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Tasmanian Devils (2013) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

A group of thrill-seeking base jumpers travel deep into the Australian wilderness to find the perfect cliff to leap from. The area hasn’t been disturbed by humans in years and it’s illegal to trespass. The first to jump (Apolo Ohno) pulls his shoot too late and plunges through the trees, shattering the earth floor beneath and landing straight onto a giant spike in the middle of a cave. His blood flows down small crevices and into holding areas where evil Tasmanian Devils are resurrected. After being found out by local rangers, the others must try to escape the clutches of the giant man-eating marsupials. It seems these are a magical ancient curse put on the land to ward off intruders. The devils will stop at nothing to protect the forest. Who will survive?

Only on the Syfy channel can you watch Winter Olympian Apolo Ohno run through by a stalagmite and ripped to pieces by an incredibly unconvincing CGI Tasmanian devil. If the horrid CGI helicopter in the opening credit sequence doesn’t turn you off, then this is the movie for you. I was really surprised at the level of gore in it, for something on the Syfy channel, which often plays far more toned down content. This film features Apolo Ohno being ripped off the stalagmite, splitting him in two sending his entrails down the spike without cutting away. There’s plenty more where that came from as well, such as a stick through a guy’s cheek pinning him to a tree. Not for long though, as a Tasmanian devil rips him off it, and yes it shows that action.

Aside from the gore the acting is as expected, not great but not horrible. The film does slow down when there’s no devils attacking and the attempt at humanizing or getting to know the characters falls flat and can get down right boring. Luckily there’s plenty of cheesy action to put a smile on you face. Only on the Syfy channel do you get to see Winnie Cooper fight off giant man-eating Tasmanian devils with a homemade flame-thrower. And the Danica McKeller close-ups of her wrinkling her nose and gnashing her teeth as she scowls at her beastly foes are priceless. One things for sure about this forgettable TV movie, it’s very entertaining at times. And Danica McKeller looks sexy in her tight ranger’s outfit, thumbs-up to the guy assigning uniforms in Australia’s national parks.

Director: Zach Lipovsky
Stars: Danica McKellar, Kenneth Mitchell, Mike Dopud, Apolo Ohno

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