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|Index||14 reviews in total|
This will never be Emmy-worthy, nor will this enjoy record-breaking DVD
sales later when it is released, but this is superior for a Sci Fi
Channel Original. Like Wyvern, the story and dialog is more involved,
better detailed, and runs much more fluid than your typical Sci Fi
Channel fare. The long shots and scenic vistas are new for Sci Fi
Channel releases, and I have to say they add a great deal to the
overall feel and effect of the work. But moreover, the CGI has been
amped up a bit and looks like something in which you can suspend
belief, for a change. That has been the greatest problem with Sci Fi
Original movies, thus far...the horrible CG, trite dialog, and terrible
acting ruin the possibility of enjoying a good suspension of belief,
thereby negating its own work. Thus is not the case with Hydra. At
least, not to the extent as is typically present.
It's not as bad as some say.
It rates a 5.5/10 on the Made 4 TV scale.
It rates a 4.2/10 on the Movie Scale from...
the Fiend :.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Hydra" is an incredibly fun and exciting Sci-Fi Channel original
Traveling through the ocean, Vincent Camden, (Alex McArthur) takes his friends Clarence Elkins, (William Gregory Lee) Alex Williams, (Paul Rae) and Sean Trotta, (Roark Critchlow) on a cruise to a deserted island. Eventually finding a small island, they bring out captives Tim Nolan, (George Stults) Gwen Russo, (Dawn Olivieri) Ronnie Kaplan, (Texas Battle) and Bob Crick, (James Wlcek) who have all been involved in inflicting personal tragedies with the gang in the past and are now using the island as a place to hunt them down as revenge for those crimes. While running from the hunters, they manage to stumble upon Dr. Valerie Cammon, (Polly Shannon) the lone survivor of an archaeological expedition surveying the island who claims a huge, multi-headed snake known as a Hydra is stalking the island and killing them one-by-one. Unsure of how to defeat the creature, they try to find a way to kill it before being taken out by the hunting party after them as well.
The Good News: This was a pleasantly surprising and quite enjoyable creature feature. One of the best features is that the creature's look here is absolutely great. This is an imposing force, as it's a multi-headed snake that has huge, ferocious-looking jaws that are lined with gigantic teeth in each head, which makes it deadly enough on it's own before the other factors are considered. With the head-chopping bringing in more good stuff, as it allows the creature to spawn more heads with each swiped one, there's a never-ending amount of heads that can come, each one with those features coming along, and along with it's size there's a lot to like about the creature. It also has one of the more unique stories for these kinds of films, with the captured people being used for a hunting party by those who have been burned by them in the past, and now have a chance at retribution being quite a novel idea and offering up plenty of good stuff. The first is that it's unique and hasn't been done before, as the motives are well-reasoned and logical, only just in that it's the villains which are given that opportunity to do this, which is new and not really done that often which makes it that way from the start, but that also allows for some fun to be had later on at the island during the actual hunting. From some nifty traps being set-up to a lot of action scenes coming from them being chased, this here is a fun start to the film and allows for a lot of fun to be had. The rest of the action scenes, which are mostly encounters with the creature, are a lot of fun. The first encounters, where the lone crew-members stumble upon it are a lot of fun, and the hunter's attacks are just as good. The ambush in the cave is also well-done here, offering enough fun to be concealed in a small, enclosed location that it's held in and comes off rather well. The finale, held on the ship, is just as good with the creature rampaging through the different corridors and using the surroundings well, making for a good time. Even the official conclusion to this one works well and it's a rather fun time overall. The last big plus is the film's blood and gore, which is quite nice. It's quite gory, as there's a multitude of bodies being bitten open with vicious abandon and letting the blood splatter everywhere, a couple limbs are torn off, bites to the chest, face and the head, being ripped in half at the waist, a wooden spear impaled through the leg and another is swallowed whole, among other kills. These here make this one quite bloody, and are overall the film's good points.
The Bad News: There wasn't a whole lot of flaws to this one. One of the film's only flaws is that the Hydra's origins aren't given at all. The creature is a complete mystery as to where it came from or even what it is, and nothing at all is explained about it. There's nothing about how it can regenerate it's heads or even why the sword is needed to kill it and how it works against the creature. All that's said about it comes from myths and that they worked then, but even that is just a couple of lines here and there about it and not much else, which is quite disappointing and not really all that useful. The only other big flaw here is the usual Sci-Fi Channel original standard, the atrocious and utterly unconvincing CGI used for the creature. Not only does the size change for the creature based on the shot required, but the pixilated nature of skin is given away quite constantly. It's not in the slightest bit good looking, makes the film look much cheaper than it should be and not all that much good stuff comes from it. That it's also used for the blood and gore does that no favors. These are what's wrong with the film.
