action, fantasy, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review

June 6th, 2018 Movie – Wyvern


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

action, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review, sci-fi

April 25th, 2018 Movie – Vipers


Another snake movie starting with the letter V? It seems to be some sort of trend going on here. Man, I am a little sad about today’s movie as it means I am almost done with the Maneater series of films. These were always fun to watch when they would show up on Syfy and I am glad I picked them up on DVD, especially the triple feature packs. I had actually bought today’s movie as a single movie but bought the triple pack that had it so I could get the other two movies. So is this movie that good that it was worth buying twice? Let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Vipers.

The plot: At a Universal Bio Tech research facility, John Staffen enters the specimen lab and is shown the genetically modified horned vipers that they have been using for their experiments. The vipers were slated to be destroyed after an incident where they attacked and killed their handlers and some guards but Staffen and his security detail shoot the doctor and the security guards. As the security detail move to switch the lethal gas with knockout gas so they can transport the vipers to a new facility, one of the security guards, who was just wounded, shoots the glass cage the snakes are in. The escaping vipers begin attacking everyone and Staffen manages to escape and close the door, watching the snakes feed on the victims before he leaves. At Universal Bio Tech’s main facility, Dr. Collins is giving a lecture on how horned viper venom has been used to treat breast cancer. After her lecture, she is approached by Universal Bio Tech’s owner, Mr. Burton, who tells her that there was an incident in their lab and the genetically modified vipers escaped. Collins is upset about Burton’s messing with the snakes, calling it unethical and how everything assigned to the project reflects on her but Burton says that he needs her help to before the snakes reach a populated area. Meanwhile, the vipers are shown to have eaten all of the bodies in the lab and escape out the ventilation system, heading out into the water. On the nearby island of Eden Cove, a honeymooning couple is fooling around in their tent by the lake when they are attacked by the vipers. The next day, former Marine medic Cal  Taylor arrives in town and is met at the dock by Hank Brownie, who gives him a ride into town. As they are driving, they spot the wrecked campsite and investigate it but find no sign of the owner so Hank uses his CB to contact Sheriff Hendricks. Hendricks heads to the rental agency, catching Georgie, the owner, fooling around with Jack Martin and as Georgie goes to get the couple’s information, Jack tells him that he and his wife Ellie are separated so there is no need to go blabbing about what he is doing to her. When Cal and Hank arrive, Hank hands Hendricks the ring they found and Jack, who owns the local inn, takes Cal there to check in. They get there just as Jack’s daughter Maggie goes storming off, yelling at her parents for their separation and Ellie tells Jack they need to talk. Cal goes to see Dr. Silverton, revealing that he was there at Silverton’s request due to his being friends with his sone Joey, who died in the service. Cal hands Silverton Joey’s personal effects just as they are called away to Nicky Swift’s flower shop, where Maggie had broken in and smoked some of the marijuana Nicky grows. Cal joins Silverton and they find Jack and Ellie there with Maggie and Nicky and as they wonder who Cal is and why he is there, Silverton explains that he is planning on turning over his practice to Cal. Nicky realizes that Cal knew Joey and when Ellie comments that Nicky is the reason Joey enlisted and was kileld, Nicky punches her. Suddenly, they hear screaming coming from outside and Cal rushes out to find a young boy was bitten by a snake. Cal grabs the boy and Nicky drives him over to Silverton’s office, where they give him some anti-venom to stabilize him. Silverton decides to fly into the city with the boy, asking Cal to take care of things for him till he gets back. Meanwhile, Burton tells Collins that they got a report of the snake bite and asks what contingencies she has to offer and Collins tells him she has a gas that can stun the snakes but isn’t sure if she has enough to handle a large quantity of snakes and any other poisons that would be useful on the snakes would also be lethal to humans. On the island, Hendricks has Nicky arrested for assault then goes to the sheriff’s office, where Cal is tending to Ellie’s jaw, and tries to get her to drop the charges. When Ellie says he always defends Nicky ever since they were kids, Hendricks tells her that he wants to be with her, not Nicky. Silverton calls and tells Cal that the boy took a turn for the worse and he is staying overnight to ensure he is ok. After he gets off the phone, he is approached by Collins and Staffen. Back on the island, Georgie meets up with Jack and says she can step back if need be but Jack insists that he wants to be with her. The two head to the inn and have sex and afterwards, Jack goes to take a shower when the vipers enter the room and kill Georgie. As Hendricks takes Cal to tend to Nicky’s hand, they are met by Hank, who wants Hendricks to check out something on the dock. Cal checks Nicky’s hand and as he examines it, they talk about Joey and Cal explains that he and Joey talked about her a