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10.19.2017
Special Unit 2 (2001)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
10.06.09

Special Unit 2 (2001) Kate Benson (Alexondra Lee) is a Chicago policewoman who can't ignore the weird things she sees. For example, in the first episode she reports to her captain that she witnessed a gargoyle abduct a young girl. Although her boss wants to kick her off the force he puts her on leave. Then Detective Nick O'Malley (Michael Landes) appears and takes her to the headquarters of the local Special Unit 2, which is in an abandoned subway station. She's recruited as an agent. Her new boss, Captain Richard Page (Richard Gant of JASON LIVES), explains that all the non-human creatures in the world are referred to as "Links", as they are missing links in mankind's evolution. Nick ends up being her partner and he's a gung-ho type guy who likes to shoot and blow up things. They get help from a gnome named Karl (Danny Woodburn). The police overlook his petty thievery as long as he continues to help them on supernatural leads.

In this first episode they go after gargoyles that have awoken after seventeen years of hibernation. They are all set to hatch their eggs but need humans as fodder. The gargoyles aren't Links, though, they are the descendants of the dinosaurs and are as hard as a rock.

In the second episode the team is trying to stop a pack of Thropes (werewolves) and O'Malley contaminates himself with the virus in order to take down the pack that's ravaging the city. These werewolves look like the Oliver Reed lycanthrope in CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF.

In other episodes they encounter a Japanese Mummy (a creature that was most recently seen in THE MIDDLEMAN), A succubus, Black Widows, a lake monster, monster bounty hunters, a hypochondriac Cupid and perhaps the most repulsive monster I've ever seen on a tv show--a monster made out of the fat from hundreds of liposuction procedures.

I found these 19 episodes very entertaining, much of it due to Danny Woodburn's performance as Karl the Gnome. In one episode he tries passing himself off as a garden gnome while he cases the house, which is surrounded by dozens of the diminutive statues. He wants to rob them because the statues piss him off. The show is not as serious as X-Files, though the special effects are on par to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I think the biggest problem is that the writers didn't have enough to do with the relationship between Benson and O'Malley, as it gets repetitive the last six episodes. Also, in the first six episodes Sean Whalen (PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS) is the crazy scientist/lab guy of Special Unit 2 and he's great in the part. Then for the rest of the series he's replaced by the much younger Jonathan (Jonathon Togo of CSI: MIAMI) who is simply irritating.

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