The Final Verdict: An incredibly enjoyable and entertaining Sci-Fi Channel original, this one definitely manages to feature enough good stuff to be worthwhile. Recommended for those who have an appreciation of these films or find it interesting, though those who aren't big on the these films should heed caution.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and some Language
Do you want me to start with the good news or the bad news? Well, the good news is that Hydra is not the worst SyFy's done, and it's not quite bad enough to be down there as one of their worst. The scenery is atmospheric, and the photography and editing are better than the choppy standard I have come to expect. Also the hydra itself actually looks good, not amazing, but compared to the cheap-looking and stilted-moving effects before and since this movie it is a considerable improvement. The bad news is that Hydra is still not a good movie, I have seen worse by all means but it was still lame. The main problem here was the story, a good idea on paper and is better paced than most SyFy movies but on film it was predictable and could have been developed much more than it was. The characters are the same, they are not as annoying as other SyFy efforts but still clichéd and you don't learn much about them. The hydra was not bad in look, but like the rest of the characters, you don't really feel threatened partly because the killings and gore lacked tension and had a you've-seen-it-all-before vibe and also that Hydra makes little to no attempt to expand on the hydra's origins and the like. The script is cheesy and doesn't feel like it's flowing naturally, and while they admittedly don't have much to work with the actors do nothing in their body language or their delivery to elevate the characters and script. For want of a better word, it all felt bland. All in all, a lame movie but I've seen worse. 3/10 Bethany Cox
But that is the wonderful thing about all SciFi Channel productions.
Cheesy monsters, wooden dialog, D list actors with porn names, military
units outfitted in Cabella's catalog costuming, "Soldiers" with hair
styles from the 1980's disco era, spurting blood, single camera/single
take cinematography, re-used sets, cliché stereotyping, and an amazing
array of Hooters waitress types who are geologists, physicists,
astronauts, biologists, etc.
For a fan of the original B movies these low budget, filmed in a week and written in a day formula pieces are true movie magic.
And Hydra is just exactly as awful as you would expect.
May God forgive me, I do love these so!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just like any old SyFy movie, there has the be the most horrible CGI.
It also has to look like you used CGI because the Hydra eating the
person cannot match up with the Hydra. Also make sure that the person
is still screaming after their head is bitten off. That would make a
perfect SyFy movie.
Then there is the worst trip and fall I have ever seen in my whole life. It happens when the guy in the blue stripped shirt just goes to the ground. It is so pathetic that I couldn't believe it at all.
Everyone in the history of the world knows that when you chop off a Hydra's head, two new ones grow back in it's place. But not in this piece of trash. Did someone forget to tell someone else about that? It's just another sad, stupid SyFy movie.
Four incredibly wealthy men with more money than common sense, and whom
all had lost a loved one due to murder, charter a yacht to an abandoned
island where they will hunt 4 alleged criminals. However the island
that decide on is very much already occupied....by a Hydra. Yup, that
must mean that it's SyFy Original picture time again.
This creature-of-the-week meets "Most Dangerous Game" may be a tad better than the typical SyyFy flick but it still wears out it's (admittedly forced) welcome with cardboard characters that you don't really care what happens to & a monster that seems cool enough at first but gets more and more boring with each subsequent attack. This is highly forgettable fluff that is only good for a rainy Saturday morning when you have nothing better to do but nurse a hangover.
My Grade: D
DVD Extras: Just trailers for "Direct Contact", "The Code", "Labor Pains"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hydra starts as four complete strangers wake up in a dark room chained
up, they quickly deduce that they have been kidnapped, are on-board a
ship & the only thing they have in common is that they have all spent
time in prison for serious crimes. It soon becomes clear what is going
on, a guy named Vincnet (Alex McArthur) & US army Captain Sweet
(Michael Shamus Wiles) have organised a hunting trip for four ultra
rich businessmen who have had some aspect of their lives ruined by
criminals in some way & the four kidnapped cons soon find out they are
what the rich blokes are going to hunt & kill for sport & satisfaction.
The four unwilling hunt participant's are dropped off on a seemingly
deserted & uncharted island but they & their hunters quickly realise
that the island is home a huge multi-headed Snake like creature from
Greek mythology know as the Hydra & it has a liking for human flesh...
