Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jay's Review: Sea Beast

Since I've started writing reviews of DVDs for, I'll be posting the text of my reviews here a few days AFTER it's gone up there. Are you checking out You should.

Anyhow, here's my first review, you lucky, lucky souls, you. I'm taking the hit of Sea Beast so YOU don't have to!


Official Synopsis:

Mysterious. Unstoppable. Insatiable. A mythic force from the darkest ocean depths has suddenly been unleashed- on land. No longer content to feed on sea life, the creatures now stalk this sleepy bay village- attacking without warning, mutilating without mercy. When a monumental storm engulfs the town, only a precious few survivors are left to battle the beasts before all humanity is devoured alive.

Our Take:

Formerly named “Troglodyte,” this is another SciFi channel/Maneater Series formulaic monster movie. This time the formula is “The Perfect Storm” + “Predator” + a dash of “Aliens” + a scene cribbed from “Jurassic Park” x British Columbia locations= Sea Beast.

Corin “Corky” Nemec is our grizzled sea captain, saddled with a teenage daughter (Miriam McDonald) and a lot of debt. While he loses a crewman during a “Deadliest Catch” fishing expedition, he unknowingly picks up a narcotic-slime-spitting deep-sea monster that’s perfectly comfortable on dry land. It’s also quick to reproduce and capable of translucence. The last bit making it easier to animate w/ CGI, I’d assume.

Back on land and trying to figure out what’s killing his crew, Captain “Corky” is joined by his brother (a paint-by-numbers Sheriff), a blonde marine biologist in a wife-beater, and another sea captain who’s trying to out-grizzle him. Meanwhile the daughter, her crewman boyfriend, and a gal pal (who I’d forgotten within 5 minutes of her on-screen demise) try and defend themselves out in the woods.

An unrated, Sci-fi Network presentation, this one has no nudity, no swearing harsh enough to recall, and minimal gore. It’s still an efficient and rather enjoyable genre picture. The monster first shows up less than 2 minutes in and there’s a healthy even-dozen body count (not counting what I think was supposed to be half a deer).

The creature CGI is serviceable, in fact better looking than the practical-effect monster parts shown in close-up. The ocean storm CGI is… less serviceable, but does the job. If nothing else, enjoy the flat natural lighting and pretty Canadian forest and coastline. It all looks better than the picture probably has a right to.

The whole thing keeps moving at a rapid clip with dialogue and acting that doesn’t get painful even when the plot offers some awfully convenient outs for our heroes. Keep an eye on that half-cigar Nemec keeps chomping in his effort to look mature and hardened; it actually comes into play later. Not often you get to say “thankfully there’s a smoker here to save the day.”

Special Features:

Nearly none. The trailers start when you load the disc, but you can’t access them, or anything beyond “play” and “scene selection” from the half video/half animated menu. No audio or subtitle options either. All in all, pretty bare bones.

The trailers are for:

-“Rise of the Gargoyles” with Eric Balfour

-“Swamp Devil” featuring Bruce Dern

-“Black Swarm” starring Robert Englund (this one seems to involve wasp zombies…)

-“Yeti,” which seems to be “Alive” with the Abominable Snowman thrown in

The packaging includes a cardboard slipcase and misleading cover art, on both the front and back of the DVD packaging.

This film is unrated and 87 Minutes long.


You’re not getting anything that new or fresh here, but this is a competently-made monster movie that doesn’t often drag. A pleasant enough way to spend 87 minutes on a weekend night, preferably one when you’re in the mood to see people get eaten by sea monsters. “Sea Beast is probably safe enough for adolescents on up, and would probably stand up to infrequent re-watching.

(One scene involving the Sea Beast biting a woman’s head off –the goriest death in the movie- was actually recently featured on “The Soup,” raising Sci-Fi programming to the rarified heights of VH1’s “celebreality” programming… and thereby implying “Daisy of Love” is also a Sea Monster)

Overall Picture:

Movie: C

Extras: D

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