Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘Frankenfish’ is a perfect example of what every Sci-Fi original should aspire to be.  No, ‘Frankenfish’ isn’t going to make anybody forget ‘Jaws’ anytime soon, or even ‘Piranha’ for that matter.. which I think I will watch tonight… but it is competent, the actors, who you probably won’t recognize, convincingly delivered their lines, it moves fast enough and in its unedited form shows a little skin and has a few naughty words coming out of the actors mouths.  If we were ranking Sci-Fi original features, at least of the ones I’ve seen, ‘Frankenfish’ would easily be in the top ten. 

Sam Rivers (Tory Kittles) is a Louisiana Medical Examiner working a homicide when his boss pulls him off this juicy murder to send him deep in the swamp, back home for Sam where he does not want to go, to see what just ate Curtis.  Or whatever that dudes name was that Frankenfish just ate.

So Sam grabs his gun, because you never know what’s going to happen in the swamp, and he also grabs Mary the Hot Biologist (China Chow) as the two travel down the river to do some dead dude medical examining. 

Once they reach their destination they run into an eclectic mix of house boat swamp people, like Gloria the Voodoo queen who is also Curtis’ late wife, Gloria’s sizzling hot daughter Eliza (K.D. Aubert), Eliza’s asshole boyfriend Dan (Matthew Rauch), Curtis’ BFF and resident psycho Ricardo (Raul Trujillo), and the free loving nudist Bobbi (Noelle Evans) and Roland (Richard Edson).  Sam and Mary also find a boat full of dead Chinese dudes.  Peculiar. 

It doesn’t take long before Frankenfish makes himself known and starts terrorizing folks and eating people, and showing amazing skills such as the ability to hang outside water for minutes at a time.  Say what?  Our biologist informs her that Chinese Snakeheads can do that, but they don’t grow that big and Chinese Snakeheads should not be hanging out in Louisiana swamps.  But what if somebody somewhere decided to genetically

re-engineer these fish so they can grow as big as Cadillac’s?  Why would somebody do that?  Because according to Great White Hunter Mr. Jeff (Thomas Arana), it’s great fun to hunt something that can hunt you back.  Uh… Jeff?  Grizzlies, Lions, Wolves, Sharks, Polar Bears, Piranha, rabid dogs, Detroiters, wild boar… the list goes on and on.  No need to genetically re-engineer anything if that’s what you’re looking for, but is Jeff listening me?  No he isn’t. 

Now that we know why Frankenfish is in the swamp we just have to stop him.  Or should I say stop them?  I should I say stop her?  Yup, there are re-engineered Snakehead’s all over the freaking place, and ultimately it’s going to come down to Sam the M.E. and his new girlfriend… it’s a complicated… goes back to high school… football groupie… class of ’91… voodoo ice tea… to bring the Frankenfish reign to an end.

True enough, ‘Frankenfish’ is at its heart a very simple, run-of-the-mill, Big Ass Fish in the Water eating Stupid People movie, but at least it’s a Big Fish eating Stupid People movie that’s done about as right as a low budget big fish movie can be done.  You want gore?  ‘Frankenfish’ is arguably the goriest movie that will ever show up on the Sci-Fi Channel, because we know the gore will largely air uncut.  We could ask ourselves what’s wrong with a country that will edit a pair of plump titties out of a movie shown on television, yet have no problem showing a guy go head first through the blades of a hover-boat.  What’s more dangerous… titties or evisceration via sharp blades?  What’s wrong with us?  But we digress.  The movie is rarely dull, the performances range from competent to good, and Frankenfish was crazy hungry all the time, just like a Frankenfish should be.

Yes there are a few peculiar things, say like when Frankenfish ate Elmer (Muse Watson) who seemed like a really nice guy.  Everybody was really broken up about Elmer dying, for about negative three seconds, and then settled down for a nice turtle gumbo dinner and a few ice cold Corona’s.  I know, just because Elmer’s dead doesn’t mean folks don’t get hungry, but dang, they didn’t mention Elmer one time during dinner.  Or you have people with the annoying tendency to look over and peer into the water, and this is after they know full well that Frankenfish is out there biting people’s faces off.  And why don’t these movie monsters ever get full?  Are humans not filling?  And where was the mayor that refused to cancel the Summer Fun Event?  How can you have a Big Ass Fish Eating People movie without a mayor who refuses to cancel the Summer Fun Event?  That’s an outrage!

The thing is, even though it is a branded Sci-Fi original, that’s the probably the last place you’d actually want to watch this movie.  No large fake boobs, no random f-bombs and the chance of gore limitation would make ‘Frankenfish’ less than what it is, and nobody wants that.  We know the Sci-Fi Channel doesn’t make its own movies, they just acquire them from folks for pennies on the dollar.  Well on one cold day in the year of 2004 the Sci-Fi Channel acquisition division acquired well.  And then got right back to the business of f@#kin’ up.

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