Film: 2010 Moby Dick
UK Release date: 25th July 2011
Director: Trey Stokes
Starring: Barry Bostwick, Renee O'Connor, Matt Lagan, Adam Grimes, Dean Kreyling
Reviewer: Adam Wing
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the video store, The Asylum is back, and it’s bringing with it a Dick called Moby. The masters of the ‘mockbuster’ show no sign of letting up, but lets not give them too much credit. From the studio that gave us Transmorphers, Mega Piranha and Titanic II, comes a modern day reworking of a literary classic. Herman Melville must be spinning in his grave right about now.
Moby Dick follows the adventures of the crazed Captain Ahab (Barry Bostwick) on his bloodthirsty mission for vengeance. Equipped with the most high-tech weaponry known to man, nothing will get in his way as he battles against nature, society and his own inner demons on a collision course with the deadliest beast the oceans have ever known. Batten down the hatches and hold on for your life as we plunge into the abyss in this white-knuckle ride of bravery, bloodshed and marine madness.
Trey Stokes is the man responsible for Asylum’s latest, taking the helm on his feature debut. A cast of credible screen talent join him (I can’t actually back that up), including the likes of Renee O’Connor (Xena, Bitch Slap), Adam Grimes (The Last Exorcism) and Matt Lagan (Asylum regular). Barry Bostwick takes on lead duties, and even if you don’t recognise his name, there’s a good chance you’ll recognise his face. He’s appeared in pretty much every American TV show made over the last twenty years, including the likes of Glee, Spin City, Scrubs and Ugly Betty.
The film begins in 1969, fifty miles off Soviet waters. When the USS Acushnet dives under the ice, a young Ahab listens for enemy subs, insisting on the presence of ‘an emptiness’ in the water. Sure enough, the submarine is attacked by a gigantic, whale-like creature. Ahab survives, losing his leg to the beast in the process, which sets him on a course of revenge and retribution. Years later, Dr. Michelle Herman (Renée O'Connor) and her bikini top are listening to whale noises when the Pequod surfaces. In the sub, Starbuck tells them about several attacks by an enormous whale. Back in San Diego, Captain Boomer (another survivor of the attack of '69) comes to the conclusion that Ahab is on the hunt for Moby Dick.
This might sound like an unsurprising statement to some (and when I say ‘some’ I mean pretty much everybody), but even by The Asylum’s unequivocal low standards, Moby Dick is a disaster movie of epic proportions. Barry Bostwick is clearly having a great time, hamming it up as the vengeful Captain Ahab. His performance is the only thing that keeps the film afloat at times, but sadly for everyone else, Moby Dick sinks faster than a luxury cruise liner on its maiden voyage. Not Titanic of course, that would be wrong of me, obviously I’m talking about Titanic II. Looking forward to that one already…
The acting is atrocious, the special effects are insulting, and for some bizarre reason - with the exception of Barry Bostwick - the entire cast play it straight. We’re talking about a film in which a giant whale leaps out of the water, sneaks behind a rock and ‘jumps out’ on its prey in a surprise attack. That might sound hilarious to some, but apart from the scene where Moby Dick eats an attack helicopter, The Asylum’s latest fails to impress with any of its customary incompetence. The sad truth of the matter is, despite an enjoyable opening, nothing really happens until the spectacularly stupid finale. That's almost seventy minutes of bland dialogue, woeful performances and Renee O’Connor in a bikini top. Talking of which, if you’re making a film with two redeeming features, don’t make the girl cover them up. I was looking at them…
2010: Moby Dick fails to entertain on any level, and I’m a big fan of dumb movies, believe me. I’ll leave you with my favourite line though, “Oh he’s not a whale, he’s the devil himself.” Of course he is Captain Ahab, of course he is.