84 min., 2004
Written by Simon Barrett/Scott Clevenger
Directed by Mark Dippé
My rating: ★★
If it wasn’t for the main characters and script, this would have been a really fun movie.
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We begin with a man named John Crankton (Eugene Collier) out on a boat in the swamps doing some crab fishing. He reaches for a buoy and it moves out of the way. He reaches some more and then he is suddenly pulled underwater and killed. We then move to the scene of a crime, where medical examiner Sam River (Tory Kittles) is examining (big surprise) a body. He is told that he has to go to a town called Otley and check out a body (John’s in fact) and that since he is the best and from there he will have an easier time. After a little griping he heads out there and meets Mary Callahan (China Chow) who is from the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. They head out to where it all happened and they end up meeting a friend of John, Elmer (Muse Watson). He takes them to meet John’s family, wife Gloria (Donna Biscoe) and daughter Eliza (K.D. Aubert). Along with the family we meet Eliza’s man Dan (Matthew Rauch), neighbors Bobbi (Noelle Evans) and her boyfriend Roland (Richard Edson), and John’s best friend Ricardo (Raoul Trujillo). Gloria talks all about curses and such, Eliza and Dan fight, we learn that Eliza had a crush on Sam in high school (we see where this is going, right?), and we see that Bobbi and Roland are a couple of hippies. Oh and that Mary is a lesbian, ‘cause that’s so important isn’t it? What killed John and when they find out what it was is there anyway to stop it? Lastly is there anything that Sam can’t do better than a white person?
What is the one thing (okay one of the main things) that I hate about movies? I really hate movies where an average guy or someone that works in one field is better than everyone else. You have a medical examiner that is a better shot than professional hunters and he seems to know a whole lot more about animals than the girl that works at the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, and yes you can say that not everyone that works in a certain field knows everything, but man this guy just seems to know everything and how to do anything. It really drives me nuts because (at least to me) it really makes it that much more unbelievable, and yes I know that the movie is about a giant killer fish, but there is only so much fantasy that I can take and that’s where I draw the line.
Now with that out of the way I’ll talk about the acting. For the most part it was just cliché after cliché, with the overly smart hero, the girl that is always in trouble, the “crazy” voodoo type older woman, the rich white hunter, and let’s not forget the pot smoking hippies. Now they all play their role really well with a few hiccups here and there, but we have a cast here that plays the clichés really well. My favorite is Muse Watson. He plays the southern (and I actually mean real Louisianan southern and not the hick southern) part great. Either he’s actually from Louisiana or he has been there a lot, because he is completely believable.
Now the effects of the movie are actually pretty good. Well okay they aren’t all that good, but they really do fit the whole feel of the movie. Cheesy. They use a good combination of good prosthetic and practical effects with some pretty bad CG, but it’s okay because it all seems to work well enough to make the movie more entertaining. Nothing phenomenal, but it’s completely enjoyable for this type of movie.
Overall this movie is actually pretty… well… okay. The acting is okay and the effects are enjoyable enough. One of the main problems is with the characters and the overall script. Most of the dialogue is really lame and, as I said before, I hate it when you have a character that knows everything, even more than the professionals. Another thing that I really didn’t like about the movie is that there is a tone that white people are just stupid and that they have no idea what they are doing, not to mention that the “white devil” doesn’t belong with a black woman. Now anytime a movie does this (be it stupid white, blacks, Asians, etc.) it really bothers me. It seems that the writer doesn’t have the balls to say it out loud so they have to hide it in a movie. Can’t we just get over this whole stupid thing already and just make some really fun movies without taking a swipe at another race/gender/belief.Have You Read...?