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Proteus (1995)
  • Director:
    Bob Keen
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    John Brosnan,John Brosnan
  • Cast:
    Craig Fairbrass,Toni Barry,William Marsh
  • Time:
    1h 37min
  • Budget:
  • Year:
Group of heroin smugglers finds shelter on abandoned oil rig after their ship had exploded. Soon they find that the oil rig was just cover for biological experiment. One of the results is Charlie - shape-shifting monster with ability to absorb the memory of its victims. However, even such creatures have their own bad habits.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig Fairbrass Craig Fairbrass - Alex
Toni Barry Toni Barry - Linda
William Marsh William Marsh - Mark
Jennifer Calvert Jennifer Calvert - Rachel
Robert Firth Robert Firth - Paul
Margot Steinberg Margot Steinberg - Christine
Ricco Ross Ricco Ross - Buckley
Jordan Page Jordan Page - Dr. Carol Soames
Nigel Pegram Nigel Pegram - Dr. Shelley
Doug Bradley Doug Bradley - Leonard Brinkstone
Johnie Chase Johnie Chase - Brinkstone's Chinese Guard
Jerry Grayson Jerry Grayson - Brinkstone's Chopper Pilot
Neil Finnighan Neil Finnighan - Brinkstone's Armed Guard (as Neil Finnegan)
Tom Lucy Tom Lucy - Brinkstone's Armed Guard
Bill Davey Bill Davey - Brinkstone's Armed Guard (as Billy Davey)

Proteus (1995)

Metrotime, a production company formed by Metrodome and the Lifetime Group, were originally set to produce, before the two companies split over creative differences.

Many of the action sequences in the film required cast members to be working in several inches of stagnant water, for longer periods of time. As a safety measure, each actor was issued a pair of thick rubber socks to be worn under their shoes. Robert Firth, who portrays Paul in the film, got so tired of sweaty and blistered feet at the end of each day, that he opted out of the uncomfortable protocol - wholeheartedly embracing the potential risk of electrocution instead.

I saw the DVD of this film in a charity shop for £1.50 so i thought i would have a go. well the tag line is " there is no stopping what can't be stopped" well that really bursts my balloon. How about "there is no watching what can't be watched"

Here we have Craig Fairbrass strutting round a cheap and cheerful oil rig set with a bunch of hardly knowns for "support".

The lighting and sound seem to be very poor which all point to a lower budget than the U.K armed forces.

It seems full of the old clunky clichés like the fact that although its a spooky deserted oil rig they all still have to go off to separate cabins "for a good nights kip"

There are one or two minor scares i suppose but it never escapes what it is: a low budget film with a worn out plot and some patchy acting in places. Not even Doug "pinhead" Bradley could inject anything into this to stop it sinking.
Bob Keen (the make up and special effects wizard behind Hellraiser 2-3 and Candyman among many others) directed this alien film set in the oil rig. A bunch of drug smugglers have their boat sunk and they have to go to one oil rig they accidentally find while floating in the middle of the ocean. They go on board only to find it's completely abandoned with some menacing voices and dark rooms. Soon they learn there's something nasty and hungry in the rig and it's going to get the new visitors, too.

There are two things which make this film worth watching even couple of times. They are soundtrack and lightning with the usage of camera. The theme played during the credits and during the film isn't too effective or special, but the ominous and low sounds heard in the soundtrack to create suspense are indeed effective and creepy, thanks to the talented film makers who knew what sounds scary. The green and dark mist is present in the film all the time and the images of the abandoned oil rig are very scary again and show only little information about the place.. There are also some effective shocks which make the viewer almost jump, and fortunately they are not too plenty as then they would've lost their power and become gratuitous.

Otherwise this film isn't too noteworthy. The characters are not too deep or interesting and speak and scream things which reveal bad script. The ending is too cliched and the monster too big and becomes little unintentionally comic as the budget didn't make it possible to create more convincing monster. They should've kept the monster smaller in order to make the film look more serious. The ending has also one bit of unexpected gore as the full monster arrives, and it looks little different now that the entire film is practically bloodless and without gore. There is also one brief scene which raises the puke-o-meter pretty high as one nasty alien tentacle goes inside one character's mouth while she's sleeping!

After all, this film has enough atmosphere and horror elements to make it worthwhile for the fans of horror and scifi cinema, but otherwise this isn't too revolutionizing picture even in its own genre. If you appreciate the genre, rent or buy this (if you get it cheap) because it could be MUCH worse than this.