Directed by Andrew Prendergast I have to say that Hydra turned out much, much better than I thought it would & is actually the first half decent Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' that I have seen in absolutely ages & I've seen quite a few of the things. Don't get me wrong, Hydra is no masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but I did actually find it quite enjoyable. For a start the plot has slightly more to it than usual & plays out like a cross between The Most Dangerous Game (1932) & Turkey Shoot (1982) with it's organised hunt with human prey plot, an Indiana Jones film with it's fantasy archaeological angle & your typical Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' with the title beast which is a lot better & cooler than most. In Hydra we get a giant multi-headed Snake like creature that rips people to pieces on sight which is good enough for me although it's never given any sort of back-story & is merely presented in the film 'as is'. The character's are alright, the dialogue serviceable & it moves along at a decent enough pace with enough kills & action to keep ones interest. I didn't like how this giant Hydra creature could just appear out of nowhere without anyone hearing or seeing it coming, the story could have been more developed & more could have been made of the hunt & the cons fight for survival since that aspect of the plot seems to just be there to get a group of people on the island & not much else.
The production values are alright, it looks a little cheap at times but it's not too bad. Usually these Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Features' serve up some of the worst CGI computer effects imaginable & while the effects in Hydra aren't exactly amazing they are better than usual with a fairly fearsome & cool looking central monster. There's some gore here, several people get ripped apart, there's a severed hand, someones head is bitten off & there's a decent amount of blood.
With a supposed budget of about $700,000 this looks quite good compared to a lot of low budget horror out there. The acting is alright but nothing special.
Hydra is yet another Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' with a CGI central monster, an isolated location & various character's for it to kill but the main difference with Hydra is that it works quite well & is fairly watchable if you know what to expect. Better than I had anticipated & actually quite good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yet another perfectly awful Sci-fi Channel CGI monster movie. Yet another variation on The Most Dangerous Game has four unlucky human prey, selected by a millionaire because they had prior criminal records and were able to "escape the system", kidnapped and dropped on a supposedly uninhabited island with an actual living multi-headed hydra of Greek myth who follow the heat of their chosen victims, chomping down on those they catch. Tim Nolan(George Stults)is personally selected by boat captain Sweet(Michael Shamus Wiles)because of a personal grudge which occurred in Iraq. Nolan is an ex-commando so he's a resourceful survivalist who can assist his fellow hunted, Gwen(Dawn Olivieri), Crick(James Wlcek)and Ronnie(Texas Battle)using his brains and skills in an attempt to evade both the hunters(..each wealthy paying their "supplier" millions so that they can hunt their prey)and the hydra. Meanwhile, the hunters themselves find the hydra isn't effected by their superior weaponry..if you blow of one of the heads, it grows two more! Nolan and the group soon discovers an archaeologist, Valerie(Polly Shannon)whose expedition found the island with her the only remaining survivor. She informs Nolan that in order to truly defeat the hydra is to cut off the heads with a mythical sword of Hercules himself, buried in small lava pit! Got all that?! Alex McArthur is millionaire Vincent Camdon and Jana Williams is his trophy wife, Dixie. They orchestrate and prepare the hunt for their clientèle. The CGI for the film is as dreadful as you'd expect as the hydra chomps down on human heads and it looks unrealistic and laughable. The whole mythical aspect of the Hercules sword and how the hydra is effected by it will induce certain chuckles from an audience with an inability to take any of this nonsense seriously. Stults, as he was on 7th Heaven, is as stone-faced as ever. As expected all the villains get theirs, each getting ripped apart and eaten(..including one poor soul who is shown swallowed whole).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Evil Elvis" director Andrew Prendergast and "Blind Injustice"
scenarist Peter Sullivan have appropriated the venerable manhunt plot
from "The Most Dangerous Game" and bolstered the danger by adding a
Hydra, the chimerical, multi-headed snake from Greek mythology, to
their contemporary horror epic. In "Hydra," three unfortunate men and
one woman serve as the hunted on an uninhabited island while four
wealthy safari hunters, who've anted up $10-million a piece, stalk them
for the thrill of the kill. "I think whoever comes to this island is
going to be in for real surprise," one of the four hunted observes with
insight. This line of ominous dialogue exemplifies the effective use of
dramatic irony. Essentially, dramatic irony means that the audience
knows more about what is going to happen than the characters. Sadly,
Sullivan's screenplay suffers from the loquacity of too much exposition
about each character, the island and their respective predicaments.
Most of the dialogue sounds amateurish. Not even seasoned performers
can make much out of this gabble.
