Xtinction: Predator X (2011)
Directed by Amir Valina
Just how cliché is Xtinction: Predator X?
A mad scientist has set loose a genetically engineered monster. An unscrupulous individual buying up local property is going to lethal lengths to force any holdouts to change their mind. A conniving ex-husband is making trouble for his estranged ex-wife. Three of the biggest b-movie villain clichés of all time and in this motion picture they’ve all been rolled into one single character.
But wait, there’s more where that came from.
A woman from a backwater Louisiana swamp community returns from the Big Easy after many years because of the mysterious disappearance of her father. The divorcee wastes no time flirting up a storm with her old boyfriend, now the town sheriff. The attractive divorcee is surprised to encounter her disgraced scientist ex-husband, mysteriously buying up all the local swampland and determined to get her pappy’s property. The blackballed geneticist has illegally cloned a voracious plesiosaur (nicknamed “Predator X” by a History Channel special two years ago) and set it loose in the swamp. He also employs a pair of psychopathic hillbillies (one short and ornery, the other a hulking simpleton) to feed locals to it and do whatever other dirty work he needs done.
Near the end, when the obsessed scientist tries to justify his actions in the name of furthering science in a world that despises change (Huh?) as his ex-wife and the handsome sheriff take turns countering him with hackneyed comebacks about not having the right to play God and such, the overreliance on predictable clichés reached a nadir where what was being said displayed little to no logical context; just a lazy regurgitating of your typical mad scientist proclamation scene.
According to IMDB, four different people share credit for coming up with this storyline. Think about that.
Okay, so the plot is a tiresome cliché-a-thon; most monster movies of the Syfy persuasion go this route. I’m sure some of you are thinking who really cares as long as the monster action is good and plentiful. Nope. All of the action may revolve around this predatory plesiosaur but very little of that action actually involves it. The cgi dino of inconsistent size and limited animations gets little face time in its own flick and doesn’t do much even when it takes center stage. I have no problem with the “less is more” approach but the less is still supposed to add up to more.
Instead more time is devoted to characters being terrorized by the homicidal hillbilly henchmen rather than the monster for which the film is named. I will say that Rick Robinson Jr. makes for a credibly crazy backwoods cretin, but this movie isn’t being sold as a Syfy-ized remake of Eaten Alive and even if it was that still wouldn’t made a difference.
I’ve made multiple references to Syfy in this review even though Xtinction: Predator X is not a Syfy original movie (as far as I know) even though everything about the production screams Syfy. Only reason I’m even reviewing it is because I was browsing the Zune movie section on Xbox Live and happened upon it mistakenly labeled as a comedy under the alternate title Alligator X. There went 480 Microsoft points I’ll never get back.
1 1/2 out of 5
Discuss Xtinction: Predator X in the comments section below!