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The Chet Zar documentary I Like to Paint Monsters gives us a look into the world of an incredible artist and one of today’s greatest creators. Chet Zar’s story in the film spans his troubled upbringing, his early interest in all things horror and his philosophy as a man confident in his contribution to the world. Fans, supporters and family provide commentary on the artist and a picture is painted of a creator who has been living deep in the art world his entire life, only to bring positivity and awareness to the world around him.

I Like to Paint Monsters is way more than just an exploration of an individual’s artistic work. Those who know of Chet Zar may immediately associate him with the band Tool, and others may know him for his work in the film industry in genre greats from The Blob remake and Darkman to Hellboy and Hellboy II; but people who have seen his paintings and sculptures from the last decade know that he exists in a realm of creativity and imagination that only a small few are ever able to tap into. This film is an exploration of genius in everything from background to experience to philosophy; and as a study of brilliance, it is unparalleled.

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The film digs deep into the early life of Chet Zar and his upbringing. We delve into his family life and how he was constantly active and creative while growing up. We get plenty of input from individuals close to Chet who discuss their views on the past and how they perceived this crazy kid savant who eventually grew to become a professional make-up and special effects wizard in the film industry. Plenty of insight is given to how Chet Zar views his work and its effects on fans and the fine art world, and the film ends on an incredibly positive note.

I cannot recommend I Like to Paint Monsters enough. It is one of the most insightful, inspiring and sincere documentaries I have ever seen, and it is absolutely one of my favorite films of 2015 so far. Fantastic commentary from Chet Zar’s family, friends, admirers and collaborators in the art world, to include the amazing Alex Grey, build a compelling narrative of a truly wonderful person who deserves to be celebrated for his visionary work. Fans of the “Dark Art movement should seek this film out as soon as possible. It’s worth it.

Hawkins’ Rating: 


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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