You know, it’s not often that I watch a movie and see myself as one of the characters, but in today’s movie, I did see myself in one of them. See, Tom Skerritt plays a B-movie enthusiast who runs the local theater and shows his favorite movies there. While I don’t have a theater of my own, I do enjoy B-movies and show them to my friends quite often. Of course, the humor in finding a character similar to me in a B-movie is not lost on me. But feel free to watch today’s movie, Mammoth, and see how similar we are for yourself.
The plot: Dr. Frank Abernathy , the curator of the natural history museum in Blackwater, Louisiana, is looking at some x-rays of his latest acquisition, a frozen mammoth. Noticing something in the ice on the mammoth, he uses a probe to retrieve the strange object, but not before it releases a pulse that knocks him down. In outer space, a flying saucer detects the pulse and sends out a spherical probe to investigate it. At the museum, Frank continues working until the security guard causes him to realize the time and that he is late to take his daughter Jack to her driving test. Jack and her friend Squirrelly have gone to see her grandfather Simon at his theater and he attempts to cheer her up by showing some old B-movies on the theater when the power suddenly goes out. When they step outside, they see that people’s cars have stopped working and their cell phones don’t have service just as what appears to be a meteor flies overhead. Frank had just left the museum when his car died and as he was trying to figure out why both it and his phone stopped working, he sees the meteor fly by and crash into the museum. Inside the museum, the meteor, which is actually the alien probe, had crashed into the mammoth exhibit and the security guard witnesses a strange, silvery substance emerge from the craft and enter the frozen mammoth, bringing it to life. The mammoth breaks free from the rest of the ice and attacks and kills the guard before leaving the building, just as Frank returns and finds the dead security guard. After the police and paramedics arrive, Frank is looking around and notices the sphere but before he can do anything, the sheriff kicks him out of the museum as it is an active crime scene. Some time later, two federal agents, Powers and Whitaker, arrive to investigate the scene and learn that Frank was a witness to what happened. That night, Squirrelly sneaks into Jack’s room and shows her a flyer for a rave in the woods and she agrees to go, letting him drive Simon’s car, which he gave to her for her birthday. Frank sees them leave and gets into an argument with Simon while he is getting ready to look for her. Before he can leave, Agents Powers and Whitaker show up asking to talk to Frank and he agrees to answer their questions while he goes looking for Jack. Meanwhile, the sheriff’s two deputies come across a dead body similar to how the security guard died and as the check out the nearby woods, they run into the mammoth, which attacks them. In the car, the agents begin asking Frank questions concerning mammoths and Frank, curious as to why, asks them what is going on and they tell him that the meteor was really a UFO. At the rave, Jack and Squirrelly are forced to deal with two guys that were harassing Jack when suddenly, the mammoth appears and begins attacking the party goers and Jack and Squirrelly make a run for it. Frank and the agents come across Jack and Squirrelly walking down the road in a state of shock and when Frank checks to see if they are ok, they are surprised to see the mammoth approaching them. Agents Powers and Whitaker attack the mammoth, with Powers yelling at Frank to get the kids out of there, but the mammoth bats tosses Powers aside and kills Whitaker. Frank, Jack, Squirrelly, and Powers end up hiding in a corn field until the mammoth loses track of them, then they head back to the agents’ car, grabbing Whitaker’s body before they leave. As they head back to town, Franks says he plans on getting his family out town but Powers says they can’t do that as they only have a couple of hours to kill the mammoth or else the town will be targeted for a nuclear strike. Taking the body to the morgue, they find the sheriff and coroner examining the sphere and when they ask what they are doing, the two men show them a frozen hand, which comes back to life when it is heated up. Agent Powers examines the hand and discovers that the same thing reanimating the hand is inside the mammoth. Franks figures out that they can freeze the mammoth, thereby preserving it for future study but Powers says that idea won’t work. Frank, Jack, Squirrelly, Powers, and Sheriff Morrison head to a nearby diner, where Frank lists the options available to them, then talks to Jack to ask her what they should do and Jack says they should fight it. Running into Simon as the are leaving, the group plans on heading to a nearby steel mill, they plan on using the molten steel to melt the mammoth but on the way, the car with Jack, Squirrelly, and Simon runs out of gas and as they are refueling, the mammoth attacks and kills Squirrelly. Frank has Simon go get some liquid nitrogen while the others help get things ready at the steel mill. Frank lures the mammoth to the area and they manage to pour the liquid metal on the mammoth but it doesn’t kill it and the mammoth ends up killing Sheriff Morrison. Jack manages to trap the mammoth in a container just as Simon arrives with the nitrogen. They hook up the hoses so they can freeze the mammoth but there is a problem and Simon is forced to release the valve by hand in order to freeze the mammoth, but he will be frozen as well. Getting everyone to leave the area, Simon releases the valve and freezes the room, just as the mammoth breaks through the container and infects Simon with the alien life form. In a secret government lab in the arctic, Frank and Jack are looking at Simon’s body while in another area, Powers is telling her boss that as long as he remains frozen, the alien entity is contained. Meanwhile, the frozen mammoth is back on display at the rebuilt museum.
This was a fun movie to watch. The acting was really good and there was a lot of funny dialogue mixed in to take some of the horror out of the movie. The plot wasn’t quite original, which made for a funny scene with some of the characters listing movies that it was similar to such as War Of The Worlds and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. The special effects were really good and were actually nominated for an Emmy. Not bad for a Sci-Fi original, huh? All in all, a good way to spend 90 minutes on a lazy day.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5