to be a time when this was easy, and a lot more fun.
Back in the day we used to watch these Sci-Fi channel original
movies, have fun with them, rail on them and move on.
Recent Sci-Fi Channel movies, the Sharknadoes excepted, have
been… well… competent. Not terrible, but still not
good. This puts us in the unenviable position of not
caring about these movies as much as we used to, because who
wants to talk about a semi-competent, sub-mediocre
movie? 'Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse', despite the
promising title, is such a film.
One day at the local U, fire clouds appear in the sky raining
hell. Those of us born under the sign of the lion, like
myself, recognize the shape of that cloud as the symbol for
Leo. Observing this is Dr. Neil Martin (Joel Gretsch),
the third best archeological type dude in the whole
world. Soon after this odd disaster, Dr. Martin is
visited by one Dr. Kathryn Keen (Emily Holmes) who needs the
doc to come to Peru to see some amazing find. Neil
declines, mentioning the other two experts in the field, but
they are dead, mainly due to this amazing find. If ever
there was a reason not to go, that would be enough for me, but
Neil's bratty, Old Navy model adult son Colin convinces his
old man to take the money and go to Peru.
In Peru what Neil finds is simply amazing. I'm taking
his word on that but it looked mighty ordinary to me, but he
found a relic with all of the signs of the zodiac on it.
And inside this relic he and Kathryn find a magic rock.
And under a bunch of other fallen rocks they find a hot
chick. This hot chick would be Sophie (Andrea Brooks)
and we saw her earlier in this cave when it completely
collapsed on top of her. I'm thinking it's probably been
a couple of weeks, without food or water, and with a bunch of
boulders on top of her, but clearly that Sophie is one
is this magic rock is the source to unlimited power. Dr.
Neil however sees the signs in the sky and knows something is
amiss. Like the destruction of the world following a
zodiac pattern. It has something to do with the mythical
Planet X, the sun and the Aztecs. What I don't get about
the Aztecs, in relation to these movies we watch, is that they
have all these mystical world saving contraptions, but yet
they always hide them behind debilitating, damn near
indecipherable puzzles. What's up with that,
Aztecs? How about a simple note, or better yet, an
instruction manual in plain whatever language you guys spoke?
At first nobody believed Dr. Neil about the Zodiac and the
world exploding, but now everybody believes except FBI loon
Agent Woodward (Aaron Douglas) who believes something else
that requires him to indiscriminately shoot at people for no
real good reason. I think he wants to weaponize the
magic rock or something. What we need is a device in
which to place the magic rock to stop the end of days.
And this device, that we need like yesterday, requires a
laundry list of tech so advanced, much of which I don't think
has even been invented yet, which would make the designers of
a Death Star weep. Unless by chance, some wacky doomsday
author (Christopher Lloyd) has already built this thing for
some reason. And a holographic mountain to hide it
in. What are the chances of that? And what if by
chance he lives in Peru? Or someplace?
As we mentioned earlier, 'Zodiac Signs of the Apocalypse'
isn't really all that bad… and that's kind of the problem with
the movie. It's directed by Stephen Monroe, who has done
more than enough of these types of movies, so my man knows
what to do with the limited budget that I'm sure he's been
given. It has a competent cast, though I admit that
Christopher Lloyd sure is showing up in a lot of these low
budget sci-fi style movies lately. All of these elements
make 'Zodiac' relatively competent, but it's really not good
enough to be good… in fact I fell asleep on it the first
night… but it's also not nearly lousy enough to be stupidly
But not to sell this film completely short, there is some
stupidly entertaining stuff in this movie though. Aaron
Douglas, all by himself, and interpretation of an FBI agent
did everything in his power to make this movie deliciously
stupid. That character was The Grinch and Josef Mengele
from 'Marathon Man' all wrapped in one nice, slightly
overweight package, and at no time did this character do
anything that made any kind of logical sense, which made him
almost infinitely entertaining to watch. On the other
side of the coin we have actor Ben Cotton playing some kind of
Conspiracy Theory nutjob, and while he was supposed to be
crazy, his character was making the most sense out of all the
characters in this nonsense. Otherwise, everything
else is pretty much what we expect from these movies.
Dodgy CGI, Joel Gretsch has been playing variations of this
'man in charge' role for his whole career, and attractive
young people doing attractive young people stuff to round
As we mentioned in an earlier article, when Sci-Fi was funding
more of these originals, this stuff was easier to
digest. Now that they come so infrequently, our Sci-Fi
original buffer just isn't what it used to be. Now
Sub-Mediocre is just sub-mediocre. And that's what you
get with 'Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse'.