As I once said to a friend, you cannot beat a good ‘creature on the rampage’ movie whether it be earth based (Jaws) or science fiction/fantasy based (Predator). One of my personal favourites is the Tremors series, the graboids were nasty and funny at the same time. So when I saw that Unearthed was set in a desert town , my hopes were high.
Sheriff Annie Flynn likes a drink, in fact she loves a drink. Due to an incident a couple of years previously with a young Indian girl, Annie constantly seeks solace in the bottle. Just about holding onto her job, Annie’s day is going to get steadily worse as a local Indian legend comes to life in a bloody and gory fashion.
Scientist, Kale played by Luke Goss is conducting experiments just outside of town with the help of local garage owner ‘Grandpa’. Grandpa’s granddaughter is a plant DNA expert, and is conducting her own experiments in the back room whilst she cares for the old boy as well. One thing you can always count on is to have a trigger happy sheriff and a couple of science nerds around when you are about to have a massacre on your hands. However, their prey is something no one has really ever come up against….
As per usual in every good horror movie, we have a selection of waifs and strays finding their way into town. Unearthed is no different and we have a couple of would-be actresses on the way to Los Angeles and a funky dude with a flash car with an agenda which is never explored. The film really begins when the creature causes a petrol tanker to explode, which blocks the way into town. The creature looks like a distant cousin of Giger’s Alien, but it looks good in rubber suit mode, although the hokey CGI makes him look a little silly as he prances around.
So is the film any good? It ticks all the right boxes. Great widescreen photography, appealing actors, good old fashioned make up effects and as above a half decent creature most of the time. So what went wrong? Well, the film takes way too long to get going. Goss is pretty good in the action man mode but isn’t seen apart from the brief introduction at the beginning for around 40 minutes. Finally it’s all boring and ‘samey’. People seem to wander into the film and then wander out, then not long after they get killed. It’s not a bad film but not a particularly good one.
Icon’s visual and audio presentation is generally excellent. There are some really nice surround effects which add a pleasant atmosphere. We have some bog standard extras with some interviews and behind the scenes footage. Not one to buy but I’m afraid, maybe one to rent if there is nothing left in the shop. Otherwise wait until it turns up late one night probably on The Sci-Fi Channel or Zone Horror.
Starring Luke Goss, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Charlie MurphyDirected by Matthew LeutwylerDistributor: Icon Home Entertainment