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UNIVERSAL SUES THE ASYLUM, "YOU SUNK OUR BATTLESHIP!" [Apr. 30th, 2012|04:25 pm]

Just how worried are the execs at Universal that their mega budget BATTLESHIP movie might sink at the box office? Apparently they’re worried enough that they’ve actually filed a lawsuit against The Asylum over its AMERICAN BATTLESHIP mockbuster.

I remember writing an article for Dread Central years ago after The Asylum announced their When a Killer Calls mockbuster, stunned they weren’t being sued into oblivion since the film was damn near the exact same movie as the remake of When a Stranger Calls with only a single word in the title changed. I also remember being stunned that producing movies titled Universal Soldiers and The Terminators didn’t result in major lawsuits. I believe the producers of the big screen movies mockbusted by The Asylum via Snakes on a Train and The Day the Earth Stopped flirted with similar lawsuits, and there have been other rumblings of possible legal action over the years, but this is, as far I can recall, the biggest legal incident to date, certainly the most public.

TMZ
first reported that Universal Pictures has filed a lawsuit against The Asylum for "unspecified damages" (i.e., big bucks) claiming their American Battleship (hitting DVD/VOD May 22nd, four days after Battleship opens on US movie screens) is "stepping all over its business".

Honestly, if The Asylum could ever produce a mockbuster that legitimately cut into the profit margin of a $200 million studio blockbuster, they probably would no longer need to be in the business of producing mockbusters.

TMZ: According to the lawsuit, Universal spent $100 million producing its film ... and $30 million promoting it in the U.S. alone -- and Asylum's trying to piggy back on its hard work.

I’m going to assume that $100 million is just the portion of the budget Universal sunk into the movie because by all previously reported accounts the Battlefield budget is upwards of $200 million.

Can’t really blame the Universal execs for being nervous. Even though Battleship has already been released internationally and grossed over $100 million worldwide already, they still need the film to be a huge hit domestically, and the buzz has been bad pretty much from the moment it was announced, not to mention word-of-mouth trickling in from those that have already seen overseas isn't exactly stellar. You know they have to be feeling extra jittery over this one after Disney whacked the head of its movie division in the wake of the John Carter fiasco, and he wasn't even the executive who greenlit that $250+ million bomb.

It’ll be interesting to see if anything actually comes of this lawsuit. Will there be an injunction against the release of American Battleship? Will The Asylum lose millions in a lawsuit? Or will it fizzle out as seems to have been the case with previous Asylum legal wrangling?

Personally, I say the best way to settle this is with a pay-per-view boxing match between Battleship star Liam Neeson and American Battleship star Carl Weathers.

Deadline
has done a story on the Asylum/Universal lawsuit. Turns out in addition to compensatory damages, Universal also "wants the court to stop all Stateside distribution of American Battleship with an injunction and all American Battleship DVDs, posters, trailers and everything else seemingly related to the movie destroyed."

The Global Asylum issued a defiant reply to Deadline regarding the merits of Universal's lawsuit.

"The Global Asylum has promoted the feature film American Battleship for nearly a year while Universal raised no concerns. The timing of Universal’s recently filed lawsuit coincides with mixed reviews of its big-budget film Battleship — the first movie based on a board game since Clue. Looking for a scapegoat, or more publicity, for its pending box-office disaster, the executives at Universal filed this lawsuit in fear of a repeat of the box office flop John Carter of Mars. The Universal action is wholly without merit, and we will vigorously defend their claims in Court. Nonetheless, we appreciate the publicity."

The best part about this lawsuit, I wonder if the execs at Universal are aware that the day after Battleship opens in American theaters, American Battleship is slated to premiere at 9/8 Central on Syfy, a network owned and operated by NBCUniversal, the parent company of Universal Pictures? Are they also going to sue themselves?

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NOVEMBER FOYEURISM: NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER [Nov. 18th, 2011|03:34 am]



The wait is over. The Foyeurism finally returns with a very special edition I've been vowing to write for years, a joyous Foyeurism devoted to one of my all-time favorite films: NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER - the greatest of all of the KARATE KID rip-offs. A bullied teen trained by the ghost of Bruce Lee must stand tall if he's going to save everyone from the New York mafia as they employ the services of a kickboxing Commie played by Jean-Claude Van Damme (in his first American movie role) in their quest to take control of every karate dojo on the west coast. It is one of the most immensely entertaining slices of cinematic schlock to come out of the 1980's - from the music to the fashions to the plot being a kooky mishmash of KARATE KID sensibilities and ROCKY IV jingoism - that has been allowed to go criminally overlooked for far too long. There will be no negativity in this month's Foyeurism. This is all about a film I truly love. When life gives me lemons, NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER is my lemonade.

