|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2008)|
|Directed by||William Mesa|
|Produced by||Patrick D. Choi
Eung Pyo Choi
Chung Jin Woo
Paul L. Newman
|Written by||Nick Davis|
|Music by||Christopher L. Stone|
|Editing by||Edward R. Abroms|
|Distributed by||Astra Cinema
Cabin Fever Entertainment
New City Releasing
|Running time||105 min.|
DNA is a 1997 American science fiction action film starring Mark Dacascos and Jürgen Prochnow, and directed by William Mesa. Filming took place in the Philippines. The film was retitled ADN - La menace for its French DVD release, and Scarabée for its television showing. It is also known as Genetic Code in some areas of Europe.
Ash Mattley (Mark Dacascos), a doctor in a small village deep in the jungles of Borneo, is approached by another scientist, Carl Wessinger (Jürgen Prochnow) regarding his studies of an enzyme found in a rare beetle. With the aid of Mattley and a group of natives, Wessinger secures several of the beetles, but then betrays his team and leaves them behind in a cave. Later, Wessinger uncovers a fossil in the jungle, but the natives in his new team fall in fear and worship before the deceased creature, which they call "Balacau."
Two years later, Mattley's clinic is beset by a series of gruesome murders in the jungle. The natives attribute the killings to Balacau, who is an ancient myth in the area. Mattley is enlisted by Claire Sommers (Robin McKee), a CIA agent, to find Wessinger. The government had been monitoring Wessinger's activities in the jungle after he began working for them, but the doctor had recently fallen off radar, and Sommers reveals she has been sent to track him down. Together with Matzu (Tom Taus), a boy whose sister was one of the victims, they set out into the jungle. Mattley does not initially believe that Balacau is real, but Sommers eventually tells him that the CIA was funding Wessinger's research into the fossil, leading him to change his mind.
Mattley and Sommers eventually reach Wessinger's compound, only to find it abandoned. When they examine the computers in the main lab, they find that Wessinger used the enzyme from the beetles to reanimate Balacau's fossil; it was an alien creature that terrorized the jungle centuries earlier. He intended to make clones of it for sale to the highest bidder, but it grew hostile and escaped. While fleeing from Balacau, who returned to the compound, Mattley and Sommers are separated from Matzu but find Wessinger and his assistants in a panic room. The two groups team up to keep the compound's power on and save Matzu, resulting in the death of Hatton (John H. Brennan). Balacau attacks in the main lab, but the flashing of Sommers's camera and the light from a helicopter frighten it away. A band of mercenaries led by Sergeant Reinhardt (Mark McCracken) that work for Wessinger arrive in the helicopter, ostensibly to aid in recapturing the creature, but instead help Wessinger subdue and imprison Mattley and Sommers. They also decide to use Wessinger's assistant, Azenfeld (Roger Aaron Brown) as bait for the creature, but Mattley and Sommers escape and free him. In the ensuing battle, Azenfeld sacrifices himself to set off a bomb that kills most of the mercenaries and incinerates Wessinger.
Mattley, Sommers and Matzu escape into the jungle, pursued by both the remaining mercenaries in a second helicopter and Balacau, which is able to track them using invisibility and heat vision. After destroying the helicopter, they are attacked by the creature, and Matzu is killed when he warns Mattley and Sommers of its presence. Matzu's tribe arrives to give him a burial and prepare Mattley for battle against Balacau. After a series of traps fails to do much damage, Mattley acquires a rocket launcher from Sommers and kills the monster by firing an explosive into its mouth. He and Sommers grow close at the bottom of a waterfall as the natives cheer and CIA rescue helicopters arrive.
- Mark Dacascos as Dr. Ash Mattley: The film's main protagonist, he is a doctor working in a small clinic deep in the Borneo jungle.
- Jürgen Prochnow as Dr. Carl Wessinger: A scientist who seeks out Mattley's help in finding a rare species of beetle, and the film's main antagonist. He plans to recreate the fossilized Balacau using the beetle's enzymes and clone it to sell to the highest bidder.
- Robin McKee as Claire Sommers: The film's secondary protagonist. She is a CIA agent sent to find Wessinger after he disappears, and enlists Mattley's aid in her mission.
- Tom Taus as Matzu: A young boy from one of the local tribes. After his sister is killed by Balacau, he joins Mattley and Sommers in their quest to find Wessinger.
- Roger Aaron Brown as Loren Azenfeld: Wessinger's assistant and computer technician.
- Mark McCracken as Sergeant Reinhardt: A mercenary leader employed by Wessinger to provide security at his laboratory complex.
- McCracken also plays Balacau, the creature resurrected by Wessinger's experiment. It is the final enemy faced by Mattley and Sommers, and has heat vision as well as the ability to turn invisible. It is an alien that arrived in the jungle thousands of years earlier and terrorized the natives, who even in the present day fear its image.
- John H. Brennan as Hatton: One of Wessinger's assistants.