Behemoth (2011)

“What would you say if I said I have dead squirrels at my feet?” asked the scientist lady at one point, in my favourite line from the film. On the nearby volcano, steam squirts out of the ground and causes someone to drop dead with a face full of burns makeup. In the woods, a tree falls across a workman’s leg -causing much merry banter (!?) – until his death shocks them soon after (really?). A cute doggie falls asleep. Buildings disappear into cracks in the ground without any damage except the odd window crack. Tsunamis and other global catastrophes are happening in other parts of the world. And it all points to a dead volcano next to a small American town.

monster on a mountain topThe number of clichés packed into one movie is quite impressive here. The ‘hero’, Ed, is rugged and handsome (and instantly recognisable from Eureka), and has had a romantic past with the female scientist lead. (Will they be kissing by the end of the movie? Oh I really wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.)

Ed’s elderly father has stopped taking his medication and has started obsessively drawing world-destroying monsters and spouting on about ancient myths (though disappointingly not sculpting mashed potato mountains). But his warnings are ignored by everyone. Ed’s sister is young and pretty and about to go camping with her boyfriend. Bearing in mind several frightening ground tremors have just shook the town, where do they decide to pitch their tent and cut themselves off from society? That’s right – up a volcano.

Surprisingly there isn’t the usual disaster-movie ‘annual town festival’ to argue about cancelling, and the sheriff does eventually believe the place should be evacuated. In front of maybe a dozen silent-but-over-emoting extras (the whole townsfolk) he yells his instructions right into their faces, through a loudhailer.

sheriff orders the evacuationThe sister’s boyfriend’s true intentions of getting her alone are revealed, as he tries to take her up the shrubby pathway (not a euphamism). Before he can convince her to stick her finger in his ring, a fake-looking CGI rockface reveals a big hole with a monster eye peeping through it, before an unconvincing giant tentacle pops out to attack. Yes the mysterious problem is actually an enormous octopus-like monster. Considering it’s intent on destroying human civilisation worldwide, I’m surprised it bothers picking on individual people. And later in the film, despite some quite good CGI when the monster is revealed in full, the deadly creature doesn’t do a lot except sit on the volcano waving its tentacles and roaring.

Female characters don’t seem to come off well in this film. There’s a lot of screaming, crying, tripping over while running, falling off step ladders, and more screaming. I was surprised to find out the writer is a woman.

It’s all very predictable, and it’s not hard to guess which characters will survive or get killed. The CGI shifting rocks and tentacle attacks are not very convincing. The ending was disappointing, and left me thinking – was that it? It’s a typical made-for-television sci-fi type film, with a low budget, TV actors, and a good helping of silliness. It’s watchable, and would be entertaining with the right bunch of people, and probably has potential for a drinking game. But I wouldn’t want to watch it twice myself.


Behemoth is often broadcast on TV in the UK, particularly on SyFy and Movies24. It is also available to purchase from, and other retailers.

Behemoth/2011/Goliath Pictures/Dir: D Hogan/Prod: J Prince

2 Responses “Behemoth (2011)” →

  1. fraggle

    July 30, 2011

    This film just made me angry it was sooo bad!


  2. Aaron Babcock

    July 30, 2011

    This sounds like a winner…


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