Loch Ness

(John Henderson, UK, 1996)


Loch Ness is a movie for deconstructionists – and I use that term more accurately than either Christopher Koch or David Williamson are prone to. In other words, it is a film that slowly but surely unravels, because the logic of its premise is so patently self-contradictory.

Imagine a film which sets out to discredit all those artificial, mocked-up representations of the legendary Loch Ness monster by showing us, finally, the real thing. But it is just a movie, after all, so the real thing is just another wacky-looking special effect.

And, furthermore, imagine this same film making a big hoo-ha about the need to preserve the "mystery and magic" of the Loch Ness legend. Yet, simultaneously, it offers a banal, literal-minded exposé of that very same mystery.

This is a stupid, dull, worthless film, mechanical and formulaic to the nth degree. A tedious Ted Danson tramps about as a typical hero-figure who starts out jaded and disenchanted in his search for the monster, but moves inexorably towards personal redemption in the arms of Joely Richardson.

Like in some creaky B movie, a range of supposedly colourful side characters file past the camera to give us their views on the central enigma. Is Nessie real, a hoax, a religious apparition or a necessary myth for our unspiritual times?

Long before mid-way, I could not care less.

© Adrian Martin August 1996

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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