My love of Jaws and Deep Blue Sea is no secret. I’ll say it loud and proud that I love both films. One’s a classic, the other a guilty pleasure. So of course when I saw that SyFy had an original Saturday night movie called Swamp Shark, the DVR was set and ready to go. How could I pass that up? It’s perfect fodder for the Homage to Fromage. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Look…..when you sit down to watch one of these movies, you’re fully aware of what you’re going to get. It’s going to be cheesy. It’s going to have sub par CGI. It’s most likely going to have some questionable acting as well. But you watch it for the same reason an actor makes a film like this (I think). Because it’s fun. Yeah sure it’s bad. But bad can be good you know.
When I watched Ice Road Terror I used the excuse that I watched it for the ex-BSG people. Ok, I can’t use that excuse here, but how can you go wrong with Robert Davi, D.B. Sweeney, and Kristy Swanson? I guess that answers the question on what those three have been up to since I personally haven’t seen any of them in much lately. It seems they’ve all kept busy, just not in things that I watch on a regular basis.
Rachel Bouchard, along with her sister Krystal (Sophie Sinise, daughter of Gary Sinise) and her brother Jason ‘Swamp Thing’ Bouchard (Jeff Chase), run a restaurant that’s been in their family for 49 years. Located in the swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, it seems the highlight of their day comes at 6pm when it’s time to feed their gators. Apparently this is big stuff because all of the patrons head on down to the dock to watch the show.
This is place where everyone knows everyone, for the most part. Except Charlie (Sweeney). Who shows up at the restaurant every day and orders only a cup of joe. They like their gators, and their Gator Festival, which they’re all gearing up for. The local Sheriff likes Rachel. And dealing in the sale of exotic animals. It’s all because of a deal gone bad that a prehistoric monstrosity of a shark has been let loose in the swamp. Why does he deal in exotic animals? Well, that’s besides the point. All you need to know is that he does. What he hopes to sell here is some crazy shark that has lived on the ocean floor where the pressure is extreme. Since it has evolved in one of the harshest environments imaginable, its skin is like armor, which therefore, makes it almost indestructible. How did the shark end up in the swamp you ask? It arrived via tanker truck. Because that’s how you transport prehistoric predators. After a rather unfortunate event involving the tanker truck, and a couple of poor souls, the shark gets loose in the swamp. How is any of this possible? I don’t have a clue, not much is explained. I wasn’t looking for a lot of explanation anyway so it’s OK.
Once the shark is loose, a bunch of non-essential people find themselves much like the red shirts on Star Trek. Dead. But that’s OK because he (yep, as far as I’m concerned the shark is a he) really only seems to focus on the bad/irritating people. Oh….and Rachel’s gators. For some inexplicable reason she wakes up from a dead sleep seeming to know that something was out there. Grabs a rifle (because that would work….even though it didn’t work in Jaws….I’m just sayin’) and takes aim. Of course it didn’t work and she’s soon raising hell or high-water to get that damned shark.
Formula really kicks into high gear here because this film followed the usual checklist:
A) Krystal gets into a precarious situation….check.
B) There’s more to Charlie than he lets on and oh yeah, he knows a thing or two about wildlife and can handle a spear gun….check.
C) The couple making out in that flimsy little boat probably won’t have a happy ending….check.
D) Boat stalls due to swamp weeds and stuff getting wrapped around the propeller…..check.
E) Guys on stalled boat have to 1) go into the water to clear the propeller or 2) have to hang over the edge of the boat to clear the propeller. Either one equals a bad day.
F) Pervy sheriff deputy probably should pay more attention to his surroundings and less on the couple getting frisky.
I will give Swamp Shark props however for the most ridiculous, over the top resolution I have ever witnessed. For some reason, I saw it coming but just couldn’t believe it. But then realized oh yeah, they went there. I will also give props to the copious amounts of blood this film used. It wasn’t anything like a Quinten Tarantino film or Ninja Assassin, but for SyFy, it was quite a bit. The shark, well don’t get a really good shot of him, aside from the tip of his dorsal fin. It wasn’t until the end where you got a good look at him. How’d he look? Meh…could have been better, but could have also been a whole lot worse. The point here is that sometimes, what you don’t see is better. That’s exactly what worked here.
Unfortunately I didn’t see Swamp Shark on SyFy’s schedule for a replay. I’m sure they will replay it at some point though so hopefully you’ll get your chance to see it. Or you can keep your eye on SyFy Rewind and catch it online. Grab some popcorn or your snack of choice, a beverage and put your feet up. It’s the best way to watch a film like this. Just to find out what you missed, check out the trailer below.
Next on deck for the Homage to Fromage is Super Eruption! Look for that the week of July 17th.Tags: D.B. Sweeney, Kristy Swanson, Robert Davi, shark movies, Swamp Shark, SyFy