Wednesday, 30 September 2015

No.244 : Watchers






Watchers at the IMDb

 If you are in the market for an 80’s monster film with big hair and a super intelligent dog then ‘Watchers’ may just be what you are looking for. It’s based on a book by Dean Koontz (at least I think that’s how he spells his name) and I’m guessing it is pretty far removed from the source material as no one does much watching nor are any of the protagonists called ‘watchers’. Still I watched it (worse luck) so let’s see what we saw.

The film stars a mulleted Corey Haim who has a BMX and a hot girlfriend. They get all kissy face in a barn but before you know it she’s been kidnapped and a large monster is on the prowl. We learn from Secret Service Agent Michael Ironside (hair loss at critical levels) that an experiment has escaped from a local lab and it is on a killing spree. It doesn’t like eyes or mirrors so you have to wonder if it is having a bad hair day itself. In fact it is looking for its fellow escapee, a super smart dog. Ironside also warns that there were three experiments at the lab!

The super smart dog shows up at Corey’s house and he christens it ‘Fur face’. The dog understands English and is soon fetching hot dogs, playing Scrabble and writing computer messages with a pencil in it’s mouth. Obviously these things are impossible with paws so fortunately its handiwork happens off camera. While Corey is bonding with the dog, partly by sleeping in the nude with it under his covers, the monster is on the rampage. Various bit parts get chomped and have their eyes removed in scenes a bit too graphic for a film with a smart dog and BMX interest.

Ironside realises that Corey is his best chance to catch up with the monster and dog and soon gets as brutal as the monster - are his ties to the lab more than he is letting on or did he just find the wig shop closed? As everyone converges on a remote shack the scene is set for a titanic battle where the real monster will be unmasked and the fires will be terrifying - well there is a lot of hairspray about.

This was a right old pile of crap but it was funny and dated enough to keep me watching. Not in an ironic way where I laughed at the hairstyles and bad acting…Ok in  exactly that way.

The feeble plot doesn’t have enough to sustain a 90 minute film so subplots and disposable characters are thrown in such as Jason Priestley’s BMX gang who are dispatched in merciless fashion by the monster who clearly had enough of their terribleness - at least Piggy almost made it. The monster itself was a slow reveal with hairy arms and the odd toothy yell all we were treated to. They should maybe have kept it ambiguous as the 'terrifying creature' turned out to be the same costume as the one from‘Bigfoot and the Hendersons’.

The acting, admittedly with terrible material, was shocking with Michael Ironside doing his best to be a hard as nails baddie whilst trying to stop dazzling us all with his bald head and spouting his menace free dialogue. At one point his partner says “This is pretty ridiculous, don’t you think?” Sir, you are correct!

Best Bit : Michael’s big reveal
‘W’ Rating 11/23

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