Sunday, November 16, 2014



This is probably the ONLY SyFy Channel Original Presentation (a 2014 release directed by Don FauntLeRoy) that combines KILLER SNAKEHEADS with Voodoo curses, and as you might expect, the result is a dilly of a movie.  IT'S CERTAINLY LIKE NOTHING ELSE I HAVE EVER SEEN.  In a word:  WOW!

PLOT SUMMARY:  A young guy (played by Dave Davis), royally bummed out because his girl agreed to marry someone else, makes himself feel even worse by going to the wedding.  A friend (Ayla Kell), who was already tiptoeing around him because his brother died somehow in the local bayou a couple of years ago, goes with him and, wanting to cheer him up, invites him to go to a party on a friend's boat -- which is going to be held at the same place where the brother died.  Yeah, great idea!  While all this is going on, a delivery van packed with buckets of WE KNOW NOT WHAT crashes nearby after one of the drivers hears something break in the cargo department and goes back to investigate.  WE KNOW NOT WHAT has broken out of the buckets!!!  In a truly moving POV shot, apparently filmed through some very dirty window glass, WE KNOW NOT WHAT chases the last surviving driver into the bayou, where he is KILLED and EATEN.  Surprisingly, the very first person we saw appear on the screen -- a man sacrificing a chicken at a Voodoo altar (Antonio Fargas!) -- sees the whole debacle in a vision, and realizes immediately that this has something to do with the local Voodoo curse.  He sets out to put things right while the bummed-out young guy's mom (Terri Garber), a park ranger for Black Briar Swamp, sets out to figure out what became of the first responders who appear to have vanished from the site of the crash, leaving their gear behind.  While that's going on, she is trying to get her son on the phone to see how he is doing after the wedding.  Little does she suspect that WE KNOW NOT WHAT has invaded the very section of bayou where her son is partying down.  WILL ANYONE SURVIVE???


>> Human science has DONE IT AGAIN.  Some Shaved Monkey -- tasked with multi-million-dollar decisions about disbursing research grants -- has approved the genetic enhancement of Snakeheads, supposedly the scariest introduction to North American waters since the Walking Catfish (chuckle!) and the Piranha.  Do they want to make the Snakeheads easier to skin and de-bone for the dinner table?  No.  Prettier and tamer for the home aquarist?  Nope, guess again.  Oh, I'll just tell you -- THEY MADE THEM GROW TEN FEET A DAY, ROAR LIKE GORILLAS, AND SKID OVER THE SURFACE OF THE LAND (forward AND in reverse) LIKE MAN-EATING HOVERCRAFT.  You and I know what great improvements these would be, but I have a hard time understanding why any Shaved Monkey scientist would think this is a good idea.  NEVER MIND, WHAT'S DONE IS DONE.  

>> You're going to love these fish, ladies.  As they increase in size and power, they no longer need to bother using their fins and tails to move across dry ground -- they seem to run on invisible wheels or (considering some of the thematic content of this film) MAGIC.  Oh, and they skid across the top of the water just the way they do on land.  This may connect somehow to the fact that to stalk their prey, they put their heads out of the water like the Shark in Jaws: The Revenge.  Good times, I tell you!

>> I find it heartening that the only person who really knows what's going on is the Voodoo priest.  They even call in the young hero's dad (Anthony Marble), a biology instructor at the local college, and not only does he seem stumped, but he is quite agreeable to following the priest's suggestions.  More agreeable than his wife, in fact. 

>> It is far from clear that there is any real connection between the killer fish menace and the Voodoo curse; the Voodoo priest does, however, keep his metaphysical feelers out at all times and at least knows what is going on.  His name in William -- either BO-droo or BOU-dreaux, depending on which character is trying to pronounce his name.

>> I'm not clear whether the vengeful Voodoo priestess buried out back of Mr. Boudreaux's house is actively directing the fish in this story, but she sure has made the whole neighborhood unlucky for the featherless bipeds.  She may simply be CHEERING US ON.  I do want to point out that like US, she has been shafted somehow by her human neighbors, and she is buried right by the edge of the water -- in a part of the world so damp that they normally have to inter people aboveground.  IS THERE A REASON THEY PUT HER IN THE GROUND TO SOAK?

>> I also wonder whatever became of the brother.  It would have been fun to see his unquiet spirit rise from the bayou and, I dunno, intervene somehow.  But they seem to have put their whole effects budget into the GIANT KILLER SNAKEHEADS, and obviously that was money well spent.

>> I love that the best hope against the Snakehead Menace is the local Voodoo priest.  I think the message here to the Naked Apes is clear:  YOU'RE GONNA NEED MAGICAL POWERS TO GET AWAY WHEN THE FISH COME FOR YOU.

This would make an utterly perfect double feature with Frankenfish, needless to say.  Or you could make it a tripleheader with Mega Piranha.  We are so doing that this weekend.


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