Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Allen Lee Haff, Götz Otto, Alexandra Kamp-Groeneveld, Karen Nieci, Howard Holcomb
Director: John Carl Buechler
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Not Bad, But Nothing You Haven't Seen Before
Gary Young | Tucson, AZ USA | 02/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pretty typical creature movie. Some prehistoric creatures are unearthed by a drilling company in Antarctica. They begin to eat the cast one by one until they are finally destroyed by the last survivors(...or are they?).
You've seen it all before, occasionally with better results. Yet this film does have a good overall look as well as some appealing characters. The creature f/x are passable, though not the greatest.
If you're a fan of the whole creature amok genre, "Ice Crawlers" is worth a look."
Tentacled Trilobite From Below The Ice
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 01/20/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A team of grad students arrive at an Antarctic oil drilling facility. But they have arrived in the middle of hidden chaos.Drilling may be affecting the ice shelf (hence the students arrival) but the company has made a discovery that could redirect attention away from environmental issues.Earth (or is it ice) quakes now plage the facility and the title beasties begin to eliminate the human population.This is really silly. The facility is huge. Way too huge for the region where all building material is shipped in. No attention is paid to power or heat (I liked the thirty-foot ceilings). There is also the scene where the chopper pilot has managed, single-handedly, to move the chopper into a low ceilinged warehouse (supposedly a Quonset hut). Scenes like this abound. Half the people disappear from the contained facility before anyone begins to suspect anything.The ending is typical of many beastie movies and needs to be seen to be believed. A fun movie for a group to pick apart (MST3K awaits)."
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 01/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The director of "Ice Crawlers," John Carl Buechler, should be instantly recognizable to fans of low budget films. He's lensed a few other slightly recognizable films, including "The Curse of the Forty-Niner," "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood," "Watchers Reborn," and "Troll." O.k., so they aren't classics, but lovers of cinematic sludge will recognize a few of these titles. His real claim to fame is special effects, and his body of work in this area is even more noteworthy. He worked on providing the gluey effects found in "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers," "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare," "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4," Robert Englund's "Phantom of the Opera," "Bride of Re-Animator," "From Beyond," "Trancers," and dozens of other B-movie extravaganzas. His body of work is truly astonishing. Looking at the list, I'm reminded of a few reviews I wrote slamming several of these films. Well, I'm about to do so again with "Ice Crawlers." Why? Because Buechler and company took on a monumental task, namely making a low budget film that attempts to replicate the success of John Carpenter's "The Thing" by completely ripping it off. If you're going to do a knock-off of a horror film, it's probably best to pick one that isn't a cult favorite.
Seriously, I sort of liked "Ice Crawlers" in spite of itself. Set in Antarctica (I told you so), Buechler's film chronicles the adventures of an oil company called Geotech and a batch of baby faced new employees. A series of scary earthquakes during deep ice drilling seems to have alarmed the company suits, so they send in a bunch of young hotshots to figure out what is going on and correct the problem. I won't bore you with all of these kids' names--mainly because I don't remember most of them despite having took notes while watching the film--except to mention Arianna (Karen Nieci) and Curtis (Allen Lee Haff). These two are, of course, the heroes of the story who will stand and fight when the horror shows itself. The rest of the new employees, including a token minority computer expert, are cannon fodder. Anyway, these kids arrive via helicopter into a base loaded with paranoia, potential violence, and conspiracies. The grunts doing the drilling, the most memorable of whom is a crazy German dude named Nelson (Goetz Otto), don't take kindly to strangers telling them what to do. There is also a gorgeous research scientist, Monica Kelsey (Alexandra Kemp), in charge of...well...something important. Oh, and the presence of an evil scientist named Ted Jacobson (David Millbern) virtually requires that some sort of monster arrive on the scene.
It takes awhile to figure out all the specifics, time enough for Dr. Kemp and a few others to bite the bullet, but we eventually learn what's going on in Geotech's Antarctic research facility. It turns out that all this deep drilling brought to the surface a never before seen species of trilobite, horrible looking beasties roughly the size of manhole covers. What a find! Unfortunately, trilobites don't really like human beings if "Ice Crawlers" is any indication. In fact, they find our presence in their arctic digs downright offensive, and they soon take appropriate measures to drive the two-legged bipeds out. It's nothing for these creatures to pull a full-grown man into a large vat of water, or hide underneath a bed so they can drag someone across the floor with their large, bristly tentacles. These monstrously huge trilobites can even burrow into a human being's body. Needless to say, the pulling, dragging, and burrowing throw our trapped little characters into a big tizzy. As the body count rises, it is up to Arianna and Curtis to save the day. It won't be easy, not in the least, especially considering what resides in the drill hole down on the lowest level of the facility. Where are Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley when you need them?
