horror, movie, movie review

September 22nd, 2019 Movie – Friday The 13th (1980)

friday the 13th 1980

So tomorrow is the Fall Equinox, which means it is officially autumn, and that means that Halloween is right around the corner. Since last week was Friday the 13th, I decided that I should start doing a marathon session of movies featuring everybody’s favorite hockey mask wearing slasher, Jason Voorhees. Now I will be completely honest, I watched these movies completely out of order my first go around; with my first one having been the 3rd movie in the series first. In fact, I’m pretty sure I watched almost every sequel made at the time (2-6) before I finally got a chance to see this movie. Anyways, this may not have been the first slasher movie, but it is definitely the one whose series defined the genre so let’s have some fun going back to camp as I watch today’s movie, Friday The 13th (1980).

The plot: One night in 1958, two camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake leave the other counselors and head to the storage barn to have sex. As they are fooling around, they are surprised by an unseen person, who kills the two teenagers. In the present day, on June 13th, teenager Annie Phillips is backpacking through a small town and heads into a diner to ask how far it is to Camp Crystal Lake. The diners are surprised to hear that Camp Crystal Lake, which the townsfolk refer to as Camp Blood, is reopening and a truck driver, Enos, offers to take her to a crossroads that is halfway there. As Annie and Enos head to Enos’ truck, they are confronted by Crazy Ralph, who tells Annie that Camp Blood has a death curse and she will never go back, then rides away on his bicycle as Enos and Annie get in the truck. As they are driving down the road, Enos tells Annie about the history of the camp; the two murders in ’58, a kid drowning in ’57, and some fires in ’62. Enos tells Annie she should quit but she refuses so he drops her off at the crossroads, wishing her luck. Meanwhile, Ned Rubenstein, Marcie Cunningham, and Jack Burrell arrive at Camp Crystal Lake and are greeted by Steve Christy and Alice Hardy. After putting the kids to work getting the camp ready, Steve talks with Alice alone, as they have had a relationship in the past, and convinces her to stay a week before she heads back to California. Steve then heads into town to get some more supplies, leaving Alice, Jack, Marcie, and Ned, along with Bill Brown and Brenda Jones, to continue getting the camp ready to open. Back on the road, Annie manages to get a ride from an unseen person but when the driver passes the road to Crystal Lake and speeds up, Annie jumps out of the car. The driver stops and Annie attempts to escape into the woods but the driver catches up to her and kills her. Back at the camp, the 6 kids continue getting the camp ready when a police officer shows up and warns them about Ralph, who was seen heading their way, then leaves when he is called in to return to the sheriff’s station. After he leaves, Alice is shocked to find Ralph hiding in the pantry and he warns them all that they are doomed if they stay before he rides away on his bike. As the day wears on, Ned sees someone enter a cabin and goes to investigate, but never comes back out. As it starts to get dark and a storm approaches, Jack and Marcie end up taking shelter in the same cabin Ned had gone in, then begin having sex in one of the bunk beds, unaware that Ned’s dead body is in the bunk above them. When they finish, Marcie leaves the cabin to go use the restroom, Jack is killed when someone underneath the bed shoves an arrow through both the mattress and his throat. The killer then heads to the bathroom, using an axe to kill Marcie. Meanwhile, Alice, Bill, and Brenda were playing games in the main cabin when the storm starts to get worse, and Brenda heads out, as she left the windows in her cabin open. After reaching her cabin, Brenda hears someone calling out for help and goes to investigate only to end up being shot with an arrow. Alice heard Brenda’s scream and she and Bill go to investigate, discovering a bloody axe in Brenda’s bed. After looking around and not finding anyone, they decide to head to the office to try and call for help but the phone line has been cut. When they try to leave but discover that the car won’t start, Alice wants to just hike out of the camp but Bill convinces her to wait for Steve to get back. Meanwhile, Steve’s jeep ends up getting stuck on the side of the road and he gets a ride from one of the local deputies, who drops him off at the edge of camp when a call comes in about a traffic accident. Steve hikes up the road towards the camp but is confronted by someone, and as Steve recognizes the person and asks what they are doing there, the person stabs Steve. Back at the camp, the killer shuts down the generator so Bill goes to check it out, leaving Alice sleeping on the couch in the main lodge. Alice wakes up and finding the lights back on, decides to make some coffee but changes her mind and goes looking for Bill since he hasn’t come back to the lodge. She finds Bill pinned to a cabin door by several arrows and runs screaming back to the lodge, barricading herself inside.  When Brenda’s body is thrown through one of the windows, Alice begins crying in terror until she sees a jeep pull up. Thinking it is Steve, Alice quickly rushes outside but pulls up in shock when a woman approaches her. The woman says that her name is Mrs. Voorhees, an old friend of the Christys, and Alice rushes into her arms, sobbing out what has happened. Mrs. Voorhees thinks Alice has just been frightened by the storm and heads inside to see for herself. After seeing the carnage, Mrs. Voorhees tells Alice that Steve should have never tried to open the place. She then tells Alice about the boy who drowned in ’57, saying his name was Jason and that he drowned because the counselors that were supposed to be watching him were busy having sex. She then says that she was Jason’s mother and that today was his birthday, revealing herself to be the killer. Mrs. Voorhees attempts to kill Alice but Alice grabs a fire poker and knocks her down, then tries to leave, discovering Annie’s and Steve’s bodies in the process. Alice tries to arm herself but Mrs. Voorhees catches up to her, all while saying “Kill her, Mommy” in a child like voice. Alice manages to get away and ends up by the lake, where Mrs. Voorhees attacks her with a machete but Alice manages to knock it from her hand. As the two continue to struggle, Alice manages to grab the machete and cut off Mrs. Voorhees’ head, then stumbles in shock towards the nearby canoes and pushes one into the water before climbing in. The next morning, Alice wakes up in the canoe and sees the police on the shore, waving her towards them but before she can paddle to shore, the decomposing body of Jason emerges from the lake and grabs her, dragging her into the water. Alice wakes up screaming to find herself in the hospital and the sheriff tells her that her parents are on their way to get her. When Alice asks about the boy in the lake that pulled her into the water, the sheriff tells her that his men didn’t find any boy there, to which Alice replies, “He’s still there.”

Friday The 13th (1980) met with mixed results from the critics, currently holding a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Rather quaint by today’s standards, Friday the 13th still has its share of bloody surprises and a ’70s-holdover aesthetic to slightly compel.” Tom Savini was one of the first crew members brought on board, as the producers loved his special make-up effects in Dawn Of The Dead (1978). The scene with the snake was not in the script, and was an idea from Tom Savini after an experience in his own cabin during filming. The snake in the scene was real, including its on-screen death. The movie was a box office success, earning $59.8 million off of a $550,000 budget, which led to 9 sequels, a crossover with Nightmare On Elm Street, and a reboot in 2009.

