Unearthed (2007)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
After Dark Horrorfest II
> Nightmare Man (2006)
> Crazy Eights (2006)
> Mulberry Street (2006)
> Unearthed (2007)
> Borderland (2007)
> Frontière(s) (2007)
> The Deaths Of Ian Stone (2007)
> Tooth & Nail (2007)
> Lake Dead (2007)
Matthew Leutwyler Matthew Leutwyler
Luke Goss Luke Goss
Deborah Offner Deborah Offner
Mark Kelly Mark Kelly
Russell Means Russell Means
Tonantzin Carmelo Tonantzin Carmelo

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Creature Film, Horror
In the desert area of Hat Creek, cows are found partially devoured and the farmers believe that a wolf is attacking the cattle. The alcoholic Sheriff Annie Flynn is called by the local farmer Rob Horn to witness the remains of an animal to request reimbursement from the government and for an accident with a tank truck that is blocking the road. However, Annie sooner discovers that an ancient alien creature sent to annihilate life on Earth hundreds of years ago was released by the Indian Kale during an archaeological excavation in the desert. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 26, 2008
I remember the first time I ever heard of Matthew Leutwyler. It was during the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival and his first mainstream horror film, "Dead and Breakfast" was playing to a sold out crowd. A few months later, the film went into limited theatrical release and then Anchor Bay picked it up for a DVD release. So, needless to say, I have been waiting for his follow-up, especially since I enjoyed "Dead and Breakfast" so much, which was kind of like a zombie comedy with musical numbers. His follow-up turned out to be "Unearthed", which was picked up by After Dark Films for inclusion in their second annual Horror Fest. Out of all the Horror Fest releases that I have seen, some good and some bad, this was definitely one of the absolute worst.

Imagine "Tremors" crossed with "Alien" and that is pretty much what you have here, minus the creativity and the scares. Emmanuelle Vaugier stars as Sheriff Annie Flynn, who looks nowhere close to old enough to be the sheriff and is evidently both an alcoholic and a murderer. Some gas truck crashes and explodes, trapping she and a bunch of stranded passers-by in their small town. They are being attacked by a prehistoric creature of some sorts who was uncovered during some dig, and now they have to find a way to survive. Russell Means stars as the wise old Indian man who loves pottery, Charlie Murphy as the wisecracking black foil, Tommy Dewey as the resident hottie and MC Gainey as the crazy old rancher with a taste for expensive champagne.

This film makes sense only long enough to get to the next scene, after which all logic is tossed and a new one is devised. We know there is a creature. We know it kills people. The characters come up with solutions to so many problems with the idea that, "They've known it all along!" Writer and director Matthew Leutwyler has crafted an impossibly bad script with situations that make zero sense and characters that have nothing to offer to the story whatsoever. This is just plain bad -- rudimentary horror at its worst. At least "Dead and Breakfast" had some creativity and some energy. This film goes by so quickly, yet it packs no excitement and no concern for characters that are poorly developed. And, the creature is just pathetic. The CGI-effects are non existent and the puppets are barely passable for a Full Moon Entertainment release.

To keep adding to the trauma, the acting is so miserable. Emmanuelle Vaugier is so unconvincing as the gruff sheriff, and Charlie Murphy is wasted here, not that that is a bad thing considering he couldn't act his way out of a paper sack. None of the actors seem to know what's going on and none of them seem to care. Russell Means seems to be the only actor giving anything close to a performance, but how difficult is it for a Native American to act like a Native American? Really? The best thing about the film was the cameos by Miranda Bailey and other Matthew Leutwyler regulars whom I loved so much in "Dead and Breakfast".

I guess what I missed the most was Leutwyler's sense of humor. "Unearthed" tried to be like "Tremors", yet it had none of the wit of that film. It tried to be like "Alien" and had none of the thrills. It clocks in at ninety minutes, but that seems like a lifetime sentence without parole. I am not giving up hope that Leutwyler has a great horror film in him somewhere, but "Unearthed" doesn't do much to foster that hope. "Unearthed" is absolutely one of the worst films to come out of the After Dark Horror Fest and I do not recommend it. It's not even so bad that it's good. It's just bad. Someone needs to re-bury "Unearthed" before it's too late.

Recommended Movies
Dead & Breakfast Mulberry Street Borderland Tooth & Nail The Mist
Frontière(s) The Deaths Of Ian Stone Man-Thing Nightmare Man Crazy Eights
Lake Dead Alone In The Dark Slither The Descent: Part 2 Isolation
Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 05/27/2008, 08:41 AM
Man, I'm so dissapointed at this review. I loved Dead and Breakfast too. I meaned LOVED it and like bluemeanie, I was anxious to see if the director could pull off another great movie for his follow-up. This review doesn't give me much hope. The After Dark films just aren't doing much. You get maybe 2 decent films out of the 8 that are made. BTW - Loved the last line of the review meanie.
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