[SPOILER ALERT] Behemoth [SPOILER ALERT]
It’s day 24 of the Horror Movie Marathon! The eyes are still recovering. I am going to watch the movie, but let Mikey do the typing again today.
Behemoth is not rated and is available on Hulu. At the time of our viewing, it has the following online ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes NA% critics,12% audience
It’s early afternoon on a lazy fall day. We have the heat turned up because it’s actually getting chilly out. We both take notes throughout the movie. Afterward, we conduct a simultaneous interview/discussion via Google Docs.
Mikey: SHUT UP, ZOE.
Solee: Zoe was the waitress girl, right?
Mikey: Yes, the extremely intelligent and and thought-provoking waitress girl.
Solee: Oh, I thought you meant the super-condescending, rude, and incredibly stupid waitress girl. Maybe there were two Zoes.
Mikey: No, I was employing a technique known as sarcasm. You know how I look away whenever I see eyes about to get stabbed in movies? My ears tried to do that when she talked.
Solee: Hahaha, that’s an awesome description. I think you better check your vectors before you wreck your vectors!
Mikey: I’ll get around to checking them at “oh ten hundred hours”, which is a real time and not random words.
Solee: Absolutely, and don’t take earthquake for an answer!
This movie was a wealth of really stupid quotable lines. By the way, I’m 20, not 16.
Mikey: Then why are you acting like you’re 12? So, I think we have prepared our audience for a taste of the dialogue they’re in for here. But I don’t want to oversell it, I’ve seen much more amusing bad movies.
Solee: Yeah, but this one feels pretty high on my list actually. It was really cheesy. It was like if Tremors had taken place in the Pacific Northwest.
Mikey: Oh it wishes!! Tremors is awesome!
Solee: I do not think you know what that word means.
Mikey: Just to be clear: Tremors is actually a good movie. High-budget Hollywood production with good actors, who are intentionally being comedic and really entertaining. This is SyFy Original Movie garbage.
Solee: I accept that, and still think Tremors is a stupid movie.
Mikey: I accept that but wonder what I got myself into with this marriage.
Solee: You’re only just now starting to wonder?
So the premise of this movie is very backwards in that it’s the old guy who’s ranting and raving about climate change and how Earth is going to destroy us to save itself, and all the young people totally dismiss him and say things like “How can we be affecting the planet?”
Mikey: That was a little odd, though the crazy old coot who is actually right about the monster is a time-honored tradition. Also, it should be noted that the big solution to global warming in this movie is to kill the monster that’s punishing us for causing it, and just go on doing what we do.
Solee: Kill it with a nuke shot from a rocket launcher!
Mikey: That was an interesting lack of twist: I don’t think I’ve seen one of these monster movies where the final weapon for victory is just sitting there, pre-made for exactly this purpose, and they just need to go get it and use it. A little less interesting than MacGyvering something up and figuring things out.
Solee: It goes along well with the fact that the old guy told us exactly how to kill the monster about 20 minutes before the monster was actually discovered. Conveniently remembered in a super on-the-nose flashback at the end of the movie!
Mikey: Of course, where else was he going to aim?
Solee: “Oh, I have to kill it in its heart? It’s a good thing you told me! I was gonna go for the pinkie toe!”
Mikey: Pinkie tentacle. That explanation he gave frustrated me so much. He was trying to explain to his daughter that a monster was coming, by citing legends, then in the middle of it he says “it’s like when Marduk shot the arrow down its throat to split its heart!” – No, that is not a part of what you were saying at all. That’s how you kill the monster, not anything about the fact that a monster is coming. It was so badly written.
Solee: As was the rest of the movie. Site 14! Epicenter of entity! Singularity event!
Mikey: Actually, the line I wrote down was this (verbatim from the movie): “Let’s go, let’s go. ‘Sgo, ‘sgo, ‘sgo! Let’s get the hell out of here!”
Solee: They really wanted to get out of there! Of course if they wanted to get out faster, they maybe should’ve not aimed for the center of every single puddle on the road.
Mikey: That seemed to be coming from the director, since every driver did the same thing. It’s like The Matrix – the water is symbolic!
Solee: At least there was something symbolic. So I wanna talk about how horribly written the fiance was. They spent a lot of time building up that relationship and trying to tell us how long they’d been together and how much they were in love, but failed to actually show us anything that made me care at all when her fiance got eaten by the monster. It was a classic example of telling instead of showing, and I’m not even sure how that’s possible in a visual medium!
Mikey: What, didn’t you see when she kicked him in the butt playfully? TRUE LOVE.
Solee: Of course even when they were showing us thing, they were showing in a way that came across as telling. Like when Zoe and the old guy kept falling off the ladder in such a way as to loudly announce to us “This ladder is shaking” without making it seem anything like the ladder was actually shaking.
