Lesser know than the Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra and many other crypotzoilogical monsters is the Mongolian Death Worm. This SyFy production gives the mythological beast the Tremors “graboid” treatment and makes them desert prowling beasts with extending tongues/second mouths. Being compared to Tremors is a high summit to reach., as this film is outclassed by that film in all aspects.
Things are shaky right off the hop. The opening title has the same size and font as the text used to detail the characters’ location, making it seem as if Mongolian Death Worm is the name of the setting. Such things are not monumental problems, but there are enough of these lofty mistake to mark sloppy composition and lack of care by the filmmakers.
The acting is devoid of enthusiasm so all moments of supposed suspense or horror are deflated and ineffective. Sean Patrick Flannery manages to have a little fun with his performance part way through the film, but his goofiness seems more like a tactic to make appearing in this piece of garbage easier to digest.
The story is about a drilling company working above the supposed tomb of Genghis Kahn, but that description is all we get from the plot. There are no interesting moments about Genghis, the worms are half-heartily explained as protectors of the tomb, and there is a subplot about a disease spreading through a nearby village, but it exists almost entirely as a side-reference.
This film is packed with problems and mistakes. The worms look better on the box art then on the screen, the Mongolian characters are all expendable, the location is clearly Texas and not Mongolia, and the anti-hero of the film is visually indiscernible from the actual villain. It is impossible to care about the characters, impossible to be afraid of the monsters, and impossible to enjoy yourself while watching this, unless you are some sort of a masochist, or are desperately lacking something to ironically enjoy in the “so bad it’s great” vein.
Widescreen 1.78:1. The CG of the worms can almost be acceptable in scenes that use a lot of shadows, but alas the fact that the picture quality isn’t bad hinders this film for it reveals the ‘too-clean-to-be-real’ sheen of lower budget CG animation. Not to say that the picture is great, after all, there is only so much that can be done for a film that was clearly shot digitally, but its clean enough…the real challenge is keeping your eyes from wandering from the screen in boredom.
English 5.1 and 2.0 are both available. The music sounds clear in all speakers, no matter which track you use. For the most part this is a pretty good soundtrack, but there are several points where the sound mixing is off as the dubbed in dialogue sits on top of the other sounds on many occasions.
English and Spanish subtitles available.
Just pick up Tremors instead. Really. Other than worms, they have nothing else in common, but seriously…do something more worthwhile with your time and watch Kevin Bacon run from Graboids.