Sea Beast (2008)

Sea-Beast-2008

It’s a feeding frenzy!

No one will believe fisherman Will McKenna when he tells everyone that a sea monster snatched one of his crew off their last fishing trip. However the amphibious man-eating monster has followed his boat back to shore where it begins feasting on the local populace for the benefit of it’s recently hatched offspring.

 

The Sci-Fi Channel strikes another blow to the heart of the creature feature with Sea Beast, another unimaginative and derivative schlocker which delivers what one has come to expect from their output (ie. very little). What we get is some bizarre cross between Jaws, Predator and any number of the trashy aquatic horrors that the Sci-Fi Channel has released over the past couple of years. Don’t they know when to quit? Obviously not judging by this. But whereas before, their creature feature films were based upon real creatures, the Sci-Fi Channel turned to mythology for inspiration (Yeti and Hydra spring to mind) and is now just making up whatever they want on the spot (Rock Monster? Sea Beast?). It seems with this mindset, there are no limits to how many of these films will be churned out and more worrying, how much worse they will get.

Anyway Sea Beast runs like clockwork. There’s the small fishing village setting. There’s the token fisherman / local town hero who needs to take matters into his own hands to sort the monster problem out. There’s the town drunk who claims to have seen the creatures before but no one believes him. There’s also a token female scientist who is on hand to provide the scientific mumbo jumbo needed to fulfil the ‘we explained the monster as best we could’ quota. There’s the teenage daughter of the town hero who predictably must disobey her father’s orders at some point to hold a party with her friends and to which the creatures will gate crash. There are a few minor characters who hang around simply waiting to be killed off. With a film as routine as this, it’s almost pointless watching in many respects.

The only reason you keep watching is the possibility that the film might actually spring a few surprises – that isn’t the case here and gets as predictable as the lousy summer weather in the UK. The script, if you can call it that, doesn’t do anyone any favours at all – from the fact that the creatures attack in the most ridiculous of places (which means that the CGI looks way more ropey that it needs to be) to the idiotic things that the characters do. The cast isn’t too bad with Corin Nemec making for a passable hero but they’re given a thankless task in trying to make the mundane dialogue actually mean something.

The sea beasts actually look a little like Venom (from Spider-Man 3 and the comics). It’s got a weird ability to stealth itself like the Predator and can jump massive distances into the air in order to escape its prey. They can spit out slime which paralyses their victims and are generally a nasty piece of work. The creature itself is such a bizarre creation that it takes believability to the next level and it’s actually hard to stomach it actually existing. I can picture the thought of a giant octopus, mutated shark or even 30ft eels but to create a whole new breed of monster and give it almost comic book-like powers is just taking it a little too far. You also get plenty of monster P.O.V. shots of it homing on its victims. All that the thing needed was the shoulder mounted cannon and it would have given the Predator a definite run for its money.

They’re very well fed too but that’s another problem I have with these recent monster flicks – there’s too many people being eaten. The older monster flicks never had massive body counts and mainly a few insignificant characters were killed off before one or two main characters. But at least when characters were killed off, it felt special. We had emotional bonds to the few main characters who got killed off (come on, everyone hated it when Quint got killed in Jaws). Here there are that many people getting killed left, right and centre that the novelty of the creatures are taken away and the deaths just become routine. The characters killed off are generally just extras with no dialogue and we get the feeling that the main characters here are going to be ‘invincible’ and make it through to the end.

 

Some of the Sci-Fi Channel’s aquatic horrors have been reasonably entertaining (I’m thinking of Loch Ness Terror here) but this one is just scraping the barrel. Sea Beast stoops to a new low of ridiculousness and tedium that will be pretty hard to beat. But knowing the Sci-Fi Channel, they’ll be able to beat it!

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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