Click the link below or go home and play with your wooden dolly.

NOVEMBER FOYEURISM: NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER
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WARNER ARCHIVES INTRODUCE YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE TO THE DIGITAL AGE [Sep. 21st, 2011|02:37 am]


My mom took me to see YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE in a theater when I was a very wee lad. To say it left a lasting impression would be an understatement. This isn’t one of those movies you see as a little kid and look back upon as it being better than it actually was. ***GOONIES*** I knew YOR was primo schlock when I was a little kid and nothing has changed since. Even my underdeveloped mind knew YOR was terrible, but it was the great kind of terrible, the hysterical kind of terrible you rarely come across these days.

Reb Brown looking like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH’s Spicoli running around prehistoric times in a furry boots and a loin cloth seeking the truth about his heritage by battling tribes of Sasquatchian cave cannibals and Hitler Youth extraterrestrials dressed like extras from Buck Rogers living on the island of Atlantis ruled by a goateed madman in a black cloak called The Overlord who dies in the end after Yor impales him with a giant candy cane.

People always talk about how Hollywood should remake bad movies with all the elements needed for a good movie instead of redoing great movies or even classic movies. YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE is precisely the kind of movie Hollywood should be remaking. You got cavemen, spacemen, dinosaurs, spaceships, laser guns, dark magic, Dark Helmet look-a-like androids, and a hero who comes swooping in to the rescue hang-gliding on a pterodactyl.

What more could any of you ever ask for in a film?

How about one of the greatest bad movie theme songs of all time? “Yor’s World”: the nearly indescribable, and to a certain extent, nearly indecipherable Euro-Turkish rock anthem that constantly heralds Yor’s triumph throughout the film in ways typically reserved for a b-movie soundtrack composed by Queen. What modern band could do justice to this song if ever there were a remake? Muse, perhaps? I’m drawing a blank.

YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE is one of those movies that probably would have never been given any kind of legit DVD release if not for the movie studios now offering up special DVDs on-demand. We can thank the Warner Archives for giving Yor his long overdue. Even if they are only offering it in a full frame format and not offering the other 90+ minutes of the Italian TV miniseries from which it was cobbled together, this newly remastered print has to be the most pristine print of the movie to ever be made available, at least until the day finally comes that Hollywood greenlights a remake starring Justin Bieber.

You can order your YOR from the Warner Archives by CLICKING HERE. The best $20 you'll spend this week.
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THE ASYLUM'S 3 MUSKETEERS: "ALL FOR ONE AND GUNS FOR ALL" [Aug. 30th, 2011|04:22 pm]

The Asylum is stretching their wings with another movie a bit out of their comfort zone. With 3 MUSKETEERS (coming to DVD October 25th) they're taking the classic trio of French swordsman and modernizing them with a kung fu conspiracy action thriller twist. Somewhere a USA Network executive is kicking himself for having not thought of this first.

Alexandra D'Artagnan, junior NSA officer, uncovers a plot to assasinate the President of the United States and enlists the help of three infamous international spies to stop the threat.

Am I wrong to watch this trailer and find myself more intrigued in seeing how this turns out than Paul WS Anderson's over-produced steampunk THREE MUSKETEERS 3D movie opening in October?
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BOWLING WITH THE BRADY BUNCH: OFFICIALLY THE WEIRDEST DVD RELEASE OF THE FALL [Aug. 2nd, 2011|04:16 am]



While perusing a list of October DVD releases one title in particular slated to appear on DVD shelves October 11th stood out from every other release for the month.

THE BRADYS GO BOWLING

I know they made many dreadful "Brady Bunch" TV movies but I don't recall one specifically about them bowling. This immediately sent me in search for new information. A more detailed description for the DVD shed light on this mystery:

One of the earliest (and truest) forms of reality television took place on a sound stage in Los Angeles where two teams competed against each other to win prizes for people in the studio. It's a 'game show' crossed with 'reality television' and no matter what you call it, it's hysterical! What made the two shows on this DVD particularly unique is they pitted members of the Brady Bunch against each other and against 2 of the kids from The Waltons.


