Another one for the ever increasing pile of movies i saved for later on Amazon Prime Video and ended up watching & reviewing before they get taken off or gated off another subscription service.
And yes, it’s a TV movie for Sci-Fi Channel, from before they just rebranded themselves as “SYFY”, but yeah, we’re going back yet again to the neverending well of trash, always flowing, always bursting and ripe for the picking by the cynical, the bored, and the masochist. And people like me, i guess.
This one is directed by prolific TV director John Terlesky, who – contrary to the usual pattern – now just directs shows like How To Get Away With Murder, Castle, The Blacklist, and pretty much after he directed some episodes of Ugly Betty, he never came back to do TV movies like, Cerberus (2005), and stuff like Guardian, the 2001 action sci-fi thriller with Ice-T you never heard before.
You might remember him better as the titular lead character from Deathstalker… II.
Then again, we should really thank William Shatner himself, since he’s listed as “creator” under the writing credits, also produced it, and it’s shot in Ontario.
So thank you Mr. Shatner.
A solar flare from the sun sends a serpentine alien composed of fire to Earth in 1966, which causes havoc and many unexplicable deaths. Years later, a similar event occurs again, with this “fire creature” spreading itself through the small local community, killing people in search of fuel of sorts to consume, eventually “stumbles” upon a large military oil reserve. It soon becomes clear that an old man (who had a previous run-in with the “fire alien”) knows a lot about this mysterious deaths. A small group of citizens, including a fireman (played by Nicholas “Xavier Woods” Brendon) suspected of being a pyromaniac, decides to fight the creature with an Halogen gun, only to get extra opposition from a government employer who voluntarily helps the snake because he believes it’s a divine messanger, an angel of vengeance from the Lord.
One of the actors is “Randolph Mantooth”, never ever of him before, but dang, i want that surname. Pretty badass.
It’s not as dull as i’ve heard, but mostly because it’s absolute nonsense, with this “alive alien fire” that is bound by nothing as long as the script allows it, so when need be it just travels through the telephone lines using cartoon logic, pipes, or just stays put under a fence, because apparently these “alien fire creatures” can just do that. Nothing makes any sense, from secret agents armed like russian mafia goons to simply arrest a lone crazy old man, from one of the agents later launching a grenade into the main lead’s car, i guess to remove witnesses (i don’t think anyone clearly ordered him to), i’m not sure why characters do most of what they do in this movie.
The creature itself look more like a 1-headed octopus-King Ghidorah… sometimes, sometimes not, but the fire effects are really, really bad, like, even for a TV movie they look like shit all the time.
Still, it manages to be surprisingly dull for a movie where “fire aliens” enter people, make them shoot fireballs from their eyes and then consume their host leaving them burned internally, we gotta waste time with expository padding and lazy, shoehorned bible verses in the dialogue, bad acting, people gettting shot by implication via the editing and other bullshit. At least it moves at a fairly ok pace through its absolute non-sense… until what the movie would like to pass as an ending.
You just see the “fire serpent” creature finally defeated…. somehow, with some explosions, fuel and water (don’t ask, i have no frigging idea how that was supposed to work in any reality), then we cut to another solar flare coming the Sun, implying the obvious. Then VERY abruptly, credits, bye.
Nonsensical inane garbage, yes, but i’m surprised it’s somehow not worse or more boring, despite how dull can be for a movie about fire aliens creatures that even manage to drive a flaming truck.