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A top-secret experiment spawns two highly intelligent life-forms: Einstein, a golden retriever with an IQ of 175; and The Outsider, a deformed monstrosity that exists to kill. When the Outsider escapes into the jungles of South America, the government sends in some ex-military convicts to catch the beast. Only Einstein knows the Outsider's motives, and only the canine can outsmart the creature. Now, it's a battle of beasts as man's best friend confronts man's worst nightmare.
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"Watchers 3" finds the satanic forces in the Pentagon up to their usual tricks. Not content with closing down a weapons program that resulted in untold deaths amongst the civilian population in the first two films, a gaggle of four star devils decides to reinitiate Project Aesop (as it's known in this film) in order to wreak havoc against a bunch of commie evildoers down in Central America. We see a bunch of Che Guevara wannabes sitting around a campfire sucking down a warm six pack of guava punch when a dog ambles into their midst. Awww! Isn't he a cute pooch! Even fellow travelers can't help but grin at the sight of a wagging tail. Unfortunately, this dog is the vanguard of Project Aesop, the smart dog that leads the deadly Outsider monster to its target. Sure enough, the grisly beast shows up a few minutes later and dispatches these Leninist stooges with extreme prejudice. The only survivors are the dog and a young boy (Ider Cifuentes Martin) who witnesses the horror but manages to not only hide but also keep the dog out of sight of the Outsider. You see, the Outsider follows the dog because his goal is to kill the dog and...oh, never mind. If you need an explanation just watch the first two movies. You're probably already familiar with the backstory if you're reading this review.
Anyway, the military wants Major Ferguson (Wings Hauser) to fly down to Central America and do something vaguely important...mop up operations or some such nonsense. Problem is, Ferguson is currently serving a stretch at Leavenworth and doesn't want to play nice. Predictably, the brass threatens him with an extended stay in the joint if he doesn't go. How he can refuse after that? Off goes Hauser with a team of "Dirty Dozen" type miscreants. There's obligatory black guy Nat (Daryl Roach), Vietnam veteran and all around jerk Bonetti (Gregory Scott Cummins), first to die MacCready (John K. Linton), and a curvy Latina guide named Gomez (Lolita Ronalds). The obvious group tensions pop up almost immediately, mostly bad tempers and endless hitting on Gomez, and then nothing much happens. These guys stomp around in the jungle for what feels like an eternity before stumbling over the boy and the smart dog. Ferguson, who was intimately involved in the Aesop project during one of its previous incarnations, immediately recognizes the pooch and just as immediately realizes the team is in real big trouble. The government has obviously set them up, and the rest of the film is a fight for survival against the relentless Outsider. Yawn.
"Watchers 3" screams "Predator" ripoff. The Latina guide, a military team fighting a monstrous entity in the deep jungle--it's all here. Except for, of course, Arnie, a big budget, and any charm the original "Predator" had. This is cheap, straight to video schlock without an ounce of originality. Wings Hauser is probably the best thing the movie has going for it, outside of the charming dog, and even he often has a look in his eyes like he's wondering whether the paycheck cleared at the bank. The supporting cast appropriately supports Hauser and the dog with as much personality as the concrete pylons supporting a raised freeway. They're only in the picture to act as cannon fodder and to pick up an easy screen credit, and they know it. My biggest problem with "Watchers 3" wasn't the lousy special effects--you'll find yourself looking for the zipper on the Outsider creature--nor did it have anything to do with the gore (which is quite good). Nope, I had problems with the plot holes, holes that were so huge you could feel your body jounce as the movie rolled over them. For example, why send Ferguson and the team to fight the Outsider when all the brass wanted to do was rid themselves of the one man who knew about the project outside of themselves? Why not just stage a helicopter crash over the ocean and be done with it? For that matter, why not have someone stick a shiv into Ferguson in prison? Because the script said so.
From the trailers included on the DVD, I'm assuming "Watchers 3" came from the company owned by the venerable Roger Corman. Previews for "Humanoids From the Deep," "Watchers 3," "The Unborn II," and "Not of this Earth" provide a welcome respite after suffering through this Predator knockoff. Seriously, if you like cheesy films you'll probably want to give this one a watch. Too, Wings Hauser completists (Is there such a thing?) will want to add this one to the stack.
The movie itself is almost up to Wing's level. It's basically Predator mixed with Escape From NY. The Dean Koontz bits are tacked on and not over used sadly. Wings would actually be a great choice for a Dean Koontz film. He's got that ability to play anything straight faced while going over the top. It's not a great plot but it's fun and hits the right notes as necessary.
Gore is very present here. Watchers 3 actually has some great gore effects. It makes up for the less successful creature effects too.
Wings never got the fame he deserved. He's genuinely good here and commits in ways other b-actors never do. Unfortunately, I don't think in the current film climate a guy as singular and wild as him will get the respect he deserves. However, hopefully, he'll get his due some day and get placed up there with other wild man talents like Oliver Reed, Nicolas Cage, and really Matthew McConaughey.
Guide: F-bomb. No nudity. Forced grope scene.