Proteus is a film that not many people like, take a look at the user rating and 95% of the reviews on here for proof. However, I am one of the film's few fans and I'll explain why. I love 70s, 80s, and 90s creature features, this was the good old times of practical effects (men in monster suits, mechanical monsters), before the age of CGI which to be honest, I think ruined creature features at least the low budget films because in a lot of creature features now, either the creatures are completely ridiculous (Sharknado, Avalanche Sharks) or like in a lot of SyFy fare, they show the creatures throughout the whole film and leave no suspense. Those three decades were the best times for these films, leaving the audience to picture to creature through most of the running time until the big reveal. I know I've been rambling, now on to the film.

Proteus has a plot that I'm a sucker for, group of people stranded in a isolated location with a mutant monster. In this case, it's drug smugglers whose boat sank and they come across an oil rig where experiments have been going on and things have went awry. Nothing special but simple and appealing to me. Craig Fairbrass is the lead here and does a pretty good job actually, he is probably most known for his villainous role in Cliffhanger but he pulls off the tough guy role well. His character also has a nice character reveal halfway through the film. The other five main actors range from mediocre to bad but don't worry, most are there for the body count. Ricco Ross from Aliens has a solid small role and does a good job as well. Horror icon Doug Bradley shows up at the end as the owner of the rig in heavy makeup and does decent, obviously was in this film because he was probably friends with Bob Keen. The pacing is fast, I have heard people call it boring but I honestly don't see it, within fifteen minutes, they are on the rig and not long after does strange things happen.

The dialogue is passable at best but it does have a great line "You're a fu**in fish with a drug habit". The make up and mechanical effects is where this film really comes to life, Proteus has very interesting monster designs and makes the film an entertaining viewing especially if you're a lover of practical creature effects. The atmosphere is also quite good, it has a murky, sticky, gross atmosphere that fits with the film. The directing is average enough, nothing great but there's some cool shots.

I really like the film, I found it a very entertaining B horror film, it's not a good film when compared to the best horror film of all time The Thing (1982) which its rips off of shamelessly but I have a blast and a fondness for it. I would recommend it only to people who are fans of creature features of the 80s and 90s where practical effects was still key. Underrated B creature feature for sure.
This is based on a book called 'Slimer' by Harry Adam Knight. Whilst the book is a tense, gripping and claustrophobic thriller packed with interesting characters and some truly chilling scenes, the film just stinks of a disgustingly wasted license. Another opportunity completely flushed down the drain by people not talented enough to produce and direct the home video footage of a family party.

The plot, for lack of a better word, involves drug smugglers who are shipwrecked and wind up on a deserted oil-rig where sinister experiments are taking place. After a lot of wandering around they meet a scientist with a Germanic accent which sounds nearly as realistic as Professor Tryst's in 'Dr Who:Nightmare of Eden' (which, believe me, is no great achievement). The characters are Z-grade and the film doesn't even attempt to follow the story in the original book. Before long the laughable monster (imagine a cut-price Jaws on legs) appears to sink the film to even greater depths. Doug Bradley (Pinhead in the 'Hellraiser' films) makes an appearance, but even he's wasted in a minor role as a rather cliched mad company boss.

A painful experience. That saying 'the old ones are the best' certainly applies to monster movies. Recent monster films like this waste of (very little) money aren't worth the tape they're printed on.
Right. First, lets discuss Proteus's good points...........Now that's out of the way lets discuss its BAD points. I thought films were supposed to have plots? Am I wrong, are The Silence Of The Lambs and Seven and The Usual Suspects, not films? Are films simply supposed to be a load of random images, designed to bore you rigid? If Proteus is anything to go by, then they are. The plot of Proteus is: Drug dealers go onboard an oil rig. There is a monster there. Some of them die. Some escape. That's IT. No riveting subplots, no amusing witty dialogue with which the film can redeem itself. This film is APPALLING in every conceivable way. The script writers have stolen every idea from every horror flick you ever saw, but the director has handled their material in such away as to remove every grain of suspense or horror. This film COULD have been dragged into the heady heights of mediocrity, is the actors had any talent to speak of. But the lead's (Craig Fairbrass) inability to sound anything other than a cockney wideboy, and his complete and chronic lack of charisma, throw THIS feeble idea firmly down the toilet. It turns out that the monster that is killing some of the drug dealers on board the ship is a shape shifter (that's handy guys, now you don't have to pay any money for a monster suit), invented by some scientists (supposedly brilliant, but haven't they learnt that genetic experiments in secret laboratories always end with disaster?). When the first scientist marches in and says "I am Dr Soames" in the worst German accent ever committed to screen, all that is missing is the boos and hissing from the kids in the audience. And surely, people in films like this, fighting genetic experiments gone horribly wrong are supposed to be heroic? The script and the acting are both so appallingly bad that you want every single character to die. In incredible pain. The film tries to redeem itself at the end with an explosion (wow, that was good. There was an explosion in "Leprechaun", for Christs sakes) and the appearance of the monster in its real form. It's a rubber shark. Ooh. Don't get too scared. I can't remember what happens at the end of "Proteus". But I don't care. I knew I wasn't going to care while I was watching it. To this day, I still want the people behind "Proteus" to give me an hour and a half of my life back, so I can use it for something useful, like watching grass grow in my back garden. I hope the rubber shark doesn't get me. I give this a generous 0 out of 10.
DEA agent Alex is in big trouble with his superior. It seems a routine undercover mission to bust a gang of heroin smugglers went awry, and Alex not only didn't recover the drugs, but he didn't arrest anyone. His boss wants answers. Cue flashback (i.e. the rest of the film).

