Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Release Review : Beneath Loch Ness



When a renowned paleontologist is killed while attempting to prove his theories about Loch Ness, it's up to his protege, Case Howell, to lead a second expedition into the murky depths of the Loch. There, trapped amid a series of uncharted labyrinths, Case discovers a terrifying giant creature thought to be extinct for millions of years.

Must establish right off the bat that though this DVD was just released this past Tuesday, it's actually an Echo Bridge re-release of a film that originally hit DVD way back in 2002. This double dipping of Beneath Loch Ness, ten years after the fact, was presumably done to slap some fancy new cover art on the flick and capitalize on the fact that it was directed by a dude who has since gone on to do the special effects for Avatar, as a means to try and drain from it whatever money is left to be drained from it. Unfortunately, despite the exciting and deceptive cover art that's full of elements that don't actually appear anywhere in the movie (Nessie out of the water, scantily clad hot chicks), Beneath Loch Ness is far from exciting or even moderately entertaining, just as it wasn't back in '02. Though not made by or for Syfy, it's essentially a Syfy original picture, and a pretty shitty one at that.

What angers me more than anything is the fact that so many filmmakers take incredibly interesting and fascinating subjects like Nessie and manage to somehow make completely uninteresting and boring horror movies out of them. Cryptozoological creatures are perhaps the most perfect horror movie fodder there is and yet, the majority of horror movies made about them are piss poor pieces of garbage. Beneath Loch Ness is no exception and it just frustrates me so much because this is the kind of movie someone like myself should be having a blast with. I love cheesy Syfy type movies and I am endlessly fascinated by Nessie. In fact, I pretty much consider myself a credential-less spare time Cryptozoologist. Point being, this is my shit and there's absolutely no reason why I should be so bored by a movie such as this. Honestly, within the realm of a Nessie horror movie, it doesn't even take much to entertain me. Show me Nessie as much as possible and show me Nessie tearing up as many people as possible. That's all I want to see.

What'd I get with Beneath Loch Ness? Like so many sad attempts before it, I was treated to an hour and a half of boring dialogue spoken with bad Scottish accents and California landscapes doubling as Scotland, barely with even a sign of the beast at the center of the film. It's kept completely underwater, dark and murky water at that, and not much is ever seen of the thing other than quick flashes here and there until the final couple minutes. You literally don't even see the thing kill anyone. This aint Alien, show me the goddamn CGI Loch Ness Monster that I sat down to watch the movie to see!! A Loch Ness horror movie devoid of stunning Scottish landscapes and without many appearances by the titular monster is like a Friday The 13th movie set somewhere other than Crystal Lake and without much of Jason Voorhees in it ... you saw how well that worked out when some jackwagon decided to send Jason to Hell.

The monster effects aren't horrible but again, so little of the thing is ever seen to really even tell how it looked and the murky waters serve to mask the CGI a good deal. There's one scene in the film where the twist is revealed that the "Loch Ness Monster" does in fact live in that body of water but that the beast that's being hunted in the film is actually a creature much larger and much more terrifying. The characters find this out when they discover the dead body of the Loch Ness Monster, killed by the other monster prowling the same waters. Ya, it makes no sense. But anyway, they examine the corpse of Nessie on an operating table and the practical effects are pretty kickass and old school for this one particular scene, making you wish that at least a few shots of a non-CGI creature were worked in there somewhere. They obviously had the means to pull it off, but I guess they decided to not even bother. Hell, they didn't even bother to show the thing in all its CGI glory, so I guess it'd be far too much to ask to see some practical monster work.

Cool cover art, Echo Bridge, but you really shouldn't have bothered re-releasing this hunk of junk. There was no need to dip into this one back 10 years ago and there's certaintly no need to double dip into it this week.

To date the only watchable Nessie horror flick i've come across is LOCH NESS TERROR. It's total Syfy cheese, but it manages to actually show a whole lot of Nessie (a whole family of Nessies in fact) tearing shit up, thus making it a fun movie to watch. In terms of other Cryptids, the only other flicks worth mentioning are ABOMINABLE (a fun Bigfoot flick, a rare treat in that sub-genre), MOTHMAN PROPHECIES (which manages to be a totally serious and scary take on a mythical creature) and INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS (a Werner Herzog directed mockumentary within a mockumentary that isn't a horror flick, but is without question the best Nessie movie made to date).

1 comment:

The Frog Queen said...

You know what is really scary about Loch Ness....all the cheesy fake Nessies they created for photo shoots! Those are scary! :D

Thanks for the heads up...I believe I do own the original, so thanks for saving me a few bucks!