Greetings from the edge!
This week we’ll see if I can take the sting out of Tsunambee! As natural disasters rip the world apart, three bands of survivors flee from Los Angeles. Will they be able to put aside their differences and work together, or will they be doomed by the swarms of giant killer bees and earthquakes? Starring Stacy Pederson as Sheriff Lindsey Feargo, Ruselis Aumeen Perry as JB, and Shale Le Page as Jesse.
We open up with a dirty, blood-splattered woman constructing a crude cross with tree limbs and stones. After this we get a text from Revelations 9 3-10: “3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.”
Yes, my friends, our giant killer bees ( that make Zombees. That one’s mine, they should be ashamed they didn’t think of it ) are the wrath of God made manifest. Of course we’re never told why God is currently on a bender or what God was smoking to decide that giant zombie-making bees were the obvious choice to punish a recalcitrant mankind. Maybe after promising to never flood the world again, God thought, “Alright… no water. Hmm, let’s blow their little minds!”
The special effects in Tsunambee are pretty much non-existent. In what is undoubtedly the only favorable comparison that Alien: Reign of Man will ever receive, at least its CGI didn’t look like it was ripped straight from a 1980’s era screensaver, their’s was from the late ’90s If I had to judge. Not even in the worst SyFy channel movie have I seen such… sad, that is the only word, sad CGI.
Tsunambee obviously draws inspiration from films like Night of the Living Dead ( 1968 ), Legion ( 2010 ), and Feast ( 2005 ). Being a tale of disparate survivors having to come together in the face of a threat beyond not only their abilities to deal with, but challenging the foundations of their perception of reality. Unfortunately, it doesn’t manage the social commentary of Night of the Living Dead, the over the top violence and special effects of Legion, or the insane gore and humor of Feast. I can at least say that the makers of Tsunambee seemed to be trying, not intentionally making a bad film to cash in on a trend. Sadly if they had been, there might have been a little more humor to lighten the leaden tone and pacing of Tsunambee.
The best, in fact, the only humorous segment is given to us by Shale Le Page as Jesse when he asks Thea Saccoliti as Casandra, the blessed child, if God told her anything about his fate, and she says that her teddy bear will be all right and he has an absolute breakdown. I’m grasping at straws here, folks.
The oddest piece of recurring narrative comes to us from Stacy Pederson as Sheriff Lindsey Feargo, who was apparently inspired to become a police officer because she liked coloring police lights…Okay. Her father would drive her to wherever police lights were flashing. That is crazier than the wrath of God leading to zombie-making bees! This leads her to see her own mother dead at an accident scene, and you have to know that that’s not the only horror she was exposed to. Maybe her father didn’t want her to become a cop? That’s the kind of logic that would make Ed Wood proud!
Tsunambee Is a bad film in the classical sense: wooden acting, slow spotty pacing, serious when it has the opportunity to be humorous, and plagued with bad writing and giant plot holes. However, the filmmakers seem to have been really trying and, in my book, that counts for something. The choice to fill the film with strange biblical imagery and quotations while never explaining what any of it is supposed to mean leaves a confusing tone that does nothing to help the film’s faults. I have to say, give this one a pass, my friends. There are better “Bad” movies to watch, and if you want to see a survivor siege film, try one of the aforementioned movies or give John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) a try. It is a classic “Good, Bad” film and is fun with or without friends to riff along with you.
“Nerdy Speculation Corner: Warning, may contain both spoilers and dangerous amounts of geekery!”
There is nothing much to discuss about Tsunambee, but there is a mid-credits segment that I may be the only person besides the editor to ever see. The blood smeared dirty waif who constructed the crude cross at the beginning of the film returns and does battle with a swarm of giant bees ( or swirling black dots, to be more visually accurate ) with magical Jesus powers ( or a blue photoshop effect )… okay? So the character that appears once before in the film and doesn’t have a single line of dialogue is magical? The new savior? Really bad sequel bait? You decide, my comic cohorts.
Next week I’ll be wrestling Armstrong, a sci-fi, action, conspiracy film from the makers of The Answer. Will a lone warrior wielding a cybernetic prosthesis be able to turn the tide on the eve of a plot to destroy the world, or is mankind as doomed as the investors of Alien: Reign of Man? Come back to the edge to find out!