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  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Watchers Reborn" is okay, but not all that great.

    **SPOILERS**

    A vicious killer is stalking around killing people, including Det. Murphy's (Mark Hamill) partner. Befriending both scientist Grace Hudson (Lisa Wilcox) and his partner's dog. After some convincing, Murphy begins to suspect that the dog is hyper-intelligent, which no one around him believes. When Grace comes over to check a wound on the dog, she is attacked by the strange creature, which lets Murphy onto a giant cover-up that the NSA, Grace's employer's, don't want leaked. Lem Johnson, (Stephen Macht) the agent in charge, orders both the dog and Grace terminated, as he was involved in the same project that resulted in the creature as well. Tracking them down to a remote cabin in the woods, Grace and Murphy have to fight off the NSA and the Creature.

    The Good News: I'm pretty sure that this has some of the best special effects in the series. As the director is an ex-make-up artist, this one undoubtedly wants to showcase it's impressive array of different gags. That means the deaths are far more graphic than the previous ones in the series, and are even more than a little impressive. Scratches are merely a small part of the ones on display here, as some of the better ones include a brutal facial rearranging, a hand torn off, and more than a few gunshot wounds that are quite well-done. Even the non-lethal ones are nicely done great. There is also a nice amount of action as well, much more than you would expect from the series. With a couple nice car chases, shoot-outs, and an action-packed finale that serves as one of the best ones for the series. The great thing is that, unlike most modern action and horror films with loads of action, this doesn't lose you in any of those sequences, so it is very easy to keep track of what's going on inside them, and that is a major accomplishment. And personally, this is my favorite enemy creature design, it's effectively creepy and scary. It's the best one of the series.

    The Bad News: There was only a few small little things about this one I didn't like all that much. The middle section is a little slow at times, excluding a nice chase, but other than that one lone spot, the middle section is a little slow. Also, the enemy creature performs two small acts late in the film, and both are very distracting and damaging to the effectiveness. It's not that bad of a film.

    The Final Verdict: This one isn't all that bad, and it's better than several others in the series. It's still not all that spectacular. Mostly gore-hounds should see this one, but I think fans of the series and the novels will like this one as well. Seek it out, it's not that bad.

    Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, graphic animal violence and scenes of animals in jeopardy
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Watchers Reborn starts in a science lab where Dr. Grace Hudson (Lisa Wilcox) has been experimenting with DNA to create a mutated monster known as the 'Outsider' & a super intelligent Golden Retriever named Einstein who are telepathically linked to each other. Since everyone likes Einstein & give him pats on the head, they talk to him nicely & spoil him with lots of dog biscuits the Outsider becomes jealous & resentful of him. The Outsider manages to escape in an attempt to kill Einstein but the clever little fella he is Einstein manages to crawl through an air vent & to the safety of Los Angeles outside the lab, however the Outsider is still on his tail (Ha!). Homicide Detectives Murphy (Mark Hamil) & his partner Gus (Gary Collins) are called to a murder & discover a horribly mutilated security guard together with Einstein, Murphy takes a liking to Einstein & decides to take him to the pound (!). Gus isn't having any of it & takes Einstein home with him but is soon killed by the Outsider in it's relentless search for Einstein, as Murphy investigates he becomes aware of the truth & a target of NSA agents who want to keep the whole thing quiet...

    Directed by John Carl Buechler who also is credited with the special creature effects Watchers Reborn is the fourth entry in the Watchers series of films & to date the last. The script by Sean Dash is based on the novel by Dean R. Koontz but I'm not sure how closely. The film moves along at a fair pace, it drags a little in the middle but it passed the time well enough & just about enough happened to maintain my interest. Watchers Reborn isn't exactly the best film ever made that's for sure but if your expectations aren't too high & you like cheap horror films you could do a lot worse. Watchers Reborn features telepathic monsters, shadowy Government agencies, DNA experiments, a trial of Oranges, a Golden Retriever who appears to be more intelligent than half the people I know (& he can write better too) & the one & only Luke Skywalker. What more do you want? I've seen better but I've also seen worse.

    Special effects man turned director Buechler does an OK job, the film isn't much to look at but then what did you expect? I've noticed that the Outsider in each Watchers film looks completely different to the one in the previous entry, this time the Outsider looks more like a Werewolf & in certain shots like a Gorilla, overall it's a pretty cheap looking monster suit. There's some reasonable gore, someone has their eye pulled out, there are plenty of spilled guts & blood, severed hands & arms. The action scenes are dumb & not that exciting, it's not scary & I don't get why the Outsider never kills Murphy? The Outsider kills everyone else he meets but not Murphy it just hits him & knocks him out, answers on a postcard please.

    Technically Watchers Reborn is pretty cheap looking, it's OK but that's about the best I can say about it. The acting isn't up to much & what the Hell happened to Mark Hamil after Star Wars (1977)? How did he end up in something like this?

    Watchers Reborn is an OK time waster, it'll pass 90 odd minutes but little else. The other Watchers films are Watchers (1988), Watchers II (1990) & Watchers III (1994) which I personally think is the best of the bunch even though that ain't saying much.
  • L_Miller12 January 2007
    I loved the book too, and yes it's not exactly a blockbuster level of quality but it's workable. The story has been refactored for frugality but the basics are still there.

    The dog hits his marks and plays along, it's nice to have Hamill roll out the drama in something serious and Lisa Wilcox makes a sincere effort at the cheesecake part. The outsider is cheesy but let's face it, to create the outsider the way that Koontz wrote it you'd need $10 million worth of CGI and it would still look fake.

