The History Channel's fun, scary-scientific Monsterquest
roams the world in search of real-life monsters. A current inheritor of the style of the memorable Leonard Nimoy series In Search Of
, the show digs up dirt on the best known urban-legends monsters. Or are they
real? Each episode, punched to the hilt with meaningful music and dramatic narration, serves up a well-documented (or at least much-rumored) freaky phenomenon. The titles of individual episodes give the flavor of the show: "America's Loch Ness Monster," "Mutant Canines," and "Birdzilla." This is not a skeptical enterprise, like National Geographic's Is It Real?
, but an eager survey, complete with re-created scenes that visualize the beasties for us. One of the fun things about Monsterquest
is that it introduces us to a collection of crackpots--er, witnesses--who have glimpsed the elusive monsters, such as the Wisconsin man who spotted a dog-creature and has since filled his home with lupine bric-a-brac. You're never far from some true believer who insists, "It looked like a friggin' werewolf." Naturally, there are also rational approaches: legitimate scientists examining bits of fur and tissue, DNA testing, lie-detector sessions. Snippets of historical monsters lend some pleasing shivers to the modern accounts. Watch a few of these in a row, and you'll feel like you're in the room with the UFO buffs in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
("I saw Bigfoot once!"), but the appeal is undeniable, especially for adolescent monster enthusiasts. And yes, Bigfoot gets not one but two episodes to his hairy self. Bonus wackiness: a 15-minute reel of unused footage and a few strange occurrences that happened to crew members while shooting. --Robert Horton
Each episode of MONSTERQUEST is a mini-expedition to a remote, far-flung corner of the world. Science and technology come together to give viewers a greater understanding of these mysterious monsters bones and key pieces of proof are analyzed and submitted to a battery of tests. Instead of relying on the cliché grainy archival footage usually associated with these monsters, the series goes on-location with high-tech gadgetry (special cameras, listening posts, even underwater lures) to further the quest for answers. While the monsters may not necessarily be real, each episode does feature real scientists.
The 13 50-minute episodes cover: Kraken: the Real Leviathon, Night of the Monkey Man, Stalin s Planet of the Apes, Creature of Snellgrove Lake, China s Lake Beast, Werewolf of Bray Road, Jurassic Fish Monsters, Creatures from the Fourth Dimension, America s Loch Ness Monster, Man-Eating Birds, Giganto II, Bigfoot and the Hounds of Baskervilles.
Bonus: Short-Form Featurettes