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November 2010

Lockjaw: Rise Of The Kulev Serpent

cast: DMX, Wes Brown, Louis Herthum, Lauren Fain, and Victoria Vodar

director: Amir Valinia

77 minutes (15) 2008
widescreen ratio 16:9
Metrodome DVD Region 2

RATING: 0/10
review by William N. Dyer

Lockjaw: Rise Of The Kulev Serpent

This is titled Lockjaw and that's what it will give you as your jaw drops with the utter banality of this film. This is a movie that's best tension, effects and shooting take place during the opening credits. A young boy steals a magical artefact. He uses it to draw a picture of his drunken father being killed by a giant serpent as an act of revenge. It comes to pass. Would a voodoo shaman allow the theft of a valuable artefact without taking steps to recover it by magical means if necessary? I think not. This one does! This set-up at the start of the video is too improbable to be believed.

The story skips 20 or so years to the present time. The boy is now a man who sees his wife knocked down and killed by an SUV with five twenty-something's in it. He repeats the picture drawing exercise. He creates an image of five people in an SUV. A giant serpent is destroying the vehicle. Revenge will be served. After one of the young people is killed, in a fit of remorse he sets out to stop the serpent. What then happens is not at all thrilling or engaging; being so unoriginal that surprise just can't happen. And on and on it goes stretching the bounds of credulity to the limits and giving nothing as pay-off.

This appears a very short summary. This is because that's all the story there is to this film. What a complete anti-climax. How can people spend time and money on such a project? Don't they realise that they are spending good money after bad. Why is it so bad?

The acting is trite and telegraphed. Who wants to be an actor on such a movie? The desperate, and guess what, the despair comes through in the acting. This could have been aggravated by poor dialogue, characterisation, and direction. This dubious and ill crafted storyline has to be explained in the dialogue. This is the movies. The moviemaker shows and does not tell. You should be able to turn off the sound and still get something out of the movie.

There is little or no tension or suspense. The likely cause being poor scripting or poor directing or poor acting or any mixture of the foregoing. The settings are lacklustre and of themselves contribute nothing to the story. They are shabby rather than spooky. What special effects there are present are so inexpert in their execution that they do not deserve the moniker 'special'. They make the stuff on YouTube look like the real deal.

The whole thing comes across as cobbled together from what appeared to be a good idea or premise. That on its own does not make a story and most of all that's what this film lacks, a gripping story. This should have been a story that takes you in and moves along at a cracking pace. This should have been a story that delivers on its promise. This video promised big-time in its opening credits. It then went down and down and vanished up its anus, a bit like the serpent.

Who would invest the time and money to bring this to DVD and to inflict upon the world something more horrendous that the monster in the film? It ought to have been left in the can to crumble and disappear. That would have let all the people involved forget their collective shame at the cheek of sending out into the world such a duffer.

DVD extras: stills gallery, original trailer, plus other trailers.



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