    If you haven't read the book in a while you can enjoy the memory. This does have an oddly dated feel to it, but then it is nine years old.
  • vixey23j16 September 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I don't think any of what I wrote qualifies as a "spoiler", but I don't want to get blacklisted, so I checked the "spoiler" box.

    Watchers is my all-time favorite book. When I found out they had done a "blockbuster" movie based on the book, I went out and rented it. About 5 minutes into the movie I turned it off. Then I put it back on and watched it. The only plus about any and all of these movies is the dogs they use. They are very well trained animals (I wonder how many dogs they used in total!) and they are gorgeous. The outsider in every one of the movies is lame, nothing like the book (and I know, if they tried to make it like the book says they would have to spend a lot of money and it still wouldn't be up to par to Koontz's imagination) but at least make him like the 3rd movie, more reptilian looking with big claws (that don't dangle!).

    Anyways, if I won the lottery I would hire a team to make a mini-series (maybe for the sci-fi channel?) based WORD BY WORD on the book. The way Einstein and Travis meet, all of the k-9 human interactions; the way they meet Nora, the entire book and how it flows compared to any of the movies is just.. sad and pathetic.

    So, I wish I won the lottery....
  • lubtxlady27 February 2000
    I feel The Watchers-Reborn is a very well acted movie. Mark Hamill isn't a kid anymore. He grew up and did a fine piece of acting. It is a bit graphic in places and not well suited for younger viewers but the story-line is interesting and well written. Follows Dean Koonz's book far more than the first Watchers. See this film but don't expect to see Luke Skywalker!
  • psyartisan9 December 1998
    Although not a genius film, and certainly one that passes from cliche to cliche, there are some wonderful elements to it. Namely, between the cliches are flashes of genius and brilliance which buoy the story and make it watchable. The actors are not particularly great, however LISA WILCOX is the real star, her acting is credible and intelligent and she is a delight to watch.
  • Wizard-827 October 2011
    Believe it or not, I have now seen all four of the Roger Corman-produced WATCHERS films. The best of the series was the mediocre WATCHERS 2, though as mediocre as it was, it looks like a masterpiece compared to this fourth entry. Things don't start well with the first few minutes seemingly consisting of stock footage, and things just get worse from that point on. Mark Hamill (who was one of the producers - did he really think this project was worthy?) looks and sounds very tired, like he had been sleeping in an alley for a week before coming onto the set. Actually, Hamill isn't really to blame, because the screenplay has various plot points and plot turns you have seen in the previous WATCHERS movies. There isn't really anything new here, which will make you wonder why Corman decided to do the same old things once again, especially since it looks like he had less money to spend than in the previous films. Even if you were involved in the production of the movie, there's no compelling reason to watch these end results.
  • udar5525 October 2007
    Man, Roger Corman certainly got his moneys worth out of the film rights to the Dean Koontz novel WATCHERS. This, the fourth entry in the series, continues the saga of Einstein the Golden Retriever and his mutant buddy/stalker The Outsider. The Outsider breaks out of a Government facility where he and Einstein are being tested on. The duo are on the loose and The Outsider kills off a zoo security guard. Det. Murphy (Mark Hamill) is on the case and quickly discovers the dog and scientist Grace (Lisa Wilcox) snooping around. The mean Feds (led by Stephen Macht) are also on the case and want to kill everyone associated with the project to keep it hush-hush. Naturally, that means kill them in public.

    Despite an offer of new ideas (REBORN), this is the same ol' WATCHERS. Man finds dog. Dog is smart. Monster chases dog. Dog saves lives. The end. And what does it say about a film when the best actor is a dog? I'm not kidding. Einstein, who gets no screen credit, displays better emotions than Hamill ever does. Director John Carl Buechler keeps things moving fast enough and the kills are all gory so I guess it has that going for it. The end tries to go for a sympathetic Frankenstein's monster twist but it isn't working when your monster looks this bad. "Pet me," he cries at one point to great comic effect. Wilcox, who played Alice in ELM STREET 4 & 5, sports blonde hair in this and looks like a dead ringer for Barbara Campton. As always, Macht gives a solid turn as the heel. He must be filed in all Hollywood Rolodexes under "Bad Guy."
  • A terrible movie here, folks. First of all, it's hard to review this film objectively. I REALLY enjoyed the book (one of my favourite Dean Koontz novels), and I'm way too much of a Mark Hamill fan (regardless of what everybody tells me). But this was a uniquely weak film. I've mentioned before that films with the potential for good/greatness are much more disappointing than those that were empty from the beginning. This is, what, the tenth attempt to make Koontz's "Watchers" into a movie, and again, somebody somewhere screwed up. I mean, what is the problem with this book? I can't tell you, except that even after several other tries, this one is particularly bad. The acting was sub-par, the violence hokey and unnecessary, the special effects laughable, and the editing was as bad as a sixth-grader with two VCRs. There were a couple of moments when I thought, "Wait a minute, maybe this won't suck," which made it all the worse when it did. "Nightmare on Elm Street 4 & 5"'s Lisa Wilcox wasn't spectacularly awful, just awful. The pathetic-but-didn't-have-to-be monster was never scary, and often so poorly done that I longed for another Ewok movie. I guess the once-great Mark Hamill should stick with cartoon voice-overs.
  • pengholm28 November 1998
    Seriously... if you have "Mein Kampf" or the communist manifesto - sit down and go through them rather then wasting time on this movie!!! It's a shame that one of the world's best fiction author (Dean Koontz) will have one of his best books turned into a movie as awful as this one. The acting is terrible, the story is so predictable and stupid (not at all like the book), and it's just BORING. All the excitement is over after 5 min. and you'd wish you had never made it to the video store...