While I wouldn’t necessarily call it groundbreaking, this is still a pretty decent horror movie to watch. The acting was ok, with Betsy Palmer doing a great job as Mrs. Voorhees, the grief-crazed mother of everyone’s favorite hockey-masked killer. Adrienne King was also good in her role as Alice, while it was fun seeing another early performance of Kevin Bacon (Jack), even though he didn’t last very long. The story was decent, as the tale of a parent driven mad by grief over a lost child can make for a good movie. Keeping the identity of the killer hidden for so long, and only letting it be revealed in the last 15-20 minutes of the movie was a good idea, especially with the killer being a woman, which was an almost unheard of concept at that point in time. The special effects work regarding the various deaths was top notch, which is to be expected of Savini’s work. The kills themselves were fairly subdued as compared to what will happen in future movies, but they were still effective. A good movie worth the watch if for no other reason than it’s setup for the movies to come.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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August 25th, 2019 Movie – The Meg

the meg

Many years ago, while perusing the aisle of Barnes & Noble, I came across a book called “The Trench” which piqued my interest. See, this book was being advertised as one of the greatest shark stories since “Jaws”, and the fact that it focused on the megalodon, made me immediately pick this book up and start reading it, then picked up “Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror”, as I learned that “The Trench” was a sequel. A few years later, I heard rumors that Hollywood was looking to make a movie based on “Meg”, but it ended up getting stuck in developmental hell so my hopes of seeing a movie version were soon dashed. I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on with this movie until a few years ago, when I heard that Jason Statham had been cast in the lead role and that filming had begun. This was like a giant Christmas present to me so I eagerly awaited for the movie to land in theaters so I could finally watch The Meg. Recently, I decided to check out all of The Meg books from my local library and figured that I should continue in that vein with my movie choice today so let’s have some fun with The Meg.

The -plot: Deep in the Philippine Trench, Jonas Taylor and his crew are attempting a deep sea rescue of a damaged nuclear sub. As Jonas finds a wounded man and begins bringing him back to the sub, something begins slamming into the hull of the damaged sub, causing it to begin to collapse. Jonas tells his crew to get back to their sub but as he brings the wounded sailor on board, his crew, Marks and D’Angelo, tell Jonas that they are trapped. Realizing that if the sub implodes, it will kill him and the rescued sailors as well, Jonas makes the difficult decision to leave his crew so he can save everyone else, though medical officer Heller says Jonas was a coward and left the men to die. 5 years later, billionaire Jack Morris heads out to the underwater research facility Mana One, which he financed, where he is greeted by Dr. Minway Zhang, Zhang’s daughter Suyin, and Suyin’s daughter Meiying. After descending to the command deck of the lab, Zhang explains his theory that what scientist initially believed to be the bottom of the Mariana Trench was actually a dense thermocline of hydrogen sulfide, concealing an environment completely cut off from the rest of the world, where new species of aquatic life can be found thriving. Morris, Zhang, Suyin, and the rest of the command crew (James “Mac” Mackriedes, Jaxx, DJ, and Heller) watch on the monitors as the sub crewed by Lori Taylor, Toshi, and The Wall, descends through the thermocline and begins exploring the area. Suddenly, the sub picks up a large object on it’s sonar, which attacks the Rover the released for exploration and as the object begins attacking them, Lori shouts into the radio that Jonas was right before the Mana One loses radio contact with the sub. As the command crew discuss their options to rescue the sub, Mac says their best bet is to get Jonas, as he is the only man to successfully complete a rescue at that depth. Heller and Suyin argue against Mac involving Jonas, as Heller says that Jonas had imagined something attacking the sub during the rescue, but Zhang overrules them, saying he owes it to the sub’s crew to give them the best chance possible. Mac and Zhang head to Thailand, where Jonas is now living, and after playing him the tape of the sub’s last communication and telling Jonas that his ex-wife Lori was the one piloting the sub. Back in the sub, The Wall manages to restore power back to the sub so they don’t freeze to death but Lori realizes the lights will attract whatever attacked them and goes to turn them off but is too late as the sub is struck again, with Lori being impaled by a screwdriver before they can get the lights turned off. Back on Mana One, Heller is showing Suyin the footage of his session with Jonas, telling her that Jonas had imagined the creature as a result of a bout of psychosis of the deep when DJ tells them about the sub being attacked and leaking air, prompting Suyin to get into one of the deep sea gliders to try and rescue them. Jonas, Max, and Zhang arrive shortly after Suyin’s launch and after a brief medical exam by Heller, much to Jonas’ annoyance, Jonas heads to the sub and follows Suyin down to the bottom of the trench. Suyin breaks through the thermocline and as she locates the sub and prepares to rig it for towing, she is attacked by a giant squid. As the squid begins to crush the glider, it’s grip suddenly goes slack and Suyin sees that it has been killed by a massive megalodon. Jonas breaks through the thermocline and as the megalodon begins heading towards the glider, he is able to lure it away by firing some flares from his sub. Jonas tells Suyin to head back to the surface, then he heads to the damaged sub and manages to rescue Lori and The Wall but when the megalodon begins heading back for them, Toshi closes the hatch and turns on the damaged sub’s lights, sacrificing himself so the others can escape. When they reach the surface, Heller works on saving Lori’s life and Suyin blames Jonas for Toshi’s death but later apologizes for her commnets. Later, a meeting is held to discuss the megalodon and while Zhang wishes to take things slow in studying it, Morris want to rush things, as he feels it is a potential gold mine in the making. As arguments break out on how to proceed, Meiying is playing in another portion of the base when she spots the megalodon staring at her, right before it attempts to bite the window. Mac and Jonas both feel the collision and they head out to see what happened, accompanied by Suyin. They find Meiying, who tells them there is a monster outside, just as they see the megalodon kill a baby humpback whale that the research station was studying. Everyone heads back to the command center, where Jaxx tells them her theory about how the megalodon managed to reach the surface. Suddenly, the Mana One receives a distress signal from 3 boats and when they head out to investigate, they find the megalodon has destroyed the three boats and eaten the crews. They see the megalodon swimming nearby and Jonas heads out and manages to shoot a tracking dart into the megalodon, then is pulled back onto the boat before the megalodon can eat him. The crew then prepares a shark cage so that Suyin can shoot some poison-filled darts into the megalodon’s mouth. Suyin manages to shoot the megalodon but it attacks the cage, causing the ship’s crane to fall onto the deck. Jonas dives into the water to rescue Suyin, while The Wall rigs the ship’s second crane to form a trap for the megalodon and the manage to capture it as it goes after Jonas and Suyin, with it’s struggles against the cable causing it to drown. After reviving the nearly dead Suyin, the crew are congratulating themselves on killing the megalodon when a second, even larger megalodon, leaps out of the water, swallowing The Wall as it attacks the dead megalodon. The ship is flipped over and as everyone tries to make it back onto the sinking ship, Jonas helps the severely wonded Zhang while Heller sacrifices himself to ensure that Jaxx makes it back onto the ship. Mac manages to grab the life boats and they head back to Mana One, only for the megalodon to follow them but Morris’ security team manages to tag it before driving it away. Zhang dies before they reach the station and Morris tells the assembled crew that he has alerted the authorities and is closing down the station until the megalodon is killed. However, Morris did not contact the authorities and instead, made plans to kill it himself. Morris and his men head out and his helicopter drops some depth charges but instead of killing the shark, they kill a whale. As Morris tells his men they need to leave, he is accidentally knocked overboard and ends up being killed by the megalodon as it feeds on the whale. The next day, Mac learns what Morris had done and Jonas makes plans to commandeer the evac ship so they can go after and kill the megalodon. The megalodon heads to Sanya Bay, where panic erupts when people notice the giant shark swimming around. As the shark begins attacking the people, Jaxx and DJ lower a buoy playing recorded whale songs, luring the megalodon away from the bay and towards where they plan on attacking it. When the megalodon arrives, it destroys the buoy and chases after Jonas, who damages his own glider and lures it towards Suyin so she can fire a torpedo at it but the torpedo explodes too soon. Suyin then lures the megalodon towards Jonas but his torpedo doesn’t fire and he is forced to avoid the megalodon , causing it to strike the evac ship in the process. On the surface, some news choppers are hovering over the ship to report on the megalodon when two of them collide in mid air, with the wreckage falling onto the ship. Mac, Lori, Jaxx, DJ, and Meiying are forced to jump into the water to avoid the debris and Suyin heads back to the surface to help them. Jonas then pilots his sub and uses the damaged side of his glider to slash into the megalodon’s stomach but it hits him with it’s tail, causing his glider to lose power and allowing the megalodon to grab it in it’s mouth. As the megalodon crushes down on the glider, Jonas is able to escape and plunges a spear gun into the megalodon’s eye, finally killing it. As Jonas watches the megalodon begin to sink, a massive swarm of sharks appear and begin to feed on the carcass. A hammerhead approaches Jonas but Suyin arrives and rescues him, then takes him to the ferry that rescued the others. As the crew recover from the ordeal and toast their lost friends, Jonas sits with Suyin and Meiying and discusses taking a vacation.

