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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 49:53)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, French, Arabic
  • 4 Teaser trailer
  • Featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • 4 Filmographies
  • Dolby Digital trailer

How to Make a Monster

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 86 mins . R . PAL


A software development company is producing a new game called Evilution and puts it to the test by bringing in children to test its scariness. The kids hate it and are far from scared, so the company head calls in Drummond (Steven Thirteen Days Culp) to fix the problem – fast. He calls on his team of programmers, Hardcore (Tyler X-Men Mane) to provide the weaponry, Bug (Jason Marsden) to provide the sound effects and voices, and Sol (Karim Power Rangers Prince) to program the artificial intelligence. As a further incentive to meet the impending deadline, the programmers are offered a one million dollar bonus if the game passes the scare test. The guys also have a pretty young intern named Laura Wheeler (Clea The Faculty, Ghosts of Mars Duvall) to make the coffee and cookies as needed.

One of the first things to do is to program the movements of the hero of the game, so the guys call in Julie Strain (Heavy Metal 2000, The Bare Wench Project) to be the model, mainly due to her measurements being just right to fill the screen. Julie promptly takes off her clothes and puts on the motion capture suit, designed to leave her chest exposed, and the gang begins capturing the required movements.

"Jump up and down so I can calibrate the system."

By now you should be aware of the target audience of this movie, so I shall continue with the story. One night during a wild storm, a short circuit causes the motion capture suit to come to life. Thanks to the programming the guys have already done, the suit has only one aim, to complete the game by killing everyone. Starting off as just the suit, he builds himself from the parts of his victims.

"Are you ready to die?"

Renowned monster maker Stan Winston (Aliens, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park) was called in to create the monster for this film and sadly this doesn’t do a lot for his reputation. The acting and script of this film are sadly lacking and you end up rooting for the monster, just to make it all end. The target audience of this may find it entertaining, but the majority of viewers will get nothing more than a decent sleep. The story lacks originality and could have quite possibly succeeded had it been prepared to make fun of itself and not try to be a serious sci-fi thriller. Add to this the not so subtle moral of having to be mean to get anywhere and the film is a big old lemon. The only thing remaining is to guess in what order the characters will die, which is not really much of a challenge in the end.


Being a low budget film, not much was really expected in the transfer department. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this is surprisingly good. Picture is generally sharp throughout with some lack of detail in the lowly lit scenes. Colours are generally true and there are no major problems with grain or aliasing. The layer change occurs at 49:53 and although noticeable, is not too much of a hindrance. The English subtitles are not word-for-word accurate, but are true to what is said on screen.


Audio is a choice of English or French Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and the English one listened to is very good. Dialogue is clear at all times, so you can clearly hear every cheesy line. Surrounds are used well for directional effect and to emphasise the music score, but sadly the music could have been given much better attention, as it is quite a good soundtrack. Synch is never a problem and the subwoofer gets a decent workout.


There are a couple of decent extras supplied with this release.

Making-of Featurette: Running for 3:06, this featurette gives a brief look at the making-of process for this film and is reasonably informative.

Photo Gallery: Split into the categories of Monster Sketches, Building The Monster, Behind the Scenes Photos and Production Stills, this feature contains a total of 89 pictures.

Trailers: There's not a trailer in site for this film, but here we have them for Godzilla, The Forsaken, The Breed and Hollow Man.

Filmographies: Featured here are text pages for Clea Duvall, Tyler Mane, Julie Strain and monster-maker Stan Winston. Now I know that the rest of the cast have made other films, so why did only these four get a mention?


Overall, well if you are not sure how I feel about this film yet, let me sum it up for you – use the 90 minutes to do something productive instead. A terrible script and terrible acting are reason enough not to bother with this one, but throw in things like poor effects, cliched quotes and a film that takes itself way too seriously and the reasons to avoid outweigh the reasons to watch. I don’t want to be too cruel so I should say something good about this one and there are two things. The appearance of Julie Strain making fun of herself is good fun and the only other nice thing I can think of is that it is slightly better than New Alcatraz...

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2031
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      And I quote...
    "Aimed at the sci-fi and video game geeks out there, this film fails badly."
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS305
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DE685
    • Speakers:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SAVE815ED
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