" You could probably make a drinking game out of it. Everyone does a shot whenever they see the blue screen. "
Title: Beneath Loch Ness by Dimension Home Video
Format: DVD Sci-Fi/Action
Reviewing Monkey: EEGAH!
The Hype: What happens when a special effects wiz pens a film targeted strictly for special effects geeks? No guesses? Okay, here's a hint. What happens when same director/writer/FX coordinator is given a budget of ten thousand dollars and a rented blue screen that only works some of the time? Give up? This movie, that's what.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Acting: An independently
sponsored team of scientists are studying the nature of a large crevice in the
bottom of Loch Ness and the presence of salt water in this insular body of water
when an earthquake buries the head researcher. A catty expose reporter steps
in to rescue the project by proposing a tabloid style special insinuating that
the results of the crazy Scottish scientist's death may have been due to something
slightly less natural.
Meanwhile, this poor man's Indiana Jones agrees to head up the team and continue research after learning of his friend's death only to threaten to quit several times throughout the remainder of the film because of moral objections to the project. That is until a giant CGI (Cheaply Generated Image in this case) creature slithers up out of the depths and begins to…um…well; really it doesn't do much of anything.
There it is in a nutshell folks, now where to begin. How about with that I can't make it all the way through this film without falling asleep. Now you may think me irresponsible for reviewing something I haven't seen all the way through but that's where you're wrong. I was able over the course of several attempted viewings to actually watch the whole thing and let me assure you that apart from being poorly written, acted, paced, lighted (I'll get into this later), and animated, it was a total failure.
For the first forty minutes nothing happens. Then suddenly at fifty-one minutes in it becomes a lame Jaws rip-off complete with the local sheriff filling out the mayor of Amity role, and Patrick Bergin as the direct-to-video version of Quint. It even goes so far as to hark back to Jaws 3 with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it incident involving a half eaten diver and a glass bottomed boat. So to say that the story and acting stunk worse than bloated skunk road kill is an egregious understatement. Nevertheless, for the sake of stating the obvious and completing this category I shall deem fit to give it 0 out of 5.
Action: Surprisingly little for what you'd
expected coming from a guy whose resume is comprised mostly of action films.
There's a lot of "Oh wait, here it comes" moments and then…. cut to another
When you finally do see the creature you'll feel you've been gypped anyway because it's a poorly rendered CGI beastie that drifts listlessly across the screen. We've come a long sad way from the glory days portrayed in movies like "Anaconda". At least the animatronic snake in that film destroyed the set and presented an actual danger to the cast. The monster in "Loch Ness" is just a pussy ass little bitch made up of 0 and 1's. 0 out of 5
Visuals and Directing: As mentioned above,
"Beneath Loch Ness" was written and directed by the guy who brought us such
classics as "Dungeons and Dragons" and "Mortal Kombat". And not even the good
"Mortal Kombat" either.
For the most part, people, I'm going to concentrate on the visuals with only a secondary emphasis given to directing as that seemed to be the director's chain of command. You'll understand if you ignore my advice and go ahead and watch this movie.
"Beneath Loch Ness" is visually the absolute ugliest piece of filmmaking this reviewer has ever seen. Cartoon boulders, close up shots of textures that are repeated over and over throughout the course of the film, digital matting of objects with little deference given to that tiny little detail called the third dimension, characters digitally spliced onto footage of scenery to cut back on location shoots and aren't lit properly so as to match their surrounds, and finally the aforementioned pesky blue screen which makes it's unmistakable cameo. There're probably some things in there that I forgot to mention, many more I'm sure that I just plain didn't catch. Plus, and I can't confirm this, but there's a bit with a dead Nessie that washes up on the beach whose head looks suspiciously like the Noxious Offender dick prop from "Citizen Toxie".
As for the directing part of it, well, how to put this tactfully? How about, Chuck Comisky couldn't direct his way out of a wet paper bag. His actors seem to languish on screen waiting for some kind of recognition that they're headed in the right direction. Here's what I imagine the typical exchange between the director and the AD sounded like:
Director: They stopped reading their lines, why did they do that?
Assistant Director: They finished reading the scene, sir.
Director: Why are they all looking at me like that?
Assistant Director: Uh, I believe they're waiting for you to say, "Cut".
Director: Oh yes, yes, right, of course. Cut! Great work guys, really good stuff. Who's hungry?
Chuck Comisky's goal to make a movie to appeal solely to the special FX dorks was clear enough, but his vision was bigger than his budget. I'll give it a puny ˝ out of 5 just because it was so outstandingly bad.
Sound Track: I don't recall any music apart from the house band at the tavern that the characters return to repeatedly throughout the movie. 1 out of 5
DVD Extras: Nothing to see here. After all was said and done they probably didn't have enough of a budget to fill out this section of the disc. That or the cameras containing any unedited outtakes were repossessed by the company that leased them. 0 out of 5
Value vs. Price: I don't know what it retails for, probably in the fifteen dollar range, but there is zero value so any price would be too much. Don't rent it, don't buy it. 1/2 out of 5
|Let's review here, shall we? The actors clearly would rather have been doing something else but no other offers came through, the so-called "special" effects were anything but, and the whole thing seemed to have been edited on a Commodore 64. Looking back on it, the only thing I learned from this movie was that dinosaur eggs and fish eggs are referred to interchangeably as roe. Did not know that.|
The Good: You could probably make a drinking game out of it. Everyone does a shot whenever they see the blue screen. Which leads us to…
The Bad: Alcohol poisoning ensues.
The Overall Ugly: Apart from being generally bad there's not even any entertainment to be gotten out of it. Even, "Battlefield Earth" could boast a little entertainment by way of unintentional humor. "Beneath Loch Ness" was bogged down by its own slow pacing and so offered none of what I've come to expect from this kind of movie.
What it's Worth: Sorry, I can't in good conscience suggest renting, let alone buying this prehistoric turd.