Loch Ness Terror (Aka Beyond Loch Ness) Review

After the Sickle debacle I am waiting a wee break from unappealing idiot teenagers in terrible situations to look at well, slightly more appealing less idiotic teenagers in a terrible situation, namely facing off against one of the most durable and fascinating ‘mysteries’ that stretches back over a thousand years –The Loch Ness Monster. As a geek who has always been interested in the paranormal/supernatural I just love the idea of ancient plesiosaurs surviving and thriving in a Scottish Loch, but then again I am a little weird. (*Adjusts tin-foil hat*) And OK, at the end of the day the Loch Ness Monster in all probability does not exist, but how much cooler would life be if it did? Maybe Loch Ness Terror, aka Beyond Loch Ness will give us the answer…Spoilers to follow (I’m back to warning you about this now, last time with Sickle I didn’t bother because there was genuinely nothing to spoil, the film was already as rotten as can be).

Can’t You Just Hear The Gravel Eating Voice Over Guy Intoning That Tag Line?

 A group of researchers are in Scotland (Yeah, this was totally filmed in Scotland, the shoreline just screams Scotland. Scottish Canada maybe) hunting for Nessie, two Scottish men and a slappable American child, whose father is in the loch right now. Dad makes his triumphant return to shore; he’s found…an egg? These guys are fucking science superstars. People have been searching for the Loch Ness Monster for decades, it takes them 4 minutes. Nessie, however, is not impressed with their skills and appears out of the Loch to reclaim her young. They, wisely, give the egg back, but Nessie still pissed at them so she munches one of them up. Chaos breaks out, Nessie sends the men flying. One guy just tries to run away, leaving the child behind. I know I said he was slapabble but still… Sadly his cowardly plan is spoiled by the fact munched guy has the car keys. Luckily, he’s only half munched and Nessie drops the half with the keys. Unluckily, he still dies, despite his staggering bravery. The boy hides under a canoe and all the adults get killed. Life-long Nessie grudge is duly formed.

Can’t Think Of A Worst Time To Drop A Contact Lens.

We cut to Lake Superior – Present Day – an old man obsessed with the paranormal is convinced that the Loch Ness Monster is living in the lake, well maybe not the Loch Ness Monster, he concedes, because that would make the whole thing just too implausible right? Officer Hot Chick, who might be his daughter, is patient and concerned and tries to get him to take his medication, which he obviously, being the old guy who everyone thinks is a kook but will turn out to actually right about everything, only pretends to take.

A group of wetsuit wearing monster bait young things show up and get their boat refilled by Josh (Niall Matter), aka Zane Donavon from Eureka before he got super buff and learned how to act. He flirts a bit with the Yellow Ranger and has a set to with the typical rich boy arsehole that always shows up in these things. Rich Boy, aka Not Chad Michael Murray, taunts him about his low rent job and family and is a general all round dickhead. Yellow Ranger, instead of dumping him on the spot, says nothing. Josh works in the local bait shop, and he also runs boat tours. Hardly the most pathetic job ever conceived, as Not Chad Michael Murray seems to think it is. A mysterious figure enters, complete with funky monster catching hat and Western music entrance music. He may as well been wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Lone Wolf’.  Shock, horror, it’s the kid from earlier, all grown up, avec Nessie given scar and rough, gravelly voice. He has also lost his slapabilty and is called James, ooh, dark. I bet he doesn’t take shit from anyone.

Crpytozoologist, With A Side Field In Badassery.

Officer, sorry, Sheriff Hot Chick is Josh’s mother? There’s like 10 years between them, at the very most! They both think the old man from earlier, who is her Uncle, should move in with them, as they are worried for him. He’s more concerned with trying to photograph Nessie. The monster obligingly shows up and devours him and his camera. This monster obviously isn’t as camera shy as everyone likes to make out.

Nessie Hated Being Tagged In Facebook Photos Without Permission.

