Friday, August 28, 2009

Sea Beast

The Sci-Fi Channel keeps on releasing low-quality beast-centric crap on DVD. Who do they think is stupid enough to buy this stuff? D’oh! I do, of course. Curse your evil plan, Sci-Fi/SyFy Channel! You with your deceptively cool-looking box covers.

Will McKenna (Corin Nemec, Stargate SG-1) is a down-on-his-luck fishing boat captain. He’s just returned without a catch, and after losing a crewman to a rogue wave during a storm. Although he could have sworn he saw a creature come up from the water and snatch the unlucky crewman, that’s just crazy talk. Back home, he has to contend with a miserable guy he owes money to, and a suspicion his daughter is secretly dating one of his crew members, which is true.

His mundane problems are about to seem unimportant, because some of the creatures he saw have followed him back for a human smorgasbord. In keeping with horror movie tradition, the black guy is the first victim.

The creatures are described by everyone as looking just like an anglerfish, which is annoying since they actually look like a grey version of Venom from the Spider-man comics. They have a tongue that can grab prey from several yards away, and spit green goo that first paralyzes their victims, and eventually kills them, if they’re not eaten first. They can also make themselves invisible, useful in ripping off a scene or two from Predator. (Unexplained is how, when they come out of the water, they are also able to make the water that should be clinging to them invisible as well, but they are always shown dry. For a sea creature, they spend the vast majority of their time on land. It could be worse. Since the original title of the movie was Troglodyte, that would have made even less sense.

Anyway, the creatures show up and wreak havoc with the local population. No help can reach them due to the bad weather, although we see nothing but clear skies, so I imagine the potential rescue parties just don’t like the citizens of the town. Daughter and crewman have gone off for a weekend on a nearby island, where they are besieged by the creatures. Crewman is bitten by one of the creatures, but he treats it as no big deal, odd since he’s been bitten by something unknown to man, and his hand seems to be rotting away. There are indications the bite is causing him to change, but the moviemakers got bored with that subplot and dropped it. There is a humorous moment where daughter drops a big rock on one of the creatures’ extended tongues, causing it to slam its head against the rock when it is pulled in, but the light touches are few and far between. Daughter is a regular Buffy in this one. While three men with guns are no match for one creature, the young girl kills what seems like hundreds of them with whatever crude weapons are at hand.

Eventually, McKenna arrives, discovers the nest of the creatures, and rigs the most godawful Rube Goldberg device in history to blow them up. McKenna forgives his daughter for sneaking around and dating the crewman, since he got eaten anyway and is no longer a threat.

There’s not a lot to like here. The CGI is about as bad as they come, and most of the plot is equally nonsensical. I normally like Corin Nemec, but here he’s saddled with a wretched haircut and gives an uneven performance, and the female lead is so bland as to be unnecessary. Something that always irritates me: In almost every scene, nemec pops a cigar in his mouth, but only twice does he light the goddamned thing.

I realize I am the enabler in this relationship.


Jim Mcleod said...

I'm still going to watch this you know. You're a bad man a very bad man

John Hornor said...

Thank you for not writing:

Parker Lewis CAN lose.

KentAllard said...

@ Jim. I realize that.

KentAllard said...

@ John Although I am aware of the existence of the TV show, I've never seen Parker Lewis Can't Lose, and I figured any Jonas Quinn jokes would fall flatter than most of mine.