Time to unfrost a b-movie from the mid-2000’s i’ve known about for years, as friends told me of this movie where a mammoth runs around a house without being seen. Yeah, i’m pretty sure they didn’t actually watch the movie and just parroted something they red online, because, as it incredible as that would have been (and kinda fit anyway with the tone), no, a mammoth doesn’t stalk people like a slasher villain and moves around a normal household without wrecking it.
Although, with how many cheap horror flicks about dinosaurs, extinct or mythical animals are there, that movie could actually exist. I couldn’t find anything that fits the exact profile, but you never know.
But going back to reality, we have Mammoth (not to be confused with a 2009 movie of the same name, a Swedish-Danish-Germany drama about globalization and family drama), the last movie from Tim Cox’s “creature feature” trifecta, which also includes Larva and Alien Lockdown, way before he directed, wrote and produced the first 4 seasons of SYFY’s Z-Nation, and recently the first season of Netflix’s Black Summer.
This is quite different from his last outing, as Mammoth it’s a comedy horror throwback to the 50’s b-movies, with aliens sending a silver ball that crashes into a museum, resurrecting a mammoth from his icy display, and sending him into a rampage, helped by his ability to drain “life force” from people (as mammoth used to do, i guess). Magnetic fields interrupt reception, stop cars and block out electricity, bumbling idiot cops are tasked to investigate, off-brand Men In Black appear to tackle the crisis, but will need the help of Frank, the lead archeologist of the museum where the “meteorite” crashed, if he can manage to stop working and be a more present parent.
References to many popular movies will be dropped, posters from classic movies with Boris Karloff will be seen in the background of some scenes, and some other weird shit i really didn’t expect to see in a movie about a killer mammoth, mostly played for laughs as the movie it’s a comedy creature feature, not just a monster movie that has some funny moments, and it doesn’t always hit its mark, but it’s very cute, there are some funny exchanges or gags (like the protagonist outright stopping the movie because he has to have a drink and reconcile with his daughter, the third act time-sensitive resolution will have to wait for some minutes) and the tone is self-aware but just enough to be insufferable, it’s all tongue-in-cheek but good natured.
And of course nobody sees the mammoth coming, regardless if he’s in the woods or in a not that big smelter, it’s part of the joke, intentionally in this case.
I need to specify this now, sadly.
Speaking of jokes, according to Wikipedia this movie was nominated for “Outstanding Special Visual Effects” at that year’s Emmy Awards, and my mind immediately goes back to that scene of the “Be Sharps” barbershop quartet from The Simpson. I think someone his pulling my leg, because i wouldn’t even nominate the special effects for a Razzie, the mammoth (and most of the “alien stuff”) is CG, cheap CG that isn’t even good for the time, but still, it kinda adds to the charm, and it’s not that bad. I say this more than i would like, but it’s still true: i saw so many modern b-movies with far worse effects, so the movie ironically aged better than it would have in this regard.
Overall, Mammoth is not one of the greats, but a very cute comedy horror b-movie in the style of the 50s “monsters & aliens” where things ran amok and/or came from space, with some funny moments, plenty of references, and a likeable cast of characters played by lesser known – but far obscure – TV actors, making for a very decent (bordering on “good”) B-movie for the TV.
While it’s not that great or that bad to deserve a cult status (which it doesn’t have, as far as i know anyway), it’s a surprisingly charming little movie about a killer mammoth resurrected by aliens, you could have done far worse. Definitely one of the better creature features i snagged at the flea market for 2 bucks, a decent one for genre fans, for sure.