A scientific expedition to Loch Ness runs into trouble when the group leader is killed in a mysterious diving accident. Soon after, when the unorthodox Professor Howell shows up to take over as leader of the group, more strange incidents and attacks start to occur. While Howell and TV producer Elizabeth Borden (who has been financing the team's work in exchange for exclusive footage of their discoveries) are busy investigating the source of the attacks, the body of an enormous sea creature washes up on the lake's shore. Obviously, this is the famed Loch Ness Monster, right? Perhaps not...
Directed by: Chuck Comisky
. Starring: Patrick Bergin
, Lysette Anthony
, Brian Wimmer
, Lysa Apostle
, Vernon Wells
, David Andriole
, Chris Taaffe
, Adria Dawn
, Dick Stilwell
, Jay Michael Ferguson
, Joshua Wheeler
, Nicholas Bianchi
, Gerry Gibson
. Music by: Richard John Baker
I hate to say it, but computer-generated imaging (CGI) is turning out to be more of a hassle than a revelation. It is giving second- and third-rate producers the means to put out drivel such as "Octopus," "Octopus 2," "Pterodactyl" and this piece of garbage called "Beneath Loch Ness." In a nutshell, an American research team is searching for evidence of Nessie, the famous Loch Ness monster. An underwater rock slide kills the professor in charge (a lucky Dick Stilwell who gets to leave this mess behind very quickly). Was it an accident or was it Nessie? That's the question posed to Internet TV producer Elizabeth (British TV actress Lysette Anthony). She is forced to call in ex-husband Case Howell to lead the investigation.
What we then get is a blatant rip-off of "Jaws." There is a constable who refuses to listen to reason and wants to keep the loch open (just like Murray Hamilton in "Jaws"). In fact, the constable even explains his reason as it is almost the summer and the locals depend on the tourists for their livelihood (almost plagiarism right there). When the monster attacks from below, we get a monster's view of the swimmers or boaters from underneath a la Bruce the shark. A sunken boat is slowly panned like Ben Gardner's boat in the 1975 blockbuster. And -- get this -- there is even a local fisherman with a touch of the manic. Just switch "Blay" for "Quint." At the end of "Jaws," a relieved Hooper asked Chief Brody "Quint?" and Brody replied "No." Sorry about the spoiler, but Elizabeth asks Case "Blay?" and he replies "No."
That said, this film is low-budget all-around, but even low-budget should not mean "bad." The main culprit is director Chuck Comisky, a visual effects director who did such hits as "Rush Hour," "Blade" and "The Crow" as well as the IMAX thrillers "Aliens of the Deep" and "Ghosts of the Abyss." Unfortunately, visual effects directing may have gotten him close to the likes of James Cameron, but it didn't get him any directing tips. He manages to put absolutely no tension into the story. You can see events coming ten miles away. The actors get nothing in the way of direction to avoid looking two-dimensional.
As Case Howell, Brian Wimmer tries to make the best of a real acting gig. Wimmer is best known as the star and director of "The New Flipper" and also played Boonie on "China Beach" in the 80's. Irish character actor Patrick Bergin is "Blay," who describes Nessie as a creature with black eyes, which should have earned him a rebuke from Steven Spielberg. The only other recognizable face is Vernon Wells as the irritating constable with the shifting accent. Wells is Australian and best known for playing the arch-villain Ransik on "Power Rangers: Time Force" and "Power Rangers: Wild Force." Those shows were great compared to what he's been reduced to.
Also, director Comisky does an awful job of disguising American locales for Scotland. Locals speak with Irish accents. The British police cars use red lights like American cop cars, not blue lights like you see on "Prime Suspect." You never get a real view of the loch. The loch is amazingly clear in the film while it's so murky in real life that seeing three feet ahead is a real challenge. Case Howell drives on the wrong side of the road half the time. The constables drive GMC SUV's, not the British-made Land Rovers the real constables use.
The other reviewers have listed all the numerous gaffes, but a few stick out more than others. Blay suddenly finds himself in possession of CR-9, an explosive strong enough to blast out a massive cavern. Dynamite is extremely difficult to obtain in Britain, much less CR-9. Also, the divers walk around under Loch Ness like they were in a smoky room and not 800 feet underwater.
Also, in one scene, Nessie gobbles up some unlucky festival participants. But, the swimmers are only a few feet from shore, yet it suddenly gets deep enough for the 60-feet Nessie to dive deep, come up, devour them and then dive back down deep for the escape. Even the waters of the Grand Cayman Islands don't drop off that deep that close to shore.
Ah, well, I guess I could blast this film all day. But, it's my own fault for watching it. If there are real culprits here, they are Blockbuster Video's darn "4 DVD's for $20" sales and my own weakness.I find an okay film like "Doom" and then have to pick up three other substandard films to avoid paying regular price. Do yourself a favor and don't make the same mistake I did.
Review by pv71989-2 from the Internet Movie Database.