Heebie Jeebies

Heebie Jeebies

Written by Trent Haaga
Directed by Thomas L. Callaway

Heebie Jeebies
Gold prices skyrocket as the fear monster eats world gold supplies, mocks bitcoins

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—and also mining accident fear monsters out for revenge!” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, shortly before battling the mining accident fear monster that cost him the use of his legs.

Fear. Nothing is more scary, except maybe terror. Now, it is hard to have a concept such as fear attacking people on a SyFy creature feature, so we have the next best thing, a creature that attacks by causing fear. Heebie Jeebies is not just a goofy title, it’s a concept that extends to the plot. To drive the whole fear thing home, the main character even gets panic attacks!

Heebie Jeebies
The Man with the Golden Gun? We ate him!

Heebie Jeebies gets points for having an innovative monster design and concept, and being a parable about how greed is bad and ultimately destructive. It also gives us a glimpse of the history of exploited immigrant miners. The Asian-American family’s dynamic is similar to actual Asian-American families I know, it’s cool to see characters jumping back and forth between languages. It does lose points for having the only black character be a criminal.

What is weird is I watched Heebie Jeebies back to back with Flying Monkeys, and Tyler Forrest is in both of them. In Flying Monkeys, he plays a creepy guy, while in Heebie Jeebies, he plays a terrible boyfriend. As Louisiana seems to be the new it location for filming SyFy films (at least as long as the tax breaks last!) I expect Tyler Forrest will be showing up a lot!

Director Thomas L. Callaway has had an insanely awesome cinematography career (Critters 3 and 4, Road House 2, Who’s Your Caddy?), but has only helmed one other film, 2007’s Broke Sky. Writer Trent Haaga is a hardworking actor/writer/producer who has some Troma roots.

Heebie Jeebies
A terrible Mr. T costume…

Todd Crane (Robert Belushi) – Small town cop who has crippling panic attacks, like all good cops. Is working on controlling his attacks with meditation therapy with Theresa. Is investigating the mysterious murders committed by what turns out to be a revenge monster while trying to be a parent to his little sister. Robert Belushi is James Belushi’s son.
Theresa Lim (Cathy Shim) – Doctor and medical examiner who becomes extra busy thanks to the rash of murders and the simultaneous freak out of her grandmother who knows more than she lets on. Is also helping Todd meditate in what is prelude to a romance. Cathy Shim is awesome, and deserves to be more famous. She’s probably best known for Reno:911 and 3Way.
Billy Butler (Michael Badalucco) – Local mine owner and owner of a cash for gold business. He’s like one of those obnoxiously hilarious local commercials come to life. Just think Boss Hogg meets Yukon Cornelious. Gets gold fever when he sees the monster bleeds gold and tries to capture it.
Zu Mu (Lucille Soong) – A Tiger Grandma of Theresa and Tracy, who knows more than she hints about the awakened revenge monster. Responds by freaking out on her family, but eventually tells Todd about how Chinese laborer miners were trapped and left to die in 1840, and her ancestor – a witch – cursed the mine and created a revenge monster from the souls of the trapped miners.
Veronica Crane (Evie Thompson) – Todd’s sister, who can’t wait to get it on with her boyfriend, Mace. Veronica is desperate to have some fun in the small town, so her and her friends plan to hang out in the abandoned mine like all the cool kids do.
Mace (Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis) – Veronica’s reluctant boyfriend, who seems very apprehensive about having the sex with Veronica. Even still, he’s probably one of the few good catches left in town.
Tracy Lim (Olivia Ku) – Theresa’s sister and Zu Mu’s granddaughter. She gets instantly grounded by Zu Mu to keep her safe, even though her grandmother doesn’t explain anything. Is rebellious and sneaks out with Veronica and their boyfriends, ending up in trouble at the mine.
Sheriff Tatum (Carl Savering) – The local sheriff who spends most of his time yelling at Todd or making bad decisions like putting lots of civilians in harms way. And he gets captured by Billy at one point. Is Mace’s dad, so he’s the genius who named his kid Mace.
Agnes Whitehead (Marion Ross) – Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days! A retired teacher and not nice woman. Mrs. C is packing some heat, and even yells former student Todd Crane into a panic attack when he attempts to give her a ticket. Gets Heebie-Jeebied!
Fear Monster (CGI) – Monster with gold blood that eats gold. Expels fear gas to paralyze its targets with terror. Eats gold as well. Was created by a witch curse from wife of one of five miners abandoned alive underground after an accident. The best part is it has gold monster vision!
Heebie Jeebies
How about a little fire, Scarecrow!

Heebie Jeebies
Best shot in the movie

Something creepy is stalking the town of Golderton. No, not Jerry the kid who “just ain’t right”, this is something more primeval. The forces of greed have unleashed terror, terror that attacks by spreading terror. Trespassers attempting to illegally mine unleash it, and soon anyone with gold in Golderton is a target.

Golderton is a small town where the only thing of note is the old abandoned gold mine, run by the town’s gold leader, Billy Butler. He’s one of those crazy local business late night commercials come to life, and also offering cash for gold. At the abandoned gold mine way on the outskirts of town.

The local police are two whole people, the only deputy is Todd Crane, panic attack master. He’s regularly derided by Sheriff Tatum, though he must have liked him enough to hire him despite his disability. Todd Crane is attempting to get over his problem with relaxation sessions from Theresa Lim, the local medical examiner. I guess she also works for the hospital because there is no way a town this small needs a full time medical examiner.

Heebie Jeebies
Chuck Cunningham returns for revenge!
Heebie Jeebies
Why is monster footage always out of focus!!!

Todd’s sister Veronica is also friends with Theresa’s sister Tracy. The two girls are plotting to run off and have a makeout and more session with their boyfriends just as the monster begins rampaging though the cities and the bodies begin piling up. Theresa and Tracy’s grandmother knows something is up, but won’t discuss things.

The monster slaughters Billy Butler’s entire film crew, getting caught on tape. This causes Billy to get insane gold fever (he notices the creature bleeds gold) and wants to capture the monster, while the Sheriff rounds up everyone local who has a gun to try to hunt down the monster — this just leads to a higher body count!

Todd and Theresa rush to save their baby sisters (who are instead captured by the film’s only black guy — named Caveman! — who steals their truck before getting monstered!) Billy manages to capture the Sheriff and take Theresa hostage as monster bait, leaving Todd with the biggest panic attack of his live. But he has to put all that aside to save the woman he loves…if he can!

Heebie Jeebies
Forget your fear gas, your breath is what’s scary, monster!
Heebie Jeebies
All prepped for my do-it-yourself open heart surgery!

Rated 7/10 (long-dead canary, leaking gold, the dog that lived, goldblood, the tooth hurts, Caveman, Eyeball)

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Heebie Jeebies
Dude, I fought Freddy Krueger, I can handle a fear monster!
Heebie Jeebies
Chupacabra vs. yoga!
Heebie Jeebies
The Joy Luck Club Day Players
Heebie Jeebies
There’s gold in that there gold!
Heebie Jeebies
I’d watch a whole movie about these two characters arguing
Heebie Jeebies
Wanna turn up the heat?
Heebie Jeebies
Is it safe?

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!