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|Index||14 reviews in total|
As far as these syfy movies, which range from adequate to terrible, go
this is better than most. It does have an intriguing premise, and
starts off very well. And for a syfy movie it actually looks quite
good, with the scenery quite nice, the photography not looking
completely slip-shod and the monster creepy-looking and giving an
adequate sense of menace. As for the attacks, two or three were
nail-biting and quite gory, but some of them are quite tame.
Despite the cool premise and twenty-five minutes of genuine atmosphere, Mandrake quickly becomes repetitive and predictable. The dialogue is fairly unimpressive mostly, with a number of cheesy moments that never ring true, and the direction while better than you would expect is patchy particularly towards the end where the film unravels in credibility. The film's pace is uneven, the beginning is very well-paced, but some of the middle drag and the end feels rushed. I didn't find myself connecting to any of Mandrake's characters, and in all honesty I don't think the actors did either.
In conclusion, better than expected but that's not saying very much. 4/10 Bethany Cox
In a fictitious Latin American country, the soldier of fortune Sgt.
McCall (Max Martini) leads the Vargas Expedition sponsored by the
powerful Harry Vargas (Benito Martinez) and formed by the
archaeologists Dr. Felicia (Betsy Russell) and Lin (Wayne Pere); the
local Santiago Zavala (Nick Gomez) and a baggage carrier through the
jungle. In the base, Carla Manning (Jon Mack) gives support to McCall's
team and is the liaison with Harry, who is obsessed for a dagger.
When they reach a tomb facing south in a sacred ground, they open the tomb and finds a dagger with a ruby craved in a skeleton and Lin removes weapon from the grave, accomplishing the objective of their assignment. Dr. Felicia advises them that the tomb has a warning advising to not remove the dagger. Soon they discover that nature and the Yamballi tribe are chasing them; further, the previous expedition sent to the forest to retrieve the dagger has been slaughtered.
"Mandrake" is a TV movie released in Brazil on DVD. The story is absolutely predictable and the adventure of the expeditionary team is not scary. In the end, watching this film was a waste of time in a Saturday afternoon. Better off if I had taken a nap. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "A Raiz do Mal" ("The Root of the Evil")
Mandrake is about an expedition group funded by a very rich guy named
Henry to retrieve a dagger...little do they know...a great evil lurks
in the jungle!!
The film was surprisingly good...the acting was decent...CG was bearable and the storyline was original. It isn't your typical syfy for those reasons I'd say.
Although it was an above average syfy type movie...I found it not the least bit scary...maybe one or two parts during the film stood out for "frightening" but, other then it was somewhat boring.
The movie was also very predictable. What you think would happen...happens. So at times it would become hard to watch and hard to get into the movie.
All in all, it was not a total bust because the monster was original and the acting was pretty good. But other then that it's your typical syfy predictable not scary film.
I wanted to like this movie, filmed in Shreveport, La. including a better cast than some of these SyFy movies have, but NO. Andre Stevens of Dallas fame and b-movie star produced this film it has some good special FX, and production values, yet the script never works, the actors never capture their characters. Watch it you sit thru the whole thing thinking wow this looks better than most Saturday Night flicks, even the monster is fairly cool looking, and when its over you'll think what happened to my last two hours. The actor from the Unit isn't bad but you just can't seem to connect to anyone in the film. A few inventive moments nothing more.
The beginning of this made-for-Siffy movie starts out with a lot of
promise, as far as Siffy Original movies go. The production values are
high (comparatively speaking), the acting is good, the sound is
synchronized with the video, there aren't any glaring, amateurish CGI
effects, and the actors' names may tug at long-forgotten memories of
low-budget movies you've seen in the past. Usually, in the first two
minutes, I can tell if made-for-TV movies are worth watching or not,
and, frankly, most of them aren't. The production values and special
effects maintain their comparatively high standards (approaching the
quality of a ST:TNG episode), but the acting, directing, and,
especially, story end up dragging down the score substantially. I can't
really blame the actors, because their characters were written to be
really stereotypical, barely-developed fodder for CGI monsters. There
isn't much you can do with that. I'm not sure how much of the blame
lies on the director, either, because he, too, probably did the best he
could with the material he was given. How do you make a movie about a
CGI monster that hunts down a ruthless CEO and his nameless
mercenaries, without it becoming one huge, boring cliché? I'm surprised
the CEO didn't try to personally burn down the Amazon rain forest just
for laughs, like a Captain Planet villain. Seriously, this movie is a
live-action Captain Planet episode, with the same heavy-handed
moralizing and 2D villains.