"Ice Crawlers" does contain a few fun elements. A male viewer will quickly learn to lament the rapid passing of Alexandra Kemp's character. Without her the film seems to lose some of its...er...proportion. The extraordinarily, stupendously, magnificently cheap special effects used to create the trilobites evoke howls of derision rather than groans of terror. These are some really cheesy looking monsters, folks. Whenever a trilobite moved across the floor, I kept waiting for the camera to pull back and reveal a stagehand dragging it along with a piece of string. What's worse, even an idiot can tell that the denouement involves the use of miniatures in a small tub of water. Yet it's all sort of fun in an eye rollingly bad way. I ought to mention here that the scariest part of the film doesn't involve the trilobites or the terrified reactions to them. Rather, it's the worker who takes his shirt off for a shower to reveal the hairiest torso ever captured on film. How about bringing a lawnmower on set to take of that problem, eh? I figured he would live because the trilobites would be too scared to touch him.
The DVD version of "Ice Crawlers" is interesting due to the presence of a lengthy interview with John Carl Buechler. He talks about his early life, how he became interested in doing special effects, how he obtained work in Hollywood, his tenure with Roger Corman, and his interest in directing films. It's nice to finally see what he looks like since everyone knows that the real stars of a horror movie are the guys doing the gory effects behind the scenes. Other supplements include a commentary track and trailers for "Firefight," "Demon Slayer," and "Barbarian." Buechler's film can't compare to "The Thing," but it's not entirely a lost cause either. "Ice Crawlers" is an adequate if derivative way to pass a couple of hours.
NOT TOO BAD FOR A LOW-BUDGET HORROR FILM
Thomas Bailey | Seattle, WA United States | 10/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Since there are not many reviews on the Amazon site at this point - one, to be exact - on Ice Crawlers, and it is not that bad a movie, and deserves a somewhat-decent review, I thought I would attempt to give one.It is a shame that there isn't any picture of the cover on the DVD and the VHS on the Amazon site, because it is quite an artsy cover, which led me to me think that maybe it was a low-budget film of not that great a quality.Although it is true that the movie is not as artsy as the cover - and some might argue that the cover is the best thing about the movie - that is not true: The movie does have a well-done style - considering the low-budget and limited time they were dealing with (even the director admits that the film has a very solid look for a low-budget film, most low-budget films don't look that good).Ice Crawlers is done in the deliberate style of the horror films of the fifties, and for what it is, despite criticism I found against it on the Internet, it is quite well done. Typical of fifties horror films, there is very little blood and gore, and the monster is only seen in glimpses until the very end - in the tradition of the old rubber creature (although a bit more than that, as explained by the director), and in this case, a creature not seen that often in any movie.There wasn't any CGI used except for one scene, and it wasn't on the monster. I will leave it for you to figure out, or let the director tell you.I enjoyed the interview with the director and his commentary. The story itself is that basic story of a group of individuals - in an isolated, icy region somewhere - being picked off one by one by some creature.Although I admit that I would prefer watching - the original THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, Carpenter's THE THING, and the ALIEN - I still enjoyed it - which, speaking of THE THING, they actually bought stock footage from that movie, and they used stock footage of ice and snow from other sources.The introductive lettering and some blue coloring, looking like a big splotch in the film, made me think that this was going to be of very poor quality - but it quickly moved away from that. The director deliberately paced everything so that it got better and better towards the end, and, although the actors won't win any academy awards for their performances, I found my self being caught in excitement as they portrayed their characters in confrontations and very worked-up over their situation. This was more a thriller to me than a horror film, although it had all of the elements - the monster, people dying, some gore, and some blood - and it did startle me pretty good at times.I wouldn't recommend this movie for everyone - but if you like quality b-horror films, and don't need CGI to enjoy it, you will probably find this a good movie to rent. As far as buying, if you're a collector of this sort, then yes - other than that, probably not."