The depth of awfulness of far too many of today's direct-to-video cheapies is almost enough to destroy a B-horror fan's affection for the genre. There appears to be a large market at present for films without even one entertaining element, probably due to places like Blocklbuster being willing to stock thousands of copies nationwide.
The Thing Below is one of those nothing-to-offer films. The primary setting is old-hat: An oil rig in the middle of the ocean beset by monsters. The story makes no sense at all: The oil rig has drilled fourteen miles into the earth & discovered a life form. The life form crash-landed from another planet millions of years ago.
Also there's a military conspiracy that involves two military guys, a cheap card table, a cell phone, & a cheap laptop computer in a warehouse. This earthshaking conspiracy provides ample opportunity for tediously talking heads to fill time saying pointless dialogue out loud, but it never actually connects up to the monster story on the oil rig.
The subterranean extraterrestrial has the physical appearance of two-dimensional vidio game cartoon tentacles attached to nothing, although frequently extending from the open mouths of sundry cast members, some of whom were "real" people the cartoon tentacles had gotten inside of, others of whom were hallucinated people because the cartoon tentacles are mind-readers, providing an excuse for a porn star to show up from out of a porn hound's mind & do a strip tease before spitting a cartoon tentacle at him (the same director under other names also makes a lot of soft core porn, so the porn star character could well have been the real thing). Why cartoon tentacles have to come out of mouths of hallucinated as well as real persons is just one of those mysteries of bad storytelling.
There is not one iota of talent in any part of this film except on the outside of the DVD box, the idea being that if the box tricks you into renting the damned thing, it's too late for you to get your money back & there doesn't actually have to be a watchable film inside.
The Thing Below swipes a lot from other films (Alien, Deep Rising, The Thing) but doesn't even have the sense to plagiarise the good parts. With an unoriginal & nonsensical script, acting extraordinary only for its badness, & a monster less real looking than on an old Frogger video game, the meat of the film boils down to merely this: cartoon tentacles pick off cast members one by one.
Remember if you can that director's name, Jay Andrews aka Jim Wynorski, because he has a lot of junk out there, & you wouldn't want to accidentally rent any of it. Wynorski uses an array of assumed names attempting not to be recognized when he returns with another scab off his pecker posing as a movie. Everything he films seems to be based on the theory "There's a sucker born every minute," & you wouldn't want to be scammed out of even two of your entertainment dollars.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl