Have you ever heard someone say that a film or show is “so bad it’s good”? Well, the Syfy channel decided to take that term and turn it (literally) into a commercial genre. The name of this genre? “Terribly Good”, a collection of films that focus on giant monsters, natural disasters and illogical homes to these creatures teaming up to kill humans. I decided to record a few to have a look at them, after coming across a bit of 1 called Sharknado (Where a tornado full of great white sharks is attacking people), other such films include Sand Sharks (sharks swimming under the beach), Arachnoquake (an earthquake with killer spiders) and of course Piranhaconda (giant half snake/half fish). After watching the first 20 minutes of Bermuda Tentacles (Giant Squid in the Bermuda Triangle) and then not being able to watch anymore (it was that bad), I decided to try again with Poseidon Rex…so how does it fair up?…well.
Under the “terribly good” label, Poseidon Rex is a film that seems to try and be bad, rather than try to be good while just being really bad. It is about an island being terrorised by what is effectively a Tyrannosaurus Rex that lives in the sea and has flippers.
Our “heroes” (if we can call them that) are rather stereotypical. You have the careless bad-ass who saw the monster and owes some Belize Gangsters money for some reason, named Jackson Slate (or “Jacks”…) (played by Brian Krause, that guy from Charmed, presumably he’s the biggest star of this movie), a beautiful blonde scientist named Sarah (played by Anne McDaniels, a model and former cheerleader…you can tell), jerk boyfriend Rod, his nice girlfriend Jane, and Henry, Sarah’s friend and the guy who took Rod and Jane scuba diving. If Joss Whedon or James Gunn wrote these characters, it would have helped, but they’re as bland as can be. They try to act (I think), and outside of being a bunch of beautiful people, you can’t take any of this seriously or even get behind them.
This film also breaks a rule about horror and monster movies…that rule being “don’t reveal the monster in the 1st act, and maybe even the 2nd act”. It was used in Jaws, the original Godzilla, Frankenstein, Psycho…and then you have Black Christmas, which I won’t spoil. But here, we see the creature within the first 5 minutes. No build-up, no surprise, and no suspense. The pure-CGI Poseidon Rex is annoyingly obvious, to the point that any deaths and scares in the film have no impact. When a 21 year old film like Jurassic Park brings out the Ed Wood in this 1, and makes youtube videos look better, there is something wrong with your CGI guy, or at least your lighting guy…if it was darker, it might have helped.
The music was meh, the story was meh, the cinematography was a bit Michael Bay in nature (in other words, present your actors like it was porn), only with no practical effects. What made me laugh however was the old stock footage they used to show troops jogging in unison at an army base. The grain and resolution made it clear they didn’t shoot it themselves.
What makes it weird though, is knowing that Mark L. Lester directed this…who? Well, he directed 1 of Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s best movies, Commando, and Showdown In Little Tokyo (1 of Brandon Lee’s 5 films before his accidental death on the set of The Crow). Not much, but still, he directed Commando.
Would I recommend this film? No, unless you’re with friends and you’re all playing a drinking game (which actually exists for this movie), Poseidon Rex in general is crap. But at the same time I feel sympathetic towards it. It doesn’t try to insult our intelligence. Instead it is self-aware (without being a comedy) that this film is completely stupid. On numerous occasions, you would think they made it bad on purpose (such as the gun-firing…the awful, awful gun-firing), but at the same time, you get the impression that the cast and crew possibly had fun making this piece of crap…and for that, I say fair play to them….anyway, it’s still crap, but it’s not a crap film that’s so bad I would get angry. It’s a free TV monster movie on a TV budget. Nothing more or less.
Overall Rating: minus *1/4 stars out of 5