Film: Monkeybone – Why?

Monkeybone was shown on C4 over the weekend, and was the first time I had seen it. Now, I am only left with questions, including why am I writing this post.

Monkeybone is apparently based on a graphic novel that I had never heard of (and I can’t find it via Google, which is not a good sign; if anyone can point me in the direction of Kaja Blackley and Dark Town, I’d appreciate it) that has been turned into a very odd film. I would normally go into some detail about the plot and other aspects of the film, but I really can’t justify doing that for this film, as it would give it a validity that it doesn’t deserve.

Why did the various actors in the film do it? Why is Chris Kattan (one of the most annoying alumni of SNL) on the posters for the film when he doesn’t even turn up until near the end and only stays around for about 15 minutes? Why does Charles Taylor (of Salon.com) love it so much? Is he insane or just medicated? Why did John Turturro do the voice of Monkeybone? Why is Harry Knowles, supposed purveyor of good films, fleetingly in this? Why does Stephen King play himself in this film? Why does the now Oscar-nominated Thomas Haden Church have an uncredited role in this?

The real fault is my own. I have this strange compulsion to watch films that nobody else would go out of their way to see. It’s not a desire to see films that are so bad, they’re good, like Showgirls (which I have seen, just because). It’s banal nonsense which doesn’t work and has no reason to exist anymore. I saw The Saint with Val Kilmer. Two hours of my life, gone. I watched Dungeons & Dragons. I still shiver thinking about it. I watched Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever in the bloody cinema, no less. Why do I punish myself so? There are so many good films to see that I haven’t yet. It’s so stupid.

I did redeem myself over the weekend by watching a lovely slice of b&w British quality in School for Scoundrels, with the ever-wonderful Alastair Sim and Terry-Thomas in finest oily form, but I still feel slightly dirty for having soiled my eyes with Monkeybone. Admittedly, it’s visually arresting when in the Downtown section of the film, but that’s not reason enough for making it in the first place. Down with mediocre films, I say, if for no other reason than I won’t have to watch them.

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