Evil’s Gonna Need a Bigger Boat! “Megalodon” review!


A covert Russian submarine is trying to drill into the Southern Pacific communications system to benefit from United States secrets, but when the gung-ho captain decides to push the drill team to maximum velocity, the submarine inadvertently release a pre-historic, though to be extinct Megalodon. A nearby U.S. military vessel intercepts the heavily damaged Russian sub with a submersible and saves three uncooperative, Kremlin patriotic survivors from Davy Jones locker while barely escaping jaws of the powerful Giant shark. The aging U.S. sea captain, Streeper, and accompanying admiral, King, rely heavily on Commander Lynch to maintain constant attention on the circling predator, while Streeper attempts extracting vital information from the Russian operatives to further establish the hostile tense and disruptive Russian-U.S. relations. When the shark turns its ravenous attention to the vessel, the crew must use their smarts and what’s on board to go head-to-head against a ferocious, battle ready Megalodon!

You really have to hate-to-love The Asylum for producing and capitalizing on highly lucrative films. This past summer’s “The Meg” was a major blockbuster success for not only director John Turteltaub but also for Warner Bros and as if the Carcharocles megalodon wasn’t exploited enough, The Asylum’s “Megalodon” aimed to reap from Jason Statham face-off with “The Meg.” Director James Thomas, who delivered another knock off with “Tomb Invader,” a cash in on last year’s “Tomb Raider” reboot adaptation to the popular video game, submerses himself into the SyFy movie. The SyFy channel is no stranger in shelling out monstrous shark movies; let’s just name a few to paint a picture of what’s being described here: “Sharktopus,” “2-Headed Shark Attack,” “Ghost Shark,” “Jersey Short Shark Attack,” “Malibu Shark Attack,” and let’s not forget to mention the channel’s most prolific and preposterously entertaining “Sharknado” franchise. Unfortunately, sharks an easy target for villainy that viewers can easily digest and be enthralled by their mysterious nature, but to buffoon them with genetic mutations unnatural superpowers stiffens not only their actual gentle prowess, but also attenuates legitimate shark films. That’s not to say that Thomas’ over-saturated titled “Megalodon,” penned by “6-Headed Shark Attack’s” Koichi Petetsky, is a mega hit, but at least the shark isn’t radioactive, isn’t a spliced abomination, and can’t dorsal slice through sand, ice, and earth. The back to simplicity for the man-eating shark is a breath a fresh air in my book.

“Reservoir Dogs’” star Michael Madsen headlines with his name splayed right about the titular creature about to swallow a submersible. Madness, sporting a military non-regulation curly hairstyle, portrays an naval officer, Admiral King, at the end of his lustrous career. King’s lame duck presence is a formulaic means to an end that will decide the fate of more prominent characters so Madsen, as an unconvincing and unconventional U.S. admiral, has screen time that’s limited mostly to the first and third acts and scarcely peppered in between the dynamics of Captain Streeper and Commander Lynch. While Streeper and Lynch essentially share the lead and neither have the star-studded power to be an influencing purchase-me-now headliner, the two onscreen officers are structured as a one-two punch against two opposing forces. “The Demonic Dead’s” Dominic Pace, as Captain Streeper, has promising capabilities as a military ship commander as Pace maintains his usual type casted tough guy role from prior credits while his counterpart, Caroline Harris, plays passively strong in Streeper’s shadow that’s supposed to display edge-bordering defiance but never comes to fruition. As Pace and Harris jockey for lead, Russian submariners, Captain Ivanov and Yana Popov, sheathed a more interestingly perspective on duty versus mortality. Ego Mikitas (“Nazi Overlord”) and “Fear Pharm’s” Amiee Stolte lined “Megalodon” with a sub-story, no pun intended on the sub, as bullheaded survivors aiming to complete their clandestine mission without lifting a finger to assist the opposition. To be fair, the James Thomas script didn’t exactly put the U.S. in good light, scribing Streeper, Lynch, and others as pushy information extractors and the Russian are stereotypical misers of information. If I was being intensely interrogated while a massive shark circled our boat, I would also question the intentions of my captors and not give them squat. Other shipmate actors include Scott Roe (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”), Sebastien Charmant (“Halloween Hell”), Elizabeth Cron (“SuperHot Apocalypse”), Paulina Laurant (“Triassic World”), and Luke Fattorusso.

“Megalodon” provides a laugh track of production inadequacies and a cinematography from Paul Thomas could be said to be straight out of the Michael Bay school of filmmaking, but as far as SyFy premiered movies and The Asylum Home Entertainment films go, “Megalodon” is a Giant Shark sized leap of success. The CGI shark has surprised me being an object of crude, but of commending detail that exhibits an ancient beast marked with battle scars and also exhibiting realism with the donning of an acceptable gray-blue hue. Plus, the shark doesn’t have atomic level laser vision, can’t breathe fire underwater, and has the normal shark fins instead of octopus tentacles. Thank the shark Gods! While the megalodon passes plausibility of natural facts, it’s swimming motion and trajectory checks the box of clunky territory with a rudimentary, two-dimension view of the shark swimming at an unnatural diagonal angle away and toward the ship, like something out of the NES “Jaws the Revenge” video game. The CGI ship and submersible is more of an immediate concern than the CGI shark as Roger Rabbit has more realism. Suffering succotash! Actual location of the ship is a the USS Lane Victory, a defunct military vessel from WWII turned museum that’s docked off California and the museum aspects tactlessly are not veiled from view and, if a modern day military ship is supposed to go toe-to-toe with a megalodon, a ship with brass communication tubes. The obvious museum décor ships “Megalodon” into a strange and bewildering backwards alternate universe that causes confusing and complexities with a quarry full of questions.

MVDVisual and The Asylum Productions presents the SyFy original film, “Megalodon,” onto DVD home video. Original being the suspiciously key word here as original never really goes hand-in-hand with The Asylum produced films. Presented in the original widescreen format, “Megalodon,” for what it’s worth, has distinction despite the questionable special effects. No blotchy or aliasing detected and the coloring renders consistently. The 5.1 surround sound audio tracks has clear verbal dialogue, ample gunfire and explosion range and depth, and no distortions to note. The painfully generic stock score is an ear sore, but has balance and isn’t an overly commanding and obtrusive presence. The trailer is the only special feature available, but to broaden upon the lack of bonus material, the Asylum DVD releases always have kitschy graphic cover art and “Megalodon” is front and back gold standard that exaggerate the film’s action-packed appeal. Director James Thomas’ dual story batters the pre-history shark narrative to nearly null, but “Megalodon’s” unwavering action chums the water that begins with a large shark taking a bite out of a foreign reconnaissance submarine and ends with Michael Madsen extinguishing a cigar on the said shark’s large snout in pure Michael Madsen fashion.

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Syfy’s “Z Nation” S1Ep6 ‘Resurrection Z’ review

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The time has come to have one of the main characters to be killed in action. Episode six ‘Resurrection Z’ delivered as the ideal, soul-sucking episode to kill off a major character since Harold Perrineau’s Hammond character in episode one. The writers of “Z Nation” are not just slapping together a splatter fest of zombie carnage mayhem; instead, ‘Z Nation’ is taking a cue from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” by actually creating and developing characters wroth the sight of our eyeballs. Developing beyond the point of can’t standing it, that when a series nixes a character, in a very public, gruesome, and dramatic way, the show becomes more compelling and real. I won’t mention who got the axe to prevent spoilers for those people who want to catch it On Demand, but I’ll say that that one of our surviving heros will not be making episode seven.

The episode itself consists of good underlying tone that good people will always be naive to their surroundings while the religious nuts will ruin your day by gun toting a AK47 with a deceptive plan in mind. Religious factions have always played into the zombie apocalypse before ‘Z Nation’ had ever introduced “Jacob” and his flock of suicidal crazies who happen to overrun the good guys compound to punished the non-believers of the resurrected. While I give props to a well thought out plan to infiltrate the good guys compound, I found that the fruits of the labors becomes way too easily nullified by Murphy’s Messiah rant.

Murphy has been the character to develop a lot the last two episodes. We find that Murphy is either an extreme sympathizer of the misunderstood Z or he is slowly transforming into one of the undead proving the antibody strain is ineffective. Murphy is immune to zombie affections and he has some sort of mind control over them making Murphy the ultimate guy to be buddy-buddy with in a zombie overrun world.

While we move on without one of the survivors, lets not forget the objective and lets not forget that “Z Nation” won’t tone down the bloody show; instead, the show will continue to get bloodier with each episode, the feelings will become even more twisted, and overall feel of the show will put your head in a vice and your eyeballs will pop out. You’ll enjoy every turn of the vice handle loving the pain the “Z Nation” brings to television.

Syfy’s “Z Nation” S1Ep3 ‘Philly Feast’

Living in the Philadelphia area, the “Philly Feast” episode was quite the treat to see the “City of Brotherly Love” be taken over by the undead. Once again, Syfy and The Asylum grotesquely explode every bit and piece of body part in this episode never letting dismembered zombie appendages get old.

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Z-Nation writers didn’t wait too long to bring in the cannibal group. Every apocalyptic show has a cannibal group. Z-Nation just happens to reveal them in episode three under the ruling thump of Tobias Campbell played by Rick Rivera (happy National Hispanic Heritage Month, Rick). Now, I love me some good cannibal groups because they’re always the wild card, but this group lacked pizzaz and notoriety. Pisay Pao’s Cassandra character couldn’t quite play up Tobias’s long pig enthusiasts. However, the ending result of the full on assault on Tobias’s camp was well executed in a ‘classical’ fashion. Cassadnra’s backstory now looks to be wrapped up tight and we won’t have to explore that anymore in the foreseeable future, but I still feel she has more to hide or she has more up her sleeve with her new found friends in Addie and Warren.

The scene with the Liberty Bell had me rolling with laughter and giddy with the sight of zombie bashing mayhem. Z-Nation continues to make the implausible plausible and yet somehow make it look totally believable with the ridiculous zombie fraggings and though I do like all the characters, Nat Zang’s 10K has to be one of the standouts. His sniper character is the hardest the kill and I’d like him to reach his goal of 10,000 kills.

Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

Evil Nymphomaniac Alligator Women! Repligator!

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Tired of trying to comprehend a director’s secretive meaning behind his scenes? Tired of trying to solve the mysterious puzzle that opens the life or death box? Tired of the reverse scenes that attempt to tell the story without having to be linear? Sometimes these filmmaking artistic techniques become too tiresome leaving you weary eyed and frustrated. Sometimes scenes just need to be clear cut, plain-jane simple, and meticulously mindless. You’re in luck because Repligator is just that – no hidden meanings, no twisted edited, and no problem solving that requires a T-Model calculator.

A classified military experiment, involving the idea of a G.I soldier being replicated to double the military infantry numbers without recruitment, has gone array as the replicator turns the strong, gun-ho male privates into brain-washed nymphomaniac women who much rather expose their privates. Also, when these women experience the slightest orgasm, they transform into scaly, mutant alligators and once bitten by one of these alligator women, their victims turn into homosexual zombies! Wait…what?

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Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the premise of this erotica laden, senseless film (if you want to call it that) by budget director Bret McCormick. I had pre-determined that Repligator had a simple plot – military experience turns women into alligators – but I was incorrect. And just for the record, the alligators are more like rejected raptor prop heads from Jurassic Park resembling nothing like an alligator. The writing is so over the board that I’m pretty sure the amped up hyper Richard Simmons wrote the script.

I’m still trying to comprehend the gay zombies; at least I’m pretty sure the gator-bitten victims were turned into gay zombies as they ignored the advances, and pretty much everything else, of the half naked women and not the male leads. Speaking on the subject of half naked women, the legs with breast weren’t too shabby for this mid-90s late night creature feature that might have once been given a showing or two on the Syfy channel.

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I shouldn’t pass on discussing Gunnar Hansen’s role in Repligator; Hansen may headline the movie, but his role is minimal as scientists telling a story of how everything went wrong. He isn’t wielding any Texas Chainsaws here even though there was a little homage for him in the opening credits. Scream queen Brinke Stevens also didn’t have much of a starring role. Stevens scene was rather pointless toward the whole of the plot, but I’m not surprised considering the film is called Repligator.

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Plain and simple, Repligator bares nothing special, yet somehow manages to bare all at the same time. You won’t have to think too hard to get the concept, yet you’ll be confused at the end. This enigmatic movie challenges all the laws of physics without even spitting out a correct mathematical formula. See what I’m talking about by purchasing your copy today at MVD Entertainment Group!