Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Ian D. Clark
What's it about
A tiger is loose in a small town, picking off victims in a brutal fashion. Guess whoís there to save the day? Yep. Gary Busey.
Is it good movie?
Uh, no, this isnít good. Only if you really, really like made-for-TV horror flicks. Personally, Iíve never made it through a Sci-Fi Channel Original movie. I find them unwatchable with some of the most laughable scripts ever created. And not laughable in a good way. Maneater is no different. Itís predictable, formulaic and has absolutely awful acting. From the reporters, to the Bible beaters, to the tough solders who just look like actors in uniforms, itís all C-rate. The only two things I found mildly entertaining came from the Busey factor and the tiger. First, the tiger, as director Gary Yates used a real tiger (as CGI would have tripled the budget) which at times seemed frightening and intimating. The problem comes from rarely using the thing. He just pops up here and there with no money shot. This is a horror movie, after all! You got to show the thing ripped someone in half!
As for Busey, well, he does add something. What that something is, Iím not a hundred percent sure. His career clearly is beyond dead after all those insane appearances on VH1 erased any positive memory left from The Firm or Lethal Weapon. Now heís just campy and full of teeth. In Maneater, he plays a small town Sheriff who sports a tan designer suit even while searching for a tiger in the woods. SureeÖ He looks completely out of place from the rest of the cast, as they at least resemble simple small town folk. Busey looks like an actor who showed up on the set. Thatís not good. At least sport some Wranglers.
Anyone whoís seen The Ghost and the Darkness with Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer knows how frightening a feeding tiger can be. However, when the man who hunts the beast is Busey dressed like a stockbroker, well, you know itís bad. And speaking of the Douglas film, along the way Busey partners up with an English tiger hunter. Heís like a generic version of Douglasís character as heís killed over a 100 and some tigers in his day. Once the Englishman heard of the trouble, he came to solve the situation on his own dime and from England in less than 24 hours. Ok. Whatever. At least he has one of those bad curly moustaches.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen Version.
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. If anything, Maneater sounds great.
If Gary Buseyís name is on the box as the attraction, you damn well know what youíre in for. If you watch this, drink a lot and be in a good mood. Otherwise, itíll be a tough 88 minutes.