Something Beneath

 

 

Shooting: November 2006

 

26 April 2007 -- 40th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival premiere

Presented by Peace Arch Entertainment --- Produced by a Paquin Entertainment Production

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Chiller
MPAA Rating: (PG-13)

 

  Screenwriters: Mark Mullin, Ethlie Ann Vare Father Douglas Middleton -- Kevin Sorbo
 
Director: David Winning
Khali Spence -- Natalie Brown
Executive Producer: Robert Halmi, Jr. Jason Deadmarsh -- Peter MacNeill
  Filming location -- Portage la Prairie, Winnipeg (Canada) Dr. Connolly -- Brendan Beiser

 

Kevin Sorbo: I'm not sure when it's coming out at all. All that I know is that when we were up there, it was cold as hell. (12.06 UGO.com)
 
At the 40th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival "Something Beneath" won GOLD for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Feature.
 
David Winning (director): <...> I got the phone call when I was shooting a kid series in July in Toronto and it was about 110 degrees. My agent said, "Do want to go shoot a monster movie in Winnipeg, Manitoba in November in underground frozen sewer pipes?" Considering what the weather I was in at that moment, that's what I wanted to do. It was a fun kind of sci-fi monster movie about a mud beast that comes out of the basement of an old hotel facility and Kevin [Sorbo] plays of all things a priest. Kevin told me that it's the fourth time that he's played a priest. He seems to be entering his Richard Chamberlain phase of his acting career (kidding). He's a great guy. It was fun and turned out pretty scary. Nice thing about these movies, sometimes you get the chance to do a rewrite on them. They asked us to do that. So we bumped it up and made it a kind of rock'n roll horror movie. (29.06.07 Audio interview on SCIFI TALK - transcript is done by some good soul)
 
Kevin Sorbo: <...> I think the script suffered a bit. I think David Winning, our director, did a great job of trying to salvage something out of it. It's just, the story itself didn't work completely. I think there are some nice moments in there. I would have liked to have more time on the script and more time to actually shoot. We didn't get that long of time to film it properly, but kudos to David Winning. I've worked with David before. He directed a couple of episodes of "Andromeda". He's very passionate, very committed to his craft. He loves actors and wants to work with them. I think because of him the film turned out far better than it really read on the page. <...> But we still got longer than we would have gotten on a one hour TV show. We did have a longer time to collaborate and talk about the scenes, work out kinks in the script. When you shoot a TV show, we only shot that show seven days for each episode. So pace is far more faster and it's just a little more hectic, but David is, no matter what, whether it's a one hour tv show or a movie, he comes in prepared. I've never seen a director write out so many notes and he gives the actor the shot list for each scene. He already planned out exactly what he wants to do. And he wants us to be aware of what he wants to do. So he spends a lot of time and does his homework. (09.10.07 Interview by Gilles Nuytens on www.thescifiworld.net - Transcript by Jennifer Redelle Carey)

 

Plot summary

 

In some places the movie is sold as horror, which seems to be an exaggeration. It is a little camp, a little scare, with humour, mystical touch, romance and the morals. Just watch out for oily goo...

 

Biologist Dr. Walter Connolly warns the company that the grounds under building site are toxic and all burrow animals are leaving the place. One year later the Cedar Gate Conference Centre has its inaugural Clean Planet conference - with TV News following annoying celebrity daughter of influential rich man, asthmatic gifted ecologist repeating his address, handsome actvities planner Khali having problems with a little doggie and environmentalist Father Douglas Middleton been as calm and confident as any conference coordinator can only dream to be.

Khali is interested in crusading priest, who returned from the New Guinea, and he is paying attention to her. During the shared dinner Father Doug is curious about her hand-made pendant. Khali says it is from her Grandmother, who was an Ojibway. He reveals a thorough knowledge of Ojibway religion. He says their beliefs are linking all alive to Ahki - Earth.

