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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
an unremarkable but enjoyable creature feature from the folks at Sy Fy...Aug. 28 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The Sy Fy original Swamp Shark (2011), is another in a long string of creature features from the cable network. Like many of these films, Swamp Shark features a half-baked plot, stars a bit past their prime, passable acting, unimpressive special effects, and a not terribly realistic looking creature. Making a few allowances for Sy Fy's lower standards, Swamp Shark is something that you can turn your brain off and enjoy without too much effort.
Somewhere down south in gator country, Rachel Bouchard (Kristy Swanson) operates a waterside eatery called "The Gator Shed", which for entertainment purposes, features the feeding of live gators kept in a pen. Helping Rachel run the place are her bartender boyfriend Tyler (Richard Tanne), sister Krystal (Sophie Sinise), brother Jason (Jeff Chase), and waiter Martin (Jason Rogel).
The local law, Sheriff Watson (Robert Davi) is secretly involved in the trafficking of illegal animals. While transporting a huge shark, the beast manages to escape into the swamp waters. It later strikes at The Gator Shed, smashing into the gator's pen, and killing a drunk who falls into the water. After a severed arm is found, Watson threatens to close down the restaurant, so Rachel and her crew decide to hunt down the creature, to try and save their business. They get some unexpected help from fish and wildlife investigator Tommy Breysler (D.B. Sweeney), who is looking into the sheriff's activities.
The creature continues to strike, leaving behind bloody remains. Banned from joining the hunt, Krystal slips away to a boat where some college kids are having a party, only to find herself threatened by the shark, and in need of rescue. Rachel borrows the Sheriff's boat, and manages to find her sister. The locals are having a celebration called "The Gatorfest", and in what is perhaps a questionable move, Rachel leads the shark over to the gathering, where it has a quick bite to eat, before coming ashore one final time.
Now 43, Kristy Swanson has put on a little weight since appearing in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). Her character Rachel is tough, handles a gun pretty well, has a sister that is half her age, a young boyfriend with a hair-trigger temper, and is being romantically pursued by the 60 year-old sheriff. Jason Rogel seems like a pretty funny guy, and Sophie Sinise, the daughter of actor Gary Sinise, is not that bad in her feature film debut. Veteran Robert Davi doesn't have that much to do, but helps give the picture some credibility.
Sometimes limited to just a CG shark fin, the special effects are often minimalistic. On a limited budget, the kills often involve the shark swimming in to chomp on someone, and then cutting away during the kill. In an already overused stunt, the swamp shark leaps from the water to decapitates its victim. It takes a team effort to bring the creature to a bloody demise, as Breysler employs a harpoon gun, while Rachel strangely takes it all in from the sidelines. Swamp Shark isn't impressive, but for various reasons, it is kind of fun, and doesn't have a lot of stupid and annoying characters racing around like idiots. It's fairly watchable for a Sy Fy production, although you might want to catch it on cable first, before you decide to buy.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
SHARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!April 15 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm having a hard time justifying why I like this movie, but I do. It's a pale imitation of other better films; yes, certainly, I can't argue that. All the characters are `types' needed to move the story along and good for little else (except shark food). The story is basic, very similar to others. Not a lot of imagination went into it, that's obvious. But, I still like it. I've always been a fan of Robert Davi and Kristy Swanson (I even liked D.B. Sweeney in this case). Having a fondness for certain actors helps elevate what might otherwise prove tedious. Also, being a killer shark flick gives it an immediate pass (even when the shark is rarely seen except for its fin). It's dopey, it's dumb, it's a visual feast of junk food proportions; I just had to have it for my shark movie collection. I refuse to apologize for that.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Scooby Doo in the SwampNov. 17 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The secret to good camp is a 100% serious sales effort behind a piece of entertainment which both parties (producers and audience) know is not serious at all. No, you're not making "Hamlet." But sell it like you are; just with a baaaaarely visible wink and a nod.
"The Wizard of Oz," for example, is awesome camp. Judy Garland alternately skips, sings, and snivels with vigor. Margaret Hamilton strikes an 11 out of 10 on the Cacklemeter. Bert Lahr's tail has a mind of its own. And the storytellers, with gleeful heedlessness, just blaze right by logical signposts such as, "How in the world does snow wake you up from poppy sleep?" and "Would those Flying Monkeys' wingspans really support their body weight?" Oz (like all fairy tales) is not meant to be logical ... just good, rollicking entertainment, sold with gut-busting effort.
Okay, so "Swamp Shark" is obviously not in the same league (or even solar system) as the 1939 classic. The derivative premise and plot cliches (like the hijinx of pre-coital teens bringing on the appearance of the killer shark as surely as a plastic surgeon's shingle signals a cameo from Donatella Versace) automatically relegate this movie to the minors. But. What the movie does have is a kick-ass sales effort by the principals in the cast. If they weren't having fun making this fish-sandwich of a story, at least they sure looked like they were. So you can't help but enjoy the ride.
