Swamp Shark (2011 TV Movie)
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The shark itself looks pretty interesting, while watching the film I thought to myself if SWAMP THING was a shark this would probably be what he would look like (oddly enough the film is called SWAMP SHARK go figure) plus the acting in the film was actually very good, which one of the surprises about this film since the acting in all the other shark movies in the B variety usually sucked.
Overall, its a fun movie and I recommend it if you want to just chill in front of the TV and its way more entertaining than SHARK NIGHT 3D believe it or not.
SWAMP SHARK stars the original BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Kristy Swanson as Rachel Broussard, the owner of the Gator Shack restaurant located right next to the swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin. She runs the restaurant with her younger sister Krystal (Sophie Sinise, Gary Sinise's daughter) and her older brother Jason "Swamp Thing" (Jeff Chase). Everything's going really well as the town prepares for their yearly big event, Gator Fest, until crooked sheriff Watson (Robert Davi), who sells illegal exotic animals (??!!!?) accidentally releases a shark into the swamps. Yeah I know; it's a silly and completely absurd set up, but it actually fits the entire campy world created in SWAMP SHARK. Swanson is one of the first people to spot the shark and instead of balling up into a panicking, hysterical woman, she grabs her hunting rifle, a boat, and anyone else who believes her and goes out to hunt down the swamp shark. I loved Swanson's character and since her best known film is the original BUFFY, it would've been hard seeing her as anything other than a butt kicking hottie.
And what self-respecting SyFy Original would forget to include some kind of 1980's pop culture reference? Not too worry; SWAMP SHARK has Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs as a red neck deputy. I would've like to have seen him in a bigger role, but his role is pretty fun.
One of the people Swanson recruits to hunt the shark down is Charlie (D.B. Sweeney; where's he been?), a mysterious man hanging around the town. Their first hunting party doesn't, as you can imagine, go very well and they loose their boat and are forced to regroup. But in the meantime the town is preparing for Gator Fest and the shark has really gotten a taste for human flesh. Of course we get tons of nods to the granddaddy of shark films (and arguably all "giant creature" flicks), JAWS, but everything in SWAMP SHARK is done with such a fun spirit that you just sit back and go along for the ride. Davi's sheriff Watson is so sleazy that you can't help but smile every time he's on screen. The man knows there's a shark in the swamp (because he's the one that accidentally released it) but does nothing to try and fix the situation. He doesn't send out a hunting party and he doesn't prevent people from swimming in the swamp even after the dead bodies start piling up (in pieces). I loved Davi's character and it's nice to see he still "has it"!!
And maybe I'm just getting completely desensitized to bad CGI, but I thought the shark looked pretty good!! SyFy actually exhibits some restraint and doesn't show off the beast at every opportunity. We see flashes of it here and there and get teased way more than SyFy usually does. Of course there's the standard, "must have" scene of the shark jumping out the water to kill someone. This is the best look we get of the shark (until the final reel) and it was actually pretty cool looking. The body count could've been higher for my tastes, but the killings we do get were well-filmed. Director Griff Furst (who also directed last year's flaccid SyFy flick LAKE PLACID 3), takes his time here and sets up some pretty suspenseful kill scenes. And if you're like me you'll wonder why the two twenty-somethings, who wanted some privacy to have sex, took a canoe out into the swamp not 20 feet away from their friends. Sex in a canoe? Hey why not!!
And just like in ICE ROAD TERROR, we get a little more blood than the usual SyFy Original. We get to see a lot of post-attack, ripped apart torsos and appendages, and we're privy to a lot of blood spraying all over various cast members. Yeah people, this one is pretty fun. Maybe it's because Summer's here? Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for a fun "beast attacks" flick? Or maybe it's just because the people over at SyFy are putting in some time and effort into their scripts!! But writers Charles Bolon, Jennifer Iwen, and Eric Miller give us a fun, light- hearted, and fast-paced script that despite the holes in logic keep you interested up to the end. And just wait until you see how they finally kill the shark!! I thought we were gonna get a very JAWS-like ending, but the writers took a hard left turn and gave us something original, fun, and very bloody. Nice job.
A great cast who're obviously having a really fun time, a solid script with some originality in it, and some well-crafted death scenes make SWAMP SHARK a really entertaining and fun summer flick. SyFy has renewed my love of the "attacking beasties" summer flick and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us next!! Catch SWAMP SHARK this Saturday, June 25th at 9pm (ET/PT) on SyFy. Seriously!!
The storyline in "Swamp Shark" was pretty much as expected, a killer shark on the rampage, in a swamp nonetheless, terrorizing the people in the area and going on a feeding frenzy. Of course it terrorizes the wrong people and they decide to hunt it down. I mean, what else are restaurant owners to do, eh? Pretty much textbook storyline here, so don't expect any brilliant ideas or surprise plot twists. And you already know the ending of the movie right from the first minute of watching it. But hey, the movie was still entertaining.
