DVD REVIEWS: The Storm & Sand Seprents
RHI Entertainment's latest suspense thrillers hit home video...
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RHI Entertainment recently release two new suspense thrillers which will at least take up some of your time this holiday season if not entertain those of you looking for a way to get away from your chatty aunt and bothersome brother-in-law...
The Storm, a made-for-TV disaster mini-series, stars Treat Williams as billionaire genius Robert Terrell, who hopes to hold the world hostage by utilizing a machine he's created which controls the weather. Of course - as in all doomsday-like movies - something goes horribly wrong and it's up to a rag-tag band of forgettable characters with terrible lines (including formerly well-paid actors James Van Der Beek and Luke Perry) to save the day and thwart the evil doer's viscous plot.
Overall, The Storm isn't the worst mini-series I've ever seen...which, for a seemingly generic titled show like this, is a pretty positive comment. At almost 3 hours long (170 minutes), there's no doubt it's story could have been told in 1/2 that time. Likewise, considering the cast (again, second rate actors who've seen their hayday come and go), The Storm includes some acting issues - particularly with Van Der Beek, who I personally think can't act worth his weight in jello.
To make a long story short, if you're a fan of disaster films like Dante's Peak, Deep Impact, The Perfect Storm, and Armageddon and can set your expectations to "zero," this film might actually entertain you. With it's amateur CGI, poor acting, generic script, and even worse direction, The Storm isn't for everyone...heck, it's surprising anyone will appreciate it...but I'm sure you're out there and The Storm is for you!
Sand Serpents stars TV's Jason Gedrick (most recently of Desperate Housewives) as Army Lt. Stanley, who's platoon of reservists has seen better days in Afghanistan. Upon exploring a supposedly abandon mine, they suddenly find themselves face to teeth with towering monster "sand serpents" (thus the title!) which hunt by sound and vibration.
A blatant rip-off of the 1990 hit Tremors, Sand Serpents is one of those made for TV movie that, while it should be despised in it's utter disregard of originality, it's actually watchable due to the premise which made the original Tremors cool: huge worms with huge teeth eating people.
While no doubt one would be better off re-watching Tremors (or even any one of its unoriginal sequels) for the 30th time, Sand Serpents actually has a few moments of clarity. Of course, they're mix in with some down-right hilariously poor acting, a nearly intolerable script, and some of the worst CGI effects seen since...well...The Storm, but that's not saying there aren't at least a couple of redeemable qualities...
First, Jason Gedrick isn't a terrible actor and, considering he's mainly a TV actor, expectations are already low, so there's no real disappointments.
Second, the worms - even if they're poorly show in second-rate CGI - are cool. Their huge worms with huge teeth that eat people, no matter if they're US Army soldiers or Taliban terrorists! Unlike so many of us, they don't discriminate and that makes them all the more awesome!
Third, there are some really cool death scenes...and the end specifically impressed me with it's utter lack of disregard for common sense and planning. But, like all good thrillers, sacrifices have to be made and made they are!
Overall, Sand Serpents isn't near as bad as The Storm...but that's still not saying much. A part of RHI Entertainment's "Maneater Series," if you're a fan of previous releases in the series - to include Spider's Web, Black Swarm, Blood Monkey, Yeti, Vipers, or Swamp Devil - you'll at least appreciate Sand Serpents. If you've never heard of any of the above mentioned films, then this one probably isn't for you...
Both films are available on DVD home video now wherever fine home video are sold.
- Jess C. Horsley
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley