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Homaging something that is already in most ways a parody of itself is no easy task. Think of the monster and creature-feature movies of the 40s and 50s, a collection of reactionary films focused mostly on fear-mongering as science tapped into the nuclear age with a ferocious welcome. In modern times, these movies have become cheap CGI fodder that are less about new energy and more on natural disasters, with titles like Sharknado putting them back on the map, per se.
Now comes Tsunambee, another admittedly cleverly-named film with a premise that is just as over-the-top and logic-defying as any in this current crop but does have at least have a ton of ambition if not sheer lunacy. This is not high-concept but good fun and the filmmakers seem to have no aims in trying to do anything else in a story that follows a rag tag team of three gang members who make a run out of Los Angeles when it falls into chaos, only to get stuck in the middle of a strange, worldwide atmospheric disturbance that introduces them to some unlikely allies as the planet succumbs to massive swarms of giant killer bees. Honestly, this is genre gold if you’re into it.
Written and directed by Milko Davis, Tsunambees is B-grade fluff to be sure, made with a small budget and filled with cheap CGI effects that are on par with direct-to-video fare from fifteen years ago, accompanied by dialogue that is about as challenging as pronouncing the title, yet is still – as these films often are – cheesy fun if you’re in the right mood. As three members of an LA gang, dressed in Charlie Brown shades of yellow and black (meant more to subtly(?) mimic the generic shades of bees) escape an apocalypse in the city, they run into rednecks and a local sheriff with the comic book-inspired name Lindsey Feargo (Stacy Pederson). They comb the countryside for shelter squabbling as a literal reign of terror swarms around them from the skies and then on the ground as those stung, quite naturally of course, turn into zombies. What else would you expect?
Davis attempts some social, political and even some religious commentary within the diverse group, all finding commonality between the three inherently antagonistic types as they fend for themselves. That all gives the movie some moments of depth as a prolonged sequence at the midpoint slows it all down to a few conversations that injects a bit of character development, even if the script and acting don’t exactly inspire any hope it will be anything more than what it is. Some interesting twists give it slightly more than the standard schlock, but despite some momentum in the second half, this is just Friday night popcorn fare that will sustain those craving a cheap creature feature fix.
Movie description: Tsunambee is a 2015-produced (available for VOD in 2017) drama, horror film about a band of survivors in the wake of an atmospheric apocalypse who must work together as a terrible new threat descends up them.
Director(s): Milko Davis
Actor(s): Stacy Pederson, Ruselis Aumeen Perry, Shale Le Page