ABC Film Challenge – Horror – M – Mongolian Death Worm (2010)

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Neil Elman, Kevin Leeson, Steven R Monroe (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Victoria Pratt, George Cheung, Drew Waters, Matthew Tompkins, Nate Rubin

 

Plot: When an American oil company sets up an experimental drilling plant out in the vast deserts of Mongolia, they awaken a nest. The deadly creatures begin to breed and spread, devouring everyone in their path.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: ABC Creature Feature

 

Story: Mongolian Death Worm starts as the American Drilling company in Mongolia (where else could this film be set with this title) have disturbed a creature below the surfaces that the locals believe is a myth that will come and take people. We also have a treasure hunter Daniel (Flanery) that has never made himself popular with the locals apart from the Sheriff Timur (Cheung). To increase the stakes, we also have a village with an outbreak of a virus that the charity HOPE and Dr Alicia (Pratt) are trying to cure must pay Daniel to take them to the village.

When the myth turns out to be true everyone must put aside their differences to fight to survive from the Mongolian Death Worms that are growing in numbers through the desert.

 

Thoughts on Mongolian Death Worm

 

Characters – Daniel is a treasure hunter searching for the burial grounds of Genghis Khan but has made his own enemies in the land but also knows how to handle himself, he isn’t the kindest of people always doing things for money over the right reasons, Alicia is a doctor that has been helping the locals of Mongolia with a virus outbreak and she is willing to die to save these people. Timur is the sheriff that is one of the few people that enjoys the company of Daniel and understands that he is harmless at heart.

PerformanceSean Patrick Flanery does seem to have fallen from the graces where he was about to make it to the big time but he is the star of this show. Victoria Pratt is fine in the supporting role with the brains and beauty needed for the film and George Cheung gives us the laughs when needed.

StoryThe story does mix myth with legend when it comes to dealing with new inhabitants to a land that must face the idea that a myth isn’t just a myth and must work together to defeat a creature in this case a Mongolian Death Worm. This is an easy to watch story as it is mostly a group of people needing to battle an unknown enemy before they take over the local area.

Action/HorrorThe action is mostly chases through the film which works when it comes to the enemies the people are facing with the horror side of the movie all coming from the creature feature idea which is always a lot of fun to watch.

SettingsThe film is set in Mongolia but this looks like it could be anywhere in the USA or anywhere that has dirt roads.

Special EffectsThe effects are better than I was expecting but still within the budget of a TV movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The film could have been filmed in any location it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple creature feature that is a lot better than what I was expecting without being one of the best creature features you will see, I do think the fact it isn’t laughably bad does hinder it though.

 

Overall: Solid creature feature.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – S – Stormageddon (2015)

Director: Nick Lyon

Writer: Neil Elman (Screenplay)

Starring: John Hennigan, Eve Mauro, Joseph Gatt, Robert Blanche, Ricco Ross, David Shatraw, Adrian Paul

 

Plot: When a computer program, Echelon, takes over America’s computer systems it gains the potential to manipulate the weather. Now two robots, Adam and Cain, fight to gain control of Echelon before its too late.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Sci-Fi Actioner

 

Story: Stormageddon starts as America gets attacked by their own drones make it an international problem, journalist Molly (Mauro) receives a tape from her deceased father telling her to look for a man by the name of Adam (Hennigan) after Able (Gatt) takes control of the system putting millions of lives at risk.

Adam must work with Molly to uncover her father’s work which holds the answers to prevent the destruction of the world, but it isn’t only the government trying to kill them, Able wants to stop them too.

 

Thoughts on Stormageddon

 

Characters – Adam is one of the creations, designed to look human, living a normal life, now he is the only one that can stop the computers that are planning to destroy humanity. He is part terminator and part action star. Molly is a reporter that finds herself in the middle of her father’s work that is trying to destroy humanity. She doesn’t get the much and quickly turns into the damsel in distress sidekick. Able is the creation that has become infected by the computer system, he is now causing the problems the world is facing and will kill anyone who gets in his way.

PerformancesJohn Hennigan is doing well in this action films, he can handle the action sequences well and the one liners, well he is getting there. Eve Mauro is good enough as the leading lady but doesn’t get the time you would like when it comes to being helpful. Joseph Gatt has the look of a villain and keeps the emotionless look from the start to the end of the film.

StoryThe story is simple enough to follow, it is a race against time to stop the destruction of mankind that has been using technology to stay make this happen. This is a by the book story that works without complicating anything like many other films could and is one you can just sit back and enjoy. The idea of technology trying to destroy humanity is always interesting to see unfold.

Action/Sci-FiThe action gives us a couple of fight sequences without being overly challenging on the stars while the idea of technology trying to destroy humanity.

