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Boobs, booze, Robert Englund and a pet-eating Mole Man. What
more could one want from a horror film?
THE MOLE MAN OF BELMONT AVENUE, which has its Midwest
premiere this Saturday, August 13 at Chicago’s Flashback Weekend, is the story of Marion and Jarmon Mugg (Mike
Bradecich and John LaFlamboy, who also scripted and directed), two brothers
with a big problem. Their apartment complex is failing, tenants are leaving
and, most distressing, every pet in the building seems to be disappearing
mysteriously. While working on refurbishing the building, the Mugg brothers
discover that the place is inhabited by an animal-eating creature (Justin
DiGiacomo) that can only be described as some sort of Mole Man. In their
attempt to salvage what is left of their dying business, the Muggs keep the
critter a secret from the remaining tenants and attempt to capture it on their
What follows is a hilarious romp charting one failed attempt
after another to eradicate the Mole Man. The chemistry between the two leads
and the zany antics of the colorful cast of tenants are what makes this film
successful. Robert Englund plays Mr. Hezekiah Confab, an eccentric, horny old
man who would rather go out to get some than protect his dog Peanut from the
Mole Man. Mary Seibel is Mrs. Habershackle, the grumpy old cat lady who has no
problem pointing out every single fault the apartment building has to the Mugg
brothers. Greg Holliman portrays Robert the cop, who immediately takes a
disliking to the colorful Muggs and vows to make their lives a living hell.
But the guy who stands out the most is Paulie, played by
T.J. Jagodowski (best known for his appearances in Sonic Drive-In commercials).
Every single line and appearance by Paulie is a guaranteed laugh-out-loud
moment, and you can’t help but fall in love with this stoner’s stupidity. Then
there are many other fun characters, including a prostitute, neighborhood
bartender and Mole Man expert, who help make THE MOLE MAN OF BELMONT AVENUE a
perfect comedy/horror flick.
Yes, comedy comes first and horror second in this feature.
Although some may find stealing electricity from a church and buying dogs and
kittens from a shelter to feed to the Mole Man pretty horrific, the overall
tone is humorous. Yet while some films of this type fail in their attempts to
emphasize laughs over scares, THE MOLE MAN OF BELMONT AVENUE succeeds with
smart writing and precise execution.
If there’s one thing viewers might not enjoy about this
film, it would have to be the score. This writer found the music
entertaining—even days later when it popped into my head. But many people don’t
like little ditties echoing in their minds for no reason, and MOLE MAN’s music
does just that. At least that’s one way the film might stay with its viewers
long after it’s over…
THE MOLE MAN OF BELMONT AVENUE is a delightful,
sidesplitting experience that should be placed on the shelf next to such
favorites as TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL and SHAUN OF THE DEAD. If Bradecich and
LaFlamboy keep it up, they may soon become household names in the genre-movie
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