You know a movie’s really held your interest when you have to look up its title the next day, so little has remained in your memory. The only way I could do this was via the name of its writer, one Trent Haaga, who was the face of Troma for a while (he wrote and starred in the later “Toxic Avenger” entries, as well as being the presenter of “Troma’s Edge TV”, the surprisingly decent show they put together to attempt to get them some mainstream notice). He was around at roughly the same time as James Gunn, who went on to make “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, so one could assume he’s at best not thrilled to be writing shockingly poor SyFy Channel movies.
Spirit of Vengeance. It’s one of the classic B-movie templates (along with “monster on the loose” and “nature is rebelling”) so as soon as you figure that out, you can just relax and watch the people who should get eaten, get eaten.
This particular flavour is down to mining, way back when. A bunch of Chinese miners died due to utterly unsafe working conditions, and now a descendant of the old owner wants to re-open it and continue the search for a new seam of gold. I’m pretty sure you can guess 90% of what comes up. There’s a Chinese-American family in the town, with the two daughters wanting a different life to their strict mother; Marion Ross from “Happy Days” as an old drunk; Jennifer Rubin (“Nightmare On Elm Street 3”), who’d largely retired from acting in 2001 or so, making an odd little appearance as an extremely easily bribed mine inspector; and there’s also a member of the Belushi clan proving that acting is not a genetically transmitted talent.
I’m really going to struggle to fill up a normal-length review with discussion about this movie, as it’s so completely generic. There’s a weird scene where a bunch of people, filming the monster as it emerges from its hiding place, just wait around and get slaughtered without bothering to defend themselves, run away or any of that nonsense. There’s a nice easy to spot romance on the boil. There’s a curious gimmick (the sheriff’s deputy who suffers from panic attacks).
So consider this time off for good behaviour. You save half the normal time of reading one of these, and definitely all the time of watching this movie. I don’t struggle for more stuff to write. We all forget that “Heebie Jeebies” ever existed and get on with our lives. Cool?
Rating: thumbs down