January 29, 1990 12:00 PM

Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward

All right, so there are these monsters living under the Nevada desert, And so maybe they are baggy, cylindrical sorts of creatures resembling size 93 mukluks with viciously chomping snakes attached to one end.

It’s only a horror film, right? It’s not a bad vehicle for young actress Finn Carter, playing a geology grad student, or for country singer Reba McEntire, in her film debut, as a survivalist firearms expert.

What makes this movie hard to enjoy is the presence of Bacon and Ward, who are both far too accomplished to have to stoop to this kind of inconsequential folderol. And what in the poor, pathetic third-banana world is Michael Gross, Michael J. Fox’s old dad on Family Ties, doing here (as McEntire’s gung-ho hubby)?

Even the film’s director, Ron Underwood, while he has never made a feature before, has been turning out educational films for 10 years.

The notion that all these people should have something better to do with their time is contagiously hard to shake, particularly when the film itself is so routine.

Screenwriters S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock (Short Circuit) come to take their loony story much too seriously. McEntire, for instance, has to solemnly read the line, “You didn’t get penetration, even with the elephant gun!” And a typical exchange between Bacon and Ward, who play a couple of handymen buddies, goes: “I’m a victim of circumstance.” “I thought you called it your pecker.”

In fact, there is an amazing amount of mindless obscenity. If, God help us, there should be a sequel, it ought to be called Oh, ——!II. (PG-13)

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