Not Chad Michael Murray and his gang are off to get nearly get eaten and then get saved by Josh and the monster hunter (call it a hunch). Yellow Ranger, who I can’t call that anymore as she’s not wearing yellow today, so Zoe stops in the Bait Shop for bug spray. Her and Josh used to date, but now she’s going out with Not Chad Michael Murray. The Fool. Josh is going to get so buff and hot in a few years. Josh and NCMM fight in such a lame fashion that means they should both turn in their Man Cards immediately. The eye-rollingly bad scrap is broken up by by James, the monster hunter, who brutally stares NCMM out until he retreats. Josh and James head out into the lake where they share a cigar and find a tunnel underwater. If it turns out this tunnel leads all the way back to Loch Ness in Scotland I am going to be really hacked off.

Yes, Yes, I Am Very Shallow, That Has Been Established, Let’s Keep Moving.

Sheriff Hot Chick, OK, I’ll stop being a sexist twat now, her name is Karen, turns up to a crime scene where a fisherman caught some human odds and ends while he was fishing. It’s (a piece of) Sean, the turned out not to be crazy Uncle. For someone who likes the taste of human flesh Nessie can’t seem to manage a whole one.

Josh is dozing on the boat when a strange shape appears on the sonar equipment. It’s James, who found lots of interesting rocks in the tunnel, which explain lots of things, sciencey things about electromagnets and stuff (I was listening, I swear, I can never seem to retain information about science. Or maths). The sonar shape is back and they begin to chase it, but it disappears. After this excitement Josh and James head back to shore and bond over their dead fathers in a scene that is surprisingly not entirely shit or annoying.

Nessie is still pretty hungry, as another townsperson gets munched. Karen tells Josh the sad news about his Uncle, killed by ‘some sort of predator’ (they think it’s an alligator), but he’s not to tell anyone as they don’t want to worry the town. Remind me, how well did that sort of thinking turn out in Jaws?

Oh Yeah. Not Well.

NCMM and gang are camping on an isolated island. NCMM is trying to be all romantic with Zoe but we know she thinks he’s a dick and that she should totally be with Josh. Oh yeah, there’s another two, but they’ve off to screw and then be eaten. NCMM pursues with Zoe. She is not interested. Wisely so, because this guy thinks it socially acceptable to grope girls while they sleep.

James makes his own special Nessie battling bullets with cyanide, and Karen comes to call on him, to ask about the predator they were chasing. There’s a fair bit of angry flirting when James tells Karen about Uncle Sean wanting to see him as he thought he saw a plesiosaur, which is the reason he came to Lake Superior in the first place.

The stupidly camping on a deserted island contingent of the film are looking for their missing friend. (Clue – Eaten).  NCMM is being ruthless but sensible and demands they return to the main land to get help. As they all make their way back to the boat, Chad (Not NCMM, this character’s name is actually Chad) spots something in the lake and Nessie appears. He stands frozen like an edible chump until Zoe reminds him of the concept of running. He hides in a hollowed out tree trunk. NCMM gets bit on the leg and Chad wards Nessie away from NCMM by throwing flares at it.  Nessie isn’t putting up with any of that shit and simply picks the tree trunk up, so Chad falls out of it.  Bye Chad, it was nice not knowing anything about you.

The next day Josh disobeys his Mother and goes out in the boat again with James. Via the police scanner they have on the boat they overhear a call between Karen and Neil the Deputy about a sea creature that was washed up on the shore. They speed off to investigate and arrive at the same time as Neil. James sneaks in first and steals the head of the creature. ‘The head is the clue to this whole case’ states Karen when she is told. Really? I think you can tell by looking at the body of the thing that it’s not a fucking alligator.

James examines the head, which is from a baby Nessie, and fills Josh in on the whole scoop. Plesiosaurs have survived all this time in uncharted deep waters, travelling via underwater tunnels. They prefer lakes as it has better conditions for their eggs.  Sheriff Karen and Deputy Neil show up and arrest James. Josh arms himself with a gun and sets out to fins Zoe and Co. After minimum persuasion Karen and Neil agree to let James help them. James has a very impressive haul of weapons (including a microwave gun) that will kill Nessie. And the entire army of a small country, if most of them had pace-makers. Getting through customs must be a total nightmare.

Over Compensating Much?

