of a Horror Movie is an exploitation film about making an exploitation film and an affectionate send-up of the bottom rung of the exploitation film industry, the people that make these films and the people that watch them. Whether you have been foolish enough to inflict one of these bits of schlock on yourself or not, this is an enjoyable film that has much to like.

One Response to Assmonster: The Making of a Horror Movie

  1. DonkeyEngine on November 30, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    A well thought out and succinct review of a movie that, perhaps, didnt put nearly as much thought into itself as you did in your analysis of it. An interesting, and I suppose Meta (though how I loathe that word, so lets say self-referential), film that possibly indulges Bill Zebub (I think a better nom de guerre would be Jack Ketch, from the old Punch and Judy shows) a bit too much. It is what it purports to be though, it is honest in its intention and purpose, and honesty in film-making by film-makers is rare enough that this film could stand on that merit alone. At times a very funny picture, yes, but also always carrying with it a sort embarrassed or uneasy, self-consciousalmost ill at ease with itself sensation, palpable by the audience; for a seemingly unabashed filmmaker like Bill Zebub, he certainly (cant act) seems uncomfortable, even ashamed at times, while in front of the camera while in front of the camera. He has an uneasy countenance, is what I think Im trying to say; Bill seems awkward and discomposed, which he attempt to balance or offset with bravado and swagger.

    Itself no great film, it still reveals talent. (And I wonder how many of the actresses Bill slept with, that alone would make the entire endeavor well worth it.)

    Youve made an excellent and on the nose review of a film that, while not excellent, was certainly on the nose. Well done sir!

Leave a Reply