The Supernaturals (1986)

supernaturals poster 1986 movie zombies
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 3/10

Interesting idea, Star Trek fanboys unite!

Poorly executed, boring, confusing

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Supernaturals

Studio:  Embassy Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  May 9, 1986

MPAA Rating: R

supernaturals nichelle nichols

That’s right…I’m going to kick your ass!

A Northern Civil War general tracks down a rebel militia and enacts his punishment on them for killing his men.  Over one hundred years later, a military training exercise involving the same platoon number is having a training mission in the area.  Unfortunately, the dead still want revenge for what happened in the past and the training mission is about to become real.

Directed by Armand Mastroianni, The Supernaturals is a low-budget zombie movie.  The film received poor reviews but the lack of release (except for VHS) has made a small collector’s item among horror fans (a low-quality version of the film can be found online and streaming).

I can remember watching the VHS of The Supernaturals at my friends house.  A lackluster movie with a confusing plot, The Supernaturals did not even impress a ten-year-old…but it does have some almost interesting things occurring.

supernaturals minefield kid chad sheets

Come back!

The story for the movie is overly confusing.  I admire the idea of a Civil War/zombie mash-up which feels kind of modern in that sense.  It however is mixed with a story about a ghost woman, a mine field, and the most generic bunch of weekend-warrior soldiers you have ever seen.  The attempts to deepen the story with the Civil War plot fall flat, and it would have just been better if the characters just fought Civil War zombies straight-up instead of trying to make a backstory that the film’s quality and budget cannot uphold.

The cast does have a bit of a geek factor to it in that it is a meeting of Star Trek and Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  While Maxwell Caulfield is a bland lead with Margaret Shendal as an equally bland undead woman, the movie features two Star Trek vets.  Nichelle Nichols (aka Uhura) plays the troop leader and gets to flex her “tough guy” look (which isn’t that intimidating since she is not much taller than five feet), and LeVar Burton (aka Geordi La Forge) plays Private Osgood…neither is stellar in the movie, but it is fun to have them meet.  One of the Union soldiers is also played by an uncredited Maurice Gibbs of the Bee-Gees who was originally going to provide the soundtrack.

supernaturals melanie zombie margaret shendal

So I’m a resurrected zombie controlling woman?

Another disappointing aspect of The Supernaturals is the supernatural storyline.  The movie’s visuals are poor and the zombies are minimal.  Instead of going for gore and horror, the movie kind of turns into an action film during the battle with the zombies and the zombies aren’t that active.  They lumber and lurk and the characters can easily run away from them…this needed to be boosted to make-up for the plot and reward the viewers who stick with the movie if nothing else.

The Supernaturals could have been better.  If the movie had taken the approach of The Hills Have Eyes with descendants of Confederates in the backwoods ambushing a platoon, it might have been kind of interesting.  It almost tries this but fails.  Instead, The Supernaturals just comes off as a bland horror movie with no real hitch and no horror…but at least you have Star Trek.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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