The Meg met with mixed reviews from the critics, currently holding a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Meg sets audiences up for a good old-fashioned B-movie creature feature, but lacks the genre thrills — or the cheesy bite — to make it worth diving in.” In the books, the megalodons were albinos, with a luminescent glow due to adapting to the absence of light in the deep water trench, but that proved to be too difficult to render in CGI so they chose to make the sharks look more like the typical great white shark. Disney had bought the film rights for the book in 1997 but got cold feet about competing against Deep Blue Sea so they went into turnaround (offered it to another studio so they could recoup their costs). Despite the mixed reviews, the movie was a commercial success, earning $530.3 million off of a $178 million budget, and a sequel is in developement, with a script currently being in the works.

Let me go ahead and say, it has taken me a long time to stop comparing a movie to the book it is based on. Ok, that is a lie because I still do it, but I am at least usually able to enjoy a movie even if it doesn’t match up perfectly to the book. That is why, even though there were several differences between the original book and the movie, I was able to enjoy The Meg. The acting was pretty good in this movie, with Jason Statham (Jonas) doing a great job in the lead role, as was Bingbing Li (Suyin) and Shuya Sophia Cal (Meiying), with the interaction between them being really good. I also liked Rain Willson (Morris), Cliff Curtis (Mac), and Ruby Rose (Jaxx), as they turned in some pretty good performances as well. While the story did differ from the book, the plot was still pretty decent and they did rework some scenes from the book to fit with the plot of the movie. I do think they could of done a little more in explaining how the megalodons survived in the trench, instead of the brief, glossed over theory that was shown during that one briefing scene. One thing I did like was all the various allusions to “Jaws” that occurred throughout the film, since Benchley’s novel was something of an inspiration for Steve Alten’s novel. The special effects in the movie were pretty good, and I do have to give props to the CGI team on the megalodons, as they really did look more terrifying than your average shark. I also liked the visual effects during the underwater scenes, especially the scenes in the trench, as they showcased some real underwater beauty in those brief scenes before the megalodon attacked. It’s no Jaws, but this was an entertaining movie and worth giving a shot.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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August 18th, 2019 Movie – Rajin’ Cajun Redneck Gators (a.k.a. Alligator Alley)

rajin' cajun redneck gators

Today brings us the last entry in the Shark Bait box set and the other movie I was most excited to be getting in this set. Now I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had completely missed this movie when it first debuted on Syfy. In fact, it would be 2-3 years later when I happened to see this movie on the schedule and immediately set my DVR to record it, as the name alone had my curiosity piqued. I mean, come on. How can you not be interested in seeing a movie with a title like that. Well my first thought when watching it was, “Hey, that’s Zoe from Eureka.”, which made me pretty happy to know that Syfy was trying to get actors from their original series to play roles in their original movies. Then I started laughing my ass off as I continued watching the movie. So it’s time to sit back and laugh again as I watch today’s movie, Rajin’ Cajun Redneck Gators.

