Justin Price has a long list of credits as a director and producer, including ELVES, THE 13TH FRIDAY, and THE MUMMY REBIRTH. They’re films that don’t seem to get good scores on IMDB but there must be an audience for them because he keeps getting funding to make more. Now he’s back with THE DAWNSEEKER a film that mixes elements of SUNSHINE and PREDATOR.
By 2245 the sun has dwindled to the point it can no longer sustain human life on Earth. A rare mineral, known as Stardust can regenerate it. A team of mercenaries is dispatched to a distant planet to retrieve a supply of it. Instead, they crash on the planet and are forced to fight not only other factions seeking the mineral but an alien creature with its own agenda, the Dawnseeker.
Saying THE DAWNSEEKER is a bad film would be a massive understatement. The script is composed of equal parts plot holes and cliches. Apparently even after the sun dies, tough guys will be fighting to the death with cigars firmly planted between their teeth. And the black guy will still be among the first to die.
In this kind of film, a weak script can be overcome with some well-shot action scenes and good effects. It may not be a classic, but it can still be entertaining. Unfortunately, THE DAWNSEEKER features bad fight scenes and some of the least energetic firefights I’ve ever seen. Characters just stand and shoot at the creature, (and occasionally each other). When they have to move they lethargically shuffle away even as the creature is walking up and killing them.
There are a couple of decent shots of spacecraft but that’s it for quality effects. The energy bolts the guns fire are the CGI equivalent of the scratched emulsion ray gun blasts in the original FLASH GORDON. The creature itself is a guy in a badly fitting rubber suit and a dollar store Predator mask. It’s about as convincing as the Oklahoma scrub is at passing itself off as a distant planet.
Despite only running 77 minutes this film felt like it would never end. If this is typical of Price’s output I understand all the low ratings. For his sake, I’ll hope this was him on an off day because THE DAWNSEEKER gives FACE OF EVIL a run for the worst film I’ve seen this year.
THE DAWNSEEKER is premiering September 4 On Demand from Uncork’d Entertainment, my advice is to seek something else to watch.