Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror/comedy/anthology series Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits and Monsters (2018) by writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait. To best describe the conceit, I will turn to the official summary:
“Anthology of stories told via different genres that satirize social norms and flawed characters.”
As mentioned above, the series “satirizes social norms” and does so in grand style. Within the first six episodes, we have not only our current political climate commented upon via a 1970’s era werewolf story but also racism in dating mentioned through a mermaid romance plot. Both are handled with more humor than horror, emphasizing the irony of the concepts to try to tie it into our modern society. The laughs never overpower the biting wit of the more socially conscious episodes and the jokes make the more traditional entries in the series still feel fun and different because of the levity that pervades the horror.
There are a lot of different genres played within the series and each comes with its own signature style. From the stalker heavy entry that visually checks the Cape Fear (1991) box to the Faustian deal episode that plays like a mockumentary, they manage to give each chapter its own unique look. Some anthologies look rather similar from episode to episode, so the changing style made each story feel distinctive and memorable.
What felt especially impressive to me was how much content was crammed into each chapter. After watching the first few I was surprised that so little time had passed given how chock full of plot they seemed. While the average runtime was under thirty minutes, there was so much happening within each story that they managed to feel cinematic.
One thing worth mentioning, that I hope is on the episodes when they air on television, is the interesting behind-the-scenes look attached to the end of each entry. These varied between interviews with the cast to fleshing out some of the technical details or influences and managed to be just as fascinating to me as each episode. Bobcat himself is often the host of each of these segments so it gives us some good insight into his process in the making of each chapter while still remaining hilariously entertaining.
Finally, I should probably take a moment to comment upon the acting. For the most part, the performances are, much like the concepts, rather over the top. It works tonally as the show never takes itself too seriously. Of equal interest to fans of Mr. Goldthwait’s work will be the fact that he reuses many people he has directed in some of his other works.
All in all, this is a very entertaining series that emphasizes humor more than horror. The behind-the-scenes looks and stylistic differences between episode alone make this worth a watch. Fans of anthologies like Tales from the Crypt (1989) and Creepshow (1982) will definitely enjoy this show.
Check out Bobcat Goldthwait’s MISFITS & MONSTERS every Wednesday at 10pm ET/PT on TruTV.