• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Kraa! The Sea Monster

TITLE: Kraa! The Sea Monster

YEAR: 1998

GENRE: Family and Science Fiction

Back in the late 1980’s and early 90’s it was popular on Japanese television to create a variety of television shows where teenagers fight giant Godzilla-sized monsters. The teens would usually be part of some galactic protection force assigned to Earth, and every week some evil being would send a monster down to the planet to wreck havoc on Tokyo while the young ones save the day in the end. Sound familiar? It should, because shortly after the mega-hit TV show “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and a slew of sequels, movies, and merchandising products hit the American shores like a Tsunami. The original show used fight scenes from the Japanese counterpart “Zen Rangers”, redubbed the dialogue from the fight scenes into English (which was easy enough considering the teens wore helmets without mouths), and added a few scenes with American actors to tie the fight sequences into storylines. This probably sounds bad enough for most readers, but what is even worse when a low grade studio such as Full Moon Productions takes the idea and adds their less than stellar touch to an already stale idea. This is the case with the family monster disaster Kraa! The Sea Monster which quite arguably could be one of the ten worst live action family films ever made.

Lord Doom (played by Michael Guerin and voiced by Jerry Lentz) and his sidekick Chamberlain (Jon Simanton) are evildoers who are planning to take over the Earth. Since it is too big of a job for a couple normal sized people, they decide to hire the gigantic Kraa! (John Paul Fedele), a monster who attacks the planet via its oceans. Complete with heavy-duty armor that the military can not penetrate, the ability to breathe underwater for hours at a time, and huge claws that can crush battleships, Kraa! is one formidable force for which the world’s leaders have no answers. Who will save the day? A bunch of teenagers known as the Planet Patrol complete with a maneuverable space ship, of course. Assisted by their alien friend Mogyar (J.W. Perra), the Planet Patrol is ready, willing, and able to take on the evil Kraa! to send him back to the alien land from which he came.

I know that there are a few people still reading this thinking that Kraa! The Sea Monster must be some B-grade cheesy goodness, but unfortunately that is not the case. The scriptwriter Benjamin Carr (Full Moon script veteran) does not add enough comical or ridiculous elements to make Kraa! The Sea Monster into one of the classic monster films that B-fans love; rather, the storyline and cast plays the story as almost too serious as if they are attempting to make a real serious film instead of this trash. The monster is obviously a rubber suit including a scene where one can actually can make out the zipper. The special effects are acceptable for a B-movie but some of the destroyed boats look so bad that even Godzilla would ask for a re-shoot. The acting is fairly acceptable at times but usually falls into a level of badness that reeks of an epic fail on all levels.

Kraa! The Sea Monster did serve some purpose in the fact that a few of its cast and crew moved on to bigger and better productions: co-director Aaron Osbourne moved into production design and created the look of The Losers and Sex Drive; actor Stephen Martines is a regular special guest on TV shows and soap operas; and actress Alison Lohman has become a known performer whose credits include the enjoyable Drag Me To Hell. Believe it or not, a sequel called Planet Patrol was made a year later (with most cast members reprising their roles) and received even worse reviews. It is a good thing that Kraa! The Sea Monster gave a few people exposure to help them move on in their careers, but other than that this film is just not worth the DVD’s that holds its water-logged content.

*

–Mark

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