Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent (2008)

Directed By: Amir Valinia
Written By: Jodie Jones
  Evan Scott
Starring: DMX
  Louis Herthum
  Wes Brown
  Lauren Fain
Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent

Featuring diabolical child acting, hilariously terrible CGI, hateful characters and a casually absent performance from “star” DMX, Lockjaw fails on a disturbingly large number of levels. Occasionally it works – very occasionally – but mostly it’s a laughable, cheap, shoddy mess. Avoid.

Lockjaw begins with two moronic children stealing from the house of a voodoo priest (or at least a slightly Jamaican sounding fat guy with porcelain skulls on his desk). Young Alan Cade happens to pilfer a book containing the Kulev stick, which happens to be a pen that (when used) can summon the Kulev Serpent to eat anyone you draw. Naturally the kid ends up getting his angry drunk daddy consumed by the giant alligator-headed snake beast from hell. This is how it begins. And that’s the good part.

Skipping forward to the present day and Alan Cade (Louis Herthum) is a happily married adult, and the Kulev stick a horrifying distant memory. But tragedy strikes him again when a group of moronic twenty-somethings run over his wife and drive off. Distraught and furious, Alan picks up the Kulev stick for the second time and begins to draw…

The car-load of twenty-somethings, oblivious to their brutal hit n’ run, travel to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of sex, drink, drugs and some badly delivered dialogue. Unbeknownst to them, they’re the target of a malevolent voodoo monster; the Kulev Serpent, more colloquially known as Lockjaw (you know, in voodoo circles…).

When Alan Cade realizes what he’s done – unleashed hell on five relatively-innocent people – he seeks the help of the voodoo priest’s grown up son Nick, played by a bored-looking DMX. Grabbing a bazooka, DMX, Alan and the remaining un-eviscerated twenty-something people head into the countryside to fight the evil chimera-like reptile… or die trying.

Lockjaw is as bad as it sounds. It is so by-the-numbers there is literally no reason to watch it, unless you love emaciated lap-dancers, abysmal CGI and DMX with a rocket launcher. The acting is mostly excruciating throughout, it is shockingly directed by Amir Valinia (of Mutants and Xtinction “fame”), it is poorly choreographed and the script is upsettingly bad.

Scriptwriters Jodie Jones and Evan Scott should be proud of their achievements, by making one of the outwardly terrible scripts I’ve ever witnessed. Lines like “You guys are total pork loins” are followed by entirely inept retorts like “I’ll loin you some pork”. I mean – what?!

Occasionally the script magically becomes enjoyable, and mostly when Kelly (Wes Brown) speaks, uttering lines like “Your boyfriend’s missing, there’s an angry alligator running around somewhere and the two dumbest people I’ve ever met in all my life are defiling the only bedroom we have right now. Sweet dreams.” This self-awareness is surprising, but it’s mostly lost amongst the sub B-Movie nonsense.

Acting wise it is only Wes Brown and Louis Herthum that escape without too much embarrassment. Herthum especially – who you may recognize from The Last Exorcism – is the only person who touches on professionalism. The majority of the cast gleefully cliché their way through the film, acting like repugnant “pork loins” throughout.

Unsurprisingly, Lockjaw is accidentally hilarious in places; a one point a sluttish girl begins screaming, stops screaming to put her t-shirt on, then screams some more. It’s pathetically inept. Strangely there are some genuinely smart ideas muddled in with this pile of filmic discharge, but they’re not enough to lift this out of the sewer.

Overall Lockjaw is not worth your attention. It’s predictable, trashy, unlikable toss with a soulless performance by featured “actor” DMX. Very occasionally it might impress, but it’s like wading through a sea of pig defecation to find a half-eaten truffle – not worth it.

If you watch this, you’re a pork loin.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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