As an ecologist one of my father’s pet peeves is the effect of invasive species on an environment. (If you really want to set him off just bring up the subject of goats in the Mediterranean.) So for this week’s theme I decided to go with that, albeit some of the more… fantastic examples, one from fantasy and another from science fiction.
The film opens with the tale of Yuh Yi Joo a girl born with the power to transform an Imoogi (kind of a good serpentine dragon) into a celestial dragon. Unfortunately the cycle is messed with when an evil imoogi appears. Accompanied by an evil army dragons. Fortunately it is thwarted when the Yoo Ji Joo and her guardian throw themselves off a cliff.
500 years later the two are reborn and the evil imoogi and it’s entourage come after them wreaking havoc in the process.
I’d been curious about this film for years and frankly I was disappointed. Sure all of the animation and the dragon porn was well done and entertaining that was all it had going for it with a weak plot just barely holding the fun bits together.
For the science fiction side I picked Monsters directed by Gareth Edwards. I’d first heard of this film when I was reading up on Edwards’ career while waiting for his big budget remake of Godzilla. What I had heard about it reminded me of David Gerrold’s War Against the Chtorr series but I wasn’t quite curious enough to check it out.
Like the Chtorr earth is infected by an alien biome when an alien sample crashes into Mexico within six hears half of Mexico has become an infected zone inhabited by the Monsters of the title, creatures that look like a giant bioluminescent octopi walking on long flea like legs.
In the middle of this are our heroes a photojournalist and his bosses daughter are trying to get back to the United States with the walled boarder that Trump dreams of.
I’m not sure if I was completely this film’s target audience but this was a very impressive film and a textbook example of how to do something impressive on a shoestring budget. Nearly everyone in the film are amateurs with a lot of the performances being improv with lots of the sets and the monsters added with Adobe After Affects.
It’s quite amazing how well this works, with the only problem being it’s too difficult to sympathize with our two main characters, but this doesntt matter too much since all we need is there point of view. The best part of this film is a wonderful human element with people making due in what is essentially a war zone with the monsters being large megafauna which while very dangerous won’t really bother you if you keep out of their way.