The next day main speaker is found dead. It looks like he died from the attack of illness. Almost. You guess it - the more troubles are to come. Oily black something oozes its way around the Cedar Gate. The VIP-delegate is found dead. It looks like she commited suicide. Almost. Khali is chased by the cross-breed of wolf and dog from her 20 years-away past. Father Doug saves her. Some later she is glad to discover she was wrong, assuming that he is a Catholic priest, while he is an Episcopalian (which means he can get married). Their conversation is interrupted by cranky Dr.Connolly, saying them to run away and then taking to the middle of apocalypse.

Detective Jason Deadmarsh, the chief of Conference Centre Security, goes to the sewer tunnels to investigate the slime. Tunnels are saturated with methane. Here he teams up with Khali, Father Doug and biologist, who reveals that they have met a new species - a massive cellular organism, capable of inducing hallucination in anyone who comes in contact with it. People hallucinate about their greatest fear and that fear kills them. Father Doug is thinking about the way to figure out the means to understand the motives of their foe. But soon he has to take care of immediate survival. What is living in the sewer system beneath the Centre is not highly intelligent - it is just taking lives, without any distinction.

The conference is gone, the Cedar Gate is closed by emergency. Father Doug leaves to continue his missionary work... he sets out for Northern settlements of Ojibway Indians.

 

Notes and Comments
 
Note a little "hello" from "Andromeda" writer Ethlie Ann Vare -- the TV News Reporter is named Vicki Valentine.
 

New Guinea is renowned for its staggering tropical beauty and cannibalism that was practiced by some local tribes. Here reside the people, who have engaged in dark rituals until the early 1970s.
Officially majority of the population profess Christianity (only 5% Anglican), but strong beliefs in witchcraft and ancestor worship remain and coexist with Christianity.

 
Mikaela Strovsky says to Father Doug about birds - it is a node to the very popular mini-series "The Thorn Birds" (1983, based on the novel of the same name). That story centers on Meggie and her love for the family's priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart. (Knowing that Father Ralph was played by Richard Chamberlain you can catch the joke in David Winning's interview above.)
 

Ojibway are Indian Algonkin people settled in Canada and in the north of American States (where they are mainly called Chippeway). Many of them are Christians, but traditional cults are still not forgotten. You may have heard at least two words of their language: totem and mocassin. And if you had read "The Song of Hiawatha" by H.W.Longfellow, you will remember Gitchie Manito, The Great Mystery or The Great Spirit, whom Khali called for help in the minute of despair.

Longfellow's Gitchie Manito was compiled from a few Indian mythological heroes. One of them was mythical Progenitor of Ojibway - Way-na-boo-zhoo. Indians say that he was made by the Creator Gitchie Manito from four parts of Mother Earth (earth, wind, fire, and water). After these parts were combined, Gitchie Manito gave the Man his breath.

The Earth (Ahki) is considered to be a woman and to have a family. The underground rivers are her veins and water is her blood. Mother Earth grants fertility and life.

 
Methane is generated by putrefaction of organic matter under semi-anaerobic conditions. Thus, high content of this gas in the tunnels can be explained by vital functions of the cellular "something". Methane is highly flammable and may form explosive mixtures with air.
Returning to the ecological theme, it must be said that methane is an important greenhouse gas with a global warming potential close to the one of a carbon dioxide.

 

Download movie "Something Beneath"

You can download movie in abridged form (almost 30 mins shorter) - unfortunately only to see not to listen as it has Russian voiceover. Save all files on your computer and extract just the first (it is SFX WinRAR archive). Not a single frame with Kevin was butchered :))).
Many thanks to Tatyana for the record.
SmthBeneath.part1 -- SmthBeneath.part2 -- SmthBeneath.part3 -- SmthBeneath.part4 -- SmthBeneath.part5 -- SmthBeneath.part6 -- SmthBeneath.part7

 

Father Doug: Times like this I question my calling. An all knowing and powerful God would never have created celebutantes.

 
Father Doug: I *am* priest, but I am not a corpse.
 
Father Doug: We are life. We are love. We are not afraid.
 
Can someone help me, please, with a phrase Father Doug is saying in a scene on cap 3? About temptation. I am not able to hear it from under the voiceover.

 

 

 

Official graphics Paquin Entertainment Production, RHI Entertainment

2008 KSJAA - Please, don't borrow contents without permission



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