"Hydra" opens with four archeologists exploring an unknown island. A simmering volcano triggers tremors repeatedly and eventually these four encounter a gigantic reptile with three heads that assuages its appetite for human flesh. The beast dines on one of the four archeologists. The lone survivor, Dr. Valerie Cammon (Polly Shannon of "Snowboard Academy"), plunges into the jungle. The scene shifts to a tramp freighter named the Aegeas somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. Four egotistical big game hunters have paid Vincent Camden (Alex McArthur of the "Desperado" movies) $10-million dollars each to hunt convicted criminals. Each of the hunters has experienced heartbreak of some kind because a criminal deprived one of their loved ones of life. When the island that Camden has plied the seas for disappears, Aegeas captain, Mr. Sweet (Michael Shamus Wiles of "Fight Club") and his second-in-command, Mr. Winters (Dwayne Adway of "Soul Plane"), plot a course for another island.
The uncharted island that they locate and schedule the hunt on is the home of the Hydra. Camden has kidnapped three convicted killers. Gwen Russo (Dawn Olivieri of "Heroes") killed her abusive husband with a shotgun. Ronnie Kaplan (Texas Battle of "Dragonball Evolution") tanked up on booze and killed a woman in an automobile collision. Bob Crick (James Wicek of "Steel Magnolias") raped three Auburn University students. Mr. Sweet added a fourth, Tim Nolan (George Stults of "Super Capers"), a former Special Forces soldier, who was under his control in Iraq. Camden believes that a higher justice will be served by killing these four for sport. What he doesn't know is that Mr. Sweet has a grudge against Nolan. They release the prisoners the night before the hunt commences on the island, and Nolan assures his companions that they have to work together if they hope to stay alive.
Meantime, four of Mr. Sweet's hired help encounter the Hydra. Each time they blast away at it without realizing the trouble they have setting themselves for up. Additional heads replace the blasted heads, and the henchmen die. Nolan sets up several booby-traps and one of the four hunters, Williams (Paul Rae of "Coach Carter"), trips one and ends up with a stake through his thigh. When the four hunted wander up, he shoots the worse oneBob Crick--and then the Hydra appears and finishes him off. Interestingly, Crick had tried earlier to rape Gwen, so he gets what he deserves. Clarence Elkins, Sean Trotta (Roark Critchlow of "Shark Swarm") argue after they discover Williams' shredded, blood splattered remains and Elkins decides to contact Camden. Trotta smashes the radio with his rifle butt and Elkins tries to get back to the ship.
Meanwhile, the archaeologist who survived the first attack tells the hunted that the island showed up on a satellite mapping three months ago and they launched an expedition "in hopes that this might be the location of a fabled lost temple." She adds that they were hoping to find the Sword of Hercules. What they did find was the Hydra and the Hydra never stops hunting and it hunts humans better in the cold of night because it is attracted to body heat. Nolan repairs the damaged walkie and challenges Sweet to find them. This is when Nolan learns to his chagrin that each of them has been implanted with a chip so the hunters can track them with a GPS device. Valerie agrees to help them because she doesn't have a chip in her body. However, she demands that Nolan help her find the fabled Sword of Hercules. They can cut the heads off the Hydra and kill it permanently, but they have to use the sword. She warns Nolan that he will have to face a test of faith to accomplish something impossible so that he can get the sword. Nolan has to thrust his arm in a fiery hole to retrieve the sword. When the Hydra attacks them, Valerie shields Gwen and dies when the snake eats her. He slices off all the Hydra heads, except one. Predictably, the Hydra is back in the game. By now, Nolan and Gwen have made it back to the freighter. Nolan has to battle the snake again after it has eaten Camden and his sexy, show-off wife Dixie.
The special effects are what you would expect from this Sci-Fi Channel entry. There is one questionable scene when the Hydra slithers aboard the ship and Camden and Dixie get away from it. The acting is rather lame, but when you consider the terrible lines that they were given, you have to make some allowances. Composer Gregory Tripi must have loved the soundtrack to the recent James Bond movie "Casino Royale" because he imitates it to the point that it sounds like copyright infringement.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film would have been better without the monster.
An uninspired retelling of The Most Dangerous Game, it benefits from attractive locations and technically competent film-making - good lighting and frame composition etc. OK, so the acting's no great shakes, but it would still be an OK thriller.
Except that someone messed up quite a lot of the movie by putting this really bad CGI Hydra in it and then requiring the cast members to act as if it was really there while the special effects people integrated the really bad CGI Hydra into the shots. Really badly.
I can't emphasise enough - the Hydra itself is poor.
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