As for the cast in "Swamp Shark", well then I think they were actually alright, and put on good performances. Of course, with a movie like this, it is not going to be award-winning performances, but still, the actors and actresses did good jobs with their given roles. Most of the cast was fairly unfamiliar to me, so it was good to see some new faces.
The special effect and CGI in "Swamp Shark" was good enough. Sure there were a couple of scenes where you don't buy into the CGIs, as they were just too much of an eyesore, but in overall general, the effects and CGI came off working well enough.
Despite "Swamp Shark" being somewhat better than so many of the same genre, there just isn't enough entertainment value in the movie for a second watching. You watch this movie once, then bag and tag it on the DVD shelf.
Overall this one was a pretty decent creature feature and gets some good points to it. One of the better points here is the film taking full advantage of the situation to make for some really tense moments, as there's a couple rather fun stalking scenes in the swamps. The Louisiana bayou setting is appropriately handled with the swampy marshlands and waterways bringing about some really high-end sequences from the first encounter in the open waterways or it taking out the penned crocodiles before the drunk fisherman. There's also a couple other great scenes here taking great advantage of the setting with the attack on the partying students on the row-boat or the hunting party where the family sets out to hunt the creature out in open waters in speedboats making for some really impressive scenes. These here set the stage for the film's two big action scenes on the attack on the partying houseboat and the rescue attempt later on as she tries to save her daughter as both scenes offer up some bloody deaths, tons of fun with the action to keep the creature at bay as well as the suspense of the creature appearing which are highly enjoyable. As well, the finale is a lot of fun as it's the main attack on the festival where it leads from an exciting chase to start off that there's some fun there, the attacks are quite bloody and action-packed while the final resolution of killing the creature makes for a good time. Lastly, unlike how most of these usually are, the shark actually looks really good and has some scenes where it's a full-live shark, prop and not CGI, although the CGI here does look better than expected but can't compare to how good the shark-prop looks. These here are enough to make-up for it's one weak area is that there's not a lot of actual shark attacks going on, and while it's not noticeable to the plot or pacing, it does lower the gore quotient somewhat since there's not a whole lot of attacks in here. It doesn't have that many attack scenes to really ramp up that factor regardless of graphic the few ones are, but this isn't enough to truly deter this one fully.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.
My feelings on the computer effects were mixed. They were not so bad underwater, which were quite nicely shot, but looked a little cheap elsewhere. That said though, SyFy have done much worse. The story is quite a decent idea, is well paced and starts off well with some suspense in the build ups, but there are some moments that come across as silly and unbelievable.
The script is not award-worthy, but apart from the odd cheesy line, it is not as terrible or as clichéd as I was expecting. The direction is efficient enough and the editing is not too slapdash.
Swamp Shark has some nice scenery and is generally well shot. It is also never too cheesy or overdone and doesn't take itself too seriously. The music is serviceable without being exceptional, it sets the mood alright which is something a lot of SyFy movies did not do.
The characters are likable, compared to the underdeveloped, stereotypical and annoying characters you often find, and the acting from Kirsty Swanson and DB Sweeney is surprisingly good. Overall, fun if silly, one of the movies in the sprinkle of tolerable SyFy amongst the sea of terrible ones. 6/10 Bethany Cox
The food, music, interaction between the cast and a killer shark in the swamp have kept me glued to the screen.
Swamp Shark is character driven instead of creature driven. The previous summer premiere movies like Moby Dick bored the heck out of me.
It is really nice to watch a movie about the Cajun country in which the characters accent is not a miss. Not everyone from Louisiana has a thick Cajun accent.
My only beef is that the ending could have been better.
The low reviews are hilarious because "Swamp Shark" works for what it is, a made-for-TV nature-runs-amok flick. The tone is generally serious, but comic booky with campy/amusing elements (e.g. the sheriff & his deputies). True, it's hackneyed and rips-off elements of "Jaws" (so what else is new?), but you can't help but root for the five protagonists and you can't beat the authentic Louisiana bayou locations. Moreover, there are a few decent cuties, including Sinise. Speaking of which, Natacha Itzel has an unexpected and suspenseful strangling scene, which is well done.
THE FILM RUNS 85 minutes and was shot in Henderson & Lafayette, Louisiana. WRITERS: Jennifer Iwen & Eric Miller (also Charles Bolon).
GRADE: Borderline B/B-
The characters are engaging, the cast seem to be having a great time with some good material, and even when the titular beastie isn't around the movie continues to be interesting and enjoyable, buoyed by the script, performances and direction. Yes, the cgi is less-than-stellar- of course it is, but it really doesn't matter one jot. And the fact that they use some good old fashioned rubber sharkery at times just increases the fun.
One or two gory bits, but nothing that's going to offend the younger members of the family unless they're particularly squeamish, no nudity and no swearing means it's a pretty good bet as an entry level horror film for parents like me, keen to hook their offspring on the genre.
Yes, not all of it ties together, and one specific thread (the younger sister and her nerdy chef admirer) is left unresolved, but the sheer shock of picking up a three quid movie that gave so much back completely negates any misgivings I may have had over this.
