That Little Monster Movie Review
If any film is a worthy successor to Eraserhead, it's That Little Monster, a short feature shot by Paul Bunnell in 1994 about a babysitter (Melissa Baum, a young soap actress who appears to have retired after shooting this movie) who gets the job of her dreams -- or nightmares -- when she's hired to sit for a freakish monster of a child for the night.
At a spare 55 minutes in length (including a two-minute opening overture and a two-minute monologue warning us of the horrors to come), this cult classic began as an episode of the TV show Monsters but when the original producer died, Bunnell decided to press on with the movie on his own. Over three and half years That Little Monster was shot (using $30,000 of Bunnell's money), with Baum returning to reprise her role -- one time when she was five months pregnant -- throughout that time.
The result is a macabre and creepy flick -- not really about anything -- a kind of "mood piece," in Bunnell's own words. Film and classic TV buffs will find a lot to like, from the Twilight Zone-inspired masks worn by the parents to the Zonelike spin-shot at the end of the film (Bunnell's favorite, as revealed in an extra interview on the DVD) to the appearance of one huge comedy star of yesteryear (it's worth checking out the movie for this cameo alone).
Still, film fans looking for a deep and meaningful movie experience aren't going to be overly satisfied with the story shortcomings of That Little Monster. He may be a real terror, but in the end, it looks like he's just looking to eat.
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