Starring: Vincent Ventresca, Tom Skerrit, Summer Glau and Leila Arcieri
Momentum Pictures
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: 12
Available 13 August 2007

When a meteor smashes into a Pleistocene museum, the fury of a partially frozen, 40,000 year old mammoth is unleashed on a small country town. Under orders to contain the threat that the mammoth possesses at all costs, Special Agents Powers and Whitaker are given 17 hours to kill the mammoth or the entire town will be decimated. They recruit local palaeontologist, Dr. Frank Abernathy, to help them hunt the creature down before its rampage of death and destruction gets to the outside world. With the clock ticking and the body count rising, the only chance Dr. Abernathy has of saving his daughter and B-movie fanatic father is to help the agents destroy his life's work...

Mammoth is a made for TV movie that was originally commissioned for the Sci-Fi Channel. The budget is pretty low and, sadly, this shows on the screen.

The first 20 minutes set this up as a light-hearted family comedy, but then, once the Mammoth comes to life (I assume I'm spoiling nothing here for those who haven't seen it) everything starts to fall apart. While the CGI effects of the monster are pretty lame that's just the start of the film's problems.

The worst thing though is that this movie can't seem to make up it's mind which genre it's supposed to be in. Is it a horror, family entertainment or a slapstick comedy? There are huge elements of all three, but it's impossible to slot this film into all three categories. If the deaths had been cut, then this could have easily fitted into a more family entertainment movie. And if the producers were aiming at the horror market, then they failed because the slapstick comedy is way too childish to appeal to horror fans. Take a family Disney movie and a monster horror film, and the resulting film would not be too far from Mammoth.

The dialogue in the script is also pretty lame in places. And did we really need such a long and boring talky section in the morgue, to be followed by another long and even duller talky sequence set in a diner? A good editor would have stripped out all the unnecessary dialogue to leave a much tighter sequence.

Extras include the trailer; Acting in Mammoth (7 min interviews with some of the cast); and Mammoth Visual Effects (3 mins look at the visual effects. Basically this is a rerun of all the effects used in the movie - some finished some half complete). One interesting aspect of the Acting in Mammoth featurette is the fact that it includes a deleted scene from the movie, which explains how the living hand was created in the first place.

At the end of the day, Mammoth is a pretty poor offering. There are a few too many gruesome scenes to make it a family movie; it's too twee for horror enthusiasts to warm to; and the CGI effects are so poor that you can't help laughing as the monster runs amok. Mammoth is a huge disappointment.

Darren Rea

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