- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Captain Z & The Terror of Leviathan

Also known as:

Year: 2014

Genre: Independent / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 80 min

Director: Steve Rudzinski

Writer: Steve Rudzinski & Zoltan Zilai


In the 18th century, the mighty pirate Captain Zachariah Zicari saved mankind from evil forces by keeping the wrong people away from an amulet. When the amulet turns up again in 2014, Captain Z travels into the future - our present - to yet again protect the world.

Our thoughts:
Steve Rudzinski became somewhat known for indie film fans last year with his "Power Rangers"-like film "Super Task Force One". I didn't like it very much, but Rudzinski's ambition and love for the project made me curious about his new feature when he contacted me a while back. Still a bit reluctant, based on experience, it took me a little while before I finally ventured into it. I've always felt that it's better to wait until I actually feel like watching a movie, so that the review won't be painted by not being in the mood. Of course, that has happened too, but usually not. I finally felt like seeing what else Rudzinski had in him, and whether "Captain Z & The Terror of Leviathan" lived up to its spectacular name or not.

Its tagline speaks loudly of what we're about to watch - "an epic of idiotic proportions". It's story isn't any more idiotic than those of many fantasy/action flicks, since they are pretty damn idiotic to begin with. But in this one we have a group of morons teaming up with a time-traveling pirate to protect an amulet from getting into the hands of a possessed bitch and her minions. This wouldn't be the first time that the pirate, Captain Zachariah Zicari (Captain Z for short), fights these demons from unleashing evil upon the earth.

I don't mind a stupid movie, but unfortunately I yet again feel like this doesn't have much to offer me. I still remain excited over Steve Rudzinski's ambition here and the fact that he seems to make exactly the kind of movies that he wants to. It's probably not so much that the movie is failing, but rather that it was aimed to be something I wouldn't have liked anyway. It's an overly silly movie with stale performances uttering deadpan comedy and references which stand out well more than as mere references. They come off as wanting the crowd to literally applaud when they hear them, since they don't are so obviously detached to the rest of the movie.

The production itself isn't a big problem. There are CGI effects which won't fool you, but they're not trying to. There's some blood but most of it is done for laughs. In the end, the issues with the production values are part of what makes the movie what it is. The biggest issues, for me, is the writing and the acting. And yet again, it's clear that they were intended this way.

Running this website has made me feel like an old grumpy man with no pleasures in life. Fact is, I write poor reviews for the majority of silly movies that come my way. But part of that is because filmmaking has became a lot easier, everyone can literally do it. This means that what once would stay as a little silly idea and joke, will now become a movie. And because we have the internet, it's likely to come my way. It's way easier to throw out silly idea after silly idea, rather than making a powerful serious movie. So based on the amount of silly movies that are sent my way, it's actually not so strange that I'm just a fan of few. Because even if being silly is easy, writing good comedy isn't.

"Captain Z & The Terror of Leviathan" is what it is. The filmmaker already has plenty of fans and good reviews, and I think that's great. I'm sure many of you will love this movie as well, because it's just as idiotic and it's made out to be. To me it wasn't very funny, the references were too in-your-face and the intentionally stupid plot left little impression. It's just another silly movie. It doesn't help that I never cared about pirates either.

Positive things:
- Steve Rudzinski and his crew are ambitious and certainly have fun making them!
- Decent production values overall.

Negative things:
- To me it's just another silly movie that never managed to make me laugh.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 2.5/5
Comedy: 2/5

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