Monday, September 6, 2021

The No True Scotsman Blogathon: Doc Livingston and Nessie

    Over the last couple years I've been a lot more active on Twitter than I have on my own blog. That's where I've interacted most often with Realweegiemidget. A few weeks back she tweeted about the No True Scots Blogathon. It's all about characters with Scottish accents. However, there's a catch. That character cannot be played by a Scottish actor. There is that phrase "No True" after all. If you want to check out the rules, and maybe, join in yourself, click here: Realweegiemidget Reviews.

    Of course, she asked everyone interested to let him know what they wanted to write about. In typical Dell fashion, I had no idea what movie to explore. Of course, I thought about some of the popular stuff. How could you not think about Scotty from Star Trek, right? In the end, I had to be me. I took a sharp left, down a shadowy, unbeaten path. When I finally broke into a lit area I found myself on 42nd Street in the fall of 1981. The headlights of yellow taxi cabs illuminated the rear ends of hookers. Beige raincoats intermittently slithered into adult theaters. Each time the doors opened, the faint smells of popcorn, semen, and loneliness wafted out. I walked past the posters of leering women, underneath marquees adorned with the beckoning 'XXX' until I get to ones promising B-movie thrills rather than orgasms. I stop at one when I notice the word horror. When I look on the wall, in a light adorned frame, I see this poster...

    I buy a ticket and take a seat. It's a few minutes before showtime and it's been a long day. I can't help but nod off for just a second. When my head pops back up, I realize I'm in my living room. Somehow, my thumb was descending toward the play button on a shoddy looking video for the same movie.

    Fake Scots? Aye, they're here. I think the entire cast is American, but most of the characters are Scottish. Of course, the plot revolves around the few stated Yanks, who are investigating the infamous monster, which is suddenly a lot more active lately, killing off all manner of idiots wandering into its waters. To be honest, they don't give a rat's ass about that. They're more interested in if and how the thing reproduces since it's been around for thousands of years, but by all accounts there's only a time. Along the way, we find out about a sunken Nazi plane, and of course, one of the monster's egg, and eventually wind up with some human bad guys. 

    It's all pretty standard B-movie stuff. None of it is remarkable except for two characters. The first of these is the eccentric local expert everyone thinks is crazy because movies like this always have to have an eccentric local eccentric expert everyone thinks is crazy. In this case, we have Jack Stuart played by a fella named Doc Livingston. 


    C'mon, man. You know Doc. He was killing it in 1982. He had that scintillating turn in TV's Father Murphy as Bettor #4, and was absolutely riveting in his appearance on Little House on the Prairie as Farmer #1. And then there's what he does here. I think Doc was feeling like this could possibly be his big break. He went...IN! The rest of the cast turns in what I would politely call wooden performances. Not Doc, though.

    Not. Doc.

    I imagine Doc, before shooting started, digging into his script searching for his character's motivation.. In my mind, he didn't get along with his co-stars because none of them gave a damn about the movie they were making while his professional life depended on it. He's putting his heart and soul into every line only for them to be met with flat readings from rank amateurs. He feels like a method actor stuck in hell with a bunch of monotone drones.

    But what was the method?

    Let's take a trip back to the 1960s for this. There, we find one James Doohan playing a mechanic named Scotty on a wee wittle TV series that would only last 3 seasons before getting cancelled because ratings pretty steadily declined since throughout its life. You might have heard of it, Star Trek. If you've seen it, or any of the movies in which Doohan played the same character, or have ever heard any of the thousand pop culture references to him, you know what his Scottish accent sounds like. Take that and crank it up four or five notches and there you go. 

    Unfortunately for Doc, most other things about the film let him down. He often feels like he's in a different movie than everyone else. That said, there was another American masquerading as a Scot, and doing an amazing job. That's right, the actual monster, Nessie herself. I enjoyed the movie whenever Doc was onscreen, doing his thing. When Nessie showed up I was besides myself with giddiness. This thing is American B-movie ingenuity at it's finest. It takes the movie from being run of the mill, forgettable trash, to so bad it's awesome! 

    And this is why we're different.

    I realize that most of you will look at the image I'm about to show you and wonder if I've lost my marbles. You might just roll your eyes and call it crap. However, it took my level of enjoyment to euphoric levels.

    Okay, that's a still shot. Maybe that's not enough to give you the full effect of Nessie's awesomeness. Let's take a look at her in action.

    See? Awesome, right!

    Alas, the efforts of Doc Livingston and Nessie both went unrewarded. Doc never appeared in another film. The same goes for Nessie. At least this version of her. They're both sorely missed. By me, if no one else. If you so happen to be a first timer here, you might think I'm being facetious. Rest assured, dear reader, this is exactly the kind of thing that floats my boat. Well, in this case, I might not want to be in a boat...or on land...because...uh...well, never mind. You can click here to check my sincerity, or better yet, just go watch the movie for yourself. After that, come back and leave a comment about how you had the greatest time of your life watching it. Or don't. Your loss.


  1. This is definitely up your alley! Upon looking this up on IMDb, I see there's an actor called Garth Pillsbury in it, and I think that might be the best name I've ever heard.

    1. That is an amazing name! I don't know how I missed it.

  2. Love this post, and adding it to my list of Saturday night movies! Just one think I'm a she not a he... but apart from that thanks for kicking things off to a fantastic start for this blogathon!

    1. Thanks! Glad you like it. I fixed my faux pas. My apologies. And thanks for hosting.

  3. This looks like stupid fun. OK, I hope to check this out one of these days.

  4. I consider myself to be a connoisseur of bad movies, but I'd never heard of The Loch Ness Horror. Nessie looks like one of those roadside attractions that was hauled away from a remote campground or gas station and enlisted as a movie prop. And I'm intrigued by Doc's story -- he looks to have been in his 60s or so at the time, racked up a grand total of 3 acting credits in the course of a year, 2 of them very minor, and then, zip. I prefer to think that he had a load of fun that year, and then went on to other congenial pursuits. :)

    1. You might be right, but his career is a bit odd. In addition to the 3 acting credits that year, he was also assistant music editor on They Call Me Bruce. The following year, he did the same for a movie called Sweet Sixteen. And then he was out of the business. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Love the goofy Visual Effects! I just located a copy on YouTube. Thanks for the review!