Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2010 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 1st, 2011
A mountain...a monster...a massacre.
It's time for another low-grade monster movie. This time there's a giant worm/tentacle thing that lives in a mountain and can be killed by a bazooka. The rest is just filler.
Something is shifty in the woods of Ascenion, a jerkwater town that has been feeling some nasty earth tremors recently. Seismologist Emily Green (Cindy Busby) is investigating the matter and during her adventure, she encounters gruff lumberjack Thomas Anderson (Ed Quinn). The two form a partnership that eventually leads them to a shocking discovery: the tremors are caused by terrifying monster, the size of a mountain, which emerges every ten thousand years or so to smite humanity Ã Čthe Behemoth. The only way to defeat it? Listen to the ravings of an old man.
I have to confess something: I am numb to these made-for-TV creature features. And I'm shocked that, after the hundreds and hundreds that have been churned out, there is still enough of an audience to prompt studios to keep coughing these up. Since I have been pretty much the guy at the Verdict tasked with handling these releases, my eyes have been bombarded by countless permutations of beasties running amok, eating the occasional person before being bested by a plot device. It doesn't matter what the monster is -- a boa, a python, a killer grizzly bear, a pack of vipers, a Sharktopus -- the way these sagas play out rarely divert from the well-worn game plan.
If you've even heard of a SyFy original movie then there is nothing housed on this disc that will surprise you. You've got an Alpha male (with a five o'clock shadow, natch), an attractive female scientist, some hokey myth that actually has bearing on the crisis at hand and a totally inept military. The lone variable is the beast of the week and, with effects budgets the way they are for these productions that can also be the most embarrassing aspect.
So it is with some surprise that I report that the Behemoth isn't a complete joke. Like any monster movie the full reveal doesn't come until later in the movie, and up to that point it's all tentacle. But when the mountain blows up and this huge bastard rears his ugly head I was impressed with the rendering. ILM won't be giving out any grants to the designers, but their creation is fairly interesting. It's essentially an orgy of teeth and tentacles and eyes, writing about and screeching. And it doesn't look that bad. Congrats Behemoth visual effects guys; you've pumped out probably the best looking monster I've seen out of what is, admittedly, a pathetic field of candidates.
Alas, the screenwriter let you down, because whenever something not directly involving shots of the Behemoth farting around on top of its mountain transpires on screen, movie death rains down upon us. The main action swaps between our two main characters (who are stiffs) and tedious sequences featuring the seismologist's crusty old father spouting off gibberish about the ancient story of these world-destroyers. Worse, during the culmination as Thomas and Emily try to figure out how to fire the Plot Contrivance, the parallel action sequence is dad stuck in an attic crawlspace.
The DVD is so lean it barely exists: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, no extras.
Higher-quality beast thrills can be found emptying a can of Raid on your deck.
Guilty. Also, the Behemoth is complete pantywaist.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated