| The Planet
Directed by Mark Stirton
Written by Mark Stirton
Starring Tim Branston, Ashley Branston, Patrick Wight, Scott Ironside
Produced by Michael G. Clark
Do you have any idea how rare good science fiction is?
Conversely, do you have any idea how even more rare good direct to
video science fiction is?
And by the time I bring in "imported" to "good direct to video science
fiction", well, I've just blown the scale of possibility wide open to
the "you really should look into good psychological help" level.
The Planet will definitely qualify in that latter category, as amazing
as it sounds, this is good imported direct to video science fiction.
It features a group of mercenaries on board a ship carrying cargo of a
prisoner back to charted space when they're attacked from out of
nowhere by a group of space fighters. The ship acquits itself bravely,
but a suicide attack on the main drive forces the massive vessel down.
What they find when they hit dirtside is a monster they weren't
expecting, and that was just the prisoner in the cargo hold. What the
planet is holding secret, meanwhile, is much, much worse on a downright
It's impressive to find a purely CG space battle that's believably
staged--and that's what you'll get with the first few minutes. The
rest of the movie, meanwhile, at least manages to hold its own thanks
to some excellent performances on the rest of the cast's shoulders.
Oh, sure, there are problems here, some fairly weak explanations and a
somewhat secondary sense of plot development. But with some suspension
of disbelief, you should actually come off all right here.
The ending may well be the strangest thing of all, as the massive
poorly explained beastie emerges and is defeated by equally poorly
explained means. But it is still a treat to watch, so I won't hold
that against it.
The special features include a making of featurette, cast and crew
bios, audio options, Spanish subtitles and trailers for The Planet,
Displaced, Magus, and Death on Demand.
All in all, The Planet is a pretty big surprise, for taking on an
ambitious prospect and doing fairly well with it. You've got to
respect a movie that tries as hard as this one did, and so respect is
definitely what it's getting.
Directed by Patricia Harrington
Written by Jack Monrow, Matt Holly
Starring Kathleen LaGue, Doug Swander, Simon Page, Kate Gersten
Produced by Joseph P. Genier
Well, folks, if you've been hungering for a monster movie--and these
days, monster movies are pretty much the exclusive province of the
steadily more horrible SyFy Channel (I still personally resent typing
that title. It literally hurts to type it.)--then you might be happy
to see Razorteeth, a monster movie quite a bit unlike many you've seen
lately in that, one, the monster looks somewhat lifelike and two, the
effects aren't a complete joke.
Seriously, one guy got bit in half about five minutes in and it looked
like someone used blended cow parts for the effects on that one. It
was that gooshy.
The plot, of course, is monster movie standard--there's something
roaming around down in the Florida Everglades and it's a NASTY little
package. It's big, it's quick, it's hard to see, especially at
night--thing looks like nothing so much as an enormous fusion of an eel
and a piranha(as it turns out, eels are involved!)--and it's chewing up
people in the area left, right and center. Now it's up to an animal
control officer, the local sheriff, and a bunch of college kids to take
out the beast before it renders the Everglades permanently
I don't know whether to laugh or be horrified that the diner in
Razortooth is called "Kormann's", just like Roger Corman, the guy who
did this kind of thing on a regular basis. But what I do know is that
there's a surprising amount of humor involved in Razortooth, and
there's nothing like a few laughs to help an otherwise odious monster
movie go down smooth.
Razorteeth is actually a pretty entertaining experience; this could
have been a lot worse than it actually was, and I'm reasonably happy
with how it turned out. Me and monster movies are not good friends--I
don't get very scared of monsters that are suffering from a terminal
lack of feasibility--but while this one wasn't scary, it was
sufficiently entertaining to be worth a rental.
The ending, much like the rest of the movie, is a little shorter on the
laughs than what preceded it, and pretty short on believability, but
still kinda fun besides. Seriously, it's quite possibly the single
most outlandish ending I've ever heard for a monster movie.
The special features include a behind the scenes featurette, a music
video for some reason, and English and Spanish subtitles as well as a
collection of trailers that can't be accessed from the DVD menus
themselves. For future reference, I REALLY hate that.
All in all, keep your expectations low and your funnybone primed,
because this isn't a great horror flick, but a few decent chuckles will