The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue is a horror comedy that follows two nitwit brothers Jarmin Mugg (John LaFlamboy) and Marion Mugg (Mike Bradecich) who are landlords of a building which is falling apart. Worse yet, a Mole Man has moved in and has eaten the pets within the confines.
On rare occasions, I enjoy horror comedies. When Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are involved, I always enjoy them. The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue tries too hard to mimic the chemistry between Pegg and Frost with LaFlamboy and Bradecich. Unfortunately, the two try too hard to be something else rather than to feed their own project.
The duo are also the writers and directors of the movie. That said, the directing style works well. Every shot is filmed in a way to bring you right into the production, yet the storyline isn’t strong enough to keep the attention. It tries to rely on comedy, but rarely are any laughs found.
The monster is done well. If the movie focused on the Mole Man and was a straight-out horror something great could have been found. As is, some scenes are almost painful to watch. Though superior to many low-budget productions, this movie did have a lot to work with and just didn’t utilize it.
The acting is good though the dialogue leaves too much to be desired. It’s difficult to get into a movie which tries to entertain by using someone else’s tone in their writing. It comes across fake and phony.
Robert Englund was definitely a saving grace in the movie. He’s always fantastic and despite the less than stellar dialogue, brings a level of confidence to the project that was definitely needed. The rest of the characters just didn’t stand out as well as they should have.
The overall movie reminded me of another that came out a decade ago. The Million Dollar Hotel was a movie in which the strange tenants created the atmosphere. Each character stood out and was memorable. Here with the exception of the guy who wears the slacker t-shirt which you really want to forget and the awesome Robert Englund, everyone else – including the main characters are forgettable. The acting is there but the time to develop the characters is not. When time is dedicated to developing it’s in a way that hits you in a head with a hammer of unfunny material.
Overall Review: 4/10 Turn it into a straight-up horror and get rid of the “quirkiness” and something may be found.