So on October 11th, for the low price of $9.99, you can relieve the epic 1973 televised bowling games between the child stars of "The Brady Bunch" and "The Waltons". In terms of forgotten nuggets of 1970's popular culture gone horribly wrong given new life via 21st century technology, THE BRADYS GO BOWLING could potentially top the 2009 DVD release of Paul Lynde's 1976 Halloween Special, a variety show highlighted by the first-ever primetime television appearance of Kiss, introduced to the primetime viewing audience by two people you would never in your right mind ever expect to see at a Kiss concert: "Hollywood Squares" comedian Paul Lynde and the Wicked Witch of the West from THE WIZARD OF OZ herself, Margaret Hamilton.

Reserve you copy of THE BRADYS GO BOWLING today (even though Amazon has yet to list it on their website).
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AUGUST FOYEURISM: TEKKEN [Jul. 31st, 2011|09:38 pm]



The Foyeurism finally returns with all the grammatical errors you've grown to love (Damn you commas!) as my brain gets punch drunk trying to make sense of two new movies based on the video game TEKKEN. The lunacy of one made me smile. The other made me want to give it a 42 hit combo.

AUGUST FOYEURISM: TEKKEN
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B-SIDES: MY WEEKLY DREAD CENTRAL B-MOVIE MUSIC VIDEO FEATURE [Jul. 31st, 2011|07:34 pm]

For those of you unaware, ten weeks ago I began a new weekly feature at Dread Central called B-SIDES. Each weekend I present a different music video (or a double feature) for a song from a motion picture of the b-movie persuasion. Some are horror related, others are not, and some are merely horrifying in the sense you cannot believe someone actually recorded such a song. In some cases, as with more high profile movie soundtracks, the song will be presented in the form of the actual music video that aired on MTV. For more obscure offerings, the video might be fan-made or merely a scene taken from the film in question during which the particular song played. Some you’re probably familiar with, others you'll find quite obscure, some will make you either want to immediately rewatch the movie or go in search of an MP3 of the song so that you can listen to it on your iPod all day, and a special few will make you wonder why God cursed you with the ability to hear. In case you missed them, here are links to all of the B-SIDES articles thus far.

ROBO MANIAC COP ROCKIN'

YOUR INVITATION TO COME TO A LEATHERFACE

WHO YA GONNA CALL? RUN DMC!

DO THE ZOMBIE STOMP


THE WORDS GET STUCK IN MY THROAT


AMERICANS NEVER SAY DIE

MUST LOVE BLOB DOUBLE FEATURE

IN HONOR OF THIS WEEKEND'S CARMAGEDDON

CAT'S EYE IS KING
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REVIEW: THE ASYLUM'S 2012: ICE AGE [Jul. 31st, 2011|07:13 pm]



Imagine an outright parody of Roland Emmerich disaster epics in which a series of volcanic eruptions in Iceland cause a glacier 1,000 miles long and 1,000 miles wide to break off and begin speeding down the eastern seaboard of the United States bulldozing the state of Maine, the city of Boston, and every other land mass it crushes as its continues on a path towards New York City. Let me repeat: the glacier breaking off doesn't trigger a mega tsunami - the glacier IS the tsunami. And somehow this fast moving glacier also causes apocalyptic wintry weather to befall every location in its trajectory. As the military tries in vain to destroy the glacier with nuclear weapons and all manner of explosive bombardment, one fractured family from Maine attempts to outrun the steamrolling continental ice shelf in a desperate race to reach New York City by car, by foot, by plane, by foot again, and by car again, braving the frozen elements, insane hitchhikers, on-coming jumbo jets, and giant flying chunks of exploded glacier, in hopes of rescuing their neglected daughter (and her useless boyfriend) even though they aren't even sure they'll know where to find her once they get there.

Now imagine if it wasn’t a parody. Imagine if the cast never acted like they were in on the joke. Imagine if the filmmakers never treated the scenario as a joke. I say smart move because handling the material this way made it much funnier than if it had played intentionally for laughs.

If you're going to bs your way through a disaster flick with circumstances that no amount of scientific mumbo jumbo could ever possibly make sound even the slightest bit plausible then you might as well go all-out and make it some primo bullshit. This movie is 24-carot bullshit, and I mean that in the best way possible. If there was Richter scale for cinematic bullshit The Asylum's 2012: ICE AGE would break the needle. The scientist dad in this film has a computer program with an option for calculating theoretically impossible disaster scenarios. Writers Paul Sinor and Victoria Dadi, without question, must have this same feature as part of their screenwriting program. Bravo! Take a bow! As well you director Travis Fort. I salute all of you for giving life to a cheap disaster flick so unapologetically ludicrous that brought much joy to my life for 90 glorious minutes.

