Pure Terror: Guru the Mad Monk

March 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

I apologize. This will come off as more of a rant than a critical analysis.  I’m taking off the film maker hat and putting on the boxing gloves. I hated this movie. I would say this is the worst movie in the Pure Terror box set. I’m in the minor on that opinion it appears. I did some additional research to learn a little more about how this movie could happen and it seems there are people who like this movie. I have no idea why. I have struggled and put off writing this review because I normally pride myself on saying something constructive about movies, even the ones I dislike. Making movies is difficult. Even bad movies. I am of the opinion that no one sets out to make a bad movie. Being that I graduated from film school and have been part of the film making process, I know first hand how much work goes into making a movie. With that in mind, I write these reviews always trying to have something of substance to say, feeling that a substantive critic gives the film makers the proper respect. I can’t do that with this movie. I don’t remember a lot about it but I remember how it made me feel. I feel dirty for having watched Guru the Mad Monk.

I can sum up my feelings in two words : positively amateur. Everything about this movie feels like it was done by people who had no clue what they were doing The acting, the directing, the editing, the set design, probably even the catering. The acting is so bad, I’m not sure these people have ever seen a movie before much less been in one. They regurgitate their lines without putting an ounce into performance. Which shocks me because that means this movie had a script. The writing is so amateur it only could have been written by someone who had no idea what they were doing. At no point do you get any indication that the person writing Guru the Mad Monk had an sense of character, dialogue, plot, sequence, scene construction, or structure. There is no sense of cinematography. I’m shocked these people knew how to load a camera, much less point it at something, get it into focus (which doesn’t always happen in this film), and successfully shoot whatever it is they are point at. They certainly didn’t know how to edit what they shot because there are numerous editing gaffes. They may have had lights but they certainly didn’t know how to use them. The whole look of the film is just terrible. The colors are ugly. Scenes are either too bright or too dark depending on where the light fell off the truck, which is where it got set up no doubt. To make matters worse, the subject matter is so sleazy and juvenile, I couldn’t enjoy a moment of this movie.

What makes Guru the Mad Monk worse than most of the movies on this set. Effort. It feels like they weren’t even trying in this movie. That and the disgusting story. Manos the Hands of Fate was also amateur but in that movie they tried their best with limited funds, knowledge, and resources.   Manos had a story I could follow. Manos had moments I could remember. Characters that stood out. Sure, it was shot on a home film camera. Guru might have had a better camera than that. But Manos used what they did have and put in the effort to make something that resembled a movie. The Undertaker and his Pals had a disgusting story line but that film at least looked like it was made by film makers. They had locations, editing, actors who tried to play characters (gross as they may be), and a script that followed a three act structure. Guru the Mad Monk is the worst movie on this set, in my opinion, because it seemed like the film makers just didn’t care. They thought it would be cool to make a movie, came into some money, hacked out a script full of gross crap, and went out there to just fuck around without a care about if anyone would want to watch this film. Every other film was at least made with an audience in mind. A first year film student could make a better movie than Guru the Mad Monk and I have seen it with my own eyes. I would never say this but I could do better than this. In fact, why am I not doing so?


Entry filed under: Horror. Tags: , , , , .

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