Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Eye of the Beast|
Actor: James Van Der Beek
Director: Gary Yates
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Eye of the Beast is a rousing thriller rising out of the depths to put the squeeze on you. For centuries, tales of its existence have inspired fear and fascination. It is one of the largest creatures on the ocean floor. A ... more »
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Alexandra Castillo is the reason to see this film...
Jonathan Allen | Canada | 04/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...particularly if you're casting a movie in Canada.
The movie itself is actually better than expected. No, it does not deliver on the promise made by the box art (which is great if you happen to have any fondness for the cheat art they used to use on Italian Jaws rip-offs in the eighties), so gore fans are bound to be disappointed, but some care has been taken in the writing of the two main characters, and Castillo's character even turns out to be a bit of mystery, which adds much needed intrigue to what would otherwise be a pretty straightforward (and probably actionable) remake of Peter Benchley's The Beast. But, pleasantly, this turns out to be a much more enjoyable film than the adaptation of that book, and a large part of the reason for that is down to the casting of an actress I'd never heard of before.
In one of the lead roles as the Metis fisheries officer, I was first struck by how realistically pretty Alexandra Castillo is -- and by pretty I mean attractive in a human kind of way, not at all the kind of plastic-surgery addicted anorexic horror we're used to seeing in these things. Which was the first surprise.
The second surprise was when she began interacting with the rest of the cast -- who range from okay to pretty bad -- and seemed ABSOLUTELY natural. It literally caused me to sit up and take notice of what I'd assumed was going to be a complete waste of time. James Vanderbeek, the second best actor in the cast, gives her more to work with, and the skill with which she handles her scenes with him is pretty remarkable. She managed to convince even when it meant fighting through the dialogue, which she had to do from time to time. (Though, to be honest, the script was much better than anyone renting this thing has any right to expect, and at no point does anyone say those -- I thought -- inevitable lines regarding the necessity of getting either a bigger boat and/or gun).
I don't know. Maybe there's a problem when you notice the acting -- maybe it should be an invisible art in film, and like the editing or the direction itself it fails if it draws attention to itself. Perversely, every time Ms. Castillo gave me the sense that I wasn't watching an actor, but a completely natural human being, it sort of drew me up short and popped me out of the story long enough to chuckle my pleasure at what she'd just pulled off with such ease. Except it probably wasn't easy, was it? Yes, the special effects in this thing were pathetic, even in comparison to that Peter Benchley's Beast thing, but this little film, with Ms. Castillo's help, proved to me yet again that the small pleasures of even one really good performance, and some obvious care in the writing of the script (which deserves applause even when it doesn't always work out), trump the hell out of a better giant squid in another lesser film.
Right about now I'd be asking myself if this reviewer isn't either related to Alexandra Castillo or wishing to be. No. But someone should congratulate her on her work, and someone else should put her in a better movie. Her five star performance earns this two star video three stars."
ONE OF THE BEST IN THE SERIES
fmwaalex | Austin, TX USA | 10/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"EYE OF THE BEAST
When it comes to monster flicks out on the water we all know that "Jaws" is the supreme ruler of the sea, but this creature feature is actually really good. This is part of the "Man Eater" series that has been coming out lately in fact I believe that it was the 5th or something in the series. Robert Halmi Sr. and Jr. are the executives behind this popular series, and for the most part their films have been good. In fact this one in particular is very very good and worth not only a viewing but also a purchase. As a low budget b movie that only has one really recognizable name attached to it this is actually a very entertaining movie, I love these types of flicks.
The story is about a scientist that is sent to some town to research the area and find out what is going on out that way. While there it seems that there is something in the water that is going after those who get to close to the water, so naturally he stays around a little while. Also while there he becomes interested in the local sheriff who is very new to her job and the town thinks she is nuts, mainly because she believes in the sea creature. So has the story progresses people start to disappear and the towns people start to kick the new guy in town out because of his associations. Of course the town nut who happens to be the local law enforcement pleads her case to every one about a sea monster and naturally they turn her away. That is until two of the locals are attacked in broad day light, then all of a sudden it is war on the creature. So we are off to the races setting up a very Jaws like finale but a very good one at that.
