04th Aug2017

‘Tsunambee’ Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Stacy Pederson, Ruselis Perry, Maria DeCoste, Shale Le Page, Thea Saccoliti | Written and Directed by Milko Davis


Tsunambee opens on a dusty land where a young woman is foraging wood for an unknown reason. Cut to the jungles of Africa, I think. We’re quickly filled in on a biblical apocalypse that somehow involves bees. I don’t remember any bee related End Times in my King James Version, but interpretations vary. Then the world ends and we move along.

I give credit to the film in that it doesn’t waste time lingering on plot details. The world is going to end and the next thing we see is the world ending, or Los Angeles, at least. I’m filled with hope when a horror movie doesn’t choose to wallow in 20 minutes of character development when 5 minutes would easily be enough. These are schlocky horror flicks, not Schindler’s List, and it’s nice to see when a movie realizes this.

However, I was deceived.

What I didn’t know was that Tsunambee was going to be one long 80-minute character development. Most of the movie is just people shouting at each other about racism, bees, and God. It’s kind of like The Walking Dead except with more Jesus. This movie should have been a lot of fun. Tsunambee projects itself as a tongue-in-cheek, campy good time, but I did not have a campy good time watching this.

Like being forced to watch a Hallmark film during youth bible study, it tries to be earnest and somber, to tackle issues of race and religion. Tsunambee is an apocalyptic tale about an argumentative group of stereotypes thrust into a harrowing world of giant bees, prayer groups, counter-productiveness, and some zombies for good measure. From the very beginning we’re pitched clichés like the trigger-happy white cop and an innocent (except not really) gangbanger of color. Want a racist redneck? Check. How about a bible thumper with a hidden arsenal of assault weapons? Check. I know these people really exist, but all of them? In a single movie? That seems lazy to me.

I don’t fault the movie for its poor acting, or camera work, or special effects, there can be a certain charm to all those failings, but I do fault the movie for not staying on point. The poster said it was going to be a disaster movie, but there isn’t very much disaster. There are only a couple of zombies. And even as a Christian myself, I got so tired of all the witnessing. Can’t we talk about accepting Jesus AFTER we escape this house surrounded by giant bees? I just can’t figure out what the movie wants to be and I don’t think the filmmakers know, either.

In the end, I just can’t recommend Tsunambee. It should be the type of flick you watch over a case of beer with some buddies on a Saturday night. Instead, this is the type of low-budget “Focus On The Family” type movie I would find my evangelical aunt watching while she cracks pecans in her lap. If you want to make a natural disaster movie, make that. If you want to make a zombie movie, make that. If you want to make a Christian themed movie, make that. But what you shouldn’t do is throw everything into a blender and hope for the best. It’s never the best. It’s often the worst.

Tsunambee is available now from Wild Eye Releasing


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