The plot: Deep in the south Louisiana bayou, Dathan Robichaud has pulled up to the swamp and is dumping out a batch of bad moonshine, briefly talking to two Doucette’s that are fishing nearby. As Dathan drives off, he is unaware that the two fishermen are being attacked by an unseen creature. Meanwhile, Avery Doucette is returning home after spending the last 4 years in college and after greeting her dad, Lucien, she heads out with him and her cousin Bud, who is constantly hitting on her, as they go hunting some gators. The three end up anchoring off of the Robichaud property, they are confronted by Wade, Dathan, and Dale Robichaud. As Lucien and Wade begin arguing, Dathan and Avery subtly wave at each other when Wade suddenly shoots at the Doucette’s boat, hitting a large alligator that was underwater. As Lucien and Bud work to bring the gator on board, it comes back to life, biting Lucien’s hand before he is finally able to kill it. As the Doucettes head back to the dock to unload the gator, Avery comments about the gator’s unusual coloring and spikes on it’s tail but Lucien dismisses her concerns and heads inside the local watering hole so Avery can say hello to the rest of the Doucettes. Suddenly, the surviving fisherman bursts into the bar screaming about the gator attack and when the sheriff arrives, he tells his deputy, who is a Doucette, to go check out the area where the attack happened. As the Doucette’s family cookout commences, Avery manages to get rid of Bud and heads down to the water for a swim, where she is secretly joined by Dathan. As the two kiss, the fisherman yells at them from the bank, just as another alligator skewers him with it’s tail spikes before eating him. Avery heads back to the cookout and tells her dad what happened but her family mocks her and don’t believe what she is saying so she calls Dathan and asks him to meet her. As Dathan gets his gear together, he stops by to talk to his dad, who says his latest batch of moonshine is bad as well, and they discuss his pouring out the bad shine into the swamp, as well as why the Doucettes and Robichauds hate each other. Meanwhile, Deputy Doucette comes across a swamper who has caught a gator but the man is soon killed and as Doucette starts to radio in on what is happening, she is decapitated by another gator. The next day, Sheriff Landry is trying to get the Doucettes to calm down but Lucien and Bud are adamant that Wade, Dale, and Dathan are the ones that killed their family and go out to find them. Meanwhile, Avery and Dathan had been out all night trying to find the gators and their nest. They manage to find a likely area but when their boat stalls out, a gator starts swimming towards them and begins attacking the boat. On the shore, Lucien, Bud, and some other Doucettes are confronting Wade and Dale on the water’s edge when they hear Avery call out for help, so they quickly yell out to the gator to try and distract it. The group manage to kill the gator but when some more gators begin showing up, they quickly head for Avery and Dathan’s boat, with Landry showing up to help them escape. That night, as Avery and Lucien argue aver her being with Dathan, Lucien’s wife Candy goes out looking for her dog when a gator appears nearby. Her screams alert Avery, Lucien, and Bud, who throws the dog at the gator as a distraction so they can run back to the house. As Avery tries to console Candy, Lucien heads to the bathroom, where he notices his hand where the gator bit him is beginning to gain a scaly appearance. The next day, Landry has brought in Tristan St. Claire, a TV personality with his own show about hunting Gators, to help kill the gators. As they prepare to head out, the Doucettes are surprised to see Dathan has become Landry’s new deputy and Lucien is skeptical about the situation but chooses to stay quiet. The group heads out to the nest but as Tristan tries examining some baby gators, Bud gets impatient and starts shooting some eggs, causing the rest of the group to start shooting. When some adult gators show up, Tristan’s film crew are killed as the assembled Doucettes and Robichauds continue killing the redneck gators. Later that afternoon, the Doucettes and Robichauds are celebrating together at the bar but when Landry gives Wade and Lucien the reward money, their tempers start flaring, especially when Dathan says that Avery is going to marry him. Avery goes storming out of the bar, with Dathan chasing after her, and Lucien gets a gun from Candy and orders all of the Robichauds out of the bar but as they all leave, he suddenly doubles over in pain as he begins turning into a redneck gator. Outside, Dathan catches up to Avery and as they talk, Bud, who is also beginning to turn, pulls a gun on them and moves to shoot Dathan but Dale attacks him. As the two struggle, Bud kills Dale, then bites Dathan when he tries to stop him and as Bud runs off into the woods, Dathan manages to shoot him. The next day, Landry goes looking for Lucien to see if he knows where Bud might be but finds all of the Doucettes have vanished, while a redneck gator is inside Lucien’s home. Landry heads to Wade’s home and tells Wade, Dathan, and Avery about the missing Doucettes and they agree to help him find them. Avery, Dathan, and Wade head out in a boat when Wade and Dathan get knocked overboard by a redneck gator. As it approaches the boat to attack Avery, Avery notices the pink nail polish on the gator’s claws and realizes that it is Candy, but she is still forced to kill it. Later, Avery is continuing to look for her family when she falls into some quicksand and as she calls out for help, a redneck gator begins approaching her. Before it reaches her, a second gator attacks it and drives it off, then approaches Avery but instead of attacking her, it rescues her from the quicksand and she realizes that it is her dad when she sees the gold tooth in it’s mouth. Avery tells Dathan and Wade her theory but when they don’t believe her, she drives off on her own, killing several gators when they approach her. Meanwhile, Dathan and Wade, realizing their tainted moonshine caused the gators to mutate, are trying to get rid of the rest of the shine when Dathan suddenly starts turning into a redneck gator. Avery kills another gator that is about to kill Wade, then approaches the now transformed Dathan when another gator (Bud) appears from underneath the house. The two gators begin attacking each other and appear to kill each other but after Wade and Avery take Dathan’s body and place it in the swamp, it recovers and swims off. Avery and Wade tell Landry what is going on and  they come up with a plan to kill the redneck gators. Wade gathers the rest of the Robichauds and they call out for the Doucettes, attracting the gators to the bar, where they have some explosives planted inside. As the Robichauds lock the gators inside, Avery finds Lucien and tries to get him to leave with her but Wade stops her and as he faces off with Lucien, they end up killing each other. Landry is killed before he can set off the explosives so Avery quickly fashions a Moltov Cocktail and tosses it into the bar, setting the explosive off but the concussion knocks her out and as the bar burns to the ground, Dathan appears and drags Avery to safety. One year later, Avery is shown to have stayed in the swamp, selling alligator skins for a living while raising her daughter, with Dathan, who is still a redneck gator and living with her.

This is one of those movies that, by all accounts, should not be entertaining but turns out to be highly entertaining. Yes, this does rely on a lot of stereotypes, and yes some of them are on the negative side, so the humor can be off at times but there are still some pretty funny aspects to this movie. The acting was pretty good, with Ritchie Montgomery and Thomas Francis Murphy stealing the show as Lucien and Wade respectively. Jordan Hinson, who was supposed to be the star, did a good job as Avery, but there were several times where she would gain and lose her bayou accent that ended up being a little annoying. Christopher Berry (Bud) was also pretty good but John Chriss (Dathan) was honestly a pretty bland character. The story was pretty interesting because of the two aspects of the movie. On the one hand, you had the typical sci-fi B-movie style theme of some sort of mutating agent, in this case the chemically tainted moonshine, causing animals to mutate and turn into killers. The fact that the gators could mutate people and turn them into gators honestly made it feel a little like Black Sheep (2006) in that regard. The other aspect of the movie was the human aspect, which was a pretty decent mixture of “Romeo and Juliet” with a touch of Hatfields and McCoys thrown in. The fact that Avery and Dathan were secret high school sweethearts honestly didn’t seem too original to be honest, though the whole Bud flirting/hitting on her was a bit too creepy. The special effects were a lot better than I was expecting, with the addition of the gators able to shoot out their tail spikes being a nice touch to their design. I especially liked that they didn’t overuse that ability too much, only utilizing it a few times, but the best part was the final duel between Lucien and Wade. So a fun movie to watch and one of Syfy’s better entries over the last few years.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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August 11th, 2019 Movie – Zombie Shark

zombie shark

A sad way to start the day as I watch the last shark movie in the Shark Bait set. Well, let me rephrase that. This is the last shark movie that I did not already review. See, this set also included Swamp Shark, but since that movie got it’s own DVD release several years ago, it has already been reviewed on my site. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie. Now this movie had debuted 4 years ago during Sharknado Week, but I missed it. In fact, I somehow managed to miss it every time Syfy aired it for the next two years. Last year I finally got a chance to watch Zombie Shark and…..the wait was not exactly worth it. Let’s see if a little bit of time, and keeping my expectations a little more even, will make it more enjoyable this time.

