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SAVAGE PLANET - Skull
Not Rated
Copyright 2006 Hand 'n' Hand Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 18 October 2010

Capsule Review:    

This is a film about people exploring a distant planet and bears. Actually, it's mostly a film about bears. No, it's a film about alien bears that look exactly like Earth bears. Don't get discouraged; I am going to tell you more about the movie. I just don't want you to forget the bears. There are a lot of bears.

A brilliant (unconvincingly so) entrepreneur named Carlson perfects a form of long distance travel called DST that permits objects to be teleported across the galaxy. Since Earth is polluted beyond repair, he uses DST to search for habitable planets. Upon finding one, he and his team of close advisors travel through the gateway to claim and explore the new planet. Unfortunately, the planet is inhabited by packs of ravenous bears that are nearly impossible to kill. The bears are the only animal life on the entire planet, so I guess that their ecological niche is waiting for other races to invent FTL spaceships, wormhole travel, or teleportation, then eating the explorers who arrive.

It bears mentioning that DST is not teleportation per say. It's much worse. Every person has to carry a CD with their encoded information; the CD must be inserted into the DST portal's drive prior to travel. Without the CD, a person cannot use the DST portal. Meaning they could be trapped on an alien planet with no hope of ever returning home if the CD is lost, scratched, or a bear eats it.

My biggest complaint about this film is the bears. After travelling 20,000 light years across the universe to an alien planet, the exploration party is menaced by bears. They're just...bears. They don't have strangely colored fur (purple people-eating bears could be cool), glowing eyes, or even tentacles. God, I'd kill for a good movie about purple people-eating octo-bears from Mars.

Anyway, the humans' main problem on this alien planet is, quite obviously, the bears. Anybody who gets separated from the group is eaten by a bear. In fact, if the camera is not focused on a character, they are in grave danger of immediately becoming bear chow. Except for Carlson - he can wander around alone with impunity, and he has to after the rest of the group discovers that he is a greedy bastard who knew beforehand that the planet was populated by people-eating bears. The reason Carlson did not tell the others is so he could recover a sample of magic green goop reported by an earlier, now deceased, expedition. Because he is an evil CEO, Carlson steals the control circuit to the DST portal and tries to kill off the rest of his team. It's up to the veteran security team leader (Cain) and the attractive love interest (Allison) to stop him.

Can you guess what happened to the earlier expedition? Yup, you guessed it: the bears ate them.

I am not a fan of this movie. To tell the truth, it cannot even be said that my feelings for the film are ambivalent. It's boring, it doesn't make sense, and the only person it entertained is my wife. Not on account of her having a bear fetish. Katie had fun watching the movie because she didn't watch the movie. She watched me, watching the movie. Apparently I am fun as a barrel of monkeys when I'm annoyed, and this movie annoys me.

A final thought in passing is that I think (I think, mind you) that the alien planet was somehow seeded with Earth DNA years earlier. Somehow that resulted in the bizarre bear ecosystem that is present. Believe me, I realize that this idea does not make any sense, and most of it probably disappeared in the editing room, but that is what I believe is supposed to have happened.


Things I Learned From This Movie:  

Green Dot There are two types of planets in the universe: ones that look like Earth, and ones that don't.
Green Dot People who live in houses with glass ceilings should not wear black turtlenecks.
Green Dot Bears are grumpy because everything they see looks like a 3D movie without the glasses.
Green Dot Having half a girlfriend is not better than having no girlfriend at all.
Green Dot Every first aid kit should include a soldering tool.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 2 mins - Ladies and gentlemen, you have just seen the movie's monster. Yes, it's a bear.
Green Dot 11 mins - Why would you go and ruin a virgin planet by bringing a lawyer with you?
Green Dot 22 mins - "You look like a woman. Here, let me help you."
Green Dot 31 mins - It sounds like a bear to me.
Green Dot 46 mins - That guy is wearing a metal suitcase as a backpack.
Green Dot 48 mins - The bear ate the lawyer. Paradise is saved.
Green Dot 71 mins - Great, weeviltech. No nobody cares how polluted the planet is becoming, because they can just eat the sludge and slag.

Quotes:  

Carlson: "I'm James Carlson. I'm currently standing on Project Oxygen breathing pure, clean air. Project Oxygen is an unexplored planet 20,000 light years from Earth. How I arrived here and the purpose of this journey will be revealed in due time. But to more immediate business purposes: I hereby claim Project Oxygen as the sole property of Calron Corporation."

Cain: "So, what are we dealing with?"
Allison: "Well, I'm not certain, but my guess is Ursus spelaeus. It's a prehistoric cave bear, been extinct on Earth for over 10,000 years."
Security Guy: "Bear? Hell, this is a monster."
Allison: "The most formidable predator in its day."
Cain: "So how does an extinct bear come to get on this planet?"
Allison: "Somehow its DNA sequence regressed. No modern bear, even full grown, has claws this big or a hide this dense."


Buy It Now Online:  

Buy it from Amazon.com   (United States)

Buy it from Amazon.ca   (Canada)

Buy it from Amazon.co.uk   (United Kingdom)


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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #9. Posted on October 20, 2010, 12:20:56 PM by Ed, Ego and Superego
Ed,

The availability and unlimited 24/7 access on On Demand cable to Caillou should be somehow made into a horror movie. I saw the episode you mention, as I have seen most episodes aired. Caillou makes me confused, angry, frustrated, occasionally incontinent, and filled with a rage I never knew existed.

Off the topic I know, just sharing I guess.
Compared to most of the train wrecks of small kids TV, Caillou is quiet and sane.  I'll take it.
-Ed
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #10. Posted on October 25, 2010, 11:03:41 PM by MexiGojira
So, in resume, this is Colbert's worst nightmare, a planet ruled by bears, God help him if the beasts develops space travel.
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #11. Posted on October 26, 2010, 12:29:29 AM by Raffine
I saw this on SyFy (sic) a couple of years ago. I'm sometimes slow on the uptake, so I sat through about three quarters of the thing before I realized: "It's just bears. It's just gonna be bears. Just bears."
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #12. Posted on October 26, 2010, 01:27:40 PM by InformationGeek
A movie about tons of killer bears sounds like a fun time (I am sucker for all things killer animal related after all), but it seems to be that you have found this movie to be bad.  Is it because of cliches, the faulty science, and or an over abundance of earth bears trying and failing hard at being space bears?

It's just boring.  The writing is terrible, there aren't any good lines, and the acting is bland.

So basic Sci-Fi/Sy-Fy original movie then?
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #13. Posted on October 27, 2010, 02:53:39 PM by Dennis
Several years ago I too watched this film on the Saturday SciFi movie of the week, the trailers for the film did not actually show the bears, just the fate of some of the explorers. I feel that even for a "B" movie this was false advertising. On the plus side however it has given Poogie something to more or less berate me with ever since that night.
Example, "Why do you insist on watching this stuff, this is just like that bear movie, and you know it's going to be that way yet you watch this *!$% every week, you crack me up."
My wife has always been entertained by my reactions to this caliber of cinematic art.
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #14. Posted on November 06, 2010, 04:40:46 AM by BTM

This film sounds completely unbearable.
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #15. Posted on November 14, 2010, 02:09:06 AM by Jijna
... I thought that they were supposed to be giant bears.  That's the way it looked when I watched the last fifteen or twenty minutes of extreme stupidity.
Re: Savage Planet
Reply #16. Posted on November 15, 2010, 08:46:05 AM by Andrew

This film sounds completely unbearable.

You went there...
Pages: 1 [2] 3


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Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Lesson Learned:
  • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

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