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The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest

The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest

Adam Jahnke - Main Page

Something Beneath

Something Beneath
2007 (2008) - Genius Products

I know what you're thinking. How can a movie with cover art like this be anything but AWESOME?!! Such are the pitfalls of horror fandom. Movie hucksters have known how to slap together an eye-catching poster for generations. Making a movie that actually lives up to its promise? Much harder. Here we have a comely big-breasted chick getting groped in a puddle of toxic muck by a tentacled beastie of some kind. Needless to say, no such scene exists in the film itself. So much for my hopes of a live-action, Americanized remake of some Hentai porn.

What we actually have here is something much blander. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules!) stars as an environmentally conscious priest spearheading an ecological conference at a spankin' new conference center. Naturally, the Greedy Land Developer (who rolls around in a comfy looking motorized wheelchair) did not heed the warnings of the Kooky Scientist he'd hired to look at the project's environmental impact. (Kooky Scientist gets Kookier as he goes along, eventually putting on one of those earflap hats which is, of course, the universal symbol for Kookiness.) Consequently, folks are dying thanks to an awakened... um... black goo thing. But for some reason, the goo doesn't just attack people and be done with it. No, if you come in contact with the goo, you start to hallucinate your worst fears and that's what kills you. I guess. I dunno, the rules aren't exactly hard and fast here.

Something Beneath was made for Sci-Fi Channel, which should have been my first clue that this was going to be a gigantic waste of time. I've suffered through enough of their original TV-movies by now to realize that the home of such modern masterworks as Alien Apocalypse, Boa Vs. Python and Raptor Island isn't exactly the stamp of quality. Even so, this is beyond stupid. Not scary, not funny, just stupid. I can only assume the budget didn't exist to have the goo-thing actually attack people and that's where the overly-complicated worst-fears-come-to-life gimmick sprang from. But the movie can't even keep that conceit straight. One character imagines himself attacked by zombies. But he's obsessed with the video game House of the Dead. So are zombies his worst fear or is this his biggest fantasy? Sorry, I'm already putting more thought into this thing than the filmmakers themselves.

Believe it or not, Criterion decided to pass on the rights to Something Beneath, thus denying the world the three-disc boxed set the film cries out for. Just as well, since the disc's total lack of extras made this the quickest Oktoberfest review to date. Thanks, Genius Products! As for tech specs, the movie looks and sounds like the crappy TV-movie it is.

If the Hell Plaza Oktoberfest teaches us anything, it's that horror fans are not all that discriminating a bunch. Not that we're stupid. Quite the contrary, I think we can appreciate a truly great film better than most. But while we cherish greatness, we're happy with mediocrity in a lot of areas providing we can see flashes of inspiration here and there. Look all you want. You'll find none in Something Beneath. With zero suspense, strained attempts at humor, minimal gore and not even a bared breast to help while away the unhappy minutes spent watching this, Something Beneath offers nothing for everyone... unless you enjoy watching little pieces of black goo drip onto actors' faces, in which case you're in for a treat!

Film Rating: D-
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): C+/C/F

Adam Jahnke

Adam Jahnke - Main Page
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