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Mandrake (Formerly Unearthed) (2010)

Max Martini , Betsy Russell , Tripp Reed  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Max Martini, Betsy Russell, Benito Martinez, Jon Mack, Nick Gomez
  • Directors: Tripp Reed
  • Writers: Tripp Reed, David Ray, William B. Steakley
  • Producers: Andrew Stevens, Bill Berry, Daniel Gilboy, Lisa M. Hansen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004K6FS52
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,301 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mandrake (Formerly Unearthed)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An expedition led by adventurer Darren McCall and funded by the wealthy Harry Vargas braves the impenetrable jungle to retrieve a fabled bejeweled dagger from an ancient burial ground. But pulling the dagger from its rightful resting place awakens the beast. Part plant and part animal, the massive mandrake awakens thirsty for human blood.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Average SyFy Flick April 13, 2011
By Compay
Mandrake is about what you would expect for most SyFy Channel movies released to DVD. While it at least has a hint of originality, it's far from anything that you would expect to see in theaters.

Mandrake follows a former soldier who leads a group of archaeologists through the jungles of Latin America, in search of an ancient relic. Along the way, they must deal with angry local tribesmen, a supernatural forest, and a cursed tree monster.

The good news is that the film is actually shot well, with decent cinematography. Mandrake was filmed in my home state, so the visuals are appealing (though it's easy to see it's a Louisiana forest rather than a South American jungle.)

The bad news is that the story is all over the place. At first it's difficult to understand the relationship between the local tribe and the possessed jungle, and there are more than a few plot holes that keep things confusing.

There's an awful lot of unimpressive CGI used in the film, which gives it a low-budget feel. Thought the lighting effects in the film were great (especially the torch scenes), it's painfully obvious whenever there's a shot that involved a green screen.

Most of the cast is made up of obscure TV actors, with the exception of Benito Martinez (David Aceveda from The Shield), Max Martini from The Unit, and the amazingly beautiful Betsy Russell from most of the Saw movies.

Mandrake reminded me a bit too much of Congo, especially with respect to one character's unexplained obsession with finding a certain relic. For the most part, none of the characters have any depth, it's hard to sympathize for any of them.

I give Mandrake points for at least coming up with a slightly unique story, though it loses points for weak writing, overuse of CGI, and unimpressive acting performances. Worth a rent if you have some time to kill, but I'd wouldn't recommend buying this on DVD.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nature strikes back!!! (sort of) April 13, 2011
This is a syfy movie but it's not a joke or parody it's an actual serious sci-fi/horror movie. It's basically a riff on The Ruins except no teenagers and less production values. You have the same set-up as all these types of syfy movies with a team being assembled to go find some ancient artifact then it awakens some type of ancient evil. It's watchable, the cgi isn't awful on the "creature", and the acting is pretty good for this type of movie. Definite rental if you feel like watching a monster tree rip people in half; who doesn't?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Jungle Feeds." May 8, 2011
By Einsatz
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A guilty pleasure, this is pure intellectual junk food. Will you learn anything by watching it? No. Will watching it rot your brain? No. It's a basic, run of the mill, pseudo-monster flick that plays it safe. I happen to like my "monster" movies uncomplicated so it suits me just fine. I could easily watch this one over and over again.
There weren't too many egregious flaws except for the bit about this taking place in a jungle. The credits say otherwise: it was filmed entirely on Louisiana! Far cry from a jungle, few trees or anything else for anyone or anything to hide behind but they still kept getting surprised by things popping up in the `jungle.' The all important dagger didn't look all that special either. I've seen fancier dinnerware!
Okay, I was wrong; it did illustrate an important lesson to be learned. If you're going to open a `tomb', read the small print on the outside of it first: especially if it's a WARNING.

I thought it was a hoot and as such, it's a keeper!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars EVIL TREEBEARD August 13, 2011
There really isn't a mandrake in the story. There is a plant that kills people, a cross between Treebeard and that thing on "Evil Dead." A rich man sends out a team to recover a dagger, a family heirloom that is 500 years old. They are able to find the grave and the dagger easily. Upon removing the dagger they release a curse which includes an evil tree creature. There are also natives in this area that sacrifice trespassers. Everyone fights everyone.

Betsy Russell provides the token eye candy in this made for TV movie. Some blood, some killing, a little horror. No bad language, sex, or nudity. Great movie to let the kids watch before going out on the nature trail. Otherwise, you might want to avoid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You want to see a GREAT movie? July 29, 2011
This isn't it. A friend of mine rented this piece of garbage and I watched it. I'm glad I didn't rent it. A bunch of crazy jungle tribe natives capture people and sacrificing them to a very bad special effect jungle god. You know what is scary? Not the movie but the fact that some people out there that might actually enjoy this time waste.
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