The Sci-fi Channel and their Snakehead Trilogy has now come to an end. I guess it's a trilogy, but we're calling it one nonetheless. First there was 'Snakehead Terror' which we still haven't seen, then 'Frankenfish', and now today's film 'Snakehead Swamp'. With the combination of some spotty acting, suspect CGI and erratic pacing… we have the prototype of the SyFy Channel original feature. In case you're wondering, the superior 'Frankenfish' suffered from none of these limitations. Or at least it had fewer of them.
A couple of Louisiana yokels are about to deliver some precious cargo in their UPS truck. Because you can always count on brown. I think that's the UPS slogan… or is that the one from Passenger 57, or is that the one from that Round and Brown website? I can't remember. Regardless of all of that, they crash the truck in the swamp and whatever they were trying to deliver has broken free and through the revolutionary technique of SnakeHead Vision, we see these dudes get eaten. You may be thinking that it was just an unfortunate crash, but no sir… Marguerite totally caused this crash, that is if you were to listen to the wacky droning-ons of William Boudreaux the voodoo priest, as played by the legendary Antonio Fargas.
We will get back to that whole voodoo thing later, but let's get to what's usually front and center in a film like this, that being attractive white kids of suspect acting ability with bad cellphone service destined for death. Chris (Dave Davis) is sad because today is the marriage of the love of his life. His best friend Ashley (Ayla Kell), clearly the one he should be with, is there to comfort him. She is going to provide this comfort by inviting Chris on a boat swamp trip with her boyfriend Ian (Ross Britz). Just so you know, while 'Snakehead Swamp' had its challenges, Ross Britz and his ultra slimy Ian was a highlight. There's also a couple of bikini clad hotties on the boat who were fun to look at before their eventual ends.
Also on board is Chris's mom, Carley the Park Ranger (Terri Garber) and her estranged husband whose name I can't remember.
So what caused this disaster? The disaster being twenty foot snakehead fish that walk on land and eat people? Depends on who you listen to. Some game and wildlife agent says it's a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong. William Boudreaux of course blames Marguerite, who is in the process of righting some perceived wrong. Regardless of where they came from, they are here and they are primed to take over the world. Or at least the swamp. And with Ian the asshole randomly tossing people in the general direction of these killer fish so they'll eat anything that's not him, it's looking like this just might happen. Unless we can reverse the curse. By shooting at it. I like our chances.
Directed by genre veteran Don E. Fauntleroy, 'Snakehead Swamp' is a fairly standard giant fish eating pretty white kids feature, missing only the local mayor refusing to cancel the annual economy generating Fun Event. Come on now… where's my Fun Event? The absence of a Fun Event, almost all by itself, is almost unforgivable. The snakeheads did eat a picnic, but that's no annual Fun Event! That aside, and I know I've said this at least two hundred times before, but it still applies… suspect CGI, spotty acting, questionable pacing…mix it in blender and we have the prototype for a SyFy original movie.
Chances are, however, that if you are a seasoned SyFy original movie watcher, you knew that already going in, so what does 'Snakehead Swamp' accomplish that sets itself apart? Hmm… that's a darned good question I have just asked myself. The answer would be 'not a helluvalot'. There's Flashback Cam, which takes us back to scenes of previous kills over and over again… could've done without that. There's the aforementioned Snakehead Vision which I guess we could take as marginally better than bad CGI snakeheads, but then looking through the eyes of the snakeheads, one could assume they also had the ability to hover. I don't think they do. There is the Huggy Bear factor which certainly adds percentage points to any production, especially considering we were unaware that Antonio Fargas was still alive. This simple fact does bring us joy. Quite honestly, the only thing this particular movie brought to the table was the character of Ian and his sky high, near comedic level of assholery. He punched two people in the face, for no reason, he threw two people in front of snakeheads, he stole the only mode of transportation away from the terror, he screwed the best friend of his girlfriend, he tried to hold our heroes head underwater so a snakehead could eat it, and instead of fishing with a rod and pole, he used dynamite. Who fishes with dynamite?
Like I said before, since SyFy has peeled back on these things, the ciematic callouses I've built up for them over the years are starting to wear off and it's becoming more difficult find the good, where it used to be real easy for us over here. Come on SyFy, start buying more of this garbage. Please.