‘Welcome to the bottom of the food chain.’
Frankenfish is a 2004 science-fiction horror feature 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Cast and characters:
Tory Kittles as Sam Rivers
K.D. Aubert as Eliza
China Chow as Mary Callahan
Matthew Rauch as Dan
Donna Biscoe as Gloria Crankton
Tomas Arana as Jeff
Mark Boone, Jr. as Joseph
Reggie Lee as Anton
Noelle Evans as Bobbi
Richard Edson as Roland
Muse Watson as Elmer
Steve Ritzi as Pilot
Ron Gural as Coroner/Sheriff
Eugene Collier as John Crankton
Sean Patterson as Abrams
Raoul Trujillo as Ricardo
Marco St. John as Chief
Aspect Ratio: 1.78: 1