The plot: A woman is sitting on her kayak in the ocean, while her two friends are packing up their gear and heading back to their car, when she hears the sound of gunfire coming from a nearby abandoned base out on the water. Suddenly, a shark fin breaks the surface heading right for her but before it reaches her, a second shark attacks and kills it, then kills her. Elsewhere, Amber Steele is working at a bar with her friend Bridgette when Amber’s younger sister Sophie, who is also working there, is harassed by a drunk and when Amber goes to intercede, a fight breaks out until Bridgette quickly stops it by offering the bar free shots. Later that night, Amber’s boyfriend Jenner shows up and tells her he got a deal on an island getaway for 4 and Amber invites Sophie and Bridgette to come with them. Back on the island, Dr. Palmer is speaking with Roger and Maxwell Cage about trying to recapture the test subject that escaped from the base the day before, and both men say they will do their best on their respective tasks. The next morning, Jenner is loading up some gear in his boat, not hearing a weather report about an approaching storm, when he receives a call from Amber and Sophie’s parents, warning him to take care of their girls. The group head off for the island and are eventually greeted by Lester, the property manager, who tells them what there is to do on the island, as well as some history about the island and the abandoned base on the island’s edge. Bridgette decides to head to the beach and sees a crowd gathering by a dead shark that washed up on the beach so she quickly heads to get the others. As they stare at the shark, Jenner decides to take a picture of his head next to the shark’s mouth when the sheriff, who was working on crowd control, yells at him to get away from the shark. Suddenly, the shark comes back to life and lunges at Jenner and manages to eat him before it swims back into the sea, then killing the sheriff when the sheriff tries to shoot it. Amber, Sophie, and Bridgette head to the boat to try and leave only to realize that Jenner had the keys. AS more sharks begin feeding on the sheriff’s body, one of them attacks the boat, sending the girls drifting from the marina. Amber tries to call for help on the boat’s radio, accidentally getting on the military frequency being used at the abandoned base, and when Cage hears about the shark attack, he tells Amber that they will be there soon. Amber, Sophie, and Bridgette manage to get back onto the dock and head to the bar and, after telling Lester what happened, he finds a radio for them to use to try and call for help. Amber manages to make contact with Dr. Palmer, who asks them about the shark before telling them she is sending professionals to deal with it. When they hear people screaming for help, Amber and Sophie, armed with some shotguns that Lester had on hand, head out to try and save them. They fire at a shark that is approaching some people on inner tubes but it has no effect on the shark. Suddenly, they see a large shark with harpoon sticking in it’s back swimming past the dock, just as another shark slams into the dock. Amber and Sophie try to get back onto dry land when the dock is struck again, knocking Amber into the water. As she tries to climb back on, a shark starts swimming towards her but it is blown up by Cage, who had fired a bazooka at it. After pulling her up to safety, As Amber and Sophie try to get some answers from Cage about what is happening, he hears the sounds of combat coming on the radio from the rest of his team and he quickly heads off to help them, with Amber and Sophie coming with him. They arrive at a camp site, where they find the remains of some campers and Cage’s team, as well as a severed shark’s head that is still alive. Noticing a large swarm of sharks out in the water, as well as the one with the harpoon in it’s back (which Cage calls Bruce), Cage radios Dr. Palmer and explains the situation. Palmer says that the infection could spread to humans and tells Cage to try and contain the situation while she works on a way to reverse the process. Back at the bar, Bridgette and Lester see a news team out on the dock and they head out to warn them when the reporter gets knocked into the water by a shark. As they try to pull the reporter back onto the dock, Cage, Amber , and Sophie arrive just as a shark approaches the reporter. Cage manages to throw a grenade in the shark’s mouth, causing it to explode but it’s head is blown right onto Bridgette, killing her. Amber, Sophie, Cage, and Lester head back to the bar, where Sophie is able to phone her parents and tell them what is happening. While she is on the phone, Amber explains how she had a falling out with her parents. Lester is unable to get through to the Coast Guard and demands that Cage tells him what happened to the sharks. Cage refuses at first but he eventually tells them that Palmer had been experimenting on sharks to find a way to regenerate dead tissues and organs when Bruce had escaped from it’s containment. When a homeless drunk, who has been infected by the sharks, shows up and attacks Amber, Lester kills him by shooting him in the head. Cage says that they need to get to Palmer and help her make the cure, while Lester says he will get some friend to help deal with the zombies. Back at the base, Roger tells Palmer that he has fixed the beacon and when she tells him that she is considering leaving the project after they clean up the mess they made, Roger tries to convince her to continue her research when he is killed by a shark. Cage contacts Palmer and tells her about the problem and she tells them that Roger had fixed the beacon so they can lure Bruce, and the other sharks, back to the base, where Cage says that he has enough explosives to kill them all. Palmer tells them that she might have developed a cure but she needs an infected brain to test it on. Amber suggests they get the shark’s head they found and they quickly head back to the camp site only to find the head is missing. They spread out to find it and Sophie eventually finds it, but they annoyingly attract the attention of a zombie. After collecting the head, the three head to the base but they are attacked by some sharks, with Cage being wounded in the process before they can make it inside. Once inside, they give Palmer the head, she injects her trial cure into the shark’s brain but when it doesn’t work, she says that they have to stop the infection from spreading. Palmer activates the beacon to draw the sharks towards the base. Out on the beach, Lester and his friends have been fending off the sharks and zombies when they see the sharks all swimming away and heading towards the base. As the sharks enter the enclosure, Amber and the others leave so they can blow up the base but Palmer heads back to get her vaccine, with Sophie accompanying her. Inside the lab, Palmer finds the vaccine but the shark’s head, which had fallen off the table, bites Palmer in the leg so Palmer hands the vaccine to Sophie and tells her to leave her, as she is now infected. Cage blows up the base as Sophie exits and when she tries to jump to safety, she is swallowed whole by Bruce, who had not gone into the enclosure. A hysterical Amber heads out to the water to lure Bruce to her, where she is able to pull the harpoon from his back and begins stabbing him in the head. As Bruce swims back out to sea and turns around to make another attack, Lester arrives and throws a spear gun to Amber, who uses it to finally kill Bruce. As Amber mourns for her sister, she hears something coming from Bruce’s stomach and Cage hands her his knife so she can cut the stomach open. Amber pulls Sophie from Bruce’s stomach but Sophie has become infected and attacks Amber, forcing Amber to kill her. The vaccine falls from Sophie’s hands and Cage quickly picks it up so he can get more of it manufactured, then he and Lester go to comfort Amber, who is cradling Sophie’s head in her lap.

