2012 Written by Joe Morganella, Angela Mancuso, and Kevin Commins
Directed by Mario Azzopardi
Mister Aladdin Sir…BAAAAAAARRRRFFFF!!!
With the thematic elements of a heroic swashbuckling adventure in a faraway land, Aladdin and the Death Lamp swoops in and turns out to be an entertaining monster flick. Aladdin and the Death Lamp’s heroes are treasure hunters, the stakes are huge, and the evil monster runs around killing people regardless. Aladdin and the Death Lamp uses the plot to help keep the budget low, the treasure hunting lets them run around empty sets that don’t require a lot of extras running around to make it realistic. The quests keep you following along the story instead of questioning the plot direction. And everyone looks like they’re enjoying themselves, which is always fun.
Much as I liked how scenery chewing everyone was in Pegasus vs. Chimera, Aladdin and the Death Lamp has the opposite flavor, with all of the heroes playing their roles earnestly and seriously. This also works, and makes Aladdin and the Death Lamp a better film. And it helps that there is an evil guy being ridiculously evil as well. Aladdin is the most heroic man who ever lived, Khalil is the wisest man who ever lived, Shifa will deliver lines about nobility that would make you groan if they were delivered any less earnestly, Luca plays off his charmy and tempted halves well, and Sharira would threaten his own mother with death if she tried to ground him.
I’m a Death Eater! And now that Voldemort is back, we’re in charge!
The main problem is the unevenness of the monster. The Jinn is specifically stated to be trying to open a portal to let all the other Jinn into our world to cause trouble. But it’s also slaved to a lamp and must grant the wishes of the owner. And it also grants wishes to random people. And it is supposed to do so in an effort to kill the people by their own wishes, in a “careful what you wish for” type lesson. But the Jinn also just straight up murders people. All of these things sort of loose the focus of the monster’s motivation. And that is very important to me, a weirdo.
It’s an age of danger because it’s the age of Jinns!! Science and logic is ruled by magic. It’s the age of Insane Clown Posse??? Fucking magnets, I knew they’d cause trouble! Each of the heroes has a different element symbol: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire. But there is no Bruce Willis or Milla Jovovich running around. Only evil Genies!
You don’t want to know what word you say on You Can’t Do That on Television to make this happen!
Aladdin (Darren Shahlavi) – The heroic hero who is the best person on the planet. Aladdin robs graves for money for orphans. Darren Shahlavi plays him so amazingly heroic in a way that you rarely see outside of pulp novels. Which is sort of awesome, as these films are pulp cinema.
Luca (Noam Jenkins) – Luca is Aladdin’s best friend and fellow orphan brother. He’s sort of a lovable rogue, but he has high gambling debts and a greedy streak that leads to his downfall.
Shifa (Kandyse McClure) – The little sister of the orphan crew, Shifa is left behind, but returns with Khalil to save Aladdin and Luca when they get into trouble. She’s also crafty and thinks on her feet.
Khalil (Eugene Clark) – The wise old orphanage runner who knows the secret histories of the three main characters and what happened with the Jinn long ago. Plays the wise elder role.
Sharira (George Ghali) – Corrupt merchant trader who is also seeking ultimate power through controlling a Jinn. Uses debt leverage over Luca to worm his way into the adventure, but pays for his greed.
Jinn (CGI) – The evil Jinn looks like a smoke dinosaur alien. Trapped in a lamp for decade and now free to sucks on souls and turn into a tiger and unlock doors. This Jinn has some odd hobbies.
2012 Written by Jeremy Levy, Angela Mancuso, and Kevin Commins
Directed by John Bradshaw
Mom! My toys broke again!
Pegasus vs. Chimera actually has the Pegasus and Chimera fight, and not just for three seconds at the end of the film. Sure, the fighting isn’t really spectacular, and is rather irregular, but it exists enough to justify the renaming of The Blood of Pegasus into Pegasus vs. Chimera. The SyFy name change designed to get the ratings juices flowing is not the only thing Pegasus vs. Chimera has going for it. Nazneen Contractor is a great standout as the tough Princess Philony, while Carlo Rota and James Kidnie have a contest to see who can be the most scene-chewingly evil.
The CGI for the Chimera is actually pretty good, the only drawback is I don’t like the red scars in the face as it distracts from the realism. The cat models they used for the movement are far more polished than I’ve seen in similar films, Chimera moved like a real cat would. Pegasus spent much of the film as an actual horse, which was also a smart move as the horse becomes one of the actors. CGI wings are added when the creature flies, otherwise it is “in disguise” as a normal horse, as that frees up money to pay for more extras to get wasted. There is even a bonus monster in the beginning of the film, the Dracanine! It’s a crocodile/dog mix with a name straight out of a SyFy flick. So if we ever needed a spinoff film….
This dagger will be perfect on my quest to buy homemade leather clothes at the Ren Faire!
The evil king sends the Chimera out to kill off his rivals. What’s a ragtag band of rebels to do? Tet their own monster! Thus, the Pegasus comes. Pegasus as a white horse allows us to bond with the creature more as a real being. You even feel for Pegasus later when the pure white horse has a bloody wound thanks to his capture.
Pegasus vs. Chimera is a pretty fun SyFy flick, it kept me entertained and wasn’t awful. The strengths outweigh the weaknesses, and for free entertainment that follows a strict formula, Pegasus vs. Chimera tried to have some fun. While not my favorite SyFy flicks, it is in the top 20% easily. If you are a fan of the creature features, then you shouldn’t miss Pegasus vs. Chimera.
Horse vs. Cat, the movie!
Belleros (Sebastian Roché) – A blacksmith who’s getting his Liam Neeson on, using that veteran acting style to guide his character. Belleros’s father was killed while they were out hunting together and Belleros was young. He spent the next twenty years keeping a low profile and waiting for it to finally be time to rebel against the evil king for justice.
Princess Philony (Nazneen Contractor) – A Tieran Princess, her father is killed and her kingdom sacked when they refuse to join King Orthos’ quest to become an Emperor. She’s tough as nails and wants revenge.
King Orthos (Carlo Rota) – Evil king and would be emperor of Argus, kept alive and young for decades thanks to the magic of General Actae. Is seeking immortality both via power and via actual immortality.
General Actae (James Kidnie) – Evil magician who uses spells to extend Orthos’ life and is second in command of the kingdom, but he desires his own realm. Conducts the magic spell that brings the Chimera to this world, and killed Belleros’ father.
Mayda (Rae Dawn Chong) – A witch who hides in the forest and summons the Pegasus after Queen Caria and Philony as for her help.
Chimera (CGI) – A beast from the underworld that agrees to come to Earth to kill and devour souls.
Pegasus (a real horse and occasionally CGI) – A constellation brought to life to fight against the Chimera. It’s blood grants immortality, it heals its riders, and if the Pegasus dies, the world ends. No pressure, but there is no room for failure.