FRANKENFISH (2004) Reviews and overview

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‘Welcome to the bottom of the food chain.’
Frankenfish is a 2004 science fiction horror film dealing with genetically engineered fish in the bayou.

Directed by Mark Dippé from a screenplay co-written by Simon Barrett (Seance; Temple; You’re Next; et al) and Scott Clevenger, the movie was based on the snakehead fish incident in a Crofton, Maryland, pond. It is one of three movies based on the incident, the others being Snakehead Terror and Swarm of the Snakehead. The movie stars Tory Kittles, K.D. Aubert and China Chow.

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Review:
Part of an ever-expanding series of films in the ferocious fish genre, Frankenfish is surprisingly tolerable, possibly as there is rather more believability in a massive savage fish than there is a shark eating an aeroplane. A medical examiner and a biologist head for the swamps in a search for who/what is responsible for the death of a local fisherman.

After prodding a decapitated alligator for clues, they end up at the houseboat of his widow and a whole lot of monstrous piscine action kicks off, with the added ‘interest’ of a record-breakingly quick love affair and a casual nod that folks messing about with nature might be a bit naughty.

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Of course, the film makes no sense in all sorts of ways but that somehow doesn’t prevent it from being an entertaining 84 minutes. The actors are slightly above the quality we have been weaned to expect from Syfy Channel fare.

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The fish themselves are surprisingly well-designed and the special effects overall are not a million miles away from being in the same league as Piranha 3DD and is more entertaining; Frankenfish, at a push, could have got away with a short cinema release. The deaths are surprisingly graphic and only the CGI blood disappoints on the gore front.

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With the added appeal of gratuitously unadorned female flesh, Frankenfish is clearly no Piranha; the acting is poor, the characters are uniformly disagreeable and the houseboat setting runs out of options for action very quickly. That said, for pure, schlocky fun, you could do far worse.

Daz Lawrence, MOVIES and MANIA

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Other reviews:

Cast and characters:
Tory Kittles … Sam Rivers
K.D. Aubert … Eliza
China Chow … Mary Callahan
Matthew Rauch … Dan
Donna Biscoe … Gloria Crankton
Tomas Arana … Jeff
Mark Boone, Jr. … Joseph
Reggie Lee … Anton
Noelle Evans … Bobbi
Richard Edson … Roland
Muse Watson … Elmer
Steve Ritzi … Pilot
Ron Gural … Coroner/Sheriff
Eugene Collier … John Crankton
Sean Patterson … Abrams
Raoul Trujillo … Ricardo
Marco St. John … Chief

Filming locations:
Mobile, Alabama

Technical details:
1 hour 24 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78: 1

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