Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I didn’t even know they made movies like this anymore. I’m talking incredibly poorly done, poorly acted, poorly shot, poorly poor movies in every conceivable way. I thought because of the advances in filming technology and the fact that the big studios have thrown their weight behind Direct to Video flicks that at the very least a DTV movie will look good, if nothing else. I was wrong. ‘Reptilicant’ has proven my theory incorrect. Actually I though I was getting ready to watch Van Damme’s 2001 Sci-Fi thriller ‘Replicant’ when slipped this into the DVD player, but as the film opened to a rather chintzy space sequence and Gary Daniels named appeared, guessing that Mr. Daniels wouldn’t get top billing over Mr. Van Damme in a Van Damme flick, I figured I must have made a mistake. My initial move was to eject it immediately, but when the title ‘Repticlicant’ shot up, and knowing that Gary Daniels is a more than passable action star, I foolishly asked myself ‘how bad could it be?’ Obviously with age DOESN’T come wisdom.

Daniels is FBI Agent Ryan Moore who interrupts his sunny vacation to come to the deserted prison island of Alcatraz at the behest of a couple of other agents as everybody on the island is dead. This would include the threadbare host of guards and a group of jewel thieves. Why are there jewel thieves on a deserted prison island? Well I’m glad you asked. The lone survivor of the island massacre is chief diamond hunter Dannie (Tina-Desiree Berg) who is in the interrogation box with a sliced up face and a bad attitude. Agent Moore wants to ask her questions but Dannie would rather play a lame game of verbal cat and mouse. After some weak dialog which ends with the smashing of Agent Moore’s cell phone, Dannie gets around to the business of telling us what happened. In flashback it seems Dannie’s beloved uncle is dying and is telling her of a guy he knew in prison who had stolen some diamonds. Now the uncle flash backs, using the ALWAYS wrong technique of flashbacking within a flashback by having unk

going mentally back in time to force us to watch some old dude pass diamonds through his stool. Regardless, Dannie gets her crew of mercenaries, which includes a dude who walks around constantly with a plastic borg-esque laser beam on side of his dome. Peculiar to say the least. We also meet Dannie’s scurrilous ex-husband who wears the most masculinity challenged pair of vinyl pants I’ve ever seen and is also the ‘evil’ member of the crew.

On the island things go wrong almost immediately as a weird man in an ape looking lizard suit with huge buck teeth jumps around killing our crew and occasionally mimicking their appearances. Here you’ll hear dialog gems like ‘I’m sending you straight to back to Hell!’ and whatnot and witness computer generated ‘special effects’ that are so weak that I’m sure they’ll force a giggle or two. The climax of all of this is a bit anti-climactic, and believe me I don’t want to give anything away, but because the story is so poorly crafted I don’t think I am. We already know early on that everybody on the island is dead except for our lone survivor. We know early on that this thing that has killed everybody and has the ability to assume human form. We know that we’ve watched the whole movie and Gary Daniels hasn’t taken off his shirt to beat anybody up, which he’s going to have to do to justify him being in this movie. And there you go.

I tell you what, to be 44 years old and still manage to stay in the kind of condition that Gary Daniels is in is quite remarkable. There are other aging action heroes who can’t make that claim, not that I’m picking on Steven Seagal or anything, an anybody whose seen me knows I can’t talk and I’m younger than both those cats. However Gary’s six-pack, for those who care about that kind of thing, is about as good as it gets for this movie. Writer / Director Desi Singh has created a film that looks like it was shot with a lens that hasn’t been cleaned in months, is about as poorly acted as a sixth grade Easter play, and tells a story that makes about as much as sense as invading Iraq and looking for WMD’s. The alien monster looked completely ridiculous and the action sequences were forced and comical, with the possible exception of Daniels final battle scene with the ape lizard beast which did at least show some signs of life.

‘Reptilicant’ was so bad that I don’t even think the Sci-Fi network would be willing to license it as one of its Sci-Fi orignals. And if you know what I’m talking about, there can’t be any harsher criticism levied against a film than that. For real.

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