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Surviving Evil


Stars: Billy Zane, Christina Cole, Natalie Mendoza, Joel Torre, Colin Moss, Louise Barnes

Director: Terence Daw

After two doses of The Descent and now this, Natalie Mendoza must be getting used to battling humanoid monsters. This time, she's part of a six-person crew assigned to a desert island off the Philippines to film a jungle survival programme for TV, with ace survivalist Seb (Zane) as the star.

'All ready,' asks Zane, 'to settle in for a nice, cosy night? It is, of course, anything but, as the noises from the surrounding jungle begin to sound more menacing than anything a wagonload of macaque monkeys could muster.

Investigating the interior, Chill (Mendoza) and Joey (Torre) find that the local tribe has been horrifyingly wiped out - by a gleamingly red-skulled sub-human race of cannibals, who can also change shape and grow wings (why haven't the locals been exterminated long ago?). The bad guys soon move in on our hapless heroes.

It always takes these things time to work up a full head of steam, but the 'monsters' take a particularly long time to appear in this one, leaving the cast to bicker and chat most of the first hour away. When it does come, the fiercely-edited action does the job, although the acting is variable, with only Mendoza and Torre, as the terrified Latins, offering thoroughly decent performances. The jungle photography is noticeably crisp and clear, but the silly ending seems tacked on to make way for a sequel.

David Quinlan

UK/South Africa 2009. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour by Bucks Labs.
86 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 27 Sep 2009