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By Bob Westal | April 24, 2002

You’d have to be pretty hard case not to feel some sympathy for movie monsters. Sure, these fellows spend most of their time terrorizing and killing us non-monsters but, deep down, all most of them really want is company (and sometimes a light snack).
That’s the position of “Love and the Monster,” a neat little super 8 opus created by musician Miles Montalbano, based on a story by cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez (“Love and Rockets”).
“Love and the Monster” walks us through a brief moment in the life of tall, awkward Danny Chesterfield (David Spangler), who spends his time going to peepshows, philosophizing on his own loneliness, and fantasizing rescue scenarios in which he attempts to save female pornstars from their poor occupational choice.
“Love and the Monster” deals thoughtfully with contemporary loneliness and how easy it is in our media-saturated universe to feel like a monster if you happen to be less than gorgeous. Unfortunately, after opening with a terrific, souped-up recreation of a cheesy monster movie, the film never really finds its best footing, spending too much time accompanying poor Danny Chesterfield as he meanders through San Francisco’s seedy and colorful North Beach.
With a lovely score by the legendary Jonathan Richman (“There’s Something about Mary”), “Love and the Monster” is nevertheless notable, especially for fans of good music and serious comics. (Aside from the “Love and Rockets” connection, the credits list Chris Ware of “Jimmy Corrigan” fame for “production” and thank Robert Crumb.)

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