Patrick Labyorteaux is the dad. You may remember him from the show "J.A.G." and such academic comedies as SKI SCHOOL, SKI SCHOOL 2, and GHOULIES 3: GHOULIES GO TO COLLEGE.

Playboy's Miss February 1986 Julie McCullough is the mom. She's probably more famous for getting fired from her stint as Kirk Cameron's girlfriend on "Growing Pains" after uber fundamentalist Cameron demanded her character be written out of the show because women that pose naked are sinners that deserve to burn in hell for all eternity and he can't risk his piety associating with such jezebels or something along those lines.

The only thing that needs to be said of their acting or that of anyone else in the cast is that every single person that speaks onscreen deserved an Oscar for keeping a straight face throughout.

Remember THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW? Remember how Dennis Quaid's character was so doggedly determined to get to ice age New York City to be with his son (presumably so they could die together since he sure has hell never gave any indication he had a rescue plan)? That's because families stick together in times of crisis, just like this family in this film. Remember how Quaid's colleagues did not hesitate to join him on what was ostensibly a suicide mission? That's because those two doomed men also understood and appreciated the importance of family in the midst of life's greatest turmoil even if it wasn’t their own. Just like how the military in b-movies understands that the solution to life's greatest turmoil is to nuke the ever-loving shit out of whatever is causing the turmoil.

The special effects... Oh, they're special alright. Laughable computer effects and even more laughable green screen work. Scene after scene after scene filled with obviously artificial snow. All of it as ambitious for its low budget as it is mesmerizing in its unabashed fakery. If you told me this was a Cine Excel production instead of something produced by The Asylum I would not hesitate to believe you.

Luckily, the shortcomings of the f/x work cannot be considered a detriment when the action is staged in the most discombobulating way possible and edited in a manner that could make Michael Bay dizzy. Or, perhaps, my disorientation was merely a side effect of my cerebrum being overloaded by the double whammy of the stupefying imagery my eyes were absorbing and that part of my brain that likes to think making the grievous error of trying to make a lick of sense out all the various what, when, where, why, and how's of it all.

No joke; I was frequently felt like I was in a daze for much of this movie. Was I unsure what was happening or was I confused because I had no clue why on God's green earth certain things were happening? How does a glacier move at 200 mph? How does a speeding glacier effect weather patterns? Why would anyone running around a major city amid full-scale evacuation chaos with sirens blasting and people screaming think repeatedly yelling the name "Julia" over and over is going to get the attention of the specific "Julia" they're looking for; when that doesn't work, they try firing a gun in the air while standing atop a fire escape continuing to yell her name?

But it does work. The unstoppable glacier does plow the East Coast of the United States at breakneck speed. The glacier does trigger arctic temperatures, blanketing snow, freezing winds, and even icy tornadoes. Absolute delirium. The kind of delirium you experience watching the chaos unfold in movies like INFRAMAN and BIRDEMIC.

A family slipping and sliding in their SUV as they drive across the frozen New York Harbor, barely dodging falling chunks of the glacier being blasted off by fighter plane missile bombardments, determinedly trying to reach the Statue of Liberty, inside of which they intend to take refuge from the advancing continental ice shelf because – beats me. Why they deem the observation deck of the Statue of Liberty suitable shelter as a monolithic land mass heads directly for it left me as perplexed as everything that preceded it.

I... I just don't know what else to say. Few films have left me as gleefully gobsmacked as this spectacle. I'm not even 100% positive I was even entertained by it so much as I was in sheer awe of it. The Asylum would be wise to never make another disaster movie again because I don't know how they could ever possibly top 2012: ICE AGE. This was truly epic filmmaking.
 
Hold on. I think I have an idea for them. The rings of Saturn are knocked out of their orbit and begin speeding towards Earth, slicing every celestial body in their path like an intergalactic buzzsaw. That could work.
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REVIEW: FLESH WOUNDS [Jun. 27th, 2011|03:18 am]



Euroschlock maestro Bruno Mattei made a b-movie back in 1988 titled ROBOWAR starring the incomparable Reb Brown that has never been released in the United States, possibly because the film is such a beat-for-beat, often shot-for-shot rip-off of PREDATOR the producers may have feared a lawsuit similar to the one that Universal used to get the 1982 Italian-produced JAWS clone THE LAST SHARK banned to this day. The alien hunter being replaced by a robotic supersoldier run amok is the only real difference separating PREDATOR from ROBOWAR. The remaining similarities bypass homage and enter the realm of wholesale theft.