Oh, and the Cajun soundtrack is brilliant. I want the album now (or at least its inspired me to go buy some of the type of music featured) and the DVD menu screen is not only a visual delight (the cover-creature in full-body magnificence) but the looping music track is great too!
The shark is actually rather effective through most of the first two thirds of the movie. The filmmakers take a cue from Jaws and don't show too much of it, mostly a fin slicing through the water and the occasional dappled view of it (rendered in CGI of course) gliding through shadows underwater. It works, right up until the end when it finally launches itself out of the murk and into clear view, at which point it's as realistic looking as any SyFy Original Pictures CGI monster, which is to say: not in the slightest.
But most people who tune in for these flicks aren't there for the thrills and chills anyway. We're there to watch familiar actors chew up the scenery in a goofy monster movie, and on that score, Swamp Shark completely delivers.
There's hundreds of silly fantasy low-budget killer shark films out there i mean hundreds of straight to dvd shark fodder & Swamp Shark is one of the good fun & entertaining ones & that's because of the cool little cast.
It was nice to see veteran B-movie star Robert Davi back as not seen him in a while in anything so his presence alone made me interested as I've always been a fan of his since his Maniac Cop 2&3 days!!! & here Davi plays a rugged old sheriff & is good fun to watch as he investigates a killer shark in the local swamps & gives a cool rugged veteran performance just as i wanted & expected. The shark looks cool for a cheap movie & it's all done with fun & a good time in mind.
Yes Swamp Shark is good entertainment especially late at night!!! I enjoy these silly fun low-budget movies i think they are good fun & nothing too serious it's all just sci-fi fun with Horror & humour & action & a nice light tone. This movie itself is good fun but made better by the presence of Robert Davi
After an attempted robbery of a tankard goes wrong,the contents spill out into swamp water. Spilling out near the alligators of the swamp,the contents turns out to be a shark,who kills all the alligators. Seeing people turn up half eaten, Gator Shack restaurant owner Rachel Broussard gathers her family and friends to sail out and find the alligators. Nearing the major alligator swamp, (who all have tracking devices put inside them) Broussard is horrified to find no sign of the alligators,and all their tracking devices hoovering alone in the water.
View on the film:
Swimming in a SyFy channel movie swamp,director Griff Furst & cinematographer Lorenzo Senatore do well to give the Creature Feature terror scenes a real crunch, with the practical effects and gallons of blood bringing out an over the top atmosphere that makes up for the iffy CGI moments. Always keeping the shark near the pesky humans,the screenplay by Jennifer Iwen/Eric Miller and Charles Bolon offers up a deep-fried plate of Southern terror,oiled up by charming thumb- sketches drawn of all the people in the town,who become drawn to finding out what is in the swamp. Setting her sights on the beast with a harpoon gun, Kristy Swanson covers the flick in dollops of thigh-tapping Southern sass as the tough fighting Broussard,who wants to return the swamp to a shark-free zone.
This is "Jaws" (1975) in a swampy southern setting. Producer Ken Badish and director Griff Furst pull out the usual bag of shark tricks. There are a couple of intriguing relationships that go nowhere. Original vampire-slaying "Buffy" Swanson is obviously having a sexual relationship with handsome younger Richard Tanne (as Tyler), reversing usual gender roles. Also, servile busboy Jason Rogel (as Martin) unexpectedly yearns for Swanson's sexy young sister Sophie Sinise (as Krystal). Having either of these end unexpectedly would have lifted the story. There is nothing too suspenseful, but Mr. Furst is very good at staging non-shark interplay, giving the characters and script more life than you'd expect.
***** Swamp Shark (6/25/11) G.E. Furst ~ Kristy Swanson, Robert Davi, Richard Tanne, Sophie Sinise
I'm not going to go into detail with how bad the acting was, but it wasn't plain stupid, as one would expect. But it was far from good. I mean, at the very beginning, when the giant tank of the truck crashes into the swamp. releasing the shark, the sheriff drops a terrible one-liner. After the driver leaves, paying no attention to the deaths of the other two men, the sheriff dramatically takes off his glasses, and, looking into the distance, says, "What a lousy way to start the summer." Speaking of these men's deaths, the bodies disappear in the shots immediately after the kills.
There were several deaths. None were very bloody, except for the one when the shark chopped off a cop's head that was watching a girl strip with his binoculars. Pervert. He had it coming. The deaths of the boyfriend and girlfriend in the boat were not spectacular. Swim away, scream, and disappear underwater. Not a lot of blood. The girl's mutilated torso is discovered later, however. There were at least four other deaths, but none were shown. Only one had blood float to the surface of the water.
It qualified more as a PG-13 movie than a horror, except for the one scene with the girl's shredded torso, which probably gave it the R rating.
I'm not asking for more violence and blood. I'm saying it shouldn't really qualify for a horror. It's more of a thriller.
As a whole, it was pretty boring. I was waiting for the gore to spice things up, and it never came.
And they went ahead with killing off the black guys, because every horror does that.