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October 5, 2013

Movie Review: The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue (2013)

As part of a Halloween challenge put forth on a horror board I follow, I'm trying to watch at least one horror movie a day. And because of that, I began flipping through the Netflix offerings and settled on something I probably wouldn't have if I didn't need to fill a quota. As it turns out, I'm quite pleased with my choice.

The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue is an independent horror comedy brought to us by Mike Bradecich and John LaFlamboy of Big Tree Productions. These writers/directors/actors star as the Mugg brothers, Marion and Jarmon, who have inherited an apartment building from their late mother. Being completely inept in every way, the brothers lose all but 4 of the tenants due to lack of heat, gas, and other necessities required to live comfortably. Granted, Jarmon has pirated electricity from the church next door but somehow that's just not getting it done.

For those left behind, there's a bit of an issue with their pets: they keep disappearing. Jarmon and Marion contemplate the issue the same way they approach every conflict or problem in their lives: they go to the bar. When they return to the building after getting their drink on, the boys witness a strange man-like creature stealing a Yorkshire terrier through the narrow mail slot of one of the apartments.

Well, now, that's not normal.

After peeing in fear, the boys get it together to protect the remaining animals, and tenants, from harm. After tracking this mole-man to the basement, they get some hunting and fighting advice from the apartment's resident hermit. Like you do. Donning their homemade armor of Frisbees, football pads, trash can lids, and cheese grater gloves, Jarmon and Marion brave the dark recesses of the basement, and the hidden tunnels underneath, to fight the savage beast and save the day!


What a fun movie this was! Most of the time independent horror films are so horrible. Because one guy does 5 different jobs, one or all of them suffer as a result. Perhaps by shouldering the burden of making a film between the two of them, Mike and John managed to deliver a fun quirky story with decent pacing, get great performances from (most of) the cast, including the esteemed Robert Englund, and display some decent acting chops themselves. They were a great comedy duo with John bringing the slapstick to Jamon and Mike playing straight man Marion. Except when they were tripping balls in once scene. Then they were able to flip personalities.

The music was pretty bad but some of it WAS performed by our two Renaissance men so I guess it drew the short straw. I can forgive that because I'm finicky about the music I like to listen to and play. The special effects were definitely low budget but for the close up of the mole man, I was surprised by how realistic and creepy it looked. I think the best part was watching the evolution of our main men as they grew from dipshit slackers to responsible caring super heroes. Good times, good times.

3 hatchets (out of 5)

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