Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Sea Serpent (1984)

Timothy Bottoms, dressed like he just escaped from William Friedkin's Cruising, a 200 year old Ray Milland who talks like he’s either drunk or have some illness, some of the worst dubbing EVER and a Muppet-monster directly from b-movie hell. But Amando de Ossorio’s The Sea Monster (aka Hydra) is still an entertaining movie with lots of monster-attacks and endless talky scenes about nothing. Just the way we want it.

Bottoms (who at this point was at the bottom of his career – pun intended) plays Pedro, a captain at a fishing boat. When the ship is attacked by the sea monster and kills his whole crew no one, of course, believes him. In a long and boring court-scene, they take away his boat-license. But he’s not depressed, instead he decided to prove that he’s correct and joins up with a women who also seen the monster. Together the make contact with some old professor – or something, played by Ray Milland and together they’re going to fight THE SEA SERPENT!

And yes, Jared Martin, Jack Taylor and León Klimovsky appear. Jared in a big role, but Jack is wasted in a cameo and Léon too.

I think we all can agree that The Sea Serpent is crap, trash. Not worthy to be he last movie from maestro de Ossorio. But that’s life and that’s how it is, so why regret something we can’t change? Try to see it like one of the lesser monster-movies from the fifties instead for a final masterpiece from a brilliant director. Then it kinda works. The miniatures are very primitive and cheesy, at least the boats and the monster itself. The bridge looks quite ok, and also the lighthouse.

The action is – except a few boring talky scenes of nonsense – more than I expected. Lots of monster-attacks where they’re using a full-size monster-head to eat people with. But most of the time it’s something that looks like a hand-puppet trying to looks dangerous. The music is, of course, very inspired by John Williams soundtrack to Jaws.

What happen with Timothy Bottom’s career by the way? Johnny Got His Gun, The Last Picture Show… and then slowly quite ok genre-movies like Rollercoaster and Hurricane… and suddenly The Sea Serpent, What Waits Below, In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro, The Fantasist – and finally the lowest form of films, co-productions with Sweden (Mio in the Land of Faraway and Istanbul!). But don’t misunderstand me, I like the guy a lot – but he surely had an interesting career!

And to state it once and for all, if The Sea Serpent got a new release on DVD or Blu-Ray, I would buy it directly!


David A. Zuzelo said...

I have to see if I did a real review of this film, I really enjoyed the hell out of it!

Anonymous said...

Must see this movie. I love in the shadow of Kilimanjaro by the way.

Ninja Dixon said...

David, I would love to read your take on it!

Shadow of Kilimanjaro is a fun movie, I wish it could have a good release somewhere!