Beneath Loch Ness (2001)
By: Devon B. on March 30, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Dimension Home Video (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. English (FHI) Subtitles. 96 minutes
The Movie
Director: Chuck Comisky
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Lysette Anthony, Brian Wimmer
Screenplay: Shane Bitterling, Justin Stanley, and Chuck Comisky
Country: USA
AKA: Evil Beneath Loch Ness

I'd stumbled across Beneath Loch Ness at a US retail store and nearly succumbed to the hefty price tag simply to see a new film with Nessie, but I wisely passed up this purchasing opportunity. Luckily, my significant other soon nabbed me some free rentals from Blockbuster Video. Normally I would never rent anything from them, but hey, if it's free…And the best part was the local Blockbuster had Beneath Loch Ness, so I wouldn't have to buy it just to see it! Or rather, the local Blockbuster had a keep case with a sleeve baring Beneath Loch Ness' artwork, because that fucking DVD was never in. I would come in two or three times a week in hopes of renting the film, but it was always out. I'd finally given in to the idea that it must've been stolen, because there was NO WAY Beneath Loch Ness was such a hot renter. The ultimate sadness befell me when I eventually just asked a clerk about the title and he looked it up and said 'It was checked out 3 hours ago.' This was on a Wednesday. Who the hell was renting Nessie movies at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday in the bumfuck town I was then living in? It was as if all were conspiring against me, but then one day I wandered in and finally the DVD was available.

Beneath Loch Ness revolves around some lake in Scotland. These researchers are exploring its depths when their leader gets squished by unconvincing CGI rocks. Because he got squished, some other guy has to go to Scotland and help the team with their findings, which may pertain to a certain aquatic dinosaur rumoured to inhabit the area. The research team eventually joins forces with a Scot whose son was killed by Nessie, and he decides to help them by dressing like William Wallace and going scuba diving in one of the stupidest finales to grace my small screen.

The film can get pretty jumpy, and is at its incoherent worst during the foiled prank scene, but at least if it's jumping over little details like plot it can't be slow moving. A few intentionally humorous moments are to be had, revolving around a somewhat well known underwater monster's musical theme and a line about searching for Elvis, but these better jokes seem almost odd against the rest of the stilted dialog and forced comedy.

All would be forgiven were but the monster cool. First, don't get all excited for a plesiosaur flick, 'cause this ain't one. There is a descendent of the elasmosaurus that washes up on a beach, but the real Nessie is actually the great great great great etc. grandchild of a kronosaurus. This kronosaurus looks nothing like the one in my Dinosaurs Sticker Album, so I question the scientific integrity of the monster's design. This kronosaur also appears to smile sometimes, and looks like Steve Buscemi's character from Monsters Inc. I don't really care what kind of dinosaur Nessie is, but it just seemed the filmmakers changed the dinosaur from the legend to get a 'bigger is better' result, which is dumb because as long as something relatively big is eating people, monster fans will be happy. Beneath Loch Ness' creators really should have learned from the abysmal fuck up that is Jurassic Park 3 that a bigger dinosaur does not a better movie make. Hell, Crater Lake Monster even used an INFANT plesiosaur, and is a far better movie than either of those two flicks. Had Beneath Loch Ness' CGI been better, I may not have minded, but it's generally pretty stinky. It looks okay in the darker scenes, but much of the underwater stuff looks like crap. It's not just Nessie, the terrain, falling rocks, exploding canisters and pretty much anything else that's submerged look terrible. The movie would have been SO MUCH better with real special effects instead of the filmmakers hiring some geek to draw everything in on his computer while drooling the remnants of his half chewed Twisties down his Dr. Who T-shirt. It's always better to have geeks who use models in charge of these things.
Beneath Loch Ness is presented in a 16:9 enhanced 1.85:1 ratio. It's a recent movie, so the print is sharp, but there is some light grain and the occasional speck.
The audio is an English Dolby Digital surround sound track, but it's at a really low volume.
Extra Features
The DVD has trailers for a few other crappy Dimension horror releases like Dracula 2000. That's not much, but then, why did trailers become considered extras anyway? I understand if it's the trailer for the feature film, but just a collection of other trailers as a bonus? I didn't use to say, 'Oh, great, bonus trailers!' when they appeared at the start of videocassettes. The audience doesn't collectively gasp with delight in the theatre as 'extra' trailers precede the film, or for the whole slew of extra commercials found these days, either. As for legitimate extras, this disc has…uhm, a plesiosaur shaped menu icon and…that was it.
The Verdict
The really sad thing is that despite its many flaws, Beneath Loch Ness caters to virtually every element I enjoy in a stupid monster movie, so I kinda liked it and ended up buying it really cheap. While there are many cringeable elements, the film is far better than say, the somewhat similarly themed Deep Shock. Beneath Loch Ness is worth a rental if you like dinosaur mayhem, silly plots, and can laugh off terrible CGI.
Movie Score
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