We were aware of a film being made called Harbinger Down, which was in part, funded by fan donations from Kickstarter.
Now we at BMAF see many a request to fund Kickstarter films, we are at present following the progress of one called Sky Sharks. We do love a Shark B Movie!
The reason that we were were so interested in Harbinger Down was that it woul dbe using practical creature effects, such as Stop Motion; Miniature effects; Prosthetic Make Up and animatronics
The studio to do these effects would be Amalgamated Dynamics (ADI) who had done this work on films such as the Tremors Franchise; Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection; Jumanji; Death Becomes Her and Starship Troopers for which they were nominated for an Oscar for Visual effects.
This was in part due to the fact that their work on The Thing prequel was all changed to CGI prior to the films release.
Now we knew production had started but had started but not thought much of it until we saw it on Amazon’s spring sale for £3, under its new title for the UK of Inanimate, no idea why, we think Harbinger Down is a much better title, but I guess the new title does make it clear it’s a creature feature!
The film centres on the crabbing vessel, Harbinger, led by Captain Graff (Lance Henriksen, a veteran of films of this type, with a CV including Alien vs Predator; Pumpkinhead; Hard Target; Scream 3 and of course Bishop, from Aliens and Alien 3)
The Harbinger has also taken on some students, led by Graff’s granddaughter Sadie (Camille Balsamo) who are researching the effects of global warming on whales.
Whilst out at sea, they come across a large sea block, which they find to be a piece of an old Russian spacecraft. They discover within it a new life form created between space radiation and tiny sea creatures called tardigrades. This has evolved into a mutation that has begun to mutate once the block is thawed. The crew first find this out when the spacecraft’ pilot goes missing!
What happens next is an old school supernatural horror that is a tribute to Eighties creature features such as John Carpenter’s The Thing; Alien and Leviathan to name just a few.
It is however a shame that film is clearly hampered by its budget, it certainly has a lot of promise but the creature effects never reach the heights of the films the team had previously worked on, it is also a shame that a lot of these sequences happen in very dark situations so you can not appreciate the work that had obviously been put in.
Henriksen does well to lead the film, and it certainly didn’t drag, in fact we were entertained, we have so seen a lot worse. In fact, we would probably say we enjoyed it more than the Thing Prequel/Reboot due to the nostalgia of the creature effects.
Yet this does feel like a B movie creature feature suited for the SyFy or Horror Channel and that is a shame.
It is also a shame with the story behind the film, that the DVD does not include any extras, not a commentary track or special features of the work involved, in fact it doesn’t even include a trailer or subtitles!
If you like a B Movie Science Fiction movie, especially one with an Eighties feel, you could do a lot worse than give Inanimate/Harbinger Down a watch
You can get the film for just £3 at Amazon here:
You can watch the trailer on the film’s IMDB page here:
What’s your favourite B Movie creature feature? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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