Komodo (1999)

Komodo_FilmPoster

Genre: Horror

Cast: Kevin Zegers, Billy Burke, Jill Hennessy

Synopsis: After a boy is attacked by some unseen monster and his parents savagely killed in their island holiday home, a psychologist decides to take him back to the scene of the crime which is perhaps the stupidest thing you could ever do. Turns out komodo dragons did it.

I fucking love monster movies and I’m always looking for new, weird, and wonderful films in this genre to watch. Watching Skyfall the other week, I remember being really impressed by the komodo dragon scene and I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be good to have a komodo dragon creature feature?” A light bulb turned on in my head and I suddenly remembered that there was a monster movie of this sort: Komodo.

It seems like the 90s was a bumper decade for monster movies. I suspect it was because the special effects team behind Jurassic Park revolutionised the way these movies were made. Suddenly everyone wants to make a film with some sort of monster by using special effects. Unfortunately for some movies, special effects didn’t evolve fast enough and ambitious projects became disasters. I’m looking at you Congo.

congo1No, wait! Look away! It’s too painful.

To be honest, the special effects in Komodo are not actually that bad. There are some scenes in this film where the komodo dragons even look pretty realistic. The trouble with this film, however, is that virtually nothing else is realistic. The acting and the dialogue, in particular, spoil any sense of fantasy. I suppose I should not have expected much from this movie, but it’s pretty jarring when the lead actress asks: “What are these things!?” Bitch! They’re Komodo Dragons! Didn’t you read the script?

Looking back on it, none of the characters are that impressive. The main character is this emotionally fragile kid. Sure, you’d be fucked up if you saw your parents and dog savaged by a giant lizard, but I doubt you would go full-on Lord of the Flies like this kid does. Also, I’m about 99.99% confident that you would not return to the place where your parents were killed. The chances of you forgetting that giant lizards ate your parents are slim to none. Plus, the lead make actor reminds me of a serial killer. There’s something creepy about the way he talks about his wife’s disappearance…like it was actually him who killed her and then the dragons conveniently showed up. That certainly would have made for a more interesting twist.

While the film does suffer from flaws, I still found myself enjoying it. Komodo is the sort of film that becomes tolerable if you can dial down the voice in your head that’s telling you its crap; and it can be quite fun if you can silence that voice altogether. As far as monster movies go, I’ve seen much better. Then again, I’ve seen much worse.

Jaws 4So much worse

High-lights:

  • The komodo dragon is so under-represented in creature features so it’s good to a movie about them.
  • Not bad graphics.
  • Some pretty jumpy moment.

Downers:

  • The acting and dialogue bring the movie down. It’s odd: some of the actors are well-known and have done better things. I mean, the lead actress was in Law and Order for years!
  • Poor dog…now I’m sad.
  • I think the movie is supposed to be a metaphor about how oil companies are evil, but Komodo seems like a weird platform to voice that message. Surely the message should be: komodo dragons are awesome?

Summary:

Komodo is the sort of film you might want to watch on a rainy afternoon, or late at night when no-one else is around to judge you for your silly choices. If you do decide to watch this movie, just make sure that you leave logic and reason at the door. If you don’t, this movie will seem like one giant mess. I mean, this movie IS one giant mess but you tend not to notice as much when in the company of Mary Jane.

6/10

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5 Comments

Filed under Good, Horror

5 responses to “Komodo (1999)

  1. Tom

    Ah-ha!!! So Exxon is behind this movie! I knew it! lol Good review man.

  2. Since this movie was written by the guy who wrote Anaconda, I was wondering if you saw that? That was a good time for only one reason: Seeing Jon Voight hamming it up to near Jeremy Irons levels.

  3. I remember the ads for this one! Shame it’s so poor because Komodo dragons are objectively awesome.

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