A group of heavily armed hijackers board a luxury ocean liner in the South Pacific Ocean to loot it, only to do battle with a series of large-sized, tentacled, man-eating sea creatures who have taken over the ship first.
A researcher at Chicago's Natural History Museum returns from South America with some crates containing his findings. When the crates arrive at the museum without the owner there appears to be very little inside. However, police discover gruesome murders on the cargo ship that brought the crates to the US and then another murder in the museum itself. Investigating the murders is Lt. Vincent D'Agosta who enlists the help of Dr. Margo Green at the museum - she has taken an interest in the contents of her colleague's crates. Unknown to both there is a large creature roaming the museum which is gearing itself up for a benefit reception which the city's mayor is to attend.Written by
The preparation of the fictional elixir given to John Whitney by the Amazon tribesmen, and the ceremony surrounding it, strongly parallels the real-life consumption of ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea used religiously by numerous Amazon tribes. See more »
The tank into which Margo falls only contains hot water, used to loosen skin from a carcass. At the time she enters this tank, it is switched off and the water is cold. See more »
[Dr. Whitney sits around the fire with the Zenzera tribe, who then hand Dr. Whitney a drink from the boiling pot over the fire]
[Dr. Whitney takes a drink before coughing, when one of the tribe members crawls towards him wearing some sort of beastly outfit]
Oh, my God! The Kothoga.
[Dr. Whitney moans in fear, then begins uncontrollably screaming when the tribe member crawls up to him and hisses]
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With some of the dire, drab and boring horror movies which are getting good credit and reviews it was nice to jump in a time machine, thanks to terrestrial television (and the Horror Channel), and see how horror should be done.
This was a breath of fresh air especially after watching The Babadook.
Though there's a lot of action in the film and a smidgen of science fiction there's more elements of horror. There's an occult/religious angle, there's a demonic beast on the hunt for its next victim, which it dispatches in a very nasty way indeed, but most of all there's tension and suspense by the bucket-of-blood load.
All of this is handled brilliantly under the experienced direction of Peter Hyams, he does a great job of keeping so many components from spilling over while keeping the story believable. Taking a story of this magnitude and getting the reader/viewer to believe it could actually happen is a skill. The first time they think this cannot be real then the writer and director have lost. So respect is also due to the writers and screenwriters for a very impressive job. If somebody want's to make a decent Stephen King adaptation then they should take notes from this movie.
More respect for the creature creation wizard Stan Winston as this is some of his finest work in the horror genre... except of course "John Carpenter's The Thing". The scene where the beast catches a member of the S W A T team while he's running away and pulls his head off his body is awesome; this would have been spectacular to see on the big screen and one of the reasons I prefer wet-work over CGI in effects.
Though there are no big name actors in the film they still give credible performances. The only one that partially hams it up is Chi Muoi Lo, who plays Dr Grant Lee, his character is meant to be annoying but Lo does tend to go over the top; luckily enough he's not in the movie much.
This is an enjoyable horror film which romps away joyously in the action sequences and slows to a creepier pace in the suspenseful scenes. This film speaks to more than just horror movie fans and I would definitely recommend this to everyone to watch just once.
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