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EYE OF THE BEAST ($15) is a reasonably entertaining low budget monster movie that is good for an evening’s popcorn munching and six pack swigging. The premise of EYE OF THE BEAST is concerned with a small fishing village, where the fish have suddenly all but disappeared. Enter government assigned marine biologist Dan Leland (Van Der Beek) on a fact-finding mission to discover what has depleted the fish populations. After getting flack from the locals, who are on the verge of losing their livelihoods, Leland discovers the cause to be a giant squid, which is starting to chow down on the locals, now that the fish are gone. What follows are shades of JAWS (not to mention several other marine monster movies) as our hero sets out on the water with a handful of fishermen to take out the hungry beastie. The cast of EYE OF THE BEAST also includes Alexandra Castillo, Arne MacPherson, Ryan Rajendra Black, Tom Anniko, Sharon Bajer, Gabriel Daniels, Erik Fjeldsted, Kyra Harper, Alicia Johnston, Daina Leitold and Stephen Eric McIntyre.

Genius Products has made EYE OF THE BEAST available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The transfer is decent enough for a low budget affair. Image sharpness and detail is fairly average, some of it is a little softer than the rest, but not too bad. The fact that the image is softer than a theatrical feature does go a long way to disguise the budgetary limitations of the special effects. Colors are a little drab, but not terrible. Contrast is adequate to the task. The image can appear a little grainy. Digital compression artifacts aren’t much of a problem.

EYE OF THE BEAST comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtrack, which decodes to standard surround. This is a pretty workman like soundtrack; it gets the job done without too many flourishes. There are some channel separations, but much of the film is very talky, with things localized front and center. Dialogue is crisp and easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, nor have subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some trailers for other Maneater Series titles.

EYE OF THE BEAST is not a bad time waster, although it is the kind of production that makes one hope star James Van Der Beek invested his DAWSON’S CREEK money wisely. Worth a rental for those so inclined.



Eye of the Beast



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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