Ogre (2008)
By: J.R. McNamara on October 16, 2009  | 
DVD
Icon (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 86 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Steven R. Monroe
Starring: John Schneider, Ryan Kennedy, Katharine Isabelle, Chelan Simmons, Brendan Fletcher, Andrew Wheeler
Screenplay: Chuck Reeves
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
As a reviewer for this wonderful website, Digital Retribution, I have an obligation to you, dear reader, to watch any film I have to review, from start to finish to make sure that I completely and wholeheartedly give an accurate report on the DVD in question. After watching this film Ogre, I must admit to having a fair degree of malice towards you for expecting me to sit through such a garagntuan load of tripe for your education.
 
Ogre is a made for TV piece of garbage, directed by Steven R. Monroe, who also directed Cube ripoff and Dennis Hopper film House of 9, and as of this writing, is the only film to be written by screenwriter Chuck Reeves.... and after watching it, chuck you shall.
 
Ogre tells of the town of Ellenfield, Pennsylvania, in 1859, where a horrible plague is killing members of a small community. After the death of the town magistrate, Henry Barlett (John Schneider, who must be so glad that he left Smallville to star in this rubbish) offers to release the town from the disease as long as he is made the new magistrate, added incentive being the infection of his lovely daughter, Hope (Chelan Simmons, from Final Destination 3). Of course the town agrees, and Barlett removes the plague, but it manifests itself as a beast which must have a sacrifice every year lest it destroy the township and its people.
 
Flash forward to present day, where a totally unlikable foursome are on an expedition into the forest where one of them, Terry (Kyle Labine, from Freddy vs Jason), who has an unexplained black eye, is convinced that a town exists that has been stuck in time since the 1800s. His annoyed friends, Mike (Smallville's Ryan Kennedy), Leah (Kimberly Warnat) and Jess (Ginger Snaps' Katherine Isabelle) are tagging along....for some reason.... and all is going well until Terry breaks his ankle. Terry and Leah stay to set up camp, while Jess and Mike go off in search of help.
 
Mike and Jess eventually find the missing township, still as it was 150 years before as it is trapped inside a magical field which causes no one to age, so long as they don't step out of a mystical circle. In the meantime, Terry and Leah find the lair of the Ogre, who they accidently release, and he of course goes on a bloody rampage, eating all and sundry and generally being a bad sport about other living things.
 
Of course, treason is eventually revealed, interlopers captured and released and a final battle against the Ogre ensues... tragically you would have lost interest long before then. I hoped that seeing as how Chelan Simmons was in it that there might be some nudity or toplessness in it (I would have been happy with a bikini), but of course she has to play the 1800s pagan in the neck to ankles outfit, didn't she!
 
Before I hit the bad things about this film, I will give it a bit of credit. Whilst director Monroe seems to be able to get the absolute worst performances out of some otherwise competant actors, he does however set a nice scene. Having said that I cannot be sure he is completely responsible for how beautiful the forest was in which this dreck was filmed.... so on with the bad points.
 
As I just mentioned, the acting was deplorable. Normally good actors were given a crappy script in which to work, and then the direction for them was lacking. Particularly Isabelle, who in Ginger Snaps seems to be able to hold a scene together well, but not here. Here, the nuances of her performance make her seem unlikable, and worthless, which is a massive shame. Simmons almost pulls of her role, but I am not so sure she actually has the acting chops in the first place to do it, and John Schneider was just wasted: Bo Duke, what have you done?
 
Now the CGI. Before I continue I must confess to being a proponent of CGI. I think as a tool for filmmaker's it has great potential, as things like the elaborate space battles in Star Wars Episode 3, and Jurassic Park have shown. Unfortunately, something that Ian Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum, says in that film has great relevence here: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should". This is a great way to look at CGI effects: just because you have the tools to do a special effect, doesn't mean you should.
 
Ogre should not have. A guy in a suit, a hand puppet or a marionette would have been a better idea to realise this creature. It truly is a modern masterpiece of absolute horse shit. Even if there was any chance, over and above the bad script and awful acting that I could have become absorbed by this film, the creature took me immediately out of it. I always wonder when a group of filmmakers sit back and look at a completed product do they ever turn to each other and say "well that was bollocks, wasn't it" or do they all sit around, jerking each other off and lying about how good a disasterous project is. Opponents of CGI have great ammunition with this film to prove their point.
 
Now I know that some might say that its a SCi Fi Channel movie, and you can't expect high quality, but why not, dammit? I am sick of poor movies being made just because as a horror or sci-fi fan I am expected to put up with mutton dressed up as lamb.
Video
A decent, clear image presented in 16x9 a enhanced 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
Audio
This 2.0 audio sounds OK, even if the same ogre roar is used over and over again, and is presented in Dolby stereo.
Extra Features
Only one extra, a trailer for The Baader Menhoff Complex, and that 90 seconds was more thrilling and entertaining that the entire Ogre film.
The Verdict
If you want to see an entertaining movie about ogres, watch Shrek. Like Shrek's description about ogres, this film had many layers, and all of them stunk. Avoid.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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