Killer Mountain (2011)
Directed by Sheldon Wilson
Killer Mountain is a Syfy monster movie as generic as its title implies. Even the title font that opens the film is the most generic type face conceivable short of just scribbling it on cardboard with a Sharpie. This is yet another Syfy original where nearly every aspect has been homogenized to the point it inspires nothing by way of emotions. It is not good enough to praise, bad enough to hate, or cheesy enough to laugh at. Killer Mountain merely exists.
The plot is one of the most tried and true premises handed down over decades of lore even before the days of cinema. A quest for a mythical land where people hope to find untold riches, the fountain of youth, yadda, yadda, yadda; their quest is imperiled by inhospitable natives and monstrous guardians ready to slay any man or woman that dares trespass.
A research team goes missing on the highest unclimbed peak in the world; at the top of this Southern Asian mountain - “Killer Mountain” is the English translation of its name - legend claims the mythical city of Shambala resides. The billionaire head of a medical research firm organizes a second team to find out what happened to the first, scale the peak, and discover the key to everlasting life, which as we will eventually learn comes in the form of Shambala mountain maggot squeezings. Awaiting them all are buggy dino dragon monsters called “drucks” that are either ancient guardians of this holy sanctum or just happen to live within the mountain – not entirely clear which it is.
The performers do a fine enough job even though they cannot overcome how colorless their characters are. The only remarkable character trait that stands out is how much of a wussy the supposed hero of this film turns out to be.
Director Sheldon Wilson (Shallow Ground) puts on the screen some of the best production values of any Syfy original I’ve seen in recent memory, but this is still a Syfy movie that does not have the budget to be the rollercoaster ride it wants to be.
The computerized monster effects are decent enough to not snicker at yet still too jittery to be completely believable. The drucks remain fairly unmemorable entries in the monster movie kingdom.
I’m sure if I wanted to pick apart the logic gaps of the script I could do so with relative ease since they are numerous, but I won’t because as I stated at the outset, Killer Mountain is not a movie that inspires much emotion of any kind.
I'm pretty certain I’ve made this analogy once before in regard to a Syfy original movie and will do so again here because the comparison is equally apt. Watching Killer Mountain is like eating a great big bowl of mashed potatoes. No salt. No pepper. No garlic. No butter. No seasoning or gravy of any kind. Just a heaping helping of the blandest tasting mashed potatoes possible. Sure, it will nourish you, but will you really feel enriched after scarfing it down? I know there are people out there that enjoy their mashed potatoes so tasteless. I know there are those out there that will enjoy Killer Mountain in all its blandness. I, however, like my mashed potatoes with some seasoning and prefer my movies to not be completely flavorless.