Tag Archives: John Rhys Davies

The Summer of Lovecraft: The Unnamable Returns (1992)

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AKA The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter

Directed by Jean-Paul Ouellette
Starring Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Charles Klausmeyer, John Rhys-Davies, Julie Strain and David Warner

The Story

Well, we covered “The Unnamable” in the previous entry, but this one also claims to be based on “The Statement of Randolph Carter.” Written in 1919, but published in 1920, this story is a fictional rendering of a dream Lovecraft had in which he and his friend Samuel Loveman were exploring a mysterious underground crypt. There’s not an enormous amount to it — it’s all atmosphere and menace — but if you remember the previous film, you’ll remember that the filmmakers didn’t let the story’s brevity stop them.

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The Other Side (2011)

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AKA ‘Ferocious Planet’

“They’re not on Earth anymore!”

Directed by Billy O’Brien
Starring Joe Flanigan, John Rhys-Davies and Dagmar Döring.

Dr Jillian O’Hara (Döring) is demonstrating her dimensional window to a doubting Senator, when a malfunction sends a group of observers into a deadly parallel dimension, full of giant carnivorous beasties and cultivated pine trees.

What’s wrong with it?

A stock team of quirky characters – the uptight scientist, disgraced military man Colonel Synn (Flanigan, phoning it in as basically the same character as he played in Stargate Atlantis), his upbeat black 2IC, a hippie assistant, a stick-up-the-butt senator (Rhys-Davies with a terrible accent) and a plucky, preppy presidential adviser – battle CGI not-dinosaurs in a planted pine forest, while a pair of ‘enterprising’ jerks die badly for their greed.

The dimensional window is cheap, the accident cheaper, the dinosaurs positively bargain basement. One man is critically wounded with a length of pipe under the armpit and several others die in a clearly CG splatter of gore.

What’s right with it?

It’s kind of fun in a very stupid way.

How bad is it really?

Even for a stablemate of Wyvern, this is pretty weak fare, with no real distinction.

Best bit (if such there is)?

Running out of ammo, Colonel Synn grabs a branch from the forest floor, which snaps in half; just like a real branch would.

What’s up with…?

  • The formulae that the science bods scribble in a book to brainstorm the problem? I’m pretty sure that they mean nothing.
  • The complete lack of prey animals in a forest full of apex predators?
  • The conflation of ammonia, acid and explosives?

Ratings

Production values – Possibly the cheapest dimensional window ever, and tacky CG dinothings. 14
Dialogue and performances –  The performances are entirely adequate, which sadly just brings the paucity of the script to the fore. 12
Plot and execution – A basic stranded storyline is not enlivened by a weak SF gimmick. 14
Randomness – Nothing is truly left-field, making predictability about the only thing that this film has going for it. 7
Waste of potential – Poor, even for SyFy’s Maneaters line. 15

Overall 62%

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

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“Rise and Fight”

Directed by Uwe Boll
Starring Jason Statham, John Rhys Davies, Ron Perlman, Clare Forlani and Burt Reynolds

When his community is destroyed by rampaging Krugs – beast-like primates who have somehow acquired weapons and organisation, Farmer the Farmer (Statham) sets out to rescue his captured wife (Forlani) and avenge his murdered son. Meanwhile, the King (Burt Reynolds, I shit you not) and his magus Merick (Rhys Davies) must content with dual power grabs by the weasely Duke Fallow (Matthew Lillard) and the malevolent magus Gallian (Ray Liotta).

Hijinks ensue, featuring as many Lord of the Rings knock-offs as they could muster and no fewer than three sets of tree ninjas.

Continue reading In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)