Alex and another agent named Rachel, who is also his girlfriend, had been assigned to pose as drug dealers and infiltrate a gang of smugglers. The gang, consisting of Mark, his girlfriend Christine, Paul and Paul's girlfriend Linda, are strictly small-timers. Indeed, they're so inept that they accidentally sink and explode their own yacht while transporting the heroin on the open ocean, leaving them and the two undercover agents stranded in a lifeboat.

Alex takes charge, to the annoyance of supposed leader Paul. They drift aimlessly until they come upon a dead body floating in the water, a security guard in a uniform that says "Brinkstone" on it. Afterwards, they run into an oil rig owned by Brinkstone, which it turns out is a corporation, except one none of them have ever heard of. Once they're aboard, discover the rig is actually a front for a top secret research laboratory but can find no one around. Just lots of empty clothes and discarded weapons, which of course they appropriate for themselves. They explore, finding various clues, including a big empty aquarium.

The group beds down for the night, taking the missing scientists' rooms for themselves, each couple to a room. Paul, it turns out, still has some heroin hidden on himself, and he rations some out to junkie Mark. On his way back to Linda however, something attacks him and drags him away. Alex and the others come running, but find only Paul's dropped stash of heroin. Whilst pursuing whatever it is that got Paul, they encounter an apparent survivor, a scientist named Dr. Shelley. Shelley can't answer where Paul has got to, but does reveal that what attacked him is something named "Charlie." He assures them Charlie is "under control now," and then wanders off and disappears.

Deciding to investigate more for himself, Alex finds a room with video equipment containing tapes about something Brinkstone was working on called the Proteus Experiment. Proteus was intended to create the ultimate organism which can survive anything, and adapt to any environment. The experiment turned an ordinary great white shark (the original inhabitant of that big aquarium), nicknamed Charlie by the scientists into a genetic freak which can shapeshift, turning itself into slime and absorbing the minds and bodies of its victims and also occasionally taking their form to trick more victims.

The consumed people are still conscious inside of Charlie's brain, but mostly entirely helpless; only the most strong willed (such as Dr. Shelley) can exert themselves as the dominant personality long enough to use Charlie's shapeshifting abilities to turn its body into theirs, so they can try and warn the others... but Charlie always regains control.

Trapped aboard the rig with a mutant killer, can Alex and the others survive? Well, obviously Alex will, since he's telling this story as a flashback, but what of the others, particularly his girlfriend and fellow DEA agent Rachel...?

This is a fairly decent adaptation of the novel Slimer by Harry Adam Knight (a pseudonym of John Brosnan). A much better effort than Roger Corman's horrible Carnosaur. Most likely because John Brosnan himself wrote the script. There's some swapping around of the characters' roles from the novel. For instance, in the book, Paul was the hero and Alex was a thoroughly unpleasant jerk and rapist. I'm unsure why Brosnan switched them around. Alex's douchebag qualities are divided between Mark and Paul, the latter of whom, in the farthest fall from main character status I can think of, is actually Charlie's very first victim.

They also for some reason insisted on giving Dr. Shelley a Russian accent. Funny. "Shelley" doesn't strike me as a Russian surname. Beyond these weird changes the effects are a bit lame, particularly the shark monster animatronic used to represent Charlie's true form. It leaves a lot to be desired.

But the main problem is the darkness. Apart from the brightly-lit main lab, the interior of the Proteus Experiment facilities is very dark and dreary and it's hard to make out what is happening sometimes. A far cry from the brightly-lit white corridors Brosnan describes in the book.

The final major difference of note is that Mr. Lloyd Brinkstone, mentioned often in the novel but never actually appearing, turns up at the end with a squad of armed goons. His name has been changed to "Leonard Brinkstone" (what was wrong with Lloyd?) and he's played by a thoroughly wasted Doug Bradley of Hellraiser fame, and gets killed off almost as soon as he's introduced, he and his henchmen merely providing more fodder for Charlie.

As to the ending, as in the novel, the pilot of the Brinkstone copter is revealed to be taken over by Charlie, but the survivors aren't aware of it and the film ends on a dramatic closeup of the pilot/Charlie's eye. Then cut to credits. Since the movie is told in flashback, with Alex talking to his superior officer at the DEA and telling him what happened, we're left to wonder: is Alex aware? I mean, he's telling all this to his boss in the present. It seems they were setting up for a sequel or perhaps a longer ending was cut out, since we never do return to the present to see what Alex's superior thinks of his story...

Despite this, the acting is quite good, especially from Craig Fairbrass as suddenly good guy Alex and minor details aside the plot is pretty much beat for beat an accurate retelling of Slimer. A much better effort than Corman's insultingly terrible Carnosaur.
A group of drug smuglers are ship wrecked, and seek shelter on a near-by oil rig. As it turns out, it's not a oil rig at all, but a high-security genetic engineering where things went wrong, now there's monsters running around. This has to be one of the best film's I've ever seen! Excellent special effects, spectacular monsters, creative premise, a refreshingly non-routine script.....This is perfect! I want it on DVD!!!!!!!! Great twist at the end, too.
A group of heroin smugglers finds shelter on an abandoned oil rig after their ship had exploded. Soon they find that the oil rig was just a cover for biological experiments. One of the results is Charlie, a shape-shifting monster with the ability to absorb the memory of its victims.

The only really good thing about this film is the inclusion of cult actor Doug Bradley, and unfortunately he plays a very small role. The special effects and makeup are also pretty decent, but it seems like a waste to have included them in such a terrible film.

Maybe I should have caught on by the time they ripped off the "Terminator" theme song, but this was just a boring, none-too-interesting movie. The concept is good, even if not strictly original. But it is executed in a way that is quite boring and never allows us to actually care who lives or dies.
sunrise bird
sunrise bird
This is a surprisingly decent science fiction horror movie, that rivals some big budget movies of the same genre.

First, there's solid story in this movie, and the delivery by the actors were good. Second, the production was very good for a low budget movie. There's no corners that were cut to make it look as authentic as it can. Third the special effects were more than decent. In fact, in this area, it was much better done than more famous films such as the "Relic" and "Dog Soldiers", and many other movies that had bigger budgets.

So, the producers of this movie has made careful planning of how to make this movie, and all the details came out right.

The movie is almost in the league of Deep Rising, but that movie had much bigger budget, and it shows. Good science fiction horror, that's worth watching.
"PROTEUS" is a rather poor adaption of "LEVIATHAN" - an abandoned ship that houses a shape-shifting creature that multiplies in size for every victim it consumes.

In "LEVIATHAN", the premise was an undersea mining station that gets infected with an 'alien' life form once havoc breaks loose after an alien sample is discovered in a sunken Russian submarine. Each victim that the alien attacked was transformed into an alien life form that kept growing until extreme measures had to be taken to destroy it.

In John Carpenter's "THE THING", a scientific outpost in Antarctica is the setting for the alien life form which consumes its victims in the same manner.

In "PROTEUS", the 'alien' shape-shifts by turning its victims into luring devices to attract further victims. Much like plots for films such as "DEATH SHIP", "DEEP RISING" and "VIRUS", the setting for all of this is an abandoned ship/station in the middle of nowhere and is ultimately discovered by a group of yuppies (appropriately, three men and three women) who are picked off one by one by the 'sea creature' which assumes their profiles before attacking someone else (further saving on the 'special effects' budget). The hackneyed story-telling has the victims 'examining' strange noises or venturing down dark corridors where pipes and cables line the ceiling and steam fissures explode at inappropriate moments, almost always ending up in some ridiculous death scene with a fade-out scream.

