Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Tsunambee  (2015, dir: Milko Davis & Thomas Martwick; cast: Stacy Pederson, Ruselis Aumeen Perry, Shale Le Page, Maria DeCoste, Theo Saccoliti)



Tsunambee (2015) is a painfully boring, no-budget depiction of the Apocalypse. Well, not really no-budget. The IMDb has this film's budget at $780,000, but I don't see it onscreen. I've seen better horror films -- more entertaining and boasting superior talent -- shot in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. Maybe the producers lied when they claimed they spent $780,000 on it?

Tsunambee seems to be a SyFy Channel wannabe. Giant killer bees. It's dumb as any SyFy Channel movie, but without the entertainment value.

A group of disparate people -- white rednecks, black gangstas, lady sheriff, little Christian girl -- are thrown together during the Apocalypse. It's not much of an Apocalypse. It's mostly giant CGI bees flying around. There are a few earthquakes, which is mostly the camera shaking, plus a crack in the ground, and cracks in a ceiling. And a few zombies. After the bees bite you, you turn into a zombie. But the zombies have little screen time. It's mostly bees. And talking.

Talking, and talking, and TALKING. Blah, blah, blah.

The characters go on, and on, and on, discussing their past lives, their thoughts and feelings, their situation, their plans to survive, etc. They also bicker pointlessly, this being the writer's poor attempt to inject more "drama" into the script.



Here's the main problem. All that talking can be interesting and make for a good horror film, but the characters must be engaging. Strong, engaging characters require good writing and good acting. Tsunambee has neither.

Characters are one-dimensional. The cowardly redneck cries and blubbers throughout the film. The hot-headed gangsta shouts and rages. The tough, smart lady sheriff barks commands and rescues everyone time and again. Etc.

The dialog is clichéd and vapid. The lady sheriff and another woman exchange the story of their lives. It's the obligatory scene when the characters "open up" and explain why they became a sheriff, or why they're with this or that person. The lady sheriff reveals that she got interested in law enforcement because, as a little girl, she liked the colored lights atop police cars.

Wow. Can this character be made any less interesting?



Acting is also awful. Yeah, the dialog is embarrassingly bad, but the actors do nothing to breathe life into their lines. They sound like actors cold reading a script they've just been handed.

These boring characters wander in the desert, hide in a tunnel, drive about the desert, then find refuge in a house with the bees outside. Sometimes the bees attack while the characters run or hide. One gangsta is stung and turns into a zombie, but is then immediately killed. At one point, their car falls off a cliff. I think that car drop might have eaten up most of the film's budget.

There is some decent post-production color correction, creating a gritty, desaturated look. I'll give the filmmakers credit for that. I've seen uglier films.

I've seen over a thousand horror films and TV episodes. I'm pretty tolerant and will sit through most crap. I know a film is really bad when I start fast-forwarding through it. I sat through about half of this film before I started fast-forwarding past scenes, stopping on occasion, just to see how it all ended.

The ending was stupid, confusing, and contradictory.

Oh yeah, the film opens with a quote from Revelation, but the film misspells it. The film spells it in plural form -- Revelations. The correct form is singular.


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