Mikey: I made a note that one of the biggest conflicts in the movie is Man vs. Ladder. They spent like 20 minutes on it, and the entire arc for Zoe and Old Man was “Will they climb into the attic”.
Solee: Did you miss the whole May-December subplot? Because there is definitely something going on between Zoe and Old Man. There were several moments where I half-expected them to lean in and kiss each other.
Mikey: So you admit that the filmmakers did an excellent job of showing romance!
Solee: Weird skeezy romance, sure. She was like 12!
Mikey: Ageist. So that was one side of the story. On the other side of things we had the Rugged Man and his Lost Love trying to save his little sister and kill the monster, which was another unique conflict: as he was struggling to put together the rocket launcher, I couldn’t help but picture an IKEA horror movie where the entire danger revolves around whether you can get the furniture built in time.
Solee: “But do you have the right size Allen wrench to build your rocket launcher?!”
Mikey: “Where’s Tab B!?!”
Solee: So this is the ultimate in government conspiracy movies, because apparently the government knew for six months that this was going to happen, and said nothing to the people who lived on this mountain that was built out of squid.
Mikey: Oh yeah, I wanted to note that: this monster literally encircled the world, right? But when it popped out of the mountain I was like “Eh. Is that it?” I mean, it was like a fairly big dragon with some reasonably long tentacles, like maybe 100 yards or something. Bad design.
Solee: I don’t feel like the movie actually said anything about it encircling the world. I think the IMDB description said that, and it’s unsupported.
Mikey: Actually, if you paid attention to the genius dialogue, you would’ve noticed when they said there were tremors all around the world and other thermal activity. So it was going off, girlfriend.
Solee: I think there were some pretty intense leaps of logic in this movie when it comes to science. Like “Oh my god, there are three dead squirrels, there must be a 3 foot layer of carbon dioxide covering this mountain”, or “There are several hot spots located all around the world, it must be one giant planet-sized entity” instead of a nest of mountain-sized squid living in our planet.
Mikey: That brings to mind why I was almost a bit excited about this movie (before I saw it): I have actually always had this image in my head of giant creatures living under the Earth. Whenever I am driving cross country and see vast plains or something, I make a special effort to picture what it would look like if the entire scene in front of me heaved up and a monster tore up out of it. So I was kind of hoping to be primally triggered by this movie. Too bad they opted for baby squid instead.
Solee: That’s a thing you do?!
Mikey: It actually is, like for real. Is that a recognized mental disorder?
Solee: It should be! I would like to point out that this movie is clearly some kind of PSA about carbon dioxide poisoning, because they literally described, in its entirety, the effects of carbon dioxide poisoning three times.
Mikey: All part of the global warming preaching going on! If only they offered a better solution than “As long as we kill the monster, we can keep trashing the planet.”
Solee: If only. Oh! Did you notice that the chopper was not at all affected by the huge blast wave that came from the bomb? Like, we could see it, but it didn’t move the helicopter in the slightest.
Mikey: I did not, but really wasn’t expecting that level of accuracy after they shot a special missile that knew how to steer down monster throats at a giant dragon that popped out of a mountain.
Solee: Hey, that was a high-tech missile! The government spent six months building it, out of IKEA parts.
Mikey: Before we rate, I just want to add that this movie featured a trope I enjoy but never believe: the investigation wall, where you stick every picture and article you can find up with thumbtacks and connect them all with string. Does that really help you figure things out?
Solee: It helps Sherlock Holmes figure things out! He does it all the time on Elementary. Maybe we should start a wall to investigate this!
Mikey: That seems like sound science! How do you rate Behemoth?
Solee: Well, I thought it was dumb, but in a way that made me laugh lots of times, so I’m going to give it a 2.5 out of 5.
Mikey: During my post-movie nap, I spent a while thinking about how to rate this. I feel like there are two separate scales: On the one hand there’s the Actually Good scale, how most people rate movies. But then you also need the SBIG scale, for whether it’s So Bad It’s Good. Because that’s not a binary thing – some movies are more SBIG than others. #Horror was just awful, an SBIG of 0 to go with its Actually Good of 0. No Tell Motel was a bad movie with very high SBIG.
I bring up all that complexity because I want to point out that this movie felt very mediocre on the SBIG scale. It was obviously a bad movie, maybe an 0.5 out of 5, and it wasn’t unwatchable-bad, but it wasn’t hilariously bad, so maybe a 3 out of 5 SBIG. Which I will say comes out to a grand total of 1.5 out of 5 overall. I could’ve gone with more hilarity in the badness.
Solee: I’m actually surprised that I rated this higher than you did!
Mikey: My standards for bad movies are high!
Solee: Tomorrow, we have a special twist: We’re going to the actual theater to watch Ouija: Origin of Evil which came out yesterday!
*If you have comments to leave specifically for Mikey, you can see this same interview/discussion posted here, on his website.