Everyone can and will recognize the "Jaws" references and outright rip-offs in this movie. (Duh!) But what made the movie entertaining for me, besides its being funnier than I expected, was this weird realization I got about a third of the way through that what I was actually watching was an extended Scooby Gang adventure. Really. Work with me here. Kristy Swanson as Daphne ... DB Sweeney as Fred in Shaggy's body ... Richard Tanne as Shaggy in Fred's body ... Jason Rogel as Velma ... Jeff Chase as Scrappy Doo in Scooby Doo's body ... Robert Davi as just about every Scooby villain ever foiled by the dauntless gang (I kept waiting for the moment where he would arrest himself and snarl, "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!") ... and that dune buggy contraption as the Mystery Machine.
The principal characters were strictly stock types -- plucky heroine, funny coward, bullish big guy, encyclopediahead, corrupt lawman, etc. So, no genius strokes of characterization here. But the characters made a well-rounded team by virtue of their opposing personality traits, and the actors hit all the right notes in playing their characters. My favorite performances were from Robert Davi as the creep of a sheriff (good performance expected, though, since he was playing, well, Robert Davi) and newcomer Richard Tanne as the heroine's hot (and hot-tempered) coward of a bartender boyfriend. The funnier bits in the movie were almost all Tanne, whose high level of comic delivery (including what must be one of the lengthiest pronunciations of the indefinite article "a" on film) was both unexpected and unusual in a killer-shark movie. Watch for this guy. I'm going on record as saying I think he's a terrific young actor who's headed for much bigger things than ill-fated encounters with modern-day megalodons.
As is to be expected, "Swamp Shark" has its share of Flying-Monkey-wingspan logic defiance. How the shark manages to zip around gulping down the meaty goodness of so many gators and people in such a short time span (about 3000 lbs of Alligator mississippiensis and 1208 lbs of Homo sapiens, by my rough calculations), without exploding like Mr. Creosote, is a detail more or less taken for granted by people less obsessed with details than I. Okay. I'll overlook that one. I understand the carnage quota of B-movie killer sharks. But can someone explain the physics that allows an unsecured 500-lb airboat to reel in a multi-ton leviathan and not vice versa? Or why Gary Sinise's lovely daughter flunks the all-American test by not knowing how to pronounce the football position of "lineman"? These are the questions that will keep you up at night if you watch this movie.
Yep, we have all seen this flick before, but it's a tasty jambalaya of rip-offs, lifting from not just the killer beast horror sub-genre but rummaging through things as far afield as Robin Hood and Shrek for its gimmick shots and lines.
"Swamp Shark" is camp, but it's good camp.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Best Shark Movie since Deep Blue SeaMay 19 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Swamp Shark, despite the ridiculous title, is actually a movie worth seeing. Don't the title or the awful DVD cover art fool you into thinking it's a bomb. The production values are great. The score is fully orchestrated. There is humor, action, and tense moments. Not to mention six-foot seven Jay Chase finally gets to play a good guy! The story is about a town trying to recover after Katrina. The local town relies on its annual Gatorfest for tourist dollars. Rachel Bouchard (Kristy Swanson) owns a restaurant that is popular with the locals. Rachel's brother and her niece Crystal work there. The close-knit and peaceful town is policed by a corrupt sheriff (Robert Davi) who is making some extra cash as part of an exotic-animal smuggling ring. Sheriff has the hots for Rachel, but she has her eye on a mysterious stranger in town. (Rachel and Crystal look like they are sisters in real life. )
Sheriff bungles a handover of a rare shark, that gets away in the bayou. He does nothing except cover his rear end, and dismisses Rachel's claims of seeing a shark eat her restaurant's tame gators. With the Gator fest about to start, it's up to Rachel and her family, and the mysterious stranger to save the town.
A new plot - there is going to be a Gator Fest so don't tell anyone there is a killer shark swimming around it might ruin the economy of our depressed area. I know, I get tired of the don't tell anyone deal too, but this time it's because the sheriff is a bad guy and he is responsible for it getting loose. A better reason than normal - the sheriff doesn't want to go to jail. Good B movie cast Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy out to slay a shark this time), D.B. Sweeney and Robert Davi. Davi, the bad guy sheriff, pretends not to buy Kristy's story of a shark eating all her gators at her gator shack restaurant, after a local's body parts turn up chewed. She sets out with family, friends and a jerk boyfriend to get the shark and have her restaurant opened again. Fun and entertaining movie with a few annoying characters (bait). I was torn between a three for okay, but I kind of enjoyed it too - so add the fourth star for having a decent cast and of course dumb situations so you don't take it too seriously.