Varanus Priscus is a 2021 Chinese monster movie about a TV crew that comes across giant battling beasts on an uninhabited island.
Directed by Yifan Li, the movie stars Shi Nan, Yuan Fufu, Yang Jinci, Congxi Li, Jia Zichen, Wang Xinyao and Na Duo.
On a deserted remote island, a film crew is filming a movie called ‘Supergirl versus Alien Monster’. Unfortunately, the manic director and self-obsessed producer are persuaded to overuse explosions for dramatic effect; they inadvertently blow up half a mountain and an ancient giant lizard is awakened.
They also encounter thousands of killer bugs and a mammoth snake. Eventually, the latter engages in a battle to the death with the giant lizard…
Despite some typically clichéd characters such as the villainous producer, Varanus Priscus is one of the better monster movies to emerge from China in the last couple of years. They have clearly spent more money on the CGI, there is a couple of effective jump scares, a suitably bombastic score and the action only stops briefly for some unnecessary sermonising. Creature feature fans should definitely give this one a watch.
“This has more in common with mid-tier kaiju films, where the human characters are just place-holders between the monster appearances. You’ll be forgiven if your attention slips during their heartfelt discussions, emoting and fistfights. However, the giant lizard and F-sized snake are personable enough to make for a reasonable watch.” Rating: C+ Film Blitz
“Varanus Priscus ends with a pair of fights, one between Cao Yue and the film’s wilderness survival consultant Jason (Jia Zi Chen, Conspiracy) that is surprisingly low on martial arts moves […] As long as you know what you’re getting effects-wise and fast forward through the propaganda Varanus Priscus is an enjoyable monster mash.” Voices from the Balcony
Varanus priscus aka Megalania is an extinct species of giant monitor lizard that inhabited Australia during the Pleistocene era.
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