Even before the Sharknado craze hit TV, shark movies were still a hit on the Syfy channel. Today’s movie was one of a couple of shark movies that came out in 2011 and starred some relatively famous actors & actresses. Now of course, as soon as these movies came out I would immediately buy them on DVD (if they were available) and I was seriously intrigued with today’s movie as it stars Kristy Swanson and Robert Davi (better known as the original Buffy Summers and Jake Fratelli) Well, I already reviewed Avalanche Sharks and Super Shark so lets go ahead and dive right into today’s movie, Swamp Shark.
The plot: In Crowley, Louisiana, a group of college kids are partying by the swamp in preparation for the upcoming Gator Fest when they are chased away by Sheriff Watson. After the kids all leave, Watson uses the radio to contact a tanker truck, which pulls up along the road. As Watson starts to pay the man, who helps him smuggle exotic animals, the animal in the tank starts slamming into the tank, causing it to roll off the truck and into the swamp, crushing the poacher in the process, and Watson quickly tells the driver, Jackson, to get rid of the truck. Elsewhere, Rachel Boussard is working at her family’s restaurant, the Gator Shed, along with her brother Jason, sister Krystal, boyfriend Tyler, and bus boy Martin. As Rachel is talking with Tommy Breysler, a recent regular, and tries to figure out why he is there, they are interrupted when a drunken Jackson makes a scene, forcing Jason to throw him out. As Jason tosses Jackson outside, Jackson punches him, causing Jason to punch him back but the police had been called and arrest him for battery. When Watson shows up, he offers to let Jason go if Rachel will go out to dinner with him and she says she will think about it, as she is tired of Tyler’s constant flirting with the younger girls. Meanwhile, Krystal is hit on by two guys, Scott and Noah, who invite her out to the boat they are renting for the weekend and she turns them down but keeps the card with their phone numbers. That night, a drunken Jackson returns to the Gator Shed and proceeds to try and poison them as an act of revenge but as he stops to take a drink, he sees a shark fin swimming towards him just before it hits the pier and knocks him into the water, where it kills him. Rachel hears the commotion and, grabbing a rifle, heads outside and sees the shark and tries shooting it but the bullets have no effect and it swims away. The next day they discover that all of their gators have been eaten and Rachel tells them what she saw but Tyler and the others are skeptical. When Watson and some of his deputies show up, looking into the disappearance of Jackson, they find his severed arm and Watson orders the restaurant shut down and wants to take Jason in for questioning but they get called away on another alert. Rachel has look up the gator’s locator tags, which she had placed on them for insurance purposes, and they see all five tags out in the swamp. Realizing the best way to save the restaurant and prove they had nothing to do with Jackson’s death was to catch the shark, Rachel, Jason, and Tyler head to the docks. When Krystal and Martin try to join them, Jason tells them that they can’t come but they are surprised to see Tommy show up. Tommy says he wants to go with them to hunt the shark and after showing his skill with a spear gun, Jason agrees to bring him along but Tyler is jealous of him. They head out to where the locators are, only to find them all floating in the water. As they try to grab them, the shark suddenly rears out of the water and attempts to bite Jason. As Rachel and Jason grab their guns and try to shoot the shark, Tyler panics and starts the boat, moving the boat forward just as the shark goes to ram the boat but it causes Jason to fall towards the back of the boat, aggravating an old knee injury in the process. When they get back to the Gator Shed, Krystal and Martin help Jason off the boat while Rachel chastises Tyler, then checks the engine with Tommy, who says he will see if he can fix it. Elsewhere, Scott and his friends are having fun when two of them, Marcus and Amber, grab a nearby canoe and paddle out to be alone. As they are out in the water, Marcus takes a picture of Amber and they see the shark fin in the back ground and Amber wants to go back, only for the shark to chase after them and kill them both. Back at the restaurant, Rachel and Tyler continue to argue, particularly over Tommy’s wanting to help them and Rachel only makes the situation worse when she kisses Tommy, causing Tyler to try and fight with Tommy. Later, Tommy is being tended to by Krystal and Rachel asks if he still wants to help her and he says yes and will see her in the morning. The next day, Martin is trying to figure out what kind of shark Rachel and the others saw and stumbled across a story about a shark attack in a deep water trench and they wonder how the shark got there. Meanwhile, Watson meets up with Jackson’s brother, who is his buyer for exotic animal smuggling, and they work out a deal to bring in some more animals before the man tells Watson to try and get rid of the shark, unaware