In Bhutan sometime in the 1950’s, an expedition team is in the mountains, 25,000 feet in the air, looking for something. One of the things I understand the least in the world is mountain climbing, being as how it’s usually bitter cold up there, there’s no oxygen which I’m told is necessary for critical body functions like breathing, and if you do survive, it usually it comes with missing digits. But at least these guys have a good reason for being up there. I guess. Anyway, it’s looking bad, the weather is horrific, the oxygen is thin, they’re lost and our crew is up against it when one of them decides to risk the elements and seek help. The native dude of the group starts to freak out. He runs out to retrieve this guy. Then when he reaches this guy and his friend, the native dude apparently sees something, babbles out some nonsense in his native tongue and then runs like hell. One of these guys asks ‘What did he say?’ I’m thinking, does it really matter? When some cat starts running for no apparent reason, it’s been my experience that we all should start running. Nonetheless, those folks are no more because they dared scale the Sci-Fi Original ‘Killer Mountain’. Which is about monsters in a mountain. Not to be confused with the Sci-Fi Original ‘Behemoth’ which is about a monster that is a mountain. Don’t get confused.
Fast forward a few years to present day Bhutan which oddly enough, looks exactly like Bhutan in the 1950’s. Ace mountain climber Ward Donovan (Aaron Douglas) has been hired by rich dude Walter Burton (Andrew Airlee) to rescue a party trapped somewhere on the mountain. Ward wasn’t going to do this, because he’s fat and stuff, but when Burton informs him that his old girlfriend Kate (Emmanuelle Vaugier) is on the mountain, the rescue is on.
Burton claims that this was one of those rich guy thrill seeking excursions. He’s totally lying about that. Regardless, despite the fact the natives have all fled in terror, Ward and his team which includes Burton’s jerkoff of a son Tyler (Paul Campbell), Ward’s right hand man Chance (Torrance Combs) who I think is going to be the ‘We All
Gonna Die Guy’ in this movie, and the world’s most adorable M.D. in Dr. Nina (Crystal Lowe) all head for the mission. Even though it’s really cold up there, Dr. Nina absolutely refuses to button the top three buttons on her shirt, or she will occasionally sport an inappropriately low cut, bust hugging sweater. That Dr. Nina, I tell you. There’s also one more native dude who was too stupid to flee. I think he’s going to regret that decision.
There are lots of reasons not to continue this mission. First there’s Kate’s last transmission which was pretty darned horrific and she basically said she saw monsters. There’s the mid-base camp which features lots of blood and the occasional strung up dead person. Then there’s the old school, stop motion style monsters themselves. But yet Ward soldiers on because he obviously loves this ex-girlfriend like few men have ever loved an ex-girlfriend.
But why are they up on that mountain in the first place? I don’t know for sure, but I saw Burton the Rich guy popping pills. People don’t pop pills in movies to control their high blood pressure or to alleviate the symptoms of pollen reaction. No sir, people pop pills in movies because they’re dying. Thus those people must be up on the mountain looking for something to stop that. I betcha! But I’m not going to say what. I can tell you it’s not looking good for Ward and Kate. Not going to be concerned with anybody else, but it’s a good thing that monster guardians with magic blood blow up real good.
What are we to make of this Sci-Fi original, directed by Sci-Fi original veteran director Sheldon Wilson, ‘Killer Mountain’? It’s not what we would call a good movie, one filled with clichés, predictability, and the occasional gap in logic with these gaps filled in with more clichés, but it’s also not the worst the Sci-Fi original we’ve seen either. Not even close. It’s certainly not a good mountain climbing movie considering most of the time we saw our actors stuck to the side of some random rock, not moving, looking scared half to death. And this was before they knew that monsters existed. It’s not much of a monster movie either, since most of the monster scares were telegraphed a half mile away, the monsters and humans didn’t integrate together into the scenery all that well, and the script gave us absolutely no mythos or legend to these creatures to make us ‘care’ about them. You pretty much have to infer everything, create your own monster back story which is actually kind of fun.
What helps ‘Killer Mountain’ is that it does have a very solid cast led by Battlestar Galactica alumnus Aaron Douglas, with these cast members having no idea that they are in a fairly crappy film, taking this thing pretty darned serious when need be, but also seeming to have some fun with it at times, and it’s also not so bad as an action movie. There’s plenty of monster fleeing, explosions galore, vicious slug action, crazed native soldier mayhem and even more explosions. Again, logic may be a challenge for some, say how we need a helicopter to get to certain places on the mountain early in the movie but how it’s not so critical to use that copter later in the movie, since everything else seems accessible on foot, but you’d have to be playing attention to pick a lot of that up. I’m thinking if you watch this movie, you won’t be playing that close of attention.
It’s a Sci-Fi Original and it didn’t suck total ass. You know by now, when it comes to us and these movies, we put that in the win column.