This cheap straight-to-video trash plays out more like something you'd find on the Sci-Fi Channel at midnight. There really isn't any horror or suspense and certainly no gore. The only thrill here is seeing Doug Bradley (a.k.a. Pinhead of the "HELLRAISER" series) portraying a loony scientist who wears sunglasses and also happens to be behind the mysterious 'sea creature' operation. His demise at the climax of the film when the 'creature' is revealed in full scale is quite hilarious. One of the creatures' tentacles shoot into his open mouth as it lets out a huge roar, alikened to both a lion and an elephant, as it comes face to face with its tormentor and creator.

"PROTEUS" is generally just another 'run-of-the-mill' straight-to-video horror flick set at sea which provides neither thrills or chills but only the occasional unintentional laugh usually set off by bad special effects or laughable stereotypes. It is very disappointing.

My Grade: D-
I watched this one expecting to be nothing special, i was wrong. Proteus is a well made B movie creature feature which is a treat for those who enjoy retro FX, rubber monsters and slimy abominations. The whole movie absolutely might be heavily influenced (or ripped off) by Carpenter's The Thing, but this little fact doesn't hartly bother. I just enjoyed it, only thing that could bother some is that it takes a while before the action really starts. But it's worth it.
Six people board a yacht presumably somewhere in Thailand, it's never revealed exactly where we are at this point. The group comprises three couples. Alex (Craig Fairbrass) and his tasty girlfriend Rachel (Jennifer Calvert, whom I used to have a big crush on when she played Karen Hanson a mean-spirited fast food restaurant boss in the children's comedy T.V. series 'Spatz' that I used to watch after school!). Linda (Toni Barry) and her boyfriend Paul (Robert Firth) plus Christine (Margot Steinberg) and Mark (William Marsh). It's made perfectly clear in the opening sequence that they are drug smugglers with 600 kilo's of dope on board. All of a sudden, after the opening credits, they are all drifting out at sea in a lifeboat in the middle of the night and it's lashing down with rain. Did I miss something? What happened to the yacht? Since the filmmakers probably didn't have the budget to blow the yacht up the six characters just 'discuss' it on the lifeboat and argue about who's fault it is. Soon after this extremely awkward plot jump they come across a dead body floating in the sea, the name tag says Duncan Jarman (playing himself!) and he appears to be some sort of security officer. Suddenly the lifeboat hits a large structure in the sea, it's one of the huge metal legs belonging to an oil rig. Within a few minutes everyone is safely aboard. Going by first impressions, it seems that the oil rig is deserted. They come across some sort of 'biological research lab'. Looking at some of the computer screens they conclude that some sort of DNA genetic engineering experiments have been taking place. They decide to stay at least until the morning, and they all find cabins to sleep in. Both Paul and Mark are heroin addicts. While trying to deliver some heroin to Mark, Paul is chased by something rather nasty and slimy. The others search for him. Instead of Paul they find a Dr. Shelly (Nigel Pegram) who warns them to leave. To confuse things even further on their travels they also come across a Dr. Carol Soames (Jordan Page) and a security officer named Jerry Buckley (Ricco Ross), both of whom act strange and make no sense. Eventually Alex conveniently finds a video tape with the message 'play me'. On it is a filmed message from Dr. Shelly who rather helpfully says that he and his scientific team have created a genetic mutant with human DNA that kills and adopts it's victims DNA and any individual survival characteristics that might be of use to it, and for it to evolve at an incredible rate. In it's true form becoming more and more mutated and freakish after each victim, victim's that it is able to replicate perfectly. The project was called 'Proteus'. One by one the heroin smugglers become victims until the oil rigs owner, Leonard Brinkstone (Doug Bradley) turns up by helicopter. Will there be anyone left on the oil rig to greet him? Or will 'Proteus' escape the isolation of the rig and infect the outside world? Who know's, watch it too find out! Directed by Bob Keen I thought this was a perfectly entertaining horror film. It closely resembles John Carpenter's the Thing (1982), with it's shape-shifting monster that can turn into anything it infects. And the isolated setting, in this case the oil rig. The script by John Brosnan from his own novel 'Slimer' as Harry Adam Knight, is fairly well paced, everyone is on the rig and being chased by the monster within 10 or 15 minutes and there aren't many dull stretches. It's a little on the clichéd side though, and there isn't a single original idea in the whole film. But it does what it sets out to do rather well. There is a plot twist towards the end in which certain characters motives and identities are revealed to be different than first thought, but this revelation means nothing to the overall story and is rather wasted. Acting is OK, Fairbrass is alright as the hero and it was cool seeing Calvert again after all these years! The effects are pretty good, the monster is shown during the last 10 minutes or so and looks decent with quite good movement, but it looks a little silly as the original host for the DNA was a shark and to resemble a shark it has a pointed head, unfortunately this gives the impression of it having a big nose! Well, that's what I couldn't help thinking anyway. There's not much gore in it except when someone has their throat ripped out, most of the deaths are of the slimy variety rather than having lots of blood. Generally the film is well made, but I think there may be a problem with the sound as the dialogue is virtually indistinguishable in certain scenes, I had to turn the volume up on my T.V. to hear what people were saying but this has the unwanted side-effect of the music and sound effects being loud enough to wake the dead! Most scenes are lit with bright neon lights, mostly blues that I thought looked really cool. It isn't a masterpiece by any means, but if your looking for a decent time waster then you could do a lot worse than this, worth a watch for horror fans if you can find a cheap copy or catch it on T.V. for free. Entertaining enough, even with it's limited ambition.
This movie is terrible, simply awful, the script has no plot and makes no sense, the actors act as if they have been drinking straight vodka the night before whilst the filming and soundtrack is annoying.

