I still wonder where that gore shot was supposed to be inserted in..
Watchers II (1990)
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I still wonder where that gore shot was supposed to be inserted in..
Directed by Thierry Notz this is the second Watchers film in a series that now totals four films, the original Watchers (1988), this, Watchers III (1994) & finally Watchers Reborn (1998). I must say right now that I have not seen any other Watchers film so I cannot compare them, sorry. The script by Henry Dominic is based on a novel by Dean R. Koontz (haven't read it so I can't compare Watchers II to it either) is really silly, it's stupid, moronic & you can't quite believe what your seeing on screen but when all said & done I enjoyed it for what it was & at least it entertained me which is all I ask for when I watch a film, to be entertained. It moves along at a good pace & is never boring or dull & it's certainly that little bit different which I'm sure most people wouldn't argue with. Of course it goes without saying that Watchers II is far from a brilliant film either conceptually with it's super intelligent Golden Retriever who can understand English & type on a computer keyboard or the creation of a hostile creature for no good reason whatsoever, or technically as it's a pretty low budget affair & it shows. I loved the scene when the monster walked up to a couple of homeless wino's & started drinking with them! Watchers II takes itself very seriously which actually worked & made me smile on a few occasions at just how daft it was getting.
Director Notz does an OK job, some sequences are lit quite well, he keeps the film moving along & there's a decent low budget horror film vibe running through the thing. There isn't much blood or gore, someone is impaled on a hook, there's a decapitated head in a toilet, a clawed back & some splashes of blood & wounds but that's about it.
Watchers II must have had a pretty low budget as the monster suit itself is pretty poor, it's obviously just some guy stuck in a rubber suit & the head & mouth have no movement at all, it actually reminded me of the monster from Monster in the Closet (1987)... a bit. The acting was OK, V (1984) fans will recognise Singer & everyone plays their parts dead straight.
When broken down & analysed properly Watchers II is crap, of that there is no doubt. But for all that wrong with it, the duff looking monster & the absurd plot amongst other things I found it quite entertaining & it passed the time nicely enough. I can't recommend it I just can't but on a personal level I thought it was a worthwhile watch, the decision is yours.
Tracy Scoggins, once deliciously campy on the old 80s soap The Colbys, appears as a "temp" animal psychologist whose "expert" abilities include such as displaying letters of the alphabet on a computer screen and sighing, "Z. This is Z." Wonder if the character needed a college degree.... (She must be smart though, because she sports big glasses and a frumpy hairdo through most of the movie.)
Marc Singer, as Paul, displays some of his Beastmaster-like love of animals bonding with the beautiful canine star -- but unfortunately he and the mutt have more chemistry than Singer and Scoggins. At least a moment in tightie-whities gives Singer a chance to show he's in even better shape than he was in his Beastmaster days. Of course, the sex appeal in that scene is toned down a bit by his pulled-up knee socks, and the director doesn't bother to try to generate even a little sexual tension between Paul and his ex-wife.) That's just one of many missed opportunities for interesting twists. And several scenes that might be a little suspenseful fall flat because we don't know enough about the threatened characters to care whether they live or die.
Early on, Paul's ex-wife mutters," Paul, you're not making sense," at a moment when he's actually making as much sense as he ever does. Maybe she was just making a comment on the overall script. (She does quickly follow with one of the film's only fairly good lines: "If you're thirsty, the toilet's open, OK?" -- delivered to the dog, and probably intended for her estranged hubby as well.)
The "monster," which we see much too clearly, much too soon, looks like a reject from an old episode of The Outer Limits. And its potentially layered relationship with its creator is watered down by the creator character's bored delivery of exposition.
Spoiling any kind of dark tone, the dog's abilities are played for laughs in moments more fit for an old Disney flick -- like when he drives Paul's convertible. Then again, a numbingly slow scene in which the pup taps away at a computer keyboard does give a clue who might be ultimately responsible for the clunky script.
If you're a fan of the book, you might enjoy seeing a few key moments transferred to the screen (thankfully, without Corey Haim, star of the first Watchers film). But amazingly bad dialog, silly writing, cheesy special effects, wooden acting, and poor lighting combine to make this a pretty big waste of time.
Based on excellent source material, this could have been camp, or scary, or at least interesting. Unfortunately, it scores on none of these fronts.
Steve Malcerno, (Jonathan Farwell) a scientist working on a special project for the government, is worried when a group of protesters break into the compound and steal the animals, as one of them was a mutated creature. Another one of the animals, a super-smart Golden Retriever, helps a military prisoner, Paul Ferguson, (Marc Singer) avoid an unseen creature in the middle of the night. Going on the run with the dog, Dr. Malcerno tracks them while the police print him as the culprit in a series of gruesome murders. When Paul reunites the dog with it's trainer, Barbara White, (Tracy Scoggins) they learn that the other creature has been involved in all the murders and try to stop the creature.
The Good News: I was expecting much worse from this one. The film has a pretty large body count, so we get some nice deaths as well. As is usual with these kinds of films, it has a requisite number of scratches on the body, as well as a brutal decapitation that is surely the best death here. It's not the goriest film ever made, but it gets the job done when it needs to. There were also some great moments in here as well. The final confrontation with the creature is nicely paced and full of action, and the final resolution scenes are quite moody and effective. A chase through the underground sewers has some nice suspense to it, and it is a little creepy as well. The scenes in the motel room, where Paul and the dog "bond" together has some great scenes between them, as they both discover the genius of the dog. Some of the moments were quite good, I had to add. The last thing about the film I really liked was that, just when the human side of things was getting too much, a killing would come along to keep things interesting. It sorted of knew when it was getting a little bogged down, and therefore came up with an exciting kill scene to liven things up again.
The Bad News: As I stated above, the film does have a tendency to bog down a little in the middle section. Every now and then, when it would get a little slow, a killing would come along to get things interesting again, but that creates a real stop-and-go effect that gives it a really choppy feel to it. For such a fearsome creature, the monster in here gladly decides to avoid the light, as he looks really close to a knock off of the Gillman from "The Creature from the Black Lagoon." It isn't scary at all, and I do feel sort of glad that most of the time we see it, it's too dark to tell what it really is like. That's actually a common theme in the movie, as while there are plenty of deaths in here, a lot of the time it's too dark to tell what's going on.
The Final Verdict: Yeah, there's worse ones out there, and while it does have it's own problems, this isn't all that bad. You could do much worse than this one. This is on par with the first one, so use that as your judging rod. If you think you might like it, by all means, give it a shot.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity and scenes of animals in peril
It's just my own opinion, but I believe an adapted movie should follow the book as much as possible. Watchers 2 did exactly that. Dean Koontz has been known to maintain creative control on many of the later movies based on his books, so that they also follow the book to his satisfaction.
Original seemed to be more satisfying, but if your looking for a more novel like movie of Watchers - Watch it. 6/10 Because it wasn't boring, and I enjoyed a few more scenes. Yeah, watch it. Hey, it was better than the Koontz adaptation of Phantoms and Hideaway.
IMDb won't let me place this unless its longer.
Fine. I do own this on DVD, so it's not too bad. But if you want a REALLY GOOD Koontz adaptation see DEMON SEED. Now thats excellent. WATCH IT!!!!!