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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

tonight on Syfy: ‘Stonehenge Apocalypse’

So I get this screener in the mail the other day, and it’s for a Syfy Original movie called Stonehenge Apocalypse. I laughed out loud like a loon when I saw the title printed on the DVD. I thought: How can I not watch this movie? I’ve been to Stonehengetwice! — and of course I was desperate to see just how wrong this movie would get it.

Now, we all know just how terrible Syfy Original movies are. This one is worse. And not just because it tries to fool us into thinking that some bad-CGI standing stones in the middle of the mountains and evergreen trees of British Columbia is the ancient monument that sits on Salisbury Plain. (Besides the lack of mountains in Salisbury, there are also some very busy roads right there next to Stonehenge: it’s not in the middle of nowhere.) And not just because the production didn’t even try to pretend they were really in England (all the cars in the movie are lefthand drive; all the fake accents are terrible). Because it involves such ridiculous notions about ancient monuments — not just Stonehenge but also a bunch of pyramids around the world, including one in (*snort*) Maine — that Erich Von Daniken — you know, chariots of the gods, ancient astronauts — would be like, “Dudes, c’mon, this is absurd.”

If you want to see just how hilariously awful Stonehenge Apocalypse is — or maybe if you just want to see how awful people like Stargate Atlantis’s Torri Higginson, Supernatural’s Misha Collins, and cheesy-TV-meister Peter Wingfield can be — it debuts on Syfy tonight at 9pm Eastern.



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  • Magess

    I can’t wait.

    I’m truly hoping this is the velveeta it has the potential to be.

  • MaryAnn

    It’s Velvetta with Cheez Whiz on top.

  • It’s like they’re intentionally going out of their way to make z-grade movies. Did anyone check to see if Coleman Francis is still alive?

  • Lisa

    Supernatural might be crap but Misha’s a bit of a babe. Isn’t Stonehenge in the Dr Who finale?

    I would watch it for the title alone – it’s brilliant.

  • Belinda

    anyone who says Misha Collins is a bad actor needs to get their head checked, hence why I think this reviewer’s post is about as stupid as the writing of Stonehenge Apocalypse. The movie may be cheesy and stupid as hell, but Misha Collins is a grade-A actor who is brilliant and talented, anyone who’s seen Supernatural’s episode “The Rapture” can attest to that.

  • aquila6

    Aw, man. I like Torri Higginson — have done ever since I saw her in those TekWar movies.

    Her acting career must really be in the toilet if she’s doing this sort of thing.

  • JoshDM

    Watch a SyFy Original Movie AS it is being broadcast?

    Hell no, I’m not sitting through an hour and a half of commercials for thirty minutes of show.

  • Matthew

    And the real thing is coming up next week on Doctor Who. In the meantime:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpaG-L0zTJ4

  • MaryAnn

    Looks like the Misha Collins fan club is out in force.

  • Paige

    I’m sorry, but the only reason why Misha Collins’ fans aren’t posting is because we’re smart enough to avoid a flame war. So we are not out in force, we are just calmy watching him take over the world on twitter. II think that it’s a little silly to judge someone’s acting by this particular movie. (It was downright crap-tastic.) However, I do respect your views on his acting as well. (Now that that’s out of the way.)

    The movie WAS cheesy. It was also immensly inaccurate, as well as unbelievable – but as amazingly awful as it was, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. It’s kind of like the Spice Girl’s Movie…with less glitter and music.

    Also, I personally love the absurd notion that there is a pyramid in Maine.

    Hooray for crap-tastic Syfy movies!

  • Michael

    Given the two (so far) Stargate actors, I couldn’t help but think General Hammond was somewhere in the Stonehenge tour group, too.

    (“It has to spin. It’s round! Spinning is so much cooler than not spinning! I’m the General, I want it to spin!”)

    Almost a shame I’m going to miss the rest. :D

  • I agree, the movie doesn’t look fabulous. I was going to ask why they didn’t film at least the location shots at the Stonehenge replica in Washington state, but then I saw that they had to move the rocks around.

    I have to take exception to calling Peter Wingfield a “cheesy-TV-meister.” Admittedly, he’s been in some fairly fromage-laden material in the US, but he’s also been in some GOOD material. And at least he’s working and paying the bills.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m sorry, but the only reason why Misha Collins’ fans aren’t posting is because we’re smart enough to avoid a flame war.

    We don’t do flame wars here.

    So we are not out in force, we are just calmy watching him take over the world on twitter.

    I’d never even heard of him until this movie, so I can only assume that his attempt at world domination is at a very early stage.

    II think that it’s a little silly to judge someone’s acting by this particular movie

    I judged only his acting in this particular movie. But it didn’t make me want to seek out anything else he might have done.

  • Knightgee

    I judged only his acting in this particular movie. But it didn’t make me want to seek out anything else he might have done.

    It’s a SyFy Original. Who honestly brings their A-game to one of those when they’re likely getting paid pennies? But in all seriousness, does the channel actually make money off of these horrid movies? I imagine they turn some profit simply by being so low-budget, but is it honestly enough to justify constantly making them?

  • Jimbobjoe

    Yeah, unfortunately this movie was all types of bad and the only reason I continued to watch it was because I was familiar with the actors (love Torri and Misha) and was strangely transfixed like one is when watching a trainwreck. While I do agree about the acting in this particular movie, I warn against assuming that this acting is on par with what the actors normally bring to the screen. Misha is great in Supernatural, and Torri Higginson was refreshing and engaging in Stargate Atlantis. I assume the horrible acting in this movie came from the horrible direction which came from the horrible writing. It was just all around bad.

    Still, what else could anyone expect from this movie?

  • But in all seriousness, does the channel actually make money off of these horrid movies? I imagine they turn some profit simply by being so low-budget, but is it honestly enough to justify constantly making them?

    Well, as JoshDM pointed out, they have a ton of commercials. I imagine that–and the low budget–is where the money is made.

  • Jem

    Well, that was two hours of my life I’ll never get back. That was bad. B-A-D.

    As to the acting, sure it wasn’t stellar, but I’ve seen enough of Misha Collins, Peter Wingfield and Torri Higginson’s other work to know that they’re actually good actors. I can’t say the same about everything else in this movie, unfortunately.

  • Lisa

    I haven’t seen enough of Misha’s acting to know if he’s any good, I just wouldn’t kick him out of bed – not sure if that’s enough to call myself a fan. If I was a fan, I’d probably force myself to watch Supernatural.

    I can’t wait to find out what they’re going to call the sequel. What’s the odds they come up with the title first on these things?

  • Between this and Airline Disaster, is it becoming standard to simply name your film after its genre? When Date Movie and Epic Movie did that, it was supposed to be funny. (It wasn’t, but that was the intention.)

  • RogerBW

    Had this as a double bill with the Asylum Sherlock Holmes. Yes, it was crap, but we found it was enjoyable crap.

    On several occasions I found myself saying “I’ve seen Hill Harper in CSI New York and he really can act – he’s just not doing it today”…

  • Ed Duffy

    “Stonehenge Apocalypse”? That is a brilliantly awful title, the sort of thing you’d expect a five-hour Spinal Tap rock opera to be called. Sounds like utter hokum. And some “Cor blimey, Mary Poppins” accents as well, you say? I’m sold!

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