Monday, January 20, 2014

Ice Crawlers, It Ain't The Thing, but....

After enduring two really cold days in a row here in Virginia, I searched for a B Movie to capture the mood.  Hence, 2003's "Ice Crawlers" (aka "Deep Freeze"), a monster movie set in an Antarctic oil field.  Heavily influenced by John Carpenter's "The Thing," the makers of this film used many stunts to pay homage to it. For example, knowing what could happen if these monster trilobites reach the main land, a very excitable oil worker destroys all means of communications between the oil base and the main land.  Many have criticized this flick for having rubberized creatures, but I'd rather have that than a million CGI purple "Avatar" smurfs.
The plot:  GeoTech Industries is the proverbial evil oil company, destroying the Antarctic ice. The U.N. is sending a team there to close them down.  Realizing their oil exploration days are over, GeoTech lucks out.  Their two lead scientists, Dr. Monica Kelsey (Alexandra Kamp-Groeneveld) and Dr. Ted Jacobsen (David Millbern) discover a dead prehistoric trilobite creature.  This dog-sized monster looks like a tentacled bug and enjoys penetrating into the human body for warmth.  New plan for GeoTech:  Blow up the oil drilling facility, which has drilled through the ice into earth, thus leaving no evidence for the U.N., and pioneer the scientific breakthroughs that discovering a prehistoric creature brings.
  Uh oh, following the dead trilobite up the drill are hungry, ticked-off trilobites.  While the two scientists are discovering the find of the century, Dr. Kelsey goes back to her quarters for a mineral bath.  Unlike Kurt Russell's shack in "The Thing," Kelsey's quarters resemble the honeymoon suite at the Ritz.  This suite is equipped with scented candles, a king-sized bed, stereo, and an aromatic hot tub.  Unfortunately for Kelsey (see picture below), her aroma-therapy bath, and the rest of her life, are interrupted by one of these monsters.
No problem!  Four young scientists have just arrived (all very good looking).  Then the fun begins.  The trilobites start picking off the scientists, usually when they do naughty stuff....these movies, after all, are morality tales.  However, the two clean-cut scientists, Arianna (Karen Nieci) and Curtis (Allen Lee Haff) figure out what is going on and find the explosives.  Will they be able to escape and blow up all the trilobites before more come to the surface?  Compared to "The Thing," one might term "Ice Crawlers" a cheap rip-off. However, this film is a hundred times better than any Sandra Bullock so-called comedy.  

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