Sunday, September 16, 2012

THE SEA SERPENT (1984)



PHENOMENALITY: *marvelous*
MYTHICITY: *poor*
FRYEAN MYTHOS: *drama*
CAMPBELLIAN FUNCTION: *cosmological*


Though I give SEA SERPENT the same mythicity-rating seen in the recent YONGARY MONSTER OF THE DEEP-- meaning that neither goes beyond a very functional level of symbolism-- YONGARY is at least good basic entertainment for anyone in need of a giant monster-fix.

In contrast, I can't top the remark made by a Youtube viewer of SERPENT: that it was the best sock-puppet monster-movie made in the last few decades.  But even with that distinction, it's pretty barren of the sort of inspired absurdities that make a movie "so bad it's good."  This story of a sub-Godzilla awakened by the usual nuclear testing is nothing but dull.

Given that writer-director Armando de Ossorio showed that he could deliver decent horror-movies in his "Blind Dead" series of zombie-films, it's apparent that he brought nothing to this film but a desire to get a paycheck.

There's just one curious scene I happened to notice, on which I've seen no remark.  Lead actors Timothy Bottoms and Taryn Power separately witness the monster's seaside depredations, but can't convince anyone else that the monster exists. In a scene that could have taken a few minutes, Bottoms visits Powers (the real-life daughter of Hollywood star Tyrone Power) in her hospital-room to enlist her help.  I kept expecting the scene to end, but de Ossorio kept the dialogue going and going for an absurdly long time. I finally realized that his likely reason for so doing was that the nubile Powers was seated in bed while she talked to Bottoms, wearing a scanty, non-hospital-style negligee.  This was the only scene in which Powers put her considerable charms on display in this film, so it seems de Ossorio was determined to drag the scene out as long as he possibly could for that very reason.




No comments:

Post a Comment