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Published by David Carter on 2015/8/2 (788 reads)
Directed by Steve Rudzinski
Review by David Carter

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Released by MVD Visual/SGL Entertainment
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Stereo English
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Bloopers, two commentary tracks
Trailer Online: Yes

Open in new windowFilmgoers have often lamented that movies just arenít very much fun these days. Itís a fair point considering the number of films dealing with some version of the end of the world, or featuring a main character going through some sort of existential crisis. Even the action and horror genres Ė who previously could always be relied on for a wise-cracking hero/villain Ė have become ultra serious as realism has replaced the celluloid fantasies those of us who grew up in the eighties remember. For those of us who still prefer movies that are more concerned with giving viewers a good time than winning critical acclaim, thereís always independent cinema.

One of the latest indie films to cross my desk is the enjoyable CAPTAIN Z & THE TERROR OF LEVIATHAN from director/actor Steve Rudzinski. The movie is an action/horror hybrid that plays everything for a laugh and is all the better for it. The film kicks off in the 1700ís with pirate captain Zachariah Zicari facing demon-possessed townspeople bent on resurrecting the ancient god, the Leviathan. Zicari manages to save the day with the help of his pet chicken but he and the demons disappear into a dimensional portal never to be seen again.

Open in new windowFlash forward to 2014 and Captain Z is a local legend and town hero for saving the world. Itís time for the 300th anniversary of his brave act, so the local teenagers who work for the town museum are busy preparing for Captain Z Days. One museum guest has an ulterior motive for his visit: Professor Doctor Scientist Glen Stewart is a paranormal researcher who believes the Captain Z tale is true, and heís arrived to hunt for the demonsí powerful amulet. Stewart has fortuitous timing, as Captain Z and the demons both emerge from the other dimension and renew their battle. Captain Z, Stewart, and air-headed teen Heather are the only people who can stand in the way of the demons and their plan to destroy the world.

CAPTAIN Z has an enjoyable premise, but what it does exceptionally well is keep the film entertaining even during the non-plot moments. Itís these filler scenes that usually ruin an indie film, but Rudzinski and crew do an admirable job of keep the humor and charm going during these times. The filmís Lovecraft-meets-PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN plot is a unique and clever one that was more fully developed than I was anticipating; adding to my enjoyment of the film. Rudzinskiís double-duty as the star of the film is great, but it is Madison Siple as Heather who is the filmís scene stealer.

Open in new windowExtra features on the disc include two commentary tracks that illustrate that the filming was as much fun as it appeared to be. Bloopers round out the presentation and the print of the film is better than anticipated given its budget. CAPTAIN Z & THE TERROR OF LEVIATHAN likely wonít become a cult classic, but it more than ably provides an eveningís worth of entertainment. Recommended for horror/comedy fans that prefer the second half of that equation.
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