Reviewed by: Tony Sullivan

What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you want one of those glamorous, genuinely dangerous thrill-a-minute vocations? Fireman, perhaps? Lion Tamer, maybe?

Have you considered archaeologist?

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Pick ancient Indian tribes that have become mysteriously extinct as your specialty. Next get digging at their forbidden burial grounds. Alone. Soon excitement and adventure will be yours.

A truck jackknifes while trying to avoid hitting… something… in the Utah desert, thus blocking the main access to civilization and stranding several characters in the middle of nowhere.

There are two delectable sisters (Beau Garrett and Whitney Able) who've picked up a hunky hitchhiker (Tommy Dewey)… there's the spunky lady sheriff with a dark secret (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a wise-ass city boy (Charlie Murphy), a farmhouse full of rednecks, a barmaid with bottle (Miranda Bailey) and, finally, a sage old Indian (Russell Means) and his granddaughter (Tonantzin Carmelo). Oh, did I forget to mention the slime-dripping monster?

Our aforementioned archaeologist (Luke Goss, of all people) has unwittingly loosed a drooling, teeth-laden beastie upon the populace - and despite some patient, scientific exposition around the half way mark, we can all see that the critter is really sharing DNA with HR Giger's alien.

The film's constant desire to flit between locations is a puzzle: the gang move between the local tavern, a mine, the burial ground, the redneck farmhouse and the home of the wise Indian with nary a thought for motivation. We are also teased endlessly about a secret the sheriff is hiding that is fairly obvious after the first flashback and doesn't really pay off.

There are things to like - the smoky cinematography and a kinetic score - but I know if I'm noticing such things the story is already leaving me cold. Finally there is a terrible sense of déjà vu about the whole proceedings. This film has been much better done under the title Feast or, perhaps, Tremors or even Russell Mulcahy's neglected Australian killer-pig movie, Razorback.

I'm never adverse to a good monster movie, or even a bad monster movie, come to that, but Unearthed doesn't have any real bite and could quite happily be re-interred.

Reviewed on: 27 May 2007
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Unearthed packshot
Creature feature sees a beastie escape from a burial ground.
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Director: Matthew Leutwyler

Writer: Matthew Leutwyler

Starring: Emmanuelle Vaugier, Luke Goss, Beau Garrett, Tonantzin Carmelo

Year: 2007

Runtime: 94 minutes

Country: USA


Tribeca 2007

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