Tag Archives: Computer-generated imagery

Review: Camel Spiders

This DVD has “Roger Corman presents” across the top so it is clearly going to be a cheesy B-movie featuring spiders and after watching it I can say you get exactly what you’d expect, lots of giant spiders running amok and killing people. Actually that’s not strictly true because camel spiders are not spiders because they have ten limbs but they are arachnids and they are real but fortunately are not as bad as this film makes them out to be. They only grow as big as 12” which is the size of an LP record and not the size of a large dog like the ones in this film. Having seen LPs I can say that I really do not want to come across a real camel spider and I am not very comforted to read about one being found in a house in England and the family living there got so creeped out by it they ran away and claimed it killed their pet dog.

Anyway back to this stupid film. A squad of American soldiers are in a gun battle with a group of insurgents in Iraq when the group they are fighting start screaming and go quiet. Captain Sturges (Brian Krause) looks into it and all they find is a dead body lying where the insurgents where. There are bite marks on his face which a local soldier tells them is the bite of the camel spider which he claims is venomous (which it isn’t but in this film they are). They load up their weapons and ammo to leave the area and put a dead soldier in a crate to transport home but we see camel spiders creep into the crate unnoticed.

Next we’re back in American with Sturges in an army truck being driven by Sergeant Underwood (Melissa Brasselle). In back are the guns and ammo and the crate with body. As they are driving though a quiet rural road in the mountains a car smashes into them at a crossroads. The boxes fall out of the back and the crate breaks open and the spiders come out and run off. Sheriff Beaumont (C. Thomas Howell) arrives on the scene and makes sure everyone is okay. The army truck has damaged its clutch so Beaumont tells them about a motel they can stay at while they wait for the army to send help and escorts them there.

Enough of those losers, now we get to see the camel spiders in action. Two couples are out wandering round the mountains for some reason that probably relates to sex. One couple argue and she takes his car keys and leaves in his car. He gets attacked by a large group of CGI camel spiders of various sizes and killed. The other couple have gone on ahead and are snogging away happily. They ignore the screams of their friend being killed thinking it’s a joke but then the man goes to explore a rustling noise and is killed, then the woman is attacked and killed. The other woman drives to store and inside she finds the owner and his wife stuck in a giant web (since they are not spiders they don’t make webs) and she gets jumped and killed by a camel spider.

Beaumont takes Sturges to a diner to get something to eat for himself and Underwood. The diner is just full of stereotypes of the survivor horror genre, the bickering couple with a young daughter, two condescending prejudiced city boys, a pair of conniving businessmen, the friendly waitress and the loving couple who own the place. Oh yeah they have black cook so guess who gets killed by spiders taking out the trash. They soon realise they are being overrun by camel spiders and all the extras get killed off, including one of the city boys. Sturges radios Underwood for help and the core cast get away and hole up in a gypsum extraction plant.

This just yet another dumb movie and you might enjoy it if you can purt up with its many flaws such as the poor writing. The acting is very mixed with some really bad acting but Brian Krause plays it seriously as does C. Thomas Howell. The CGI is really cheap and unconvincing but no worse than I expected. The creepiest thing this film did was make me Google “camel spider” and find out about the real animal, a creature that can be as big as an LP with a nasty bite and that can run up to 14 kmph. Fortunately they can’t swim across the sea, even if one has been found in the UK.

Rating 4.5/10

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Entertainment, Film


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Film Review: Hybrid

 A killer car film  or maybe it’s a creature feature

Synopsis  a car prowls the streets of Chicago hunting humans when it gets smashed up in a collision with another car. It is towed to the 29th district garage where the staff quickly realise the car is alive and it is hunting them all down.

This film is really not very good. The basic idea may work on paper but it is still basically stupid. Anyone with any training in biology may have to be restrained from attacking the screen when they hear the rubbish theories by the characters when they are trying to figure out what the car is. Maybe that was actually a subtle joke about poor educational standards.

The film is fairly tedious with lots of running around and driving cars about in the garage. The killings are fairly tame and bloodless and most came about from script induced acts of stupidity.The padding is quite obvious when the car, which can change to look like any car, keeps doing this even when no-one comes near it to see it

I didn’t really care about the characters. Oded Fehr‘s character Ray is so incredibly stupid and he’s written that way to ensure that a weak idea for 30 minute short is padded out into a full length feature film. The main protagonist Tilda, played by Shannon Beckner, annoyed me lot. The actors are okay but they are playing poorly written characters.

CGI plays a big part in this film but it really lacks credibility or imagination and instead looks like just another bland spectacle more suited to a derivative first-person-shooter game.

I don’t really now who this would appeal to because it really didn’t appeal to me.

rating 3/10

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Entertainment, Film


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Film Review: Ferocious Planet

 This is a film made for the cable television channel SyFy which is probably as much information as you need to judge how good this film is.

Synopsis: A group of people are gathered in an underground laboratory in a Federal building, including scientists, military and politicians, to see a presentation of an experiment into viewing other dimensions. Just as you’d expect from such predictable piece of hokum there is an accident and instead of just viewing another dimension it rips the whole lab out of our dimension and dumps it into a parallel dimension populated only by plants and giant carnivorous CGI monsters. The survivors must find a way to repair the machine that brought them here and escape the ferocious creatures.

As always seems to be the case with SyFy channel films, the problem lies in the writing. An accident during an experiment is one of the laziest and most ham-fisted plot devices in cheap science fiction. The closest we get to an attempt to justify what has happened is a few lines of mathematical looking rubbish scribbled by the scientist and her geek into a notebook. The CGI monsters are good enough for the price but there’s no attempt to set them in a believable ecosystem. What do the creatures eat when there are no humans?  Another sign of this sloppy writing is that the deaths of various characters requires them to be flawed idiots in various ways such as fear, greed, arrogance or just being a dumbass

Overall this was very a mediocre and lazy film. I can’t fault any of the actors too much since they were competent enough with what they had to work with. Joe Flanigan plays his standard wise-cracking soldier hero part. John Rhys-Davies is the cynical arrogant Senator. Dagmar Döring plays the scientist in charge of the project.

Rating 5/10

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Entertainment, Film


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