'Mongolian Death Worm' (SyFy, Lionsgate): Movie Review

Mongolian Death Worm from Syfy and Lionsgate
Review by Michael Pickle, MoreHorror.com

From the cable network that brought you such small screen gems as Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, Alien Apocalypse, and Mega Piranha comes the latest Syfy Original CGI-fest Mongolian Death Worm.

Although not a masterpiece, it's not as bad as you think. Sean Patrick Flanery brings a certain level of sweaty charm and the resident hot chick, Victoria Pratt, turns in a decent performance and certainly looks good doing it, but I wouldn't go so far as to recommend this. If you're at home alone on a Saturday night and it happens to come on SyFy channel and nothing else better is on then, by all means, tune in. I wouldn't miss a rerun of the Simpsons for it though.

When an American oil drilling company starts experimental drilling in Mongolia they awaken a large colony of giant, burrowing, man-eating worms. These worms, as legend tells it, are Mongolian Death Worms. The fabled protectors of the tomb of Genghis Khan. A tomb that treasure-hunter Daniel (Flanery) has spent his life and several brushes with death searching for.

After being saved by local law man Timur (George Cheung) from a group of thieving scavengers, Daniel is talked into providing transportation for Doctors Without Borders physician Alicia (Pratt) and her partner to a village that is overcome by a disease that is rumored to be caused by the Death Worms. The story centers around Daniel and his quest for the treasure, Alicia and her comrades in the village, the shady, money-hungry drilling plant manager Patrick (Drew Waters) and the Mongolian policeman (Cheung) tying the sub-plots together while running around with a cowboy hat in an American police car.

It centers around pretty much everything but the Mongolian Death Worms themselves until the last few minutes. As a matter of fact; the creatures aren't even Mongolian Death Worms. They don't have any characteristics of the legendary monsters and bear no resemblance. They look almost exactly like the creatures from Tremors, but not nearly as cool and menacing. The movie itself could be a sequel to Tremors had it not been for the complete lack of charm, fun, frights and comedy.

I have been known to enjoy these Syfy Original cheese-fests, but this film has none of the low brow silliness that makes films like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus so fun to watch. There is a little bit of bad acting, a little bad CG and a lame story line, but nothing bad enough to make it fun. Sure it's silly that a film set in Mongolia was filmed in Texas with very few Mongolians, but that silliness is too subtle to be wacky.

The story kind of coasts along with no real high points except for the randomly placed people who are only there to be eaten by the worms periodically throughout the movie just to break away from the drawn out story. Even the kills lose their charm by the end of the film because they are almost all the same. It's pretty much slither, gobble, end scene. There are some nice looking shots with some competent directing from the I Spit On Your Grave remake director Steven R. Monroe, but nothing too impressive.

This movie isn't even close to the quality of ISOYG, but it's certainly an improvement on the director's earlier and much worse bore-fest House of 9. It's very safe, obviously made for TV and moderately enjoyable. But let's look on the bright side. At least it didn't have Lou Diamond Phillips.

Mongolian Death Worm releases on Available 4/26/2011. You can get your copy from Lionsgate here.

Mongolian Death Worm Movie Review

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