Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: Watchers (1988)

Michael Ironside really makes this movie for me. Hell, he's the reason Highlander II is a guilty pleasure of mine, because "train wreck" is the only way to classify that cinematic disaster. I've always been curious about Watchers and its sequels, but I never figured they'd be any good. Turns out of course, they're based on a book, which was poorly adapted but came out well enough to where it's not a bad way to spend a couple hours if you can see it for free (thank you, Netflix). The story seems kinda goofy now since if you're going to send a dog in to make friends with the enemies, I don't think that'd work so well in the Middle East (obviously, this was made long before current events), but the idea of a super smart dog is pretty fun. I guess some people like to beat up Corey Haim, but I think he's fine in this, and the poor guy is dead now so give him a break. It does suck that his character was changed from a much older man in the book to a kid in the film, but that's Hollywood for you, and they love to do stupid shit like that. Aside from Ironside, the real star of the film is the dog, and he's perfect. Best actor ever.

How about the monster? You don't get a good look at it for the most part until the end, and I'd say that's a smart decision, because the design isn't the greatest. In fact, it looks pretty shitty when you finally see it (it ain't no Predator that's for damn sure). I was surprised to get quite a few kills in the movie, and every time that happens, the monster claws out the eyes of its victims, which was a nice gory trademark. I keep going back to Ironside though. He really makes everything he's in so much better except maybe Terminator Salvation, but he was barely in that. So again, it wasn't the greatest, but super low expectations, a certain affection for man-in-suit 80s monster movies and the awesome Michael Ironside made it pretty enjoyable for me.


  1. Watchers is decent. Now watch all the sequels - of which none are actually sequels! They just tell the same story over and over - when a sequel is really a remake - I call it a "requel." You can steal that - but credit me! ;) Anyway - I don't remember everything about the sequels - but Marc (Beastmaster) Singer is the guy in one of them - and that's the best adaptation of the book because Singer is a lot like the guy in the book. I think Mark Hamill might be the guy in another one. (I know, I know - the internet could tell me all - but I'm commenting, and I'm lazy, so there you go.)

    1. I always wanted to see Watchers 3 since I saw the VHS cover so many times, and I love practical fx monster movies, but I never did. I've read the sequels are pretty bad and essentially just remakes with Watchers II being the closest to the book since like you said, Marc Singer is an old man, which matches his character in the novel. I didn't know Mark Hamill was in one. I always forget there are actually four sequels or "requels." It's pretty funny they remade it four times, and apparently, never really got it right.