SciFridays: “Killer Mountain” (2011)


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Baddie – Dragons, I guess.

Lesson – Most of the time, ‘forbidden’ things are forbidden for a reason.

Now that we’re in the 100s (of posts), I thought I’d take a nice change of pace oh no wait what’s happening no it’s another stupid monster movie oh god.

Killer Mountain is sadly not about a sentient mountain that kills people. It’s also not about a mountain so treacherous that people die on it. No, it’s about dragons…sort of. A team of climbers has gone up a ‘forbidden’ mountain in Bhutan, looking for, something (hint: It’s Shangri-la) but the ground team has lost all contact. The investment guy hires another climber, played by Battlestar Galactica’s Aaron Douglas, to find the earlier team. Once they arrive in Bhutan it becomes increasingly evident that all is not right on the mountain. Only one of the members from the first team is alive (Douglas’ character Ward’s ex girlfriend, of course) and one of the dragons takes down a helicopter. The movie ends rather unexpectedly and in a boring way, but we’ll get to that.

People may have actually climbed things.

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People may have actually climbed things.

If we’re being very, very frank, Killer Mountain is probably one of the better SyFy originals because it doesn’t take the route of ‘Haha we don’t even care, haha it’s a B-Movie, right guys? Look how stupid everything is hur hur’ (Sharknado, I’m looking at you). It’s also fairly boring because of that, but partially because the characters react to the monsters without acknowledging them a lot. It’s kind of a climbing movie with some dragon things thrown in that definitely pose a threat, although it’s not often discussed. So, basically, it just had that like, 80% developed feel that I’ve come to love from Syfy. Like a microwaved food that still has a frozen center. You eat it, parts of it are good, but holy hell, the middle is still ice cold.

One of the things I actually liked about it is that someone took the mythical idea of an Asian dragon and adjusted it to a real movie monster, aka these dragons snake in and around openings in the mountain and don’t fly. They have mouths like constrictors, with rows of hooked teeth. However, they look nothing like the poster, which is always hilarious to me. For instance, no mouth tentacles. That doesn’t seem like a hard thing to communicate to a designer, and yet…here we are.

Best picture I could find, sorry. source:

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Best picture I could find, sorry.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.12.14 PM

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Aside from the main plot, the romantic rescue crap, the goal of finding Shangri-la is to find a cure for brain cancer, albeit through the lens of a slightly selfish entrepreneur of a medical company. Now, I know that all pharmaceutical companies are inherently evil, but nothing is given to suggest that this guy is. All he does in the movie is show off new medical tech and fake-save-but-kinda-really-save a struggling village. Soooo. I mean…curing brain cancer is kiiiiiind of a big deal.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.14.31 PM

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So the end of the movie. Well, you see, despite several indications that there are baby dragons and weird larvae things, the end of the movie sees the main dragon getting ‘sploded. And that’s it. The end. The remaining two characters walk away, happy with the turn out of ‘everyone died and there are many beasties on the mountain still.’ So that was kind of weird.

CGI, as usual, was terrible, but the practical effects that were actually used were pretty decent. Acting wasn’t as forced or plastic as usual, but nothing to write home about. All things considered, this movie wasn’t like, super fun or anything, but it wasn’t as bad as some of the others. Some genuinely silly things happen and some genuinely silly things are said, as is the typical case for these movies.


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