TV Movie Review of Syfy Channel’s ‘The Terror Beneath’

by on October 9, 2011

in Entertainment, tv reviews

Syfy channel LogoThe Terror Beneath aired on the Syfy channel Saturday night, 10-8-11.  Directed and co-written by Paul Ziller (Iron Invader, Stonehenge Apocalypse) and the cast included Adrian Pasdar (Heroes, Castle), Jesse Moss (Tucker and Dale vs Evil; Iron Invader), James Morrison (Jarhead, TV: Hawthorne, 24.), Stepfanie von Pfetten (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) and more.

Preparing this review of The Terror Beneath, I started to think that the collective cast would make anyone (myself?) think this movie could have some merit, or a few actors lost some bets.  Also of note, some of the locations used were rather scenic.

But…

The movie starts out watching a video tape of a scientist in a green house, demonstrating a plant’s ability to absorb the stench and chemicals of cigarette smoke.  He’s pretty excited but doesn’t see the roots that are slithering out of the ground.

We then swap out to Nevada and watch some young ecological defenders on a stake out.  Green Peace out gang!  But there’s more going on than they were prepared to deal with.  Instead of ecological destruction, they witness an illegal sale of a plant seed.  A seed whose plant properties seem miraculous.  But the seed is dropped, cracks open and the plant tendrils burrow into the ground.

Another scene swap takes us to some other camp that, I just don’t know what.  We then bounce back to the greenhouse… where a Dr Frame (Morrison) is seeing the news and says it’s too early for the seeds to be out in the public.

Back to that unknown camp, the feds (Pasdar) show up and ask a Dr. Stein (Pfetten) to come with them.  Turns out the seed could very well be seeds from the Garden of Eden.  But that’s pointless.  The plant is growing super nuts fast, gobbling up people, cars and houses as it grows.  It even takes direct hits from missiles fired at it fro F-16’s that the feds sent in but to no avail.  It needs to be weeded, no matter where it came from!

The roots seem unstoppable.  The feds seem stumped.  And the two ecological defenders who saw it start, (Moss & Luisa D’Oliveira) take it upon themselves to hunt down the source of the problem.

Then there’s the pickle of the Feds wanting to destroy the seeds and the Dr. wanting to save it, while it’s already destroyed Lake Tahoe and threaten Reno.

And there’s the “impassioned” scientist, Frame, and his gun-toting security force.

The music has a slow paced tone, making Syfy’s The Terror Beneath feel a bit sluggish.  They couldn’t afford helicopters, so they used a CGI chopper. (Probably so they could pay Pasdar & Moss!), & the kids (ecological warriors) part of this make very little sense.

Between the Feds, the crazy plant doctor, the kids and the plant that is destroying Nevada and California, the movie almost seem too enthusiastic of a TV movie for Syfy.  Though I’d love to have the gun Pasdar was using in his gunfight.  I think he pulled off 36 rounds from his semi-automatic before showing it locking out with an empty clip!

In the end, an anti-toxin is created to inject into the first root that started it all.  They then fix the crazy seeds and replant them to fix the damage the first root did.

Overall, it’s about on par for a Syfy channel Saturday night movie.  It wasn’t better or worse than the usual.  If you can digest the idea that a root can grow and eat Nevada and parts of California in a few hours or so, and fairly mediocre CGI then you should be fine if you catch it on the channel and wonder if you want to spend the time watching the TV movie.

Yea, it’s a beer-drinking bit of fun of an OK time killer.

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