Loch Ness Terror DVD review

Nessie takes a holiday and starts feasting on annoying Americans

Loch Ness, 1976. After finding a massive (not to mention suspiciously light) egg at the bottom of the famous Loch, an American scientist and his two colleagues are devoured by an angry Nessie. The only survivor is the scientist’s young son, James, who hid under an upturned boat.

Lake Superior, Present Day. When an unknown monster starts munching on the locals, sheriff Karen Riley (Carrie Genzel) is at a loss to explain what is happening. Thankfully, an enigmatic, gun-toting stranger (Brian Krause) is on hand to reveal that the beastie is in fact the legendary Nessie. And so the battle for survival between man and prehistoric monster begins.

I’m never going to try and convince anybody that Loch Ness Terror is a great film. It isn’t. But, and here’s the surprising thing, it is rather entertaining nonetheless. Admittedly, I’m a big fan of monster movies. But after sitting through dross like Bats: Human Harvest and Lake Placid 2 in recent months, this came as quite the enjoyable surprise.

Of course, nothing in the film makes any sense. There’s never any explanation of why Nessie has decided to pack its bags and move its entire family to Lake Superior (other than the fact it looks oddly identical to the bits of Loch Ness seen in the prologue – although Scotland only appears to exist in sepia tone). Nor is it ever explained why the fully-grown, monster-hunting James (Krause) believes that ‘ordinary guns’ won’t have any effect on the beast. Nor do we find out how the sheriff’s son instinctively knows that the creatures’ vision is based on movement and that ‘They detect electrical stimuli from the muscle contractions’ – but at least the latter comes in very handy when he and two other teens hide up a tree from a quartet of baby Nessies. Strangely though, when we get the Nessie point-of-view during the latter scene, the teens actually begin to disappear from the tree they’re hanging onto. But surely this would mean the tree would be ‘invisible’ as well, unless it too was continually giving off ‘electrical stimuli from muscle contractions’?

But all of this simply adds to the fun of the film. So what if it doesn’t make any sense? So what if the CG creature effects are hilariously lame? At least Loch Ness Terror isn’t so cheap that it relies on the monster’s POV all of the time. Instead, the film gives us a good look at Nessie right at the start and then never bothers trying to hide it or its babies from us again. The effects might not be great, but at least Nessie is always on screen, gobbling up a variety of idiots. Nor does the film shy away from gore either, throwing body parts around the screen with great abandon. So, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to the brilliant Frankenfish, Loch Ness Terror is still an above average DTV monster movie that’s well worth a rental for monster movie fans. And the DVD itself isn’t too shabby either.

The anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer is surprisingly crisp and detailed, and while this often shows up the rather poor CG effects used to create Nessie and its kin, at least it ensures that the movie looks pretty good. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is a fairly average affair, tending to be fairly biased towards the front of the soundstage and lacking any real impact when it comes to bass. The disc also includes trailers for Vantage Point, Hancock and Bats: Human Harvest, plus a 26min The Making of Loch Ness Terror documentary. Admittedly, like so many of its ilk, the doc spends far too much time interviewing the cast and allowing them to rehash what happens to their characters during the film, but there are some entertaining nuggets of behind-the-scenes footage and trivia to be found along the way.

Sony Pictures, R2 DVD, £16, On sale now