Written by: Daniel Hadley
Director: Hank Braxtan
Cast: James Remar, Sherilyn Fenn, Graham Green
So its turns out that genetically engineering a super intelligent, polar bear, wolf hybrid is a bad idea. I mean who’d have thunk it? Supposedly this abomination was created to help out with global climate change. Now far be it from me to say that this incredibly aggressive unstoppable killing machine can’t really do much to help out on that front. But then again I’m not a scientist so what the hell do I know?
So the plot… a photographer who also happens to be a complete asshole heads out to the Alaskan wilderness with a couple of models to bunk with a group of gruff cabin dweller’s to hold a winter photoshoot. I tip my hat to any model who can brave the challenge of standing atop a frozen lake in the Alaskan wilderness clad in nothing but a bikini (they’re the real heroes am I right? Editor’s note: yes, Daniel, you are absolutely right!). As I said, the photographer is a total prick but luckily he’s accompanied by some much more likeable characters. The chief of which being James Remar as Martin Nakos (he will always be Ajax from the Warriors in my eyes, can you dig it?), who is the local world weary hunter. After a couple of character are eviscerated by a twenty foot long giant killer polar bear/wolf Martin jumps into action and we have our man vs nature standoff.
I do love me a good monster, and the beast on display here delivers the goods when it comes to being a monstrous and totally merciless killer. You know, the stuff that really matters. Also major kudos to the filmmakers for going totally practical for the effects, such a welcome respite from the onslaught of CGI laden creature features that are popping up as of late. Now the effects aren’t top notch but you know what, that kind of works here. They feel like they have been ripped right out of the eighties, if you’ve seen the final werewolf attack in American Werewolf in London then you’ll know what I mean. There is a terrific long shot where one of its would be victims is desperately crawling away from an overturned snow mobile as the beast emerges from the tree’s and you really get a sense of just how big it really is; science should not screw with nature, especially when it comes to genetically splicing apex predators. I mean polar bears are scary enough, why throw a wolf in there too? To hell with it why stop there, throw in a shark too and maybe an eagle! Jesus, could you imagine such a thing? I’m sure SyFy will make that movie eventually after they’re done with Pirahanaconda vs Sharktopus or whatever the hell they’re cooking up next.
Now if I were to throw some criticism its way, I’d say Unnatural takes itself just a little too seriously. If the asshole of a photographer was supposed to add some levity, he doesn’t. He’s just a dick, and I wanted him to die, which I’m pretty sure was the point, or at least I hope it was. Also the acting isn’t top tier but that’s forgivable in a monster movie, though it’s worth mentioning none the less.
Unnatural delivers the goods and if this had been released as is back in the eighties it would have stood among the best in the Nature run amok genre. So go into this with your brain in eighties mode and I’m sure you’ll have a great time with it.