So I gave it another shot and I have to say, I am honestly on the fence regarding this movie. There were some aspects of it that I liked and some that I didn’t. The acting was decent, with Jason London (Cage) and Roger J. Timber (Lester) doing good jobs in their roles. I also thought that Sloane Coe (Sophie) did a good job but I was a little disappointed with Cassie Steele (Amber). It might be more due to the writing than her actual performance because her character just seemed to be overly whiny at times. The story itself was pretty decent, playing a little bit off of the plot from Deep Blue Sea, and adding a nice zombie twist to it. I do wish they actually showed more of the whole zombie aspect, because this was mainly just a normal shark movie for the most part, with only a few times where the shark’s didn’t die showcasing the zombie aspect. I will say that Lester made for some great comedic scenes, especially in the battle on the beach where he stabbed a shark through the mouth with a machete, causing the machete to stick out of it’s head, only for the shark to swim off and use it’s new machete to sever one guys arm, and later stab Cage in the leg. The special effects were about what you would expect for this type of movie, but they did add to the humor in a lot of the scenes. One thing I didn’t care for was the camera work during several of the underwater scenes. I don’t know if it was intentional but they made the water look soo murky that the sharks didn’t look very clear. So there are a couple of faults but it can still be an enjoyable movie on the whole.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

August 4th, 2019 Movie – Santa Jaws

santa jaws

This. This right here is the reason that I bought the Shark Bait box set. When I first heard about this movie, my initial thoughts were an excited “This movie might be on par with Santa Slay for best campy Christmas movie ever.” When it debuted on Syfy during last year’s  Sharknado Week, it easily became one of my favorite entries for that year. So let’s have some early Holiday cheer as I watch today’s movie, Santa Jaws.

The plot: Cody is working on his “Santa Jaws” comic that he is making with his friend Steve and discussing it with Steve and Clark, who are excited for an upcoming Christmas party at the comic book shop. Cody heads home as his uncle Mike and his new wife Georgia arrive and as the rest of the family greeting them, Cody’s mom Caroline grounds him for posting an “offensive cartoon” concerning the talks of school uniforms on social media. That night, Cody finds a Christmas present from his grandfather, Papa Joe, on his desk. Upon opening it, he sees it contains an antique, ornate fountain pen, which Cody uses to redraw a sketch of Santa Jaws in his notebook. As Cody goes to sleep, he is unaware of a strange glow appearing in the nearby cove, and Sanra Jaws, a shark with a Santa’s hat and Christmas lights on it’s dorsal fin, begins swimming around. The next morning, Papa Joe wakes up Cody to go on their annual Christmas Eve fishing trip and as Cody reluctantly walks to the truck, he is distracted by his new neighbor, Jena, and trips over some decorations. As Cody and Papa Joe are fishing, Papa Joe tries talking to Cody about what is bothering him and Cody admits how he seems to constantly embarrass himself when he tries talking to Jena. Papa Joe comforts Cody, who starts to feel better, but when Papa Joe goes to retrieve his thermos that Cody accidentally dropped into the water, he is killed by Santa Jaws. Cody runs home and tells his family what happened but none of them believe him and his mother grounds him for another week, taking his phone away from him. As his family heads off to prepare for the annual Christmas Dinner, Cody heads to the comic shop to tell Steve and Clark what he saw, but they think he just imagined it. When Cody asks Clark where the Santa Jaws comic is, he tells them that he gave it to Jena and Cody heads off to get it back, convincing Steve to come with him. Meanwhile, after helping preparing for the dinner, Mike and Georgia head off to the harbor so they can be part of the parade of boats but as Mike works on untangling some Christmas lights that had gotten snared in his prop, Santa Jaws attacks Mike, dragging him into the water. Georgia hears the splash and calls out for Mike, only to see Santa Jaws swimming away so she runs off to get help. Georgia makes it back to the restaurant and tells everyone about Mike being gone and Josh, Cody’s brother, says that Cody was telling the truth but Caroline and Peter, Cody’s father, tell him he’s wrong and have him take Georgia back to the house while they go looking for Mike. Meanwhile, Cody and Steve arrive at Jena’s house and ask her for the comic back and she tells them she left it on her father’s boat and they head to the harbor to retrieve it. As she gives them the comic, they hear the sound of sleigh bells coming across the water and Jena comments that it is like a line from the comic. As they are walking along the docks, they see a man in an elf costume being killed by Santa Jaws. Cody, Steve, and Jena head to the comic store, where they find Josh and Georgia looking for them. After Josh tells Cody about what happened to Mike, Jena says they should just stay out of the water and they will be safe but Cody says that they have to kill Santa Jaws. As they borrow some of the replica weapons from Clark’s display case, Steve notices the pen case and asks Cody about it. When Jena reads the inscription on the case, Cody gets a strange look on his face but is forced to dismiss it as they head out, not realizing that the pen case had fallen out of his bag as he was stuffing items into it. Cody, Jena, Steve, Josh, and Georgia head to the harbor to kill Santa Jaws but it ends up killing Georgia instead. When Jena comments about how Georgia was the only one to injure Santa Jaws, when she stabbed out it’s eye with a candy cane, Cody and Jena realize that the only way to kill Santa Jaws is with Christmas items and they quickly split up to find some appropriate items to use. As Cody and Jena work on fashioning some weapons, Steve and Josh show up with some fireworks and Christmas ornaments they can use to kill Santa Jaws. They finish their weapons and try to kill Santa Jaws but only manage to wound it, and Steve is killed in the process. Meanwhile, Caroline and Peter have their own encounter with Santa Jaws and go looking for Cody and Josh and when they show up at the comic store, Clark tells them that Cody and the others went to the harbor. Back at the harbor, Jena talks with Cody and suggests using the pen against Santa Jaws, as he had used it to bring Santa Jaws to life, but when he goes to look for the pen, he realizes it is missing.  They head back to shop and are shocked to find Clark there with a woman, whom he claims is his Russian girlfriend Svetlana. When they ask about the pen, Clark says he put it in back when he was cleaning up and goes to get it, only to duck out the back and attempt to escape as Cody and the others realize that he has been using the pen. They chase after him and confront him about the pen and Clark tries to escape in a boat but Jena jumps after him, knocking them both into the water. They both surface, with Jane clutching the pen, and she tosses it to Cody just as Santa Jaws appears and kills Clark and then Jena. Cody uses the pen to try and deal with Santa Jaws but his attempts to remove it’s teeth and kill it only make it more deadly. Cody and Josh decide to find their parents and when they do, Peter and Caroline still don’t completely believe Cody but when he shows them the comic, they finally agree he was right. They come up with a plan to try and kill Santa Jaws, fashioning a catapult to launch turkeys filled with explosives at it, then having Josh shoot them. When Santa Jaws approaches, they miss on their first two attempts and when the catapult misfires the third turkey, Josh goes to get it and throw it at Santa Jaws, only to be impaled by the horn Cody accidentally gave Santa Jaws. Peter dives into the water and tries to rescue Josh only to be killed by Santa Jaws but as it swims by the turkey, Cody shoots it, seemingly killing Santa Jaws. Cody shows Caroline the pen and says he can draw his family back but as she argues with him about it, Cody drops the pen. Caroline goes down to get it and hands it back to Cody, only for Santa Jaws to leap onto the dock and kill her. Cody quickly draws in the comic that whoever kills Santa Jaws gets a Christmas Wish and he then sets the comic on fire, destroying Santa Jaws. Cody wakes up in his bed on Christmas morning and finds his family all alive, with new memories as to what happened on Christmas Eve. As the family starts opening gifts, Josh heads across the street to Jena’s house and after talking her for a bit, he gets the Santa Jaws comic back from her, then invites her to go to a new ice cream store. Returning to the house, Josh sets the Santa Jaws comic on fire then holds the pen case in his hands, staring at the pen for a minute before closing the case and walking off.