Josh arrives at the island, quickly followed by Nessie. This creature must have internal GPS or something; it always shows up just when someone is dimly wandering into a situation just ripe for the eating. He finds the Baby Nessies eating Chad and retreats on his dashing rescue plan pretty rapidly. One is hiding on his boat when he tries to get away. (By the way, the juxtaposition between the CGI and practical effects is very jarring, more on that later). Josh is surrounded by Baby Nessies and is saved by Zoe favouring this film’s favourite Nessie fighting technique, throwing rocks at them. They run away and climb a tree where NCMM, with a knackered leg is hiding. Josh works out that the Nessies vision is based on movement so if they keep still, the monsters won’t be able to see them and will leave, which they do. So the monsters are smart enough to know to push Josh’s boat from shore so they can’t leave, but not smart enough to figure out that just because something stops moving it doesn’t mean it has instantaneously vanished? The kids head to an old mine, which is surrounded by enough of the electricmagnothings to dampen the Nessie’s vision.  Or not, as there’s a clutch of eggs right behind them. So, was that theory correct or not? The answer seems to be; it is when it suits the plot.

Anything Jurassic Park Can Do…We Can Do Too, Just A Lot Worse.

The cops and James head to the island. Nessie shows up on the sonar and they chase it. James puts on the worse Terminator costume ever and prepares to fire at it with one of his super special guns, but Nessie vanishes into one of the tunnels. Josh gets back to his boat, which the Nessie has ruined, raising more questions about their intelligence levels. His mum and James finds Josh who tries to jump across to their boat but epically fails and faceplants right into the side of it. Smooth. Good thing Zoe didn’t see that. Even smoother, he gets rescued by his Mother and they all head back to the island to save Zoe and NCMM.

Maybe The Plan Was Nessie Would Be Too Busy Laughing At This Ridiculous Get-Up It Wouldn’t Notice Being Blown Up. 

The Baby Nessies move in on NCMM and Zoe, NCMM can’t gather the mental fortitude to not move and gets munched. The rescue team make their way to the mine, stopping off to kill a really bad fake wolf on route (I don’t know why, to make the Nessies look better?). Mama Nessie shows up, which is not good news for Zoe. The valiant rescue team also shows up but the electromagnothingys are messing up James’ equipment. The plan is to use the recording of Nessie he made in the 70s to lure the babies away to messy death while the others rescue Zoe. He goes to a spot where his equipment will work and they turn the recorder on. It works, but as Zoe runs for safety Mama Nessie appears and goes to eat her, but stops when James shows up with one of her eggs, threatening to break it. He leads the beast away from Zoe, who reunites with the others.

This Famous Fake Taken In The 1930s Looks Better Than The CGI Here.

It’s a Nessie massacre as the babies and eggs all get butchered. Neil the deputy gets too excited by all the flying monster flesh and fumbles getting bullets into his gun. This will be his last mistake. Deaded. Josh tries to help James by diverting Mama Nessie’s attention, his brilliant plan involves hiding in an old mine shaft as Nessie tries her level best to add him to the contents of her stomach lining. James’ equipment almost works, then doesn’t. He’s goes to have to get close and personal with the monster, with his cyanide injection gun thing. James injects Nessie and sets it on fire. It explodes, taking all remaining baby Nessies with it. No one cares about any of the dead people and our four heroes couple up. The End.

Let’s get the facts out the way first – If the Loch Ness Monster is a plesiosaur, it should not have claws or feet, as is the case here, it should have flippers. As a cryptozoologist you would think James would notice that. As for all the stuff with underwater tunnels and electromagnethingys and microwave guns – just no. As far as one of the Sci-Fi (sorry, Sy-Fy) channel original films goes, it’s not totally the time wasting dirge of some of their other efforts (Take a bow 51). That’s not to say it isn’t quite shit. It’s just endearingly quite shit. The CGI Nessies are pretty poor, and as someone who will always take practical effects over CGI any day of the week and twice on Sundays, I actually liked the practical Baby Nessies more, even if they looked like something that would hang out at Jabba The Hut’s house. As mentioned, the size, look and brainpower of the monsters chops and changes with juddering regularity, just whatever serves the script best at that point in time. Acting, script and direction are all passable, although covered in a thick layer of cheese. Certainly not completely worthless, and it didn’t make me want to set fire to things, so that automatically gives it one up on Sickle.

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