Friday, May 27, 2011

One A Week Reviews #21: Mongolian Death Worm

This week I curled up on dvdsnapshot's behalf with a little DVD called Mongolian Death Worm. While I eschew the obvious  "dick jokes," I make no promises that this is a good movie...

Official Synopsis:

When an American oil company sets up an experimental drilling plant out the vast deserts of Mongolia, they awaken a nest of deadly creatures that have been dormant for centuries - the Mongolian Death Worms. Their only hope is treasure hunter Daniel Upton (Sean Patrick Flanery), who has spent his life searching for the legendary tomb of Genghis Khan, which is fabled to be protected by the Worms. Daniel must do whatever he can to kill these creatures, but stopping these monsters may mean destroying his life's work... forever!

Our Take:

I'm personally willing to cut any movie involving giant, squishy monsters that originally ran of Syfy a lot of slack on the grounds that you know what you're in for. All they need do is entertain. This creature feature co-opts the mythical Mongolian Death Worm for it‘s nefarious B-movie purposes. Reminiscent of the sand worms in Dune, the Death Worm is a cohort of the Chupacabra, Bigfoot, and Loch Ness Monster.

To paraphrase a personal hero, the estimable Joe Bob Briggs, "there's a lotta plot getting in the way of this story." We've got an oil company cutting corners and triggering worm attacks. There's a hot blonde (Victoria Pratt) with a dorky sidekick who's part of a Doctors Without Borders knock-off heading in to treat a Cholera outbreak (one that's connected to the worms). Also, Sean Patrick Flanery headlines as a treasure hunter, who's more slacker that Lara Croft or Indiana Jones would ever allow, out looking for gold in the Mongolian plains. It sure looks like it could be anywhere, and the tidy, slapdash village sets sure don't add any local color. And how many law enforcement officials dress drive big SUVs with "Police" marked all over the side in Mongolia? I doubt there was even authentic Mongolian Beef for lunch.

Anyhow, none of that's important. If anything, points for an imaginative script. The oil company is aggravating the worms protecting the treasure Flanery's hunting. The bad acting by all the Americans pretending to be in Mongolia aggravates them. The contrived, though somewhat original, story threads aggravate, too. Can you blame these Death Worms for wanting to eat everyone? No. They’re not given any choice in this matter.

Our special friends make short work of some oil company employees and drug runners, but can't seem to quite catch up with our fearless (yet oddly screechy) heroes as they try and find a way to stop 'em. This is a SyFy-to-DVD creature feature: Formulaic, visually uninspired, and filled with more empty calories than the buttery popcorn best enjoyed on your couch while you watch this some rainy night. If you like this genre, Mongolian Death Worm gains some points for trying, but is mostly uninspired. If your tastes are more discerning, steer clear.

Special Features:
 Mongolian Death Worm is presented widescreen with English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital audio options. There are English and Spanish subtitles. The only extras are some trailers.


Does it really matter in the end what I have to say about this movie? If you're a fan of cheesy creature features you can't resist the siren song of a title like Mongolian Death Worm, so don't even try and pretend otherwise.

Overall Picture:
Movie: C- 
Extras: C

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