I have never been so bored and depressed watching a movie, no offence but whoever funded this shambles must have been from another planet or possibly Norfolk.

Worst of all the paper mashie shark-zombie-rubber duck mutant looks like a 4 year olds attempt at something out of Blue Peter.

Eco Warrior out!!!
Fairbrass and other actors including the sexy Jennifer Calvert don't do a bad job and this movie is Definitely worth watching. I bought this movie knowing it was a budget title but i have been surprised in the past by how good some of them are due to the actors trying there very best to go on the better roles.

i thought that this movie was very good for its low budget until the end.. i thought the monster was a bit over the top and looked a bit silly,and there was maybe a bit too much time wasted looking for people who had gone missing to fill in some time which was a bit of a let down , but overall the film is very good with some scary suspenseful moments and the gore is also quite well done,the monster at the end is unforgivably terrible though.
Credit were credit is due, CRAIG FAIRBRASS is certainly the 'BRITISH BULLDOG' as far as UK movies are concerned. You can't say, he doesn't try. And he's certainly here to stay, i just wish someone would have the ideal script to match his (if anything) enthusiasm. Fairbrass is certainly the UK's STEVEN SEAGAL/STALLONE (hell, even SCHWARZENEGGER!) but unless the UK stops putting out cack period costume dramas or rom-coms every five seconds, we could be losing the heir to a revival in UK action movies. Can you imagine if DARREN WARD (director of the hyper-violent/energetic 'SUDDEN FURY', had a biggish budget, and a cast that at least started with Fairbrass. We'd definitely have something better than this.

But as it is, PROTEUS is an OK-ish ALIEN clone (with hints of 'THE THING') set on an (seemingly) abandoned oil-rig. Six drug runners find their boat on fire, and have to rough it in a life raft. All looks bad, until that is, they come across a oil-rig, that's apparently being used as a research lab, looking into experimenting with shark DNA (shades of the later DEEP BLUE SEA, anyone?) Of course you can guess the rest, as one by one, our protagonists get bumped off, by some unknown creature. Leaving Fairbrass to square up to a pretty original (if anything) looking monster.

PROTEUS, is a flawed film, on a shoe-string budget, but it does have one or two effective scares, and passable gore (given the directors background!)

On a similar vein to Norman J Warren's INSEMINOID or the more recent (lottery funded) LIGHTHOUSE, in terms of budget, plot development and general overall appearance. I only hope that Fairbrass get's the UK movies he deserves however, because our loss, could be America's gain.

5 out of 10
A group of drug smugglers (one of whom is an undercover cop) are stranded at sea when their yacht is burnt & sunk. Floating at sea in a lifeboat, they come across an oil rig. Boarding the rig, they find that it is deserted. But when one of their number disappears & they encounter survivors who act strangely before vanishing, they discover that the rig is actually a clandestine research facility that has been doing genetic engineering. And the kicker is that their latest project – an attempt to create a lifeform capable of instant evolution – has resulted in "Charlie", a shark-based polymorph capable of absorbing the bodies & memories of its victims then imitating them perfectly.

Proteus is a silly attempt to create a cheap B-grade knockoff of the John Carpenter classic THE THING, only going a similar route to the 1989 film LEVIATHAN in basing its monster at sea. The only difference between Leviathan & Proteus is that the former managed to make the concept work (although not entirely convincingly) somewhat to make an entertainingly cheesy effort. Proteus, on the other hand, does not.

