Monster Cops: The Midnight Special (2006)

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Overall Rating 80%
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What is supposed to be an elite group of officers is actually a group of misfits, burnouts, and goof balls who have been on the job for way too long. The Midnight Special is the tale of undercover government agents who patrol the world of monsters with a gun in one hand and a donut in the other. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: April 11, 2007
For the most part, independent low-budget comedy releases usually turn out to be lackluster at best. I hate to generalize about an entire budget range and style of film, but it's true; I've seen countless comedies that were supposed to be funny, but in reality, they all relied on the same material that had been done to death. Fart, midget and penis jokes can be funny when done right, but simply relying on their inclusions just isn't going to cut it. Referencing Romero's undead trilogy is great for the geek factor, but I swear that I'm going to slit my wrists if I hear that "They're coming to get you, Barbara!" line one more time as an "homage" to Romero. Those two things are extremely prevalent in just about every indie comedy that I've seen over the last year or two, so it should go without saying that I sort of expected more of the same from The Midnight Special after reading the synopsis. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Taking place in a world where zombies, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and all sorts of other monsters terrorize citizens, we soon learn that there is a secret government agency known as Shadow Company whose sole purpose is to dispose of these critters. Led by Agent Cutter (director Patrick A. Prejusa), this team of gun-toting monster-fighters think nothing of being called out to dispose of a mob of zombies or to put down a raging werewolf on a nightly basis. We at home get to ride along in the passengers seat and see what this sort of job entails while also getting to know the guys who are saving our collective asses for a weekly paycheck.

Alright, so it sounds like a pretty weak theme for a plot, right? Well, I'd agree if I was going solely by the above synopsis, but there's a hook to be found: it's all played out as though you were watching some new reality TV show. Think of watching an episode of Cops in which the legit officers of the law have been replaced by those kooky kids from Reno 911, set the show inside the pages of the Monster Squad script, and you might just get some sort of an idea as to how this movie plays out.

After hearing about this little catch, my interest piqued; this could work out beautifully if done right, I was thinking. Let me tell you: it was done right and then some. The casting decisions were excellent, and even though I'm pretty sure it was a case of the director calling up some local friends to play parts in his movie, you really couldn't tell; these kids - especially Prejusa and Lamar Hanks - were great in their roles and all of them could easily go on to do bigger things if they so choose.

The writing was also quite good, and there seemed to be a healthy mix of scripted stuff along with plenty of improv lines. The best part? The comedy was actually funny, and not in that "Oh, that was humorous" fashion, but more along the lines of "Shit, I was laughing so hard that I missed a couple minutes worth of material." There was some actual effort put into this script, and it certainly shows: the tired, clichéd elements of most indie comedy is thrown to the side and replaced with fresh, hilarious material (just try not to laugh at the - ahem - "aftereffects" of a werewolf attack or while watching the gang argue over the correct lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas... in the middle of July).

Definitely give this one a shot if you're a fan of horror / comedies that tend to lean more towards the comedy rather than the horror. There's a lot of movies out there that are going this route thanks to the success of Shaun of the Dead, but The Midnight Special is truly one of the freshest and most hilarious films to come out of the genre. 9/10.
Dametria #1: Dametria - added April 24, 2007 at 12:43pm
Im buying it in 3 days....you should too
Dametria #2: Dametria - added May 13, 2007 at 8:32pm
Just got it, watched it twice, It rocks....
Tristan #3: Tristan - added June 21, 2007 at 11:59pm
You bought it...but you're in it?
This some lame promotional scheme?
Tristan #4: Tristan - added June 22, 2007 at 12:03am
Oooh, someone's Vampire Dametria/Vampire Terrorist 2
Dametria #5: Dametria - added June 22, 2007 at 1:23am
Nope, I acted in it over 2 years ago but didnt even get to see a promo. I bought it just like everyone else and watched it for the first time on the 12th, and I must say that (my acting aside) I still freakin loved it. Its an awsome genre and we need more like it. Funny satire but not "scary movie" style retarded.
Buff #6: Buff - added October 5, 2010 at 12:48pm
I great no/low budget feature. They also have a Web series that expands the M.C universe and quite frankly the web series is better than the pilot movie.
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