The most surprising thing about this film is that for the type of film that it is it was very well written, all of the dialogue was believable and was well paced. Mark Mullin did a fine job with this movie, his writing is probably one of the best in this genre that I have seen in a while. Even the long speech like moments are well written and well paced and for a film that debuted on the Sci-Fi channel that may be saying something. Director Gary Yates did a fine job on this film as well because a lot of that pacing I mentioned is handled by the film maker and he did a great job with it, and his choice to not really show the creature through out the film until the end and in select well timed parts adds to the atmosphere. I would have to say that this could be the best in the man eater series by far, although some others are good.
The acting is really good in this film as well with James Van Der Beek leading the way as the scientist outsider, he gives a wonderful and believable performance. As does co star Alexandra Castillo as the local sheriff that has known about the creature since she was a child, she looks good and performs well. All the other actors in this do equally as good as the two stars and turn in excellent performances, it seems every one came on board to create a great film. Also the creature effects are very well done and look very good for this type of film.
Over all I would say that this is one of the best from the production company and one of the best in the genre, I recommend this film to every one out there. I would say that it is perfect for a weekend and you are out at the video store looking for something, pick it up. P.S this is a squid or octopus type creature."
Giant squids are cool
Movie Dude | Alabama | 10/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A fishing village is attacked by a giant rubber tentacle and fishermen are forced to roll around the deck of their boats wrestling it...no wait...they're attacked by a giant squid and are forced to roll around the deck of their boats wrestling it.This is a made for tv movie.The effects are cheesy,but I have seen worse.This is a pretty good entry in the giant monster movie genre that I love.
Fishing has been dying off in the village.Local fishermen and native fishermen blame each other.In comes James Van Der Beek(don't let this keep you from watching the movie)as Dan Leland...scientist.There is a local legend of a giant water beast in the village.No one believes it except the local law enforcement officer played by Alexandra Castillo.I look foreward to seeing her in other things.Of course no one wants the government scientist there because they think he'll shut the village down.James Van Der Beek and Alexandra castillo play their parts well as they contend with the anger and distrust of the fishermen while trying to stop a beast nobody believes exists.That is until a local brings in a chunk of the beast.Then they along with the obligatory angry,crusty old boat captain must unite the village if they hope to kill the beast.
Yes it's another giant sea monster movie.There's nothing new here,but the acting,scenery and filming are realy good.If you like giant creature feature type movies,you will like this.And check out the other "Man Eater" series of films.I've seen "Croc","Shark Swarm",and "Maneater" as well as "Eye Of The Beast"and have enjoyed them all.Also check out Peter Benchley's "The Beast" and "Rogue" a Dimension Extreme film about a big Australian crocodile."
This Ain't Jaws, Thats for Sure
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 05/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You know, the sea creature gone amok genere was best done by Peter Benchley. However, this movie doesn't try to live up to 'Jaws' or 'Beast'. Instead, its a cheesy made for TV movie about a (appearantly fresh water) giant squid gone wild in a lake up in Canada. In spite of this, its still a fun movie.
The plot is pretty much self-explanatory. James van der Beek is a marine biologist who goes up to a small fishing town in Canada to figure out why all the fish are disappearing. The town, which is split between whites and Indians (who, refreshingly, seem to be played by actual American Indian actors) is being preyed on by a giant squid. And he enlits the aid of the lovely Metis sheriff (played by Alexandra Castillo, who was a surprisingly good actress for someone I'd never heard of before). Love story with the lady sheriff ensues. Along with lots of giant squid attacks. How the squid adapted to fresh water isn't really explained, but who cares? I mean, its a giant squid attacking people. We aren't exactly looking for too much plot here.
All jesting aside, this is definately one of the better outings in Sci Fi channel's Maneater series. The fact that the writers actually included Metis in the film suggests they actually know something about Canada's history and culture (which is good because it looks like they filmed there). And I have to agree with an earlier reviewer that Alexandra Castillo was quite good in her role. I would certainly like to see more of her! So definately check this movie out, and keep your eyes peeled for other movies in the Maneater series, like 'Grizzly Rage,' 'Blood Monkey,' 'Croc' and 'Shark Swarm.' A very nice collection of movies they have going on there."