MammothAny review of the upcoming DVD release of Mammoth – the Sci-Fi channel’s 2006 re-animated, alien-possessed, CGI-heavy beast of a creation – can only begin with the clear-eyed declaration of what the film is: a silly science fiction film that has the decency to declare itself as such without pretentiousness or mucking about. Mammoth is a film about a giant prehistoric beast on the loose in Blackwater, Louisiana. There’s not much else to say, but we’ll say more nonetheless.

Opening with a theatrical quality credits roll and an engagingly hilarious recounting of the backstory (through stick figures on cave walls) Mammoth immediately declares itself to be filled with tongue-in-cheek goodness, if a bit lacking in actual quality. The story opens with museum curator Dr. Frank Abernathy (tv actor Vincent Ventresca) examining a frozen wooly mammoth in a giant (and for some reason unmelting) block of ice. As he removes a tiny homing chip from the mammoth’s ear, a signal is sent into space, inadvertantly (and inexplicably) setting the town up for disaster.

Some kind of unexplained alien force shoots into the mammoth a few hours later, shattering the ice and setting the multi-tonned creature free. After killing the museum’s lone security guard and using its trunk to suck out his soul (don’t ask), the creature somehow escapes out the back door unseen before the police arrive. From here on out, it’s a tale of nature (or aliens, rather) gone wild, as the beast randomly appears in locations throughout the town to crush and soul-suck as many innocent bystanders as possible.

For those who can withstand dialogue like “This is like the blind leading the stupid,” the next 90 minutes should be a treat. The film, scripted by Brook Durham and director Tim Cox, does go a bit off-track following the relationship of Frank’s daughter Jack (Summer Glau) and her clumsy-but-lovable boyfriend Squirrelly (Cole Williams) for a bit too long, but the tromping mammoth is always there to set the film back on its gleefully destructive and mindless track.

Of course members of a secret investigatory unit show up reporting that the town is at risk of being annihalited, requiring Frank to rise to the task and prove to his daughter, his wily father (played with natural endearing cheekiness by Tom Skerritt), and himself that he has what it takes to defeat the alien mammoth and save the town. It’s your typical ’50s sci-fi adventure rehashed with a little more special effects (though not much) and a little more good nature. It’s nothing to write home about, but it entertains for an hour and a half without too much trouble… just don’t think too long about the premise and you’ll do just fine.

Zach’s Rating: D+
Perfect For: A wild and wooly ride through the heart of sci-fi-dom
Stay Away if: You like a little substance to your prehistoric rampages

To purchase Mammoth, visit Amazon
For more information on Mammoth, visit the film’s homepage
For more reviews by Zach Freeman, visit HubPages

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