It ain't always good when a filmmaker can realize their vision. The immensely low-budget Monsters, Marriage, and Murder in Manchvegas is deliberately cheap, cheesy, and stupid -- and it wears out any appeal quite quickly (like the electronic keyboard music that permeates the film).

This film revolves mainly around the Manchvegas Outlaw Society (M.O.S.), three adults who wear matching jerseys and spend their days acting like kids. Marshall (Matt Farley) acts like the M.O.S. is as important as the F.B.I., Jenny (Marie Dellicker) has an unrequited crush on Marshall, and All-Star Pete (Tom Scalzo) is, um, there. The three shoot hoops, deliver newspapers, sell lemonade, watch for criminals, talk at night on cans connected to strings (honestly) and play pranks on a rival "organization."

The plot, such as it is, revolved around Melina Corbin (Sharon Scalzo), a young girl on vacation from finishing school who is soon engaged to Vince (Kyle Kochan), a lower-class kid with some anger issues. The match doesn't appeal to Melina's father Dan (Kevin McGee), and when Melina vanishes after going skinny dipping Dan is convinced that Vince is a killer; several other murders reinforce this belief. There are also some of the fakest monsters ever filmed, and a university archaeological "expedition" in the forest. Will pretending to be engaged to Jenny make Marshall realize his feelings for her? Can the M.O.S. solve the case? What adults have water balloon fights anyway?

Monsters, Marriage, and Murder in Manchvegas is like a comedy sketch parodying movies with zero budget and painful acting. To its credit, this is the goal of the movie: Everything is deliberately overdone badly, and in the dvd featurettes the cast mentions "classic" bad horror movies that inspired them. But something that may have been mildly amusing as a five-minute sketch becomes painful shortly after that -- and sitting through 80 minutes of this was a real endurance test. Hearing bad dialogue delivered poorly isn't entertaining -- even when done deliberately -- and there are no performances, jokes, or routines that I could describe as amusing or entertaining. The press release I got with my dvd said that one of the film's makers "leaves copies of his DVDs most everywhere he goes." If you happen to find a copy of Monsters, Marriage, and Murder in Manchvegas, leave it where you find it. Or throw it out.

Overall grade: F
Reviewed by James Lynch

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