Oh well. With a better script, maybe this movie could have been good, but it's still watchable. Barely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Removing an ancient dagger from the bones of a buried conquistador, a
group of people are attacked by Mandrakes, a tribe of hunters & other
supernatural happenings. SYFY produced creature feature boasts some
good acting & directing, unfortunately the story is not full fleshed
out & the film despite a 90 minute running time feels overlong with not
much suspense or interest to keep you watching. Perhaps the films own
cheapness dampens the viewing experience but still with what they had
here they should have made a much better movie, it has it's moments,
but not enough. Strictly for fans of the genre.
An obsessed millionaire hires archaeologists, anthropologists and
mercenaries, one of which does not exactly belong. But unfortunately,
ancient tribesmen, some plant monster(s) and even their own boss
eventually stand in their way.
Apparently Syfy films have been around for long enough for nostalgia as the natives will seem familiar to those who only hoped they could forget "Snake King"
But it doesn't end there! Because they added another villain; those who have witnessed such why-couldn't-it-be-forgettable films as "Cerberus" and "Raptor Island" will non-consentually feel a familiar feeling with the introduction of a heartless rich man, willing to murder his troops should they even consider getting in his path, slowing him, or on occasion not being the closest to the monster!
Ultimately many people die as you would expect, and naturally everyone you'd expect to die dies. The plant monster itself is an interesting idea but didn't contribute much more than, say, another giant or crocodile.
After have seen a production from The Asylum, The Terminators, it was
back again time to see a SyFy production. If you ever have seen a SyFy
flick you will never forget it because they are mostly really bad. This
one here was an average flick but again the cheap CGI teared it down.
As always the beginning is rather good and I thought, hell, this is going to be something in the Predator genre. But no, once the creature attacks it's just cheap CGI. The whole cocoon scene looked promising but of course they always did the killings off-camera. You do see some blood splattering here and there but it is never that frightening. Overall it looked like a flick to watch with the family on a Saturday night.
But this time they added a big name on the list, Max Martini from The Unit. The second main lead was by Betsy Russell, another big name from the Saw franchise but I was never involved with their characters. I couldn't care less if they were hurt or going to die. Storywise it was also a bit simple and you could see clearly what was going on.
I have seen worse, especially from SyFy but still, not a good movie.
Gore 1/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
This film opens with a woman running through woods (being chased by a
mainly unseen being). This is never a good sign. If you've watched
pretty much any handful of random horror films, you'll know that 'woman
running through woods' is possibly the most overused cliché of the
genre (with perhaps the teenagers having sex and dying being a close
That opening is a kind of warning of things to come. Some films thrive on having a low budget. The lack of money behind the picture forces the film-makers to use new and more subtle techniques to tell the story. Not here. This film has no budget and it shows in every scene.
It's about a team of archaeologists, sent somewhere in South America (like the location really matters!) to retrieve something for someone (again, such details are kind of pointless in the scheme of things). However, this 'South American' jungle looks suspiciously like some nice grassy fields in America. Plus the 'natives' also look a little Caucasian, considering they are supposed to have lived in the hot jungle all their lives.
The acting isn't all bad, but the dialogue is. Just because the film is set in a wood (sorry, jungle), the writers seem to want to make the characters talk like they're out of Predator. Yes, there's something hunting them, but whereas Predator used a monster that was actually there, the makers of Mandrake spent the entire $2.50 budget on some 'creepy' CGI tentacles. Woo.
If you like cheesy monster-munching movies, then you probably know plenty out there which will amuse and entertain (try things like Deep Rising, Tremors, or Grabbers to name but a few). Mandrake is not one of them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie reminded me again that never be too impressed with the cover
photo of a movie. You may expect much more from cover pic. But about
this movie, just don't expect much. You may not if you see the rating.
But it not too bad at all.
Also the movie name is much much big crazy. "Mandrake", it is so weird. but never mind. The name has no role in this movie. It is not even mentioned anywhere. Just watch the movie with some potato chips. Thats it.
There is nothing much to explain in this movie. The Jungle Feeds on the Blood of Invaders. Sound little crazy, isn't it? The jungle is alive. Yep. the trees are alive and they catch human and eat them.
Some expedition team goes to dig a family heir and realizes that the jungle is alive and well connected to the dagger, which why they are here. the forest goes totally crazy when the dagger is pulled out from dead body buried separately in a tomb.
And the natives shows up and kill the team members. Few survives and realizes that stab the dagger through the heart of an invader is the only way to stop the jungle.
And they stab the sponsor( the so called villain) and escape from the jungle.
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