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1998 - 92m.

This fourth entry in the mediocre series based on the Dean R. Koontz novel gives another has-been B-level actor the lead role (this time Mark Hamill who some of you may know for playing Luke Skywalker in a little movie called Star Wars) and this time our hero is a homicide detective who gets caught-up in the middle of the hunt for an escaped experimental creature that's been developed by scientist Lisa Wilcox to be the ultimate killing machine.

As with the other entries in the series the monster is telepathically linked with a common golden retriever (since they shared DNA) and Hamill has to team with Wilcox in order to stop the beast and avoid the ruthless Government agents who want them dead.

Under the direction of effects man John Carl Buechler this sports more gore than the first three movies in the series with a good "eye rip" moment, a gooey brain surgery, and lots of low-scale action and iffy gore effects during a massacre scene set on a farm; but because it is an effects guy behind the camera he has a tendency to show-off the monster way too much (and it's a pretty junky looking monkey-like guy in a full body suit) which hinders and otherwise acceptable sequel.

It's not exactly art, but if you go into it expecting nothing more than a low-budget creature mash-up then you'll get a watchable 92 minutes despite a crappy pay-off (the finale is by far the worst thing here) and a bunch of silly moments (like when a crashed car blows-up directly after have a solitary match thrown at it). (Chris Hartley, 2/5/05)

Directed By: John Carl Buechler.
Written By: Sean Dash.

Starring: Mark Hamill, Lisa Wilcox, Stephen Macht, Lou Rawls.