Confession: I’ve always loved monster movies. Yes, even the bad ones, too. It’s probably because like any kid I always had a predilection to root for the monster. It isn’t that I lack any measure of respect for my fellow man; instead, I’d simply chalk it up into the little kid dream that there indeed were monsters of a sort. No, I didn’t want them to break down my front door and eat my mother and father; but I wouldn’t think twice if I caught some recently unearthed dinosaur species terrorizing the neighborhood bully’s house. In fact, I’d probably be out there cheering the beastie on!
That said, POSIEDON REX pretty much follows in the mold of recent made-for-TV and/or direct-to-DVD properties that take one bit of the old (i.e. monsters) and mix in something for today’s more learned audiences (i.e. dinosaurs that swim!); and it’s all done solely for the sake of entertaining those ready, willing, and able to tune in.
Me? I’m glad I did.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
From the product packaging: “A small, secluded island off the coast of Belize suddenly finds itself terrorized by a deadly predator from the planet’s distant past, when deep-sea divers accidentally awaken an ancient evil.”
Jackson Slate (as played by Brian Krause) certainly wasn’t as noble or even as well-named as, say, Indiana Jones. As the film’s central hero, he’s much closer to the Han Solo type – a bit of a rogue who just happens to have a soft side – as the story establishes that he keeps company with what resembles the ‘island mafia.’ But Sarah (Anne McDaniels) hits every note pitch perfect as the shapely scientist perfectly willing to slip into a two-piece should the opportunity arise. Rafael Jordan’s script may not make sense at times (i.e. why is there a freshly washed modern-day airplane and an accompanying fuel supply so conveniently available at a U.S. naval base allegedly abandoned thirty years ago?), but he does throw in a college-aged couple (Steven Helmkamp and the fervently delectable Candice Nunes) for sub-plots aplenty. They’re young, naïve, and in love … which can only mean in stories of this flavor they won’t last long. (Helmkamp outlasts Nunes, to my dismay.)
Still, director Mark Lester – no stranger to B movie madness – keeps the pace going admirably. Under his command, REX clocks in at a respectable lean and mean 98 minutes. Any shorter would’ve eliminated some welcome bikini shots, and any longer probably would’ve required full frontal nudity (of which there is none). He didn’t know enough to clip an entirely unnecessary if not inopportune romantic entanglement to curiously make its way into the film’s final third, but maybe he had (male) bosses to please.
As much as I’d hate to quickly dismiss the film’s attempt at incorporating science into a screenplay fused together with deliriously pulpy elements, REX isn’t that far off the mark in one respect: late last year, I watched a National Geographic special on ‘Titanaboa,’ a massive snake believed to have lived in the waters during the Cretaceous Age, and the P-Rex on display here does mimic some of the characteristics attributed to that prehistoric beastie. So for all of you who want to dismiss the idea here as pure bunk, try putting that in your pipe and smoke it!
As for those of you who tuned in expecting all of this to make perfect sense? Why, you’ve only yourselves to blame.
POSEIDON REX (2013) is produced by Titan Global Entertainment. DVD distribution is being handled by Anderson Digital. As for the technical specifications? Well, this is B movie material, so let me just clarify that the sights and sounds you’d expect to be associated with B movie material are amply on display for those watching closely. Lastly, if it’s special features you’re interested in, then all you have to look forward to is an incredibly short behind-the-scenes featurette that really even isn’t on par with marketing materials. I would’ve liked a bit more.
RECOMMENDED. Campy, laughable, and lacking any measure of self-awareness entirely, POSEIDON REX dishes the cheese about as well as any comparable flick (PIRANHA 3D, SANDSHARKS, or SHARKNADO) could, and it still manages to maintain an honest level of wholesomeness about parading some of the best form-fitting swimwear this side of Brazil. (And let me say “Thank God!” for the Daisy Dukes!) Yes, I’ll freely admit having the lovely pair of Anne McDaniels and Candice Nunes may have influenced my rating more than I should’ve, but you have to give this red-blooded American male something to look at between the monster munches.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Anderson Digital provided me with a DVD copy of POSEIDON REX by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.