HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER
As with all of the other Creature Features, the only connection with the 1950s B movie namesake is the title. The original How to Make a Monster (1958) was one of Herman Cohens teenage monster films and concerned a makeup artist fired by his studio who uses his creations to take revenge. The 2001 How to Make a Monster is now a variation on films like Nightmares (1983), Brainscan (1994) and Arcade (1994), which feature computer/VR games coming to life and eliminating players. The minor difference between How to Make a Monster and these other malevolent videogame films is that this has been updated to the era of the internet startup and computer geekdom. There is certainly some ingenuity to the premise where the killer cyborg of the show is a motion capture suit that has been taken over by the games AI, which plays the suit thinking it is taking on players in the game.
However, the film doesnt work. The characters created by George Huang who also made the hilarious Hollywood black comedy Swimming with Sharks (1996) are all shrill caricatures. The bickering between the four geeks gets on ones nerves. Everyone seems infected with too much knowing cynicism. The most amusing of these is Julie Strain, an actress known in genre films for taking her clothes off, who plays herself coming in to model for the game and treating the geeks lusting over her and excuses to take off her clothes with cynicism. Of course, having made an amusing gag of getting her to play against type and complaining about taking her clothes off, the film still gets her to take her clothes off anyway. The end message that the film has heroine Clea Duvall reach is: Dont be nice [ie. be ruthless and cutthroat] because the world isnt nice. While it may be a personal point-of-view that George Huang seems to be arguing (one that Swimming with Sharks also echoes), it is also one that in its presentation leaves an unpleasantly callous aftertaste in the mouth. Outside of that, all there is is a routine monster movie.
George Huang has subsequently not directed anything outside of television, although has been listed as a creative consultant on several Robert Rodriguez films.
Film online in several parts beginning here:-