Holy Crap “the Dawson” aka. James Van Der Beek vs. a giant Squid? Yeah this is a movie that I totally need to check out. Good or bad it should be at least a bit of fun.
Van Der Beek plays a scientist sent to check out why the fish population in a lake has dropped so much. The locals aren’t happy with him being there since they don’t trust the government and are convinced it is their fault. We also get a healthy bit of racism as the local whites don’t like that the Indians are exempt to the same laws about fishing that they have to follow. This reminded me of another creature feature Humanoids from the Deep that had a similar angry white guy vs Indians theme. Of course, that movie had Vic Morrow in it so it was better than Eye of the Beast.
So anyway, they eventually figure out that there is a giant squid in the lake that has been eating all the fish and is now moved onto people. We also get a subplot about the lady sheriff that is the love interest for Van Der Beek’s character and her own issues with the squid. It ate her Dad years ago and no one believed her! Everyone has to get along and work together to go out into the lake and kill the monster squid before it destroys the lake and everyone living around it. Boats sink, fishermen die, and electricity happens but, in the end, Van Der Beek gets the girl.
|The Dawson to the rescue!
This is a decent movie. It is fairly tight and gets to the good stuff right away. We get some plot development with the characters, but they do a good job mixing in the creature action so that it never gets boring. Though there are a couple of times where you get the feeling people are being introduced solely to become food for the squid. It also seemed a bit forced that the lady sheriff suddenly has this backstory with her Dad being killed by the beast. I mean if it were that big twenty years ago where has it been? Still this is a monster movie, so I don’t want to overthink things.
|I love monster movies.
The creature is brought to life with the combination of old school tricks and CGI. For much of the movie the creature’s presence is implied with the use of clever camerawork and sound. It is always just out of sight, but you know that something is there. Most of the action takes place at night which helps keep the creepy factor dialed up to an eleven. These are the old school tricks that movies used to have to rely on. When the creature does show up, we get both CGI and some rubber appliances wrapped around the cast. This is especially true of the big showdown at the end where the fishing boats head out to kill it. The only other effects work to speak of are the bits and pieces of victims that wash up on shore. Here again we actually get so see some creepy latex bloated up to look like bits of a corpse. Good times.
Between Sci-Fi channel (I refuse the hipster spelling!), DVD, and Amazon Prime this one is easy to find on the cheap. Not a classic but a fun way to kill ninety minutes. Plus, it has “the Dawson” in it! Consider this a recommendation.
© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer