You know, as I get closer to the end of the alphabet I realize that I will also be getting to the end of several series of movies. Take today’s movie for instance. Not only is it the last movie for the letter “W”, but it is also the last movie in the Maneater franchise. Now I didn’t get a chance to watch this movie on TV when it aired, only watching it when I bought it on DVD with some other movies from the Maneater series. Still, this is one of those movies that I knew I would enjoy so let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Wyvern.
The plot: In Northern Alaska, a melting glacier uncovers a frozen wyvern, which wakes up from it’s frozen slumber and attacks a fisherman, drawn by the smell of his blood when he cuts his hand. In the nearby small town of Beaver Mills, Vinyl Hampton, the local radio DJ, is talking about the upcoming end to the midnight sun, as the town has had almost 24 hours of sunlight for the past 80 days. At the local diner, Jake is working on fixing the steps but keeps having to stop due to his hand being injured. The town doctor, David, walks by and says he is lucky to walk away from the wreck he was in with just the messed up hand and ankle and asks Jake to let him take a look at it but Jake refuses. The diner’s owner, Claire, brings a coffee out for Jake but David grabs it and invites her to go to a conference with him but Claire refuses. When David leaves, Jake comments about David’s persistence and speaks with Claire for a bit before she invites him inside to get some food. Meanwhile, Colonel Travis Sherman is calling out for his dog when a moose head suddenly drops into his hot tub. Meanwhile, Jake finishes working on the diner and heads back to his trailer to find David waiting for him. He reluctantly invites him in to let him look at his hand and after looking at it, David says his wrist is dislocated. Jake then asks the real reason David is there and David comments about how he noticed how Jake looks at Claire, and vice versa, and he doesn’t wan’t Claire hurt when Jake drives out of there after getting his insurance money. David leaves and heads back to town but stops along the way to use the restroom when he is attacked by the wyvern and carried off. Early the next morning, Jake wakes up from a nightmare about his wreck and heads into town, waiting on the diner steps for Claire to arrive and open up and he is soon joined by Chief Dawson. Meanwhile, a local resident named Hass is out hunting when he sees the wyvern and shoots at it when it flies down towards him. Hearing the shots, Dawson goes to check it out, thinking it is just some people letting off steam early, and invites Jake to go with him. They soon find Hass and question what he was doing but Hass is in shock, simply mumbling about a flying monster. As Jake and Dawson put Hass in Dawson’s truck, they notice David’s arm lying in the grass but see no sign of the rest of him. They take Hass back into town, calling Deputy Barnes to call a town meeting at the diner. When Jake, Dawson, and Hass get to town Dawson tells the towns folk about David being missing and badly hurt, not telling them they think he is dead, but when Barnes shows up with the arm, Claire and some of the others get upset. When asked about the festival that day, Dawson says that it can still happen, though Jake says it is a bad idea, then heads out to answer a call he received. Meanwhile, the Colonel spots the wyvern flying over his house and heads to town to try and warn people. He talks to Barnes and his friend Farley but both of them don’t believe him and when he tries to tell Hampton to make an emergency broadcast but she says she can’t without authorization or visual proof of something happening. Meanwhile, Dawson goes to the resident’s house that called the sheriff’s office only to find both of the residents, as well as their caged minks, dead and he ends up knocking himself unconscious. When he comes too, he radios Barnes to shut down the festival on his authority. Back in town, Hampton sees the wyvern land outside the station and attempts to make an emergency broadcast but it knocks out the power to the station. In the town square, Barnes is telling everyone to go home when she is attacked and killed by the wyvern, sending everyone into a panic. In the diner, Jake, Claire, Hass, and Edna hear the commotion just as the wyvern approaches the diner and tries to get inside, forcing them all to take cover. When it leaves, Hampton and Farley head inside the diner and after making sure everyone is ok, they try to figure out what the creature is. Edna thinks it is the beast from Revelations but Hass, coming out of his shock, says it is a wyvern from Norse mythology. Trying to come up with a plan, Jake and Claire decide to go try to find Dawson, telling Hampton and Hass to try and get a hold of the state troopers on the CB. As they are driving to where Dawson was going, they see the wyvern fly overhead and land nearby and Jake decides to