It all started as a script written by Coast residents Wallace Phelps and Jason Robbins. Then actor and Ocean Springs resident Jeremy London stepped in, and there was a Kickstarter.com crowdfunding campaign.
On Saturday, the 21-minute short film “Monsters Anonymous” makes its South Mississippi debut with a showing at the Beacon Theater in Waveland. Tickets are $5.50 and available for the 7 p.m. showing. A red-carpet event will start at 5:15 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the Beacon Theater box office and are $5, cash only. The box office opens Friday and Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Warriors for Willow.
The short film, shot in Ocean Springs, follows the classic “universal monsters” — Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Bride — as they attend group therapy together and discuss their feelings in a quest to stay relevant in the world of modern horrors and atrocities.
Directed by London, who has had plenty of experience both in front of (“Mallrats,” “Party of Five”) and behind the camera (“The Devil’s Dozen”), “Monsters” wastes little time setting up the jokes. Brian O’Halloran, Dante Hicks from “Clerks,” portrays a sympathetic version of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula as a vampire who wears tracksuits and drinks his blood from a glass. O’Halloran is perfect in the role and instead of chewing up the scenery, he injects a certain sadness as he questions his relevancy.
He expertly swaps lines with Brent Phillip Henry, who plays the most self-loathing Wolfman since David Naughton’s brilliant turn as a reluctant werewolf in “An American Werewolf in London.”
But Henry’s Wolfman is not the one of Lon Chaney Jr. (“The Wolf Man” 1941) or Michael Landon (“I Was a Teenage Werewolf”). No, his Wolfman has evolved, kind of, into a werewolf that poops in his neighbor’s yard and hates himself for doing so. But hey, thank goodness he has his support group and therapist, played by none other than the “Queen of Versailles” herself, Jacqueline Siegel.
There are also great performances from Sheenan Cole as The Bride, Daniel Levy as Frank, Juliet Reeves London (“Girl in The Woods”) as Blair Witch and Christopher Hall, who steals scenes as a stinky, dirty Mummy named Dusty.
“Monsters” has some hilarious moments and is fast-paced and a lot of fun. But at its core, it’s an existential piece on violence and society.
To quote the Devil, played by Robbins, “People of Earth are not scared of me anymore and that’s scarier than I could ever be.”