This is still such a fun movie to watch; in fact, this is my third time watching it since I bought the set. The acting was pretty decent, with Reid Miller doing a great job as Cody. I also thought that Courtney Lauren Cummings (Jena), Arthur Marroquin (Josh) and Scott Allen Perry (Clark) were good in their roles. While not completely original, as the concept of someone’s drawings coming to life has been used before (at least I am pretty sure I have seen it before). Regardless, I liked the idea of the kid’s drawing coming to life and starting it’s reign of terror, and while I also liked that his initial attempts to kill Santa Jaws only made him more dangerous, I thought the ending was a little too contrived. Then again, this is more or less a Christmas movie so a nice, holiday magic-themed happy ending does make sense. The special effects were actually a lot better than I was expecting for the most part, with only a couple of times where the shark looked too fake. A really fun movie and something new to suggest as a family movie over the holidays.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review

July 28th, 2019 Movie – Ozark Sharks

ozark sharks

So today is a day filled with all sorts of aquatic themed B-movies, at least for me. First off, I have today’s movie to watch and review. Then, at 4 p.m. (Pacific time), ShoutFactoryTV is kicking off a week of “killer fish” themed double features on their site so I will be watching that this afternoon. Of course, I will have to find something to do to occupy my time in between those events but for now, let’s focus on the first task for today. Today’s movie was one of the slew of new movies to come out during the 2016 Sharknado week. I will admit that I wasn’t too impressed with it my first time watching it but lets see if Ozark Sharks is better with a second viewing.

The plot: Four teenagers are playing with fireworks in a river when they are attacked by some sharks, leaving one girl, Dawn, as the only survivor. Meanwhile, Molly and Harrison are reluctantly going on vacation to the Ozarks with their parents, Rick and Diane, and their grandma. When they arrive there, Rick and Diane go to get the cabin key from the camp manager Jones and they head up to the cabin, where Molly is surprised to see her boyfriend Curtis had taken a bus there to surprise her. Rick and Diane make plans to take a canoe out on the lake while Harrison, Molly, Curtis, and Grandma head out to get some lunch. As Harrison and Curtis get the food and talk with Jones, Grandma heads down to the lake while Molly reads a book on shore. Suddenly, a shark lunges out of the water and kills Grandma and Molly goes to tell Harrison and Curtis, who don’t believe her at first until they find her bloody sunhat and severed arm. When a shark heads towards Harrison, Jones shows up and shoots it, driving it off, and tells them that there have always been some sharks in the lake. Curtis tries to call the local sheriff and tell him what happened but the sheriff thinks he is making a prank call and hangs up on him. Harrison heads back to the cabin to tell his parents but when he finds that they aren’t there, he calls Molly and tells her that he is going to drive around the lake to see if he can find them. Jones takes Molly and Curtis to his work shop to get some of his homemade weapons and then they head back out to the lake, where Jones manages to kill one shark but they discover that there are 6 more swimming in the lake. They head back to Jones’ shop and grab some more weapons, then load them up into his truck and head out to hunt the sharks. Meanwhile, Rick and Diane are attacked by a shark, which bites off two of Rick’s fingers. As he wraps a shirt around his injured hand, Diane grabs a flare gun and goes to signal for help but ends up shooting it at the shark, killing it. Diane then grabs another flare and fires it into the sky, which is spotted by Molly, Curtis, and Jones and they head over to where the flare came from. Elsewhere, Harrison finds Dawn, who was stuck on a tree in the river, and after rescuing her, they see a shark swim by heading towards the lake. Harrison grabs the canoe he used to rescue Dawn and plans to go after it, wanting to save his parents before they are attacked. Dawn refuses to go at first but when she mentions the firework festival and how many people will be at the lake, Harrison guilts her into going with him. Back on the lake, Diane is paddling the canoe back to the dock by their cabin when a shark leaps out of the water at them but they are saved when Jones harpoons the shark. When Rick and Diane learn that Harrison had gone looking for them, they want to go after him when Jones is attacked and killed by some sharks. As they recover from that, another shark leaps out of the water onto the porch of the cabin but Molly kills it with one of Jones’ weapons. They head out to try and find Harrison, eventually finding the jeep but no sign of him. When Curtis mentions the firework festival, they head back to warn people, with Curtis trying to call the sheriff again but the sheriff still thinks Curtis is making prank calls. Molly and the other head back to Jones’ shop so they can grab the rest of his weapons to use against the sharks. Harrison and Dawn arrive at the festival and try to warn people about the sharks but they don’t believe them at first, until the sharks start attacking people. Harrison and Dawn manage to save some girls that were on a floating pier but when a shark attacks them, they are saved by Molly, who had just arrived at the lake. Everyone has cleared out of the lake except for one girl trapped on the floating pier, but Curtis comes up with an idea to save her. Curtis manages to harpoon a shark’s tail and drags the rope over a wood chipper before he reals it in, causing the shark to get dragged into the chipper. Curtis celebrates saving the girl and killing the shark when the chipper sends the sharks teeth flying into his chest, killing him. A grief stricken Molly wants to kill the last shark and, after failing to talk her out of it, Harrison agrees to help. The grab Jones’ last weapon and some fireworks to use as ammo but Molly tricks Harrison into letting her go by herself. Molly heads out to the floating pier and uses Jones’ weapon, a massive modified air cannon, to fire fireworks at the shark, blowing it up in a colorful, and bloody, explosion. Molly rows back to join her family, and Dawn, on the dock and as the police finally show up, they watch the fireworks, with Rick joking that they should go skiing next year.