Why do I bring this up? Because I swear watching FLESH WOUNDS I felt like I was watching a duller, even more low-rent remake of ROBOWAR. As with ROBOWAR, the PREDATOR of FLESH WOUNDS is an out of control cyborg soldier and just like ROBOWAR FLESH WOUNDS steals from PREDATOR at nearly every turn: key scenes, dialogue, and the score is about as close a reproduction of the PREDATOR theme as one could compose without getting sued. In both instances, it's as if they copied the pages of the PREDATOR script using Silly Putty, changed the names and the words that got smudged. The biggest difference being that ROBOWAR was at least entertainingly bad whereas FLESH WOUNDS isn’t even as enjoyable a PREDATOR knock-off as WATCHERS 3.

As much as it shocks me to write this, Kevin Sorbo is no Reb Brown. As unconvincing a bad ass action hero as Reb Brown was in his films, his excitable mannerisms and girlie scream attempts at machismo rage made him a hoot to watch. Kevin Sorbo, on the other hand, he seems to have grown increasingly less charismatic since his days as TV's "Hercules" and his laid-back style of acting makes him all wrong for a movie that desperately wants him to be Sorbonegger. The man is fine at playing lighthearted heroic do-gooders, but the aura of an asskicker he does not convey.

FLESH WOUNDS mistakenly casts Kevin Sorbo as a bad ass soldier of fortune, a tad world-weary from always getting jerked around by his employers, still someone you think should be loaded with take-charge, stogie-smoking, dick-swinging, go-f-yourself bravado. Instead, seriously, his character ought to be handing out business cards that read THE MELLOW MERCENARY – FOR ALL YOUR KILLING WITH KINDNESS NEEDS.

I almost want to cut Sorbo some slack seeing the undisciplined riffraff under his command that are supposed to be hardened professional mercenaries. More like members of Dale Gribble's Arlen Gun Club.

Sorbo and his men have been brought in for an off-the-books mission to rescue some missing weapons research scientist believed to have been taken captive by the most inept terrorists I’ve ever seen.

Actual scene: A random terrorist practically tiptoes behind Bokeem Woodbine as he walks along a riverbank with his machine gun. The terrorist, also armed with a machine gun, does not shoot him. Oh, no. That would be the smart thing to do. This terrorist instead opts to get right up on top of Woodbine and unsuccessfully attempts to smash him across the back of his... with the barrel end of his machine gun! Not the butt of the rifle; the tiny barrel of the gun.

Joining the mercs is a surly CIA agent who knows more about what's really going on than she's letting on (Think of her as an amalgamation of the Carl Weathers and the native girl from PREDATOR). It won't take long before they realize something is hunting all of them. You've seen PREDATOR. You know the drill.

Stalking them is a Borg-like cybernetically enhanced soldier armed with a wrist blade and a dinky laser cannon, capable of camouflaging itself as a cheap digital distortion, viewing its targets in a variation of the Predator's infra red vision that even comes complete with - for absolutely no logical reason why other than they felt the need to steal everything PREDATOR-esque regardless of whether or not it makes sense in this context - a sound effect similar to that insect-like clicking noise the Predator makes.

To be different, Predatorus of Borg steals victims' skulls not for trophies - it's on the Kothoga diet, if you know what that means.

Take a good look at that cyborg soldier on the DVD artwork. Think it looks cool? Don’t get your hope up because it bears no relation to the one in the movie. Can’t say I fully blame the distributors for being deceptive about the true appearance of the film’s cyborg. This is 2011 and FLESH WOUNDS' berserk robogrunt costuming and make-up is on par with that seen in any given early Nineties direct-to-video David Bradley flick with the word "cyborg" in the title. Look for yourself.



It takes the height of moviemaking cynicism to have your hero utter the line "It's never easy" during the brief scuffle that constitutes a final battle and then proceed to quite easily kill the supposedly unstoppable antagonist that mostly just stands there not fighting back.

If you feel the urge to watch FLESH WOUNDS I’d suggest you do yourself a favor and go hunt down a bootleg copy of ROBOWAR instead. Or, better yet, just go re-watch PREDATOR.

SOMETHING EXTRA: For those of you unfamiliar with this ROBOWAR movie I repeatedly referenced, here's a trailer for it that practically gives away the entire film. Write your local congressman and demand it get a much overdue DVD release.

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REVIEW: SWAMP SHARK [Jun. 27th, 2011|02:32 am]



KLANSHARK: THE GREAT WHITE SUPREMACIST

That should have been the title of this Syfy original.

