Last year we ended Giant Monster March with Zarkorr!! The Invader, so it’s only right to end this year’s run with the other direct-to-video giant monster movie produced by Full Moon Entertaiment (under their Monster Island Entertaiment label) and directed by Aaron Osborne, Kraa! The Sea Monster.
Always gotta scream your title, to be sure.
The plot sees the intergalactic overlord Lord Doom, master of the Dark Planet, Proyas (likely still salty over Gods of Egypt’s reception), send the giant monster known as Kraa on Earth in order to destroy and conquer it. A squad of the intergalactic teen guardians known as Planet Patrol tries to intervene, but it’s attacked by Lord Doom and so they enlist the only available agent, Mogyar, to reach Earth and destroy Kraa at all cost, even with the help of the planet’s inhabitants if need be.
And Dave Parker’s help, as well, as he directed the Planet Patrol and Lord Doom footage segments, which are heavily featured in the trailer, leading people to think this is some sort of Power Rangers or american sentai show, it really gives off that vibe, but it really isn’t, as the Planet Patrol members are stuck in their spaceship for most of the movie, and only in the last 4 minutes you see them fight Lord Doom… kinda. It’s just a brief scuffle, kinda pathetic how Lord Doom goes down after a few punches, the game of chicken to catch his dwarf sidekick Chamberlain looked more challenging.
Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of stupid left in the movie anyway, even putting aside the new Planet Patrol recruit, a girl with psychic powers played by Alison Lohman in her first acting role, because we have Mogyar, a crustacean looking small alien that talks with a incredibly flamboyant italian accent (which morphed into a neapolitan accent in the italian dub, because) that just happens to land in New Jersey instead of Naples.
I’m more surprised there was a proper reason relevant to the plot as for why he was going to Naples at all, but then again they give him a book to learn italian… when he clearly already knows it, but i guess that what you get when your ragtag group of improvised heroes is made up of a crab alien, a diner owner and the only specimen of tea-sipping biker with glued-on mighty beard, who also just happens to be a scientist of some sort, and can manage to trick the goverment into giving them the means to construct a weapon capable of killing Kraa.
Yeah, even with the italian accented crab alien, this is better than Zarkorr, with slightly better acting, an equally stupid but slightly less badly written script, the characters are dumb cliches but they come off more likeable here, and there are more sequences with the giant monster rampaging, also sporting a fun design, like Mogyar for that matter, cheesy but fun ones.
The Kraa suit looks good enough for a direct-to-video production, the digital effects are kinda crappy but kinda to be expected for the time, the miniatures are just kinda passable, they look already on the edge of crumbling a bit too much even before the actor is somewhere close to them, and without any humans visible during the rampage scenes (nor added in editing or post), the classic tradition of toy genocide is laid more bare than usual. Mh.
Gotta love the brief scene where Kraa destroys a building advertising the 1998 american Godzilla. Classy.
Yeah, i enjoyed this one more over Zarkorr, it’s more fun, dumb as hell but more deserving of being called “so bad it’s good”. Hard to complain much when it’s even shorter, barely reaching the 70 minutes mark, more thanks to the final credit roll than anything else. Good Z-grade trash.
While Aaron Osborne never directed another movie after this, there’s a cliffhanger of sorts for the Planet Patrol & Lord Doom segments, and the following year we got a spin-off movie (also a direct-to-video release) that continued the adventures of the Planet Patrol team… mostly thanks to that movie cribbing footage from other Full Moon released titles, specifically Robot Wars, Doctor Mordrid, Subspecies and of course Kraa!! The Sea Monster.
Because after all, stock footage is the cheap uroboros of the cinema industry, born anew in itself after looping the mandalas and meeting its trash gods over and over again.