|October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:15pm — Theatre 7|
The landlords are morons, the tenants are moving out, and there’s a monster in the basement.
Writers/ producers/ directors John LaFlamboy and Mike Bradecich play a pair of bumbling landlords reluctantly hunting the subterranean creature that menaces their tenants and their tenants’ pets in the Chicago indie comedy/ horror “The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue.”
Featuring the original Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund, and a supporting cast rounded out by the talents of Second City veterans such as David Pasquesi, T.J. Jagodowski, Tim Kazurinsky, and Susan Messing.
Mike & John have been doing theater together since their days at Southern Illinois University. In 2005, they formed Big Tree Productions to write, direct, and shoot short movies for themselves and their friends to act in. “Mole Man” is their first feature.
Directed by: Mike Bradecich
REVIEW FROM VARIETY by DENNIS HARVEY
Writer-director-stars Mike Bradecich and John LaFlamboy keep horror-comedy “The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue” diverting largely via their droll chemistry as mismatched siblings who’ve inherited a dilapidated apartment building terrorized by a hungry man-sized critter. Theatrical prospects are slight, but pic should win some friends in home formats and provide a ravenous calling card for the talented duo.
Just back from a failed stint raising llamas, extrovert Jarman Mugg (LaFlamboy) returns to the rapidly depopulating Chicago building managed by deadpan brother Marion (Bradecich). With the gas shut off and the electricity being stolen from a church next door, the only tenants left now are those with nowhere else to go — a generally disagreeable bunch including a couple of cranky oldsters (one played by erstwhile Freddy Krueger thesp Robert Englund), a prostitute and an apartment full of serious stoners. Another inconvenience they’ve all experienced lately is the serial disappearances of pets.
Jarman and Marion happen to be walking the halls just as the titular creature is trying to seize a small dog through a mail slot. To keep their tenants from bailing on them, they suggest that perhaps a raccoon has run amuck. But they do attempt to capture the creature, which, when its pet supply runs out, turns to hunting larger, rent-paying game.
Progress is consistently amusing if seldom hilarious; momentum occasionally slackens. As actors, Bradecich and LaFlamboy are always wiseass funny; ditto Susan Messing as the bartender in the ground-floor watering hole of a building that once housed a speakeasy. Featuring some “Strangers With Candy” veterans in supporting roles, pic has its cult-following credentials in order.