An exotic animal smuggler has an accident that allows a predatory shark from deep in the crush depth of the ocean to get loose in a Louisiana swamp. Forget the freshwater; the shark adapts so quickly to being in the bayou it instantly adopts the traditional Deep South trait of good ol’ boy prejudice. Every shark attack victim for the first hour is either black or a white woman involved in an interracial romance.

Victim #1 – The shark clearly was in the mood for some blackened Cajun sautéed in whiskey.

Victims #2 & #3 – A young black male and his white girlfriend get eaten after slipping away from the college friends for some canoe nookie.

Victim #4 – A black deputy gets his head chomped off FREE WILLY style, rather impressively so. What was he doing when the shark jumped him? Using his binoculars to peep on a white girl as she undressed and got it on with her boyfriend.

I hear David Duke already called SWAMP SHARK the best movie of 2011.

About seventy-seven minutes transpire before klanshark experiences a change of appetite and stops eating African-Americans and the white women that love them. So much for “Once you go black you never go back.”

Like Edward Norton in AMERICAN HISTORY X, the great white supremacist comes to realize the error of its racist ways and tries to atone by only eating honky douchebags our society would probably be better of without. The shark will actually swim right past a bunch of kids splashing about in the river just to take a launching bite out a Caucasian douchebag…standing on the shore.

The peculiarity of the shark’s appetite aside, SWAMP SHARK is a fairly average addition to the Syfy canon peppered with a few inspired moments but is still missing...something. If this movie was barbecue sauce I’d say it needed more kick.

One thing this film suffers from is a strange lack of urgency given the situation. Too much of the landlocked inaction remains flatfooted due to how casual everyone is about this lethal situation and the mistake of there being entirely too many characters that serve little purpose – most don’t even get eaten. I can think of at least two characters that get quite a bit of screen time both of whom could have been completely excised from the film and it make no difference. Their time would have been better used elsewhere. Poor Kristy Swanson gets top billing even as she rapidly becomes just another face in the crowd the longer the movie goes on.

And why cast a famous baseball player like Wade Boggs in a movie such as this if you’re not going give him much of anything to do or a memorable death scene? At the very least shouldn’t there be a moment where he tries bashing the shark with a baseball bat?

Robert Davi is as Davi-ish as ever as the man indirectly responsible for the convoluted means by which the shark ends up in the bayou, but from that opening scene on, he doesn't try to capture it or kill it or hire anyone else to do either or do much of anything to cover his tracks or even sound remotely concerned that a shark is killing people and this will eventually raise serious questions that could blowback his way.  When Davi utters "What a lousy way to start the summer" after the shark first gets loose, might as well have had him pull a Homer Simpson, putting his hands behind his back and whistling as he nonchalantly slinks off the screen. I was kind of amused by Davi’s perplexing Homer-esque if-I-don't-see-it-it's-not-illegal attitude with which he treats his fatal screw-up.

The formulaic to a fault plot is built around the Broussard family and their “Gator Shack” backwater bistro, a mild-mannered mystery man played by D.B. Sweeney, some partying college kids, and the “Gator Fest” the crooked sheriff refuses to shutdown because the community desperately needs the money the festival generates, which from the size of the crowd, should be all of about fifty bucks. All pretty standard stuff – too standard for a movie peppered with a few inspired moments of monstrous lunacy that makes you wish the whole film functioned on that level. Whether you guffaw in a positive or negative manner, the way the shark is dispatched with is quite the sight to behold.



It is established that this is not your typical shark yet the aspects that make it atypical don’t get played up enough for it truly make a difference. It’s brought to life via an acceptable mix of practical head-bobbing f/x work and computer animation, the former faring better than the latter, though the digital shark still looks world’s better than many recent CGI Syfy creatures. Yes, I’m looking at you, ICE ROAD TERROR.

Grading on the curve one must when it comes to films such as this and by comparing it to some previous Syfy-produced JAWS riffs, SWAMP SHARK is better than some yet still too low-key to standout in a world now populated by SHARKTOPUS and MEGA PIRANHA.

Watching SWAMP SHARK I was struck by how it played more like the sort of made-for-TV genre movies TBS used to produce a decade ago than the current Syfy product. As a matter of fact, TBS made a TV movie nearly a decade ago about a deep sea shark loose in the freshwater Louisiana bayou called RED WATER. And who, by chance, was the star of RED WATER?

Kristy Swanson.

I smell a double feature.
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