The script was written by John Brosnan, a former film critic who had written two books where he criticised the genre for various faults. He also wrote a few genre novels, some of which became mounted as genre films in their own right (the silly monster flick Carnosaur was one of them). One of these novels, Slimer (which Brosnan wrote under a pseudonym) became the basis for Proteus. Helming the project was Bob Keen, a visual effects wizard who has done some really good effects work in the past – case in point being the effects in the original HELLRAISER.

Proteus is, sad to say, a very poor attempt at copying Leviathan at a fraction of the budget. Both films transplanted The Thing into the sea (in Leviathan's case underwater) with varied results. They couldn't use the paranoia that their source did so they had to use much more action-packed stories to make up for it. Leviathan, while having some slightly cheesy effects, at least managed to compensate for it by having decent acting & a reasonably well-thought-out storyline. On the other hand, Proteus only manages to make a ham dinner out of a similar story. The acting is wooden enough to make a picnic table out of it. The plot consists of a bunch of idiots running around clueless while a polymorphic (shapeshifting) monster picks them off before confusing them by resembling their dead friends. The monster's biology is badly written – it somehow obtains a weakness for heroin which the human party have with them. Keen overdoes the monster's POV shots to the point of tedium, further weakening the suspense. And the late inclusion of Doug Bradley (Pinhead himself) as the businessman in control of the project doesn't do much – in fact very little – to recover the film's standing (although he does make the most of it). The monster's final form in the climax looks extremely cheesy & cheap-looking.
Based on the novel "Slimer" written by Harry Adam Knight (AKA: John Brosnan), Proteus is just another low rent monsters on the loose picture. Plot has a bunch of drug smugglers initially thankful of finding an oil rig out at sea after their boat was wrecked by incompetence. But soon enough they realise they are not alone and floating out on a life raft may have been the better option.

So it's all nutty science gone wrong as a bunch of poor actors, headed by Craig Fairbrass with big muscles and a mullet, get involved in an Alien/The Thing amalgamation. Director Bob Keen ensures things are kept dark to hide the cheapness of it all, though some icky scenes keep the pic away from total damnation. But come the arrival of Proteus in its true form, you may find yourself laughing instead of being afraid. 3/10
Basically a group is stranded on an abandoned oil rig where some testing has been going on and there's a monster. While that would be enough plot for people, the creators decided to add in some crappy drug smuggling story to it. It may give the group an excuse to be out there but, at the same time, it's pretty much unnecessary and leads to some mediocre subplots. My other issue is all the damn monster-vision shots. We have constant disruptions where we see everything through a blurry (green or red) lens moving quickly. To make it worse, half the time the monster isn't even doing anything! It's just running around, not interacting with the group or anything else. Plus, in the interests of being confusing, we'll occasionally catch glimpses of puddles of organic crap appearing and then transforming yet predictably none of the characters see this plus nobody ever seems to hear anything (an aggravating trend).

Finally somebody is grabbed then, while tracking them, they find an old scientist who tells them they're in danger and they should leave. He then promptly vanishes from a locked room. The story proceeds to get weirder from there. However, it never really gets good. The setting is great, though, and I like the concept. Some of the effects are really neat while others... well, not so much. I love the monster's true form. At the same time so much of the movie just isn't worthwhile and there are just so many pointless moments. And while the ending does help salvage other parts of the film, the whole thing feels like a half-rate rendition of The Thing.

Also, the title is a reference to a Greek mythological shapeshifter.
This movie is taking a bit of a bashing, and I can't deny, it's not the best movie I've ever seen.

The dialogue is cliched and banal. The special effects are pretty disastrous, failing to convince or frighten or even shock.

But the movie is not without its good points. Namely Craig Fairbrass.

A better action man / hero type could not have been found. He's has the looks, the build and is clearly capable of such parts. Ok, I'm biased cos he's British, gorgeous and was in Eastenders, but so what?

I will say he is definitely wasted on stuff like this, though. Can no one in the UK give him a good, meaty role to save him from American B movies?
black coffe
black coffe
The acting is teriible, the special effects are passable up until the climax that looks like a man in a rubber suit. the story is complete and utter nonsense about a group of drug smugglers including Craig Fairbrass (yes-Dan from Eastenders!) who end up on a abanodoned oil rig which just happens to have a nasty shape shifting monster on board. all of the movie is shot in darkness - at times complete darkness so you can't see what's going on - It might as well be a radio show. The movie is awful but somehow it keeps you watching just to see how hilarious it gets.

