Komodo is a giant creature-feature from 1999 that is surprisingly entertaining and not all that bad. While it does not advance the genre in any way whatsoever and though there is nothing particularly wrong with that and it follows the same basic formula as most, it would have been nice to see something just a little bit different. The one thing that was noticeably missing was an origin story for the giant Komodo dragons. On one hand, the mystery of them would lend a little fright to an otherwise tame picture and yet on the other, it would have been nice to know if it was nature or mankind which caused them to grow so large.
As for the story itself, it would see actress Jill Hennessy bring Kevin Zegers back to an island where his dog and his parents were murdered in order to try and treat his PTSD. No knowing that they were killed by giant man-eating lizards would prove to be a fatal mistake for most in the party, but when all is said and done, the film would end on a happy note.
With movies featuring gigantic animals and insects, from rabbits to ants and so forth, it was only a matter of time that someone would think to make one with Komodo dragons. The visual effects used to bring them to life were fairly good, on par with anything The Asylum would release, perhaps a little better. For a B picture, you really have to give the filmmakers a little credit for spending a little money to make there monsters seem as dangerous and ferocious as they are, yet they could have been a little scarier to really make the impact needed. If this movie were to be viewed in the wee hours of the morning, it might hit home a little harder than it would otherwise.
Also a pleasant discovery was the cast with Hennessy taking the lead and Billy Burke playing opposite her as a man who works for the oil company that owns the island. There was some blood and guts to be had and almost like it was choreographed, the rest of the cast would be killed off except for our heroes and the kid in Hennessy’s care who would eventually find himself cured.
Suffice it to say, Komodo is a movie that will surprise the viewer simply for the fact that it is not completely awful – a fact that you could have almost guaranteed. Instead what director Michael Lantieri delivered was a solid little horror/thriller, light on scares perhaps, but fairly engrossing due to competent filmmaking.
3 out of 5