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Thriller-mystery with the barracuda used to drum up interest from 'Jaws' devotees.
****POSSIBLE PLOT SPOILERS***
I was hoping for another corny 'Jaws' rip-off with this film, but after two unknown divers are killed in a long, drawn out, silent opening scene, the plot immediately changes itself into a land-based conspiracy thriller.
The story is based around the town of Palm Cove, where a large chemical plant is the main source of employment. Chemicals are being put into the water supply in an experiment to control the population - they are also leaking into the sea and stimulate aggression in the local barracuda.
There isn't much to get excited about here - a few 'Jaws' links are of minor interest: a labrador chasing a stick on a beach comes across a divers head; sheriff and marine biologist are the two main characters and they have a night search out on the water similar to the one enjoyed by Brody and Hooper.
The film has the look of a home-grown project and the multitude of credits given to the co-directors Wayne Crawford and Harry Kerwin suggest this may be the case. Once it is clear the barracuda threat is only a plot device the films interest level begins to wane.
Whilst production values are poor 'Barracuda' is still fairly watchable and the characters are fleshed out to a reasonable degree ( particularly Lester, the fat useless Victor Buono-like deputy ). This is still as far below 'Piranha' as 'Piranha' was below 'Jaws' though, so while not quite a full-blown turkey its very close.
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