One of the most quintessential movies of the 1990s was The Crow. It’s a good old fashioned revenge film which pays homage to both grindhouse style films and graphic classics like I Spit on your Grave. While having many supernatural elements to it, though, I don’t think that I’d classify it as horror per se.
It’s still a lot of fun.
So, what if I told you that I happened to come across a new film called Monika that manages to capture a lot of what that film had (with a smaller budget so not as far over the top action sequences)? Monika doesn’t like to play in the shadows though. It combines The Sixth Sense with Machete and the ghost just eludes sexiness.
Raegan (Jason Wiles) is tired of his boring life in LA and heads over to Las Vegas to meet up with his best friend (who just happens to be setting him up with the beautiful bombshell Monika (Cerina Vincent). After spending a drunken night together at the hotel, Raegan wakes alone. He finds his friend who proceeds to tell him that Monika was murdered the night before in the room Raegan just came from.
While Raegan drunkenly tries to figure out what is happening, he is pulled into the typical Wild West/grindhouse/no cops ever seen story: There’s some drug dealers, and they kill at will. Along the way, Raegan is haunted by visions of his night before and Monika appears to him multiple times whenever he’s in trouble.
Instead of sporting leather like Brandon Lee did in the Crow, Monika wears skin tight blue jeans, a white tank top, and a flannel. She ‘s an excellent shot, and head lackey Terry Jo’s (Jeff Branson) (who just may have something to do with Monika’s death) world starts coming undone after an early shoot out with her. As Raegan tries to piece together what is happening, Monika enlists him in her rampage.
Monika manages to meld many films and genres into one pretty good watch. Raegan’s confusion and willingness to help the dead (Monika) reminded me of Bruce Willis’ character in The Sixth Sense that was Leaving Las Vegas. Vincent (who is iconic from her leg shaving scene in Cabin Fever) is a mysterious figure. She’ll drip sexuality, and then she’ll play victim. While on a quest for vengeance, she sure knows how to play the damsel in distress as well.
The horror is light in Monika, but it’s a fun violent film. It’s definitely worth a look.