Ok. I gave it another shot. I kept an open mind about it. I still don’t particularly care for this movie. That’s not to say that it is a bad movie, because it was a fairly entertaining movie. This one just didn’t get that same level of excitement out of me like most shark movies do. The acting was ok, with Dave Davis (Harrison), Ross Britz (Curtis), and Thomas Francis Murphy (Jones) doing good jobs in their roles. I think I liked Curtis the most as his comedic moments, especially interacting with Jones, helped keep the movie from being too serious. However, I could not stand Allisyn Ashley Arm’s character of Molly. Even though there have been characters similar to her in other movies, for some reason her character just irritated the shit out of me. The story was ok, but not entirely original, as there was another movie about bull sharks in a lake/river that premiered earlier that week. The water in the movie looked muddy as hell, which made the camera shots featuring live sharks blend in pretty well. The special effects weren’t bad, though the times where some people would get splattered with blood looked a little too cheap at times. Not my favorite shark movie but it is a decent movie worth giving a shot.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review

July 21st, 2019 Movie – Mississippi River Sharks

mississippi river sharks

The one thing that I will miss now that the Sharknado franchise is finished is all of the new shark movies that would come out every year. Today’s movie is one of those movies that came out during that time period. I will admit that this movie only marginally caught my interest when it came out, and that was mainly because both Jason and Jeremy London were reported to be in it. I know, that is not really a good reason to watch a movie but that is what got my interest. So lets see if giving it a second watch makes it any better as I watch today’s movie, Mississippi River Sharks.

The plot: In New Orleans, a woman is on a Tinder date that is ending badly when a pair of bull sharks are propelled onto the deck by the steamboat’s paddlewheel and the woman grabs an elderly woman’s cane to fend them off. Elsewhere, Tara has returned home from college to take part in the town’s annual fishing competition with her father Ray. As people get set up by the river, the parish’s mayor, Big Bill, is told by his assistant about the shark attack and the governor’s warning for people to stay off the river but he ignores it, as he has sunk too much money into the festival and is more concerned about their celebrity guest, Jason London, not showing up yet. When Jason London shows up, the contest gets underway and Tara and Ray start getting their gear on their boat when Ray is called away to handle a shipment that arrived at his store. As he heads to the store, Ray sees a fisherman get yanked off a dock by whatever he caught on his line and as Ray goes to help him, the fisherman is killed by a shark. Back at the marina, Tara is finishing loading the gear and ends up talking with Eric, an old high school classmate that has a crush on her, and his friend Wyatt when Ray calls and tells Tara about the shark attack. When a head floats up to the marina, Tara, Eric, Big Bill, and Jason see it and Big Bill admits that he was warned about the sharks but didn’t think they would make it up the river. Back at the dock, the sheriff arrives and goes to retrieve the body when a shark attacks him and Ray is able to rescue him. A news van shows up and as the reporter, Allison, tries to ask the sheriff some questions, her cameraman goes up to the water to get some footage of the body and ends up being killed by the shark. Back at the marina, Tara tries to convince Big Bill to call off the festival and he reluctantly agrees to do it. Jason says that he will tell the crowd about the shut down but none of them believe him, as they think he is playing up his “Shark Bite” movies. Eric and Tara head back to wear Wyatt is, just as he pulls up a shark with his wrecker. After Tara kills it, she heads to the judges booth to let them know about the sharks and Big Bill’s assistant goes to get the entry forms so they can contact all the entrants and get them out of the water but as he is returning to the marina, he drops the forms and is killed by a shark as he was picking them up. Back at the marina, another man is killed as more sharks appear in the marina. Tara, Eric, and Wyatt decide to deal with the sharks themselves and plan on heading back to Ray’s store to get some weapons. They try to get Jason to help them but Jason refuses, saying he is just an actor so they leave him. When they start getting Ray’s boat ready to sail, Jason sees a shark approaching Tara and tries to save her but ends up being killed instead. At the shop, Wyatt starts grabbing all of the guns on the shelves but Tara says it might not be enough and has Eric help her make some explosives. When they are ready, they head out to try and kill the sharks but when Wyatt uses one of the pipe bombs, Big Bill confronts them and, blaming them for what is happening, takes the bag of explosives. As he heads to the marina, Big Bill sees one of the contestants, Possum, trying to sneak off with the trophy and as the two men argue, a shark attacks them both, biting off their arms and causing them to fall into the water. Meanwhile, Ray, Allison, and the sheriff are stranded after they run over a shark and as more reports come in, Ray and Allison head to the marina while the sheriff goes to help another fisherman and ends up getting killed in the process. Back at the marina, Tara comes up with a new plan and as Eric and Wyatt get their wrecker fixed, she goes to the marina to find a net and chum, encountering Ray and Allison as she does. Dumping the chum off a bridge to attract the sharks, they manage to capture them in a net and use the wrecker to pull them out of the water. As Tara pulls out her last pipe bomb, Wyatt begs to be the one to use it but he drops it too soon and it explodes harmlessly in the water. As the weight of the sharks starts causing the net to drop back towards the water, Wyatt gets in the wrecker and drives it forward, pulling the net back out of the water and out onto the bridge, where a passing semi runs over the sharks. As Tara, Eric, Ray, and Allison celebrate the dead sharks, Wyatt sees the trophy on some rocks nearby and goes to pick it up, only for a shark’s head to fall on him. 3 months later, Tara and Eric show up at Rays store to pick him up, leaving Wyatt, Ray’s new apprentice, to close up the shop. After they leave, Wyatt sees a commercial for a new shark movie, staring Jason London’s brother Jeremy. Suddenly, the woman from the tinder date enters the store and asks to use the phone and when she notices Wyatt’s eyepatch, she comments on it reminding her of Jason London’s character from the Shark Bite movies. Wyatt admits his love for them and the two start to bond.

So this was a decent movie but I feel like it could have been better. The acting was ok for the most part, with Cassie Steele (Tara), Tahj Vaughans (Eric) and Dean J. West (Wyatt) all doing good jobs in there roles. I also liked how Jason London played himself and kept telling people he wasn’t like his movie character, who was basically a caricature of the “typical action hero” that you would find in these movies. I also liked that Jeremy London was basically just taking over his brother’s role in his future movies. The story was pretty good, playing up on the stories of bull sharks making their way up the Mississippi River, at one point traveling all the way up to Illinois. Granted, the attacks in this movie were a little on the more fantastical side, such as the sharks being propelled onto the steamboat deck by the paddlewheel, but that was done for sheer entertainment value. I liked how they would use footage of real sharks in the water, instead of constantly using CGI sharks, but my only detraction of that is the footage being rather murky for the most part. Yes I know that it was due to where they were filming, but it was still a little annoying. The special effects felt a little on the cheap sides at times, such as when you get the massive blood splatter “on the camera”, but it still didn’t detract fro the entertainment value. Not the best movie but it is definitely one that is worth watching during a late night B-movie binge.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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