lot. Cal says it isn’t broken, then leaves to get some ice and Nicky uses his scalpel to pick the lock of the cell, only to find Cal waiting outside for her and he chooses to accompany her as she runs some errands, mainly delivering pot to some residents that are suffering from cancer. Suddenly the hear Jack screaming out and find him coming out of the room with blood on his hands. As Jack checks on him, Nicky looks inside and sees the vipers swarming over Georgie and Cal kills one that approaches her, then quickly shuts the door. At the docks, Maggie runs off after another argument with Ellie just as Hendricks and Hank show up when all of a sudden, vipers start attacking people on the docks. Hendricks tells everyone to head up to the hotel and has Hank get Ellie into his truck and leave, and Ellie cries out as Maggie is unable to reach the truck and runs off with some snakes chasing her. Everyone makes it to the hotel and they start barricading it to keep the snakes out but Ellie and Jack rush out to try and find Maggie. Ellie finds Maggie as she tries to cross a bridge to reach the hotel but when the vipers cut her off, Hendricks grabs her and takes her to the sheriff’s office, locking her in the cell but the vipers kill him. Ellie and Jack enter the station but are unable to reach Maggie and Jack drags Ellie out of there, where they are met by Cal and Nicky, using a fire extinguisher to ward off the snakes, and they take shelter in a nearby food truck. Nicky hotwires the truck and they pull up close to the door, then Cal heads into the station to get Maggie and takes her to the truck. When the truck won’t start, they decide to make a run for the diner but Ellie is killed before she can escape the truck. As night falls, Silverton, Collins, Staffen, and two security agents arrive on the island, using gas grenades to stun the snakes. One of the agents is killed by the snakes but the others manage to reach the hotel, as well as Cal and the others. Once inside, Collins tries to keep everyone calm but Jack and several of the residents want to use the cover of the gas to escape to the boats. Jack is shot by the security agent but several of the islanders leave and Collins wants to use the last of the gas to give them a chance but Staffen refuses to let the agent use it, dooming the islanders to being killed. Inside, Cal and Silverton try to save Jack’s life but are unable to and as Silverton consoles Maggie, Cal gets upset at being unable to save Jack’s life. When he sees Collins crying, he accuses her of what happened and Collins said she had nothing to do with what happened, as Burton was the one to create the snakes. When the security agent reveals that a rescue isn’t happening and the island will be bombarded with C-12 gas, Cal comes up with a plan to lure the snakes away from the docks so that Silverton and the other islanders can get to safety, as Silverton is the only person able to call off the air strike. Rigging up some heaters to Jack’s truck and making some homemade flamethrowers, Cal, Nicky, Collins, Hank, Staffen, and the security agent head out and start luring the vipers away from the hotel and boat, and Silverton leads the surviving islanders out of the hotel but as they reach the boat, Maggie runs off to help Cal. Cal and the others reach the greenhouse and are joined by Maggie but the security agent is killed by the vipers. Inside, Nicky starts up her generator to start producing heat while Cal and the other’s work on gathering the ingredients necessary to make an IED. When the snakes start breaking in, Staffen is killed by the snakes and they discover that he had a satellite phone and another way off the island. When Burton tries contacting Staffen, Cal grabs the phone and pushes a few buttons before handing it to Collins, where she responds and argues with Burton over his actions. As more snakes appear, Hank shoots at one but ends up hitting the greenhouse roof, weakening it to the point that it breaks and he is killed by the falling shards of glass. As snakes start pouring in from the ceiling, Cal has everyone head out as he lights a flare and runs, blowing up the greenhouse and killing all of the vipers. As they recover from the explosion, they see the planes for the air strike approaching but then they veer off and they realize that Silverton got through to the authorities. Some time later, Burton is speaking at a shareholders’ meeting when his recorded conversation he had with Collins is played over the loud speakers, just as Collins arrives with the police to arrest him. On Eden Cove, Silverton and Maggie listen to the news of the arrest on the radio then head off, leaving Cal and Nicky to get better acquainted, as they had grown close during the night. Back on the mainland, Burton gets in his limo after leaving the police station but as he is on the phone, he discovers a viper in the back with him which attacks and kills him.

This is an ok movie but I was a little disappointed in it. The acting was ok, with Tara Reid doing a surprisingly decent job as Nicky, while Jonathan Scarfe (Cal) Corbin Bernsen (Burton) and Don S. Davis (Silverton) doing good jobs as well. The story was interesting, although did feel a bit similar to Venomous in some regards, mainly the whole destroying the town to cover up the secret experiment aspect. The special effects with the snakes were honestly a little disappointing, looking a lot more fake than some other movies that came out in the series. It’s a good way to kill some time but I wish it could have been better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5