Friday, April 04, 2014

Beast of the Bering Sea – review

Director: Don E. FauntLeRoy

Release date: 2013

Contains spoilers

I don’t know why Syfy do what they do. If they have money to make films then why, oh why not make good ones. When I heard they were going to do a fish/vampire crossover (sharknado gathering some cult following, of course) I did despair. When the title isn’t even right (because they are plural not singular) you know things are going to go horribly wrong.

Perhaps I do it a disservice. Perhaps, had I watched the film with companions of a like mind, with foaming beverages to hand, then it would have been so bad it was worthwhile. However I don’t think so and, even if it were the case, I watched it on my lonesome and it was simply so bad, it’s bad.

Donna and Owen
A guy, Owen Powers (Brandon Beemer) wanders up to a quayside looking for Glen Hunter (Kevin Dobson) and meets his hard-assed daughter Donna (Cassandra Scerbo). He is put to work on the boat with hand Jonas (Michael Papajohn) until Glen and son Joe (Jonathan Lipnicki, the Little Vampire) show. It seems that Glen and Owen’s dad new each other but that isn’t really expanded on.

Jonas is the first victim
The ship – the Black Drum – is a dredger and dredges the Bering Sea for gold. Glen sends the kids, Owen and Jonas out to a midnight dive to check out an area he wants to buy a claim for. Jonas and Joe dive and something is disturbed. Joe finds Jonas’ body, maskless and drained, on the seabed and surfaces. They assume shark, see a fin and go hell for leather back to shore, leaving Jonas’ body at sea.

Joe and Donna
As Glen doesn’t want to tip his claim area off (especially to local n’er-do-well Thorne (Lawrence Turner, Angel & Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) until he wins the auction, Glen decides that they won’t inform the authorities until after said auction (which they lose because Joe has tipped Thorne off). Meanwhile the body is found by marine biologist Megan (Jaqueline Fleming, also Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter & Vegas Vampires) as it has washed to shore. She doesn’t inform the authorities either, but tells the crew that she has taken Jonas’ body to her lab. This is because she has been tracking a creature that has been exsanguinating seals up and down the coast and wants to run tests on the body. How his body conveniently washed up from the sea to that bit of coast isn’t answered.

in flight
Anyway… sea vampires… manta ray looking sea vampires. These little buggers have spines on their wings with which they hold their prey like a living iron maiden and siphon them dry. They also have somewhat sharp teeth and can function on land, and fly as well – in a move that goes to make them look like crap bats. They seem a damn sight more clever than they should as they are able to track, apparently, the crew and Megan wherever they happen to be.

exploding sea vampire
Allegedly sunlight is an issue – despite seeing one on the deck of a ship in the sun. Bright light (such as from a camera – or the sun, dagnabbit) stuns them and high intensity light, say from a sunlamp, causes them to explode into a cloud of blood. Being poked through with a large stick/pipe, when they are bloated from a feed, also causes them to explode into a cloud of blood. The modelling, mapping and cgi is bloomin’ awful.

chest burst
Their method of reproduction is interestingly unoriginal (in movies, at least, for a ‘vampire’ film it is fairly original). They implant their offspring into a chest and, after a couple of hours, they pop out like a low-rent Alien. Meanwhile the cast are stumbling over poor story, ineffectual villainy and plot holes that a bus could drive through. There seem to be hundreds of these little buggers, they’ve been the stuff of sea-faring legend (so they’ve been around) but no-one has seen them before.

in the sun
The film is rubbish. There is little more to say. I didn’t think it managed a “so bad it’s good” saving grace either. More a let’s throw concepts out and see what sticks than a seriously thought through film with lore to match, I really can’t recommend it. 1.5 out of 10.

The IMDb page is here.

No comments: