Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m gonna have to admit that they got me with the trailer on this one. Despite the fact that Lionsgate is one of, if not the largest distributor of films in the world, and despite the fact that they have a ton of academy awards and a large number of huge blockbusters under their belts, they are still the company responsible for distributing ‘Vampire Assassin’ and as such they cannot be trusted. When some clown drones on that movie A. or movie B. is ‘the worst movie ever’ and they haven’t seen ‘Vampire Assassin’, then they need to shut the F’ up. Lionsgate did that. So while watching the slasher flick ‘Drive-Thru’ and being forced to sit through around eighty trailers before that movie decided to come on, one of the more interesting one’s was this movie, ‘Beneath Still Waters’. To the top of my Netflix cue it went as I awaited its arrival. This is with the full knowledge that the marketing execs at Lionsgate have absolutely no semblance of a conscious and probably haven’t even seen the movie. Now having watched ‘Beneath Still Waters’ it wasn’t so bad that it can be compared to ‘Vampire Assassin’, but there was no need to accelerate it to #1 in my cue. I could’ve waited on it.

Teo and Luis are young tykes in 1960’s Spain up to no good, as ten year old boys tend to be. They cross over into a quartered off area that is being flooded to have some ten year old little boy fun. Teo notices some screaming from a building in the flood zone and decides to check it out though Luis begs him not to. What they see are some people chained to the floor moaning demonically, and some dude chained to the ceiling with a black hood over his face. Again Luis votes that they break north, but silly Teo thinks these ghouls need to be saved, since they’re about to be drowned once the flooding starts. Teo frees up the hooded figure, some evil looking dude named Mordecai (Patrick Gordon) who thanks Teo for freeing him by grabbing hold of his skull and ripping his head apart at the axis of his jaw and then sucking him dry. Luis makes like the wind.

Forty years later Clara Borga (Charlotte Salt) and her buddies are enjoying a day at the beach when one of her friends gets sucked down into the sea, never to be seen again… uh, until later. The authorities think it’s just an unlucky accident, but we all know that evil is involved. Not helping matters is the fact that the yearly celebration of the flooding of the underground city is taking place and the towns mayor, ala ‘Jaws’, doesn’t want anything getting in the way of the joyous fun event. Clara’s mom Teresa (Raquel Monero) is a TV reporter who neglects her teenaged daughter for her work, despite the fact that the girl often has nightmares of her dead decaying grandfather warning her of the upcoming doom. There’s also a photo journalist / deep sea diver (Michael McKell) in town to take pictures of the underwater town, and he smells the evil in the air like thick black smoke. Weird things are now in full effect with dead ghouls emerging from the sea, severed corpses washing up ashore and we won’t even talk about the wild orgies going down around town. Mordecai Salas has touched ground and he’s more powerful than ever, plus he’s driving around in a plush black Benzo with a hottie as a chauffer, and he’s got the complete eradication of every single living thing on his mind. Unless, you know, they can stop his ass somehow.

The trailer for this flick was off the chain. There was murder and mayhem and ghouls and destruction – just the kind of thing that makes you move a movie up to #1 in your cue. Not that all the stuff in the trailer wasn’t in the movie, but 90 seconds is one thing whereas 95 minutes is something else altogether. I thought the basic concept of the crazed demonic orange glowing eyes of death that was Mr. Mordecai was pretty cool, but there just wasn’t enough of him. Instead director Brian Yuzna got sidetracked on what should have been the main focus of the story, which was Mordecai killing people as opposed to bratty teen angst, horny single moms, a divorced father who has lost his son and other extemporaneous junk. None of these extraneous plot points brought us any closer to the already sketchy characters, so they served very little purpose. Since it is a horror movie, we can always rely on a character doing a stupid thing or two, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite as stupid as this; a character is grieving over the loss of her man, gets naked, for whatever reason, and wades in the lake where he was lost. He suddenly emerges from the lake, missing limbs, skin corroded and heavily maggotized. She seems confused why Antonio looks this way, but still allows him to take into his arm, lay her down as if some lovin’ was comin’ and then he proceeds to chew the off her face. Not very smart, even in horror-movie world.

‘Beneath Still Waters’ was a decent looking flick that had some solid gore effects and had an opportunity to even be a little scary if Yuzna had focused more on the horror aspects and less on the worthless characters that populated this thing. Make the characters more substantial or forget them altogether. You still may want to watch for it for the food fighting orgy scene however.

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