Ice Crawlers (2002) Very low budget sci-fi horror film has a large shady corporation sending several bright college students to help out at a fancy high tech state of the art Antarctic oil drilling station thanks to their professor. Unfortunately, the new super drills have reached a little too far down in the search for the black gold, the Texas tea, and soon the station is invaded by coffee table sized trilobites (prehistoric cockroaches). Now it’s the humans vs the bugs, and no one may make it back to civilization alive. This one almost makes it thanks to its director, makeup effects whiz John Carl Buechler (director of Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood), who coincidentally hired John Carl Buechler’s Magical Media Industries to handle the creature effects. Although severely hampered by the low budget, he gets a fair amount of mileage out of the money he had, shooting at a California water treatment plant that stands in well for the oil station and utilizing footage purchased from Universal Studios’ The Thing (1982) for his brief snowy exteriors and helicopter shots. The creature effects are decent too, done live with no CGI that I saw, which is to be applauded, though the physical effects have a couple of problems too as the trilobites’ supposedly hard shell exoskeleton does reveal its rubbery origins in some of the more strenuous action sequences. The biggest problems, and they are big, lie with the script and the actors. The script is a little too aware it is for a low budget movie, with long stretches of dialogue, dialogue, and then for variety’s sake more dialogue between every moment of suspense or action. And all of that incessant talking shows how inadequate the actors playing the college students are, and since they are center stage for the biggest part of the running time, it doesn’t matter that the older members of the mostly unknown cast (including Gotz Otto, the henchman from Tomorrow Never Dies) are actually pretty good; in the end the tedium of the bad younger actors mouthing way too much sleep inducing dialogue drops this one pretty far below the minimum entertainment level required for recommendation. Better luck next time, guys!
About Ice Crawlers (2003)
Starring: David Millbern, Robert Axelrod, Rebekah Ryan, Billy Maddox, Götz Otto, Alexandra Kamp-Groeneveld, Allen Lee Haff, Karen Nieci, Howard Holcomb, David Lenneman, Norman Cole, Tunde Babalola, Precious Garrett, Brad Sergi
Director: John Carl Buechler
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