SettingsWe do see the iconic landmarks destroyed which is key for disaster movies, but our characters are never in iconic locations.

Special EffectsThe effects are not the best, but we are not expecting great from the low budget.


Scene of the Movie –
Final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain action moments are quickly cut taking away the action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple easy to watch sci-fi action film, it borrows from other ideas but works if you just want to switch your brain off.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

2 Lava 2 Lantula (2016)

2 lavaDirector: Nick Simon

Writer: Neil Elman (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Michael Winslow, Michele Weaver, Jimmy Bellinger, Lorynn York, Erron Jay, RJ Walker, Martin Kove

 

Plot: Colton West must defeat the lavalantulas once again.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Sequel

 

Story: 2 Lava 2 Lantula starts as the characters from the first film are living off their fame as Colton West (Guttenberg) now trying to be a big movie star once more. When the Lavalantulas return Colton must work with Marty (Winslow) to try and save his stepdaughter Raya (Weaver) and kill all the Lavalantulas before they take over the world.

2 Lava 2 Lantula does everything you want it too but unlike the Sharknados this time we get a sequel that knows it is a sequel but it feels like it is once movie too early to be acting like this already. I will say this is a fun easy watch but you do feel like this could be really clutching at straws with trying to give us new ways to create kills in the world created. We don’t get too much original material to work with but it is easy enough to watch.

 

Overall: This isn’t the greatest addition to the film and it doesn’t reach the levels the first did.

Rating50

 

 

Lavalantula (2015)

laaDirector: Mike Mendez

Writer: Neil Elman, Ashley O’Neil (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Nia Peeples, Patrick Renna, Carlos Bernard, Michael Winslow, Noah Hunt

 

Plot: Volcanic eruptions in Los Angeles unleash a swarm of gigantic, lava-breathing tarantulas.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure Fun Creature Feature

 

Story: Lavalantula starts as washed up actor Colton West (Guttenberg) storms off the set of his new movie, like most washed up actors he has personal problems with wife Olivia (Peeples) and son Wyatt (Hunt). We have the conflict for our leading character now he finds himself in the middle of an Earthquake which just happens to be a volcano erupting in Los Angeles that is also filled with fire breathing giant tarantulas.

We follow as Colton races through Los Angeles to search for his son along with tourist Chris (Renna), his wife fights off the lavalantulas from home and Wyatt tries to keep his friends safe. United they must find a way to killer the lavalantulas once and for all.

Lavalantula is a creature feature you could sit and watch each moment unfold with a mix of fear, suspense and laughter. The overall story is one we have seen plenty of times but moments do have a wink, wink to the audience watching. We know going into this what to expect and it delivers on every single level, I don’t expect anyone to see this being a super serious film so for entertainment value this is something that hits all of the marks.

 

Actor Review

 

Steve Guttenberg: Colton West is a down on his luck actor that is storms off the set of his latest film, he finds himself in the middle of a volcano eruption filled with fire breathing tarantulas that take over Los Angeles, he must find his son and make it out alive. Colton is very much like the Bruce Campbell in My Name is Bruce where he comes off selfish while living off the fame of a previous role, this also plays into the fact that Steve was a biggest name in the past compared to his role in this low budget film. Steve is good in this role where he gets to have a lot of fun.

Nia Peeples: Olivia West is the wife of Colton, she is a kickboxing teacher who uses her skills as she joins forces with the army to fight the lavalantulas. Nia gives a strong performance in this role.

Patrick Renna: Chris is a tourist that happens to be on the bus with Colton, he becomes the sidekick on this adventure getting to live out a dream of fighting next to Colton. Patrick is good in this role which gets extra laughs for the audience.

Noah Hunt: Wyatt West is the son of Colton who feels let down but his father and goes off into the city. He is hanging out with his friends when the attack starts and has to use his skills survive until his parents turn up to save him. Noah gives your typical over knowledgeable teen character.

Support Cast: Lavalantula has a supporting cast which includes a few great cameos and well know actors poking fun at the Hollywood story.

Director Review: Mike MendezMike gives us one of the most fun movies of recent years.

 

Horror: Lavalantula is a creature feature for the horror side of the story.

Sci-Fi: Lavalantula gives us a creature that comes from a world of nightmares.

Settings: Lavalantula uses Los Angeles for the location which works for how the film likes to poke fun at Hollywood.
Special Effects
: Lavalantula has the special effects you would expect on this budget of film but they do add to the comedy level.

Suggestion: Lavalantula this is one for all the creature features fans to enjoy. (Creature Features Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: If you go in looking for a serious film you will be disappointed.

Kill Of The Film: Spider Costume man.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Maybe.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

Tagline: Fire Burns… Lava Bites

Overall: Creature feature that is just so entertaining.

Ratingcard