Did you even know this was a forthcoming release of a recent film?
You are not alone, if this has not been on your radar. As it happens, I was interviewed by Huffington Post/AOL News about the cryptid of the same name on Tuesday, April 19th, and thus I alerted the interviewer to this release in the next few days. It is one of those intriguing coincidences, as this reporter Beau Bendler had independently developed the idea to do an article on the Mongolian Death Worm. The angle being taken by Bendler was rather unique. He said that he was interested in investigating whether the Olgoi-Khorkoi is “the Loch Ness Monster of our generation (based on all the documentary attention it has been getting with no real evidence of its existence),” as he put it.
Is the Mongolian Death Worm getting more publicity of late? Certainly, if it has not, it may be more discussed soon.
This new release’s overview is rather straightforward: “When an American oil company sets up an experimental drilling site in the desert of Mongolia, they awaken a terrifying nest of creatures. Having searched for the tomb protected by the once-mythical Death Worms his entire life, treasure hunter Daniel Upton (Sean Patrick Flanery, The Boondock Saints) and his team take on the task of killing the bloodthirsty monsters at all costs.”
The “Beast Hunter” took on the Mongolian Death Worm on NatGeo just a few weeks ago. Here’s how they characterized it: “Olgoi-khorkhoi, or the Mongolian death worm, is described as a red, 2-foot-long creature that burrows in the Gobi Desert, the vast Asian wasteland. Though reported as slow moving, it is said to be able to discharge electricity to shock its victims, spit acid or poisonous blood, and explode.”
So why not put out this new SyFy-Lionsgate film now? Actually, this is the general release of a film from last year. It was first broadcast by the SyFy network on May 8, 2010.
Coming April 26th to a DVD near you, yes, Mongolian Death Worm!
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Disc Format: DVD
US: April 26, 2011.
Has there been a great use of the Mongolian Death Worm in current cryptofiction?
Here’s Wikipedia’s list of recent mentions and cultural appearances:
British zoologist Karl Shuker brought the animal back to the general attention of the English-speaking public in his 1996 book The Unexplained, followed a year later by a Fortean Studies paper on this subject, which was reprinted in The Beasts That Hide from Man in which it was hypothesized that the death worm was an Amphisbaenid.
Loren Coleman included this animal in Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature. (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999; with Jerome Clark).
A joint expedition in 2005 by the Centre for Fortean Zoology and E-Mongol investigated new reports and sighting of the creature. They found no evidence of its existence, but could not rule out that it might live deep in the Gobi Desert along the prohibited areas of the Mongolian–Chinese border.
In 2005, zoological journalist Richard Freeman mounted an expedition to hunt for the death worm but came up empty-handed. Freeman’s conclusion was that the tales of the worm had to be apocryphal, and that reported sightings likely involved non-poisonous burrowing reptiles.
Reality-television series, Destination Truth conducted an expedition in 2006–2007.
A New Zealand television entertainment reporter, David Farrier of TV3 News took part in an expedition in August 2009 but came up empty-handed as well, although managing to make a 90-minute documentary about his trip. He conducted interviews with locals claiming to have seen the worm and mentioned on his website that the sightings peaked in the 1950s.
The series “The Monster Hunter,” hosted by Josh Gates, had an episode on finding the Mongolian Death Worm, although they came up with nothing definitive.
The series “Beast Hunter,” hosted by Pat Spain on the National Geographic Channel, featured an episode on the disputed existence of the creature as well.
Animal Planet has produced a docudrama show titled “Lost Tapes.” Under Season 1., Episode 13 (first aired February 17, 2009), Titled “Death Worm.” The show has purported actual footage (which is fictional) of two men who were attacked and killed, one of which was bitten, burned with a Corrosive Acid [Greenish Yellow in color, and corrosive enough to corrode the metal of his bike], and both were electrocuted. Their claim of the docudrama is that the bodies were never found, yet their equipment was recovered.
The worm’s first literary appearance was in the short story “Olgoi-Khorkhoi” by Ivan Yefremov (1942–1943) based on Prof. Andrews’ descriptions. The short story’s first edition was called Allergorhai-Horhai, but later, after Yefremov’s visit to Mongolia, he changed the name to the original Mongolian spelling “Olgoi-Khorkhoi”.
It appears briefly in The Land of Crimson Clouds (1959), the debut novel of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
William Gibson‘s novel Spook Country (2007) has mention of a Mongolian death worm.
John Hodgman discusses the Mongolian death worm on page 467 of the paperback edition of ‘More Information Than You Require’ (2009).
The worm is the subject of a Vector 13 story in the British anthology comic 2000 AD.
In 2009, the short-fiction podcast The Drabblecast presented a humorous, multi-part audio story called “In Search of the Mongolian Death Worm”.
The anime series Guin Saga has several incidents where an expeditionary force from “Monghol” is attacked by a giant red worm with a corrosive touch.
In the TV show The Secret Saturdays, the main villain, V.V. Argost uses Mongolian death worm venom in many episodes.
In the Nickelodeon TV Show, The Troop, the pilot episode, “Do the Worm,” is about Mongolian death worms attacking the senior dance.
The novel Blood Oath (2010) by Christopher Farnsworth, mentions Allghoi Khorkhoi as “something blood-red and slimy” when describing an other-worldly creature in captivity.