My vote:- 6.5/10
The movie is about a group of narko-traders, who, after a bad heroin-trade gets their boat blown up in open ocean. They manage to rescue themselves onto an abandoned oil-rig, which turns out to be a scientific research laboratory, where "evil" scientist made experiments on sharks. It has got some nice make-up effects, but the characters has NO depth, and the horror is based on some large shocks. Imagine a weird mix of "Children of the Corn III," "Deep Blue Sea," "The Blair Witch Project" and "Resident Evil." By "wierd" I mean silly. If you have ever seen the movie "Creatures" you'd know what to expect. See it if... someone force you.
Oh dear, "Proteus" has wandered into streaming, over twenty years since this mid-level scifi/horror flick bored its audience into comas.

"Proteus" was nothing more than an entry into a genre made bankable by Ridley Scott's "Alien", which was itself a pastiche of earlier scifi drive- in movies with a big budget and the hope that no one remembered the original material. Psst! Hey! "Alien" was the love child of 1958's "IT! The Terror from Beyond Space". You know, monster gets on spaceship of malcontents and kills everyone but a smart person who opens an airlock. ZZZzzzZZZZ. "Proteus" was just another entry into the monster/claustrophobic space/idiotic humans/corporate billionaire with immortality issues/muscleboy/ridiculous monster cycle.

Let's see: unlikeable drug smugglers foul up a deal and escape some mysterious Asian port in a yacht. In a hilarious scene that features a really unconvincing miniature, the yacht blows up real good. This was filmed in a dime store aquarium, or the director's bathtub. Smugglers find refuge on an equally unconvincing miniature oil rig. Bad scientists have made an ugly something that eats or slimes anyone available. Lead idiot and resident muscleboy Craig Fairbrass wanders the oil rig, which he knows because he "worked on a rig" back in the day. OK, yeah right.

Idiotic characters get eaten/absorbed by "Charlie" the monster. Charlie the Tuna would have been scarier. One by one, the stupid interlopers get got. Musclehead Fairbrass runs around and burns up the monster, which looks like the Hanna-Barbera 'toon character Jabberjaw. Monster shark tentacle thing moans and waves it's digits and gets burned up real good. Surprise ending!!

Special effects maven Bob Keen gives little, despite his credentials on "Hellraiser". Yes, this is a low budget affair, but its ongoing foolishness and adherence to the monster who's not a monster and eats you when you're not looking canon (which goes waaaaay back to "The Thing") just gets boring.

Drinking game! Watch muscleboy Fairbrass sweat! Every time you see him and his sweaty tshirt, throw a shot. His sweat stains change from scene to scene.

For claustrophobic monsters stuck in a small space with a twist ending enthusiasts only.
mildly entertaining stuff is dopey enough to be amusing but it's not really that good because of the really rotten looking creature effects and a slow first half sink it but there is a decent twist at the end and the second half is fairly entertaining it's just really nothing new and no better then average and the finale piles on the gore. the acting is so so Craig Fairbrass acts with his accent most of the time but overall he did a decent job and was fairly likable didn't like who he played though Toni Barry is okay here as Paul's girl friend and does decent as one of the heroine's not much of a part though William Marsh annoyed me plain and simple SPOILERS!!! i was glad when he got his same goes to Jennifer Calvet who also annoyed me Robert Firth is terrible as Paul. i didn't like his character either the rest of the cast do good (Doug Bradley from the Hellraiser films here in a bit role. overall an average flick nothing more nothing less only worth watching if you have nothing else to rent ** out of 5
I saw this in my mid teens when I was devouring a spate of straight to vid horror flicks.

I remember it for its hackneyed 'The Thing' plot and an absolutely ludicrous monster.

Why does everything always have to end up as part Great White... I could almost see that before the film even started...

Stupid... and not even fun like Man's Best Friend....

Having purchased this on DVD at my local supermarket for a modest fee, I was hoping for a modestly entertaining experience. Sadly, like most of the characters in the film, I was to be bitterly disappointed with the experience.

In my opinion, the plot was minimalist, matched only by the acting skills of the cast. The efforts of the director to build up dramatic tension were totally over the top and repetitive in the extreme. Special effects started well and taper off into the ridiculous.

The key to a successful horror/fantasy is to make the entire surrounding environment seem convincing, or at least plausible, to allow the viewer to suspend his disbelief. This film spectacularly failed to do this in any way whatsoever. The supposed oil rig bore no resemblance to anything remotely connected with the oil industry and from almost the first 5 minutes it was obvious that filming had taken place in a large tank, with a mock up of somebody's imagination of what an oil platform should look like. It went down hill from there.

If you were terminally depressed I would recommend this film, as it is so terrible, it will cheer you up!