Stonehenge Apocalypse Review
Stonehenge Apocalypse should really be called Stone Circle Model Apocalypse since there is no sign of the production going anywhere near Stonehenge or any nearer Britain than British Columbia. Nor, indeed, is there much evidence that anyone involved in the film knew anything about Stonehenge, stone circles or apocalypses. It's a SyFy original movie, which should be enough to warn anyone off, and 2.1 million people watched it when it was originally broadcast in 2010. If the mass reaction was anything like mine, I imagine that the transmission was followed by 2.1 million cases of near-death by excessive laughter.
The plot involves some nonsense about how Stonehenge is actually an ancient terraforming machine which wants to do a bit of creative redesign of the Earth. Apparently, Stonehenge is connected to a series of ancient monuments through the Earth's electromagnetic field and these will all turn into volcanoes and erupt simultaneously leading to catastrophe and the end of life as we know it. There are two key characters involved in all this; Jacob, a radio talk-show host, who realises that the disaster must be averted; and Joseph, a nutter who wants human life to be destroyed so that the members of his cult - who currently live in a pyramid in Maine - will inherit the Earth. Needless to say, the two men are mysteriously connected - the subtle hint being that their names both begin with J.
As you will have guessed, this is all firmly in Chariots of the Gods bollocks-science territory, and anyone with a bit of scientific or historical knowledge will have a field day. It doesn't really matter that, stone circle aside, Stonehenge is basically just a big burial mound surrounded by lots of postholes, nor that the idea that it is somehow connected to other ancient sites in Egypt and Indonesia is idiotic. It doesn't even really matter that the real Stonehenge site is closed off to wandering tourists. But it is offensive in a supposed science-fiction film that we're asked to treat real scientists as closed-minded and obstinate while the pseudo-science spouting hero is apparently the only one who can save us. This is compounded by the fact that no-one concerned seems to have much of a clue what the Earth's electromagnetic field is.
It's all done on the cheap and the script is generally dire. But ignore the obvious defects and the complete lack of common sense and it's quite diverting. Paul Ziller's direction is fast moving and there's a nice performance from Misha Collins as the talk-show host turned saviour of the world. Collectors of bad supporting performances will relish the turns from Hill Harper as the nutty cult leader and Peter Wingfield, who is actually from Britain but whose British accent sounds quite remarkably fake.
Anchor Bay's DVD is absolutely serviceable and completely unexciting. The 1.78:1 transfer looks fine and the 2.0 soundtrack has its exciting moments. The only extra of note is a 30 minute making-of documentary which tries, and fails, to persuade us of the film's importance.