head out to see where it is heading. Meanwhile, the Colonel decides to head out to get the authorities on his own but as he drives down the highway, he sees the road blocked with wrecked vehicles and realizes the wyvern is not going to let them leave. Back in town, Dawson arrives and sees the carnage from the festival and is in shock at what happened. Hass and the others see him and yell for him to get in the diner, just as the wyvern returns and ends up grabbing Dawson and flying off with him. Back in the woods, Jake goes as far as he can in his truck, then heads out on foot, leaving Claire in the truck. After he leaves, the wyvern appears and rips off the door to try to get to Claire but she shoots it and manages to escape. Jake manages to spot the wyvern’s nest but when he hears the shots, he heads back and finds Claire hiding in the trees. The Colonel pulls up and tells them about the highway and says that the wyvern is keeping them there as it’s food supply so they head back to town. When they reach town, they head into the diner and try to think of a new plan. Hampton says that she might be able to jury rig a long range antennae but since hers is trashed, she would need the one from a nearby store to use. Jake and Hampton head out, stopping by Dawson’s truck to get his weapons from the back, and then they head to the store. As they are inside, the wyvern lands on the roof and grabs some of the wires before flying off and after it leaves, Jake goes to get the antennae, managing to get it unscrewed and throwing it to Hampton before the wyvern returns, and they manage to get back to the diner. With the jury rigged antennae, Hampton and Jake tries to reach the state authorities and manage to contact someone but there signal keeps cutting in and out and they aren’t sure if they managed to get their call for help through. Jake, Colonel, Hass, and Farley head out and get some gas from the trucks outside, as well as some other supplies, but the wyvern returns and slashes Farley in the stomach with it’s tail. Back at the nest, David is shown to be alive and after fixing a tourniquet around his severed arm, he looks inside the nest and sees three eggs inside, just before the wyvern returns and grabs him. The wyvern returns to town and drops David on the ground, then lands on the roof of the diner and waits. Jake and the others realize it is using David as bait but Jake can’t just leave David out there. He goes out to save him, with Colonel and Hass covering him. Jake grabs David and starts making his way back and Farley, thinking that he won’t make it, decides to run out to distract the wyvern and ends up being killed. As they all recover and rest, David comes too and tells them about the eggs in the nest before he dies from his wounds. Jake, Hass, Colonel, Hampton, and Claire head out to the nest and, seeing a generator nearby, come up with a plan to electrify the nest in order to kill the wyvern and the eggs. As they head out, Hass ends up being killed by the wyvern but Jake and Hampton get the generator set up and shock the wyvern but it only chases it off. The Colonel shoots two of the eggs but Jake stops him from shooting the third, saying they need it as bait. Heading off with the egg, they come across some more wrecked and abandoned cars, including a new semi, which happened to be Jake’s replacement truck. Coming up with a new plan, Jake grabs the GPS from David’s car and has the egg strapped into his truck, then drives off, luring the wyvern into following him. As the wyvern starts attacking the truck, Jake steers it towards a cliff and jumps out before it goes over the edge, Pinning the wyvern underneath it as it crashes, then explodes on the rocks below. Jake returns to town to tell everyone it is over and when Hampton asks about the rig, he says he doesn’t need it anymore as he has grown to like it in Beaver Mills, hugging Claire as they all head back inside the diner.
This is one of those no frills, killer animal movies where you know exactly what you are going to get out of it, and enjoy every second of it. This movie was a lot better than I honestly thought it was going to be. The acting was good, with Nick Chinlund and Erin Karpluk doing a good job as Jake and Claire respectively. I also liked Don S. Davis (Colonel) and Barry Corbin (Hass), as they had some great lines throughout the movie. The story was good and I liked that they used a wyvern instead of just calling it a dragon, like most people would probably have done. I also liked that they showcased the creatures intelligence with the scene of it using David as bait to try and lure the others out of the diner. The wyvern’s design was pretty good and I liked the over all special effects in the movie, though there were a few times where they did look a little weak. Still, definitely an enjoyable movie for any sci-fi/horror fan, especially if you are a fan of the Maneater series like me.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5