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  Tsunambee Buzz KillBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: Milko Davis
Stars: Stacy Pederson, Ruselis Aumeen Perry, Shale Le Page, Maria DeCoste, Thea Saccoliti, Charlie Aligaen, Jordan Chesnut, Aaron Goodman, WonDrae Hart, Jon Kunsch, Walter Anaruk, Jerell Klaver, Kim Green, Cherith Steininger, Michelle Mras, Chris Mortenson
Genre: Horror, Trash
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A woman walks across the wasteland that Planet Earth has become, fashioning a makeshift cross from two branches to remind her of the God this world has lost. How did such a turn of events occur? We have to go back to an expedition in Nigeria which uncovered a new strain of bees, huge insects that once disturbed, bred and spread their way across the globe, reaching the United States where J.B. (Ruselis Aumeen Perry) and his Nigerian girlfriend Chica (Maria DeCoste), plus his best friend Tubs (Charlie Aligaen) have been horrified to watch the chaos on the news. As a helicopter crashes outside, they make up their minds: they have to leave the city and set out on their own to seek refuge...

The series of Sharknado features for television had a curious effect on bad movies in that the producers of them began to count on an audience who would be watching purely so they could make fun of what was set before them. It didn't matter their motives, went the reasoning, they were still paying for their ticket or broadcast, and any profit is good profit as far as their bank accounts went. But Tsunambee, in spite of a splendidly cheesy title that lifted hopes for some good laughs at the film's expense, appeared to be deadly serious, so much so that it was more a meditation on religious belief for long stretches than it was an old fashioned (or new-fangled) monster movie.

Not what you would have expected from either that title or the trailer, but the tenet of low budget movies no matter the genre was always "talk is cheap", although in this case the special effects were cheap as well. If you were anticipating sequences of hapless actors fending off bees the size of houses with stingers the length of telegraph poles, then that's not what you had here, the bees were more the size of chihuahuas though a lot less friendly, swarming around and turning those they poison into zombies. Sounds pretty promising, right? Well, that would have been accurate if they had stuck to their guns in the manner of the better examples of this trend, say Big Ass Spider which mixed humour and a nice line in style.

What you had instead with Tsunambee was a variation on Night of the Living Dead only with those poorly CGI-ed bees superimposed over various scenes, except they didn't look like bees, they looked like wasps, so presumably Tidal Wasp as a title was never considered. The trio we begin with are quickly landed in the countryside, so quickly in fact that any linking material between scenes appeared to have been either ruthlessly excised or never filmed at all, creating a jumpy set of transitions. There they meet two rednecks, one of whom is killed by a bee, and the other joins the three along with passing Sheriff Speargo (Stacy Pederson) to find a place of safety which we can tell will be easier said than done, though quite a lot was found to be easier said as the characters discussed the Hand of God in all this at some length.

So what you had was actually a Christian apocalypse movie, something Left Behind was part and perhaps instigator of in the twenty-first century, with Chica representing the voice of the Almighty in all this (her accent marking her out as at least someone a bit different from the norm), as well as a little girl (Thea Saccoliti) who clings to a teddy bear and spouts piety like it was going out of fashion as the grown-ups fail to realise it's by turning away from God that they have doomed themselves. Quite how much stock you put in this holy moly lesson making was undercut by its belief that the Christian deity, supposedly coming from a place of love, would try to terrorise His subjects into turning believer, and besides, a quote from the book of Daniel at the end misspelled multitudes as "multidudes", which put images in your mind of millions of cool guys multitasking or something. This slipping in of an important message was nothing new in genre fiction, but rarely did it hold up the action quite as poorly as it did here, with not even that many chuckles to be had. A curio, but not really the cult bad movie that it needed to be, disappointing in that respect.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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