After the very entertaining “Power Rangers” tribute “Super Task Force One,” I like where director Steve Rudzinski’s head is. He seems interested in delivering audiences good old fashioned genre entertainment, and he has the talent to back up the ambition. Even with the obvious rock bottom budgets, he can churn out some amusing and charming indie films. If he’s ever given a huge budget, I think he could blow audiences out of the water.
“Captain Z & the Terror of Leviathan” begins in 1714, where a famous pirate named Captain Z halts a ritual sacrifice by a group of possessed worshippers intent on reviving the Leviathan. It’s a monstrous beast that can overtake the world, and Z’s cunning allows him to thwart their mission. Now in 2014, the local West Virginia Museum is preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the Captain Z legend, now just an urban myth. Just then, a group of hillbillies discover the ancient amulet, resurrecting the demons that possess their bodies and bring their plans back in to motion to reviver the Leviathan.
Since the movie is considerably low on budget and resources, the leviathan is never actually seen, and only hinted in small instances, but the suggestion of great evil works well. Along with the demons, Captain Z is revived as well as now works with the museums history buffs to stop the evil plans. This involves working alongside a resourceful history professor, a jaded ticket taker named Samantha, and a ditzy actress named Heather. “Captain Z & the Terror of Leviathan” is a fun horror comedy with a tight story that unfolds as creatively, and within budget, as possible. This allows the cast to improvise with one another, all the while evading the evil demons that will stop at nothing to evoke the leviathan.
I really found Zoltan Zila’s performance as Captain Z hilarious, and Cerra Atkins is great as the aggressive Samantha. Meanwhile director Rudzinski gives a strong turn as Glen, the history aficionado who slowly reveals himself to be a resourceful foe. Madison Siple tends to steal the show, though, as the bubbly Heather whose own role in the evil plan is surprising and ironic, to say the least. The film isn’t without its flaws though, with some terrible sound effects, and wonky editing here and there. One fight scene ends with director Rudzinski cracking a smile before passing out, which distracts from the momentum of the action. That said, “Captain Z & the Terror of Leviathan” definitely kept me entertained, despite its flaws, and I hope we see more of Captain Z in the future.