that Tommy is on a hill taking pictures of them. Later, as the Gator Fest is starting to set up, the Watson’s deputies arrive at the site and are told to keep an eye out for anything strange but one of the deputies, distracted by a couple making out, is killed by the shark. Back at the Gator Shed, Krystal answers a call from Scott, who tells her to come out to the boat they are on. Krystal heads out there and tries to warn Scott, Noah, and Sarah about the shark but Scott, refusing to stop his party, starts up the boat and heads out onto the river, then throws Krystal’s phone into the water when she tries to call Rachel for help. Meanwhile, Tommy calls Rachel and has her meet him at the hospital, where she learns that he is an agent for the Fish & Wildlife Services. He shows her the body of the kids he found, telling her it is proof they were killed by a shark and they go back to the Gator Shed to figure out their next move only to learn that Krystal is missing. When Martin tells them about the two college kids, Rachel hands Tommy the phone and tells him to call for help. Tommy calls Watson, and he heads to the police station with Rachel, Jason, and Tyler but Watson refuses to believe them, even when Tommy offers to talk to the prosecutor to go easy on him if he helps them. Watson decides to arrest them but Jason punches one of the deputies and tells the others to run as he is hit by a taser. Rachel, Tommy, and Tyler grab Watson’s police boat and head out onto the river when they hear Krystal calling for help on the radio. Rachel talks with Krystal, who tries to tell them where she is but Scott breaks the radio, not wanting to get in trouble for underage drinking. As Scott, Noah, and Sarah continue to party, Scott doesn’t pay attention and ends up getting the prop tangled in some plants. As he goes to try and cut them free, the shark attacks and knocks him into the water. Noah throws him a life preserver but the shark kills Scott, while Sarah is injured when the rope the life preserver is attached to goes taut and wraps around her neck before Krystal manages to cut the rope and then uses a flare gun to try and signal for help. Rachel and the others see the flare and as they head towards it, Rachel calls Martin and tells him to head to the police station to help break Jason out of jail. Rachel then calls the station and asks to speak with Jason and the deputy hands him the phone, which Jason uses to choke the deputy until he unlocks the cell. Martin shows up and goes with Jason to a local bait shop to get some bait and a propane tank, then steal the owners air boat and head towards the Gator Fest. Meanwhile, Noah tries to cut the underbrush away from the prop but the shark grabs him and drags him underwater. As Krystal screams for help, Rachel hears her and they finally locate the boat, then use some rope and grapple/anchor to pull themselves next to it. Tommy helps Sarah onto the boat but as Tyler goes to help Krystal, the shark knocks him into the water and kills him and they head off to the Gator Fest, with the shark chasing after them. Jason and Martin arrive at the Gator Fest and quickly grab a net and place the propane tank and bait inside. Rachel, Tommy, Krystal, and Sarah arrive soon after and as Rachel and Krystal get Sarah to an ambulance, Tommy goes to talk to Watson and tells him to evacuate the area. When Watson’s deputy, Stanley, sees the shark and cries out a warning, Watson orders the kids out of the water and heads out to shoot the shark only to be killed. Jason heads out onto the pier and throws the net into the water, then tells Rachel to shoot the tank when the shark attempts to eat it but the tank doesn’t explode, instead goes flying off and knocks out Watson’s smuggling partner. Tommy tells Jason to start the air boat, then heads out into the water and shoots the shark in the head with his spear gun when it attempts to attack him. Tommy then takes the launcher and rope and throws it into the air boat’s fan, which begins to wrap around the fan. The shark is dragged into the fan, which chops him up, and Rachel, Jason, Krystal, and Martin hug each other in celebration. Tommy heads over and has Stanley arrest the smuggler then heads over to Rachel and the two embrace as they head back to the Gator Shed.
Of the three low budget shark movies that came out in 2011, this was not the best but it was still a pretty decent movie. The acting was ok, with Kristy Swanson (Rachel), D.B. Sweeney (Tommy) and Robert Davi (Watson) doing a good job in their roles. I really liked the interaction between Jeff Chase (Jason) and Jason Rogel (Martin), while Wade Boggs had a really funny cameo as one of Watson’s deputies. The story was ok but I felt like they could have done a bit more with the smuggling aspect but they seemed to focus more on the stupid romance triangle instead. The special effects weren’t the best, as you would expect, and I was honestly disappointed with the shark design itself, as it looked a lot cheaper than some other shark movies. There are a couple of good moments but it is honestly on the so-so side of the entertainment scale.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5