Please don't feed PickleMan
Please don't feed PickleMan
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What is it about fish that makes them such great subject matter for a horror movie? Is it because the idea of fish working against mankind is intriguing? Is it simply the fear of not being able to see what's in the murky waters that you're swimming in? Is it because having an underwater monster means you don't have to create a full-scale model of your creature? Whatever the case, when you imply that said fish monster is the work of a rogue German scientist and his hunchback assistant, watch the terror factor grow!

Seriously, though, Frankenfish is a silly, silly movie that most people wouldn't even think deserves to appear on this list. It's standard B-movie fair for the most part, but there was a defining moment. It involves a small fire that gets way out of control...


After killing the giant fish monster, local crazy guy, Ricardo, decides to cut out the monster's heart and eat it. I thought he was going to die of botulism because he only cooked the heart for about a minute, but instead, a second fish monster leaps onto the deck of his houseboat and eats him. During that struggle, Ricardo's grill is knocked over, with a small fire starting on the deck near his propane tank. No one seems to notice this, in spite of the fact that the tank is quite well-lit by the fire. The fire slowly spreads around the propane tank and soon reaches Ricardo's discarded shotgun. Now, even after reading what I just typed, you're bound to be thinking to yourself, "that sounds dangerous". Well, none of the survivors are thinking that at all. No, no one pays much attention to it at all until Fish and Wildlife officer, Mary, explains that in order to escape from the creature, they have to get to Ricardo's boat and...

Don't worry lady, an Optometrist can fix that right up for ya.

Ouch! Man, is she unlucky. I mean, to have a shotgun that's pointed toward open water turn by itself and raise up just high enough for a headshot, all before being discharged by a small fire... What are the odds? Interesting side note: upon witnessing this, one of the remaining characters remarks, "the house shot her!" I ask you, which is the more believable of the two?

Anyway, at this point, the propane tank has been turned almost completely black by the fire, but no one notices, even though they'd have to look in that direction to see where the shotgun blast came from. They go about their business, covering Mary's corpse, praying to voodoo shrines, drinking, etc. Then, finally... Well, I'll let the scene do the talking:

Nice shot!

The propane tank, instead of exploding on the spot, is somehow catapulted at least thirty feet into the air and crosses a distance of no less than eighty feet. At the end of that spectacular trip, it lands perfectly in the window of the houseboat and explodes with such force that it hurls backup female lead, Liza, into the creature-infested waters. Maybe it wasn't a propane tank after all. Maybe that crazy bastard Ricardo cooked all his meals with rocket fuel.

Apart from that stuff, the rest of the movie is mostly about people getting knocked out of boats, and then not returning to said boats. As soon as the creatures start attacking, the consensus is that the remaining survivors need to get to land, yet none of them seem to be aware of the fact that land is less than ten feet away from the docked houseboats. Instead, everyone seems content to jump in a boat and get slapped around by fish monsters. That's why you don't feel bad when the majority of them get devoured. Still, the remaining two win the day, and so I'll leave you with a shot of the final creature (a much larger, female creature) as it pays the ultimate price for tailgating an airboat:

Mmm, beefy!

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"How... Does... Brundlefly... eat?" It's been more than twenty years since Jeff Goldblum spoke those words in the 1986 re-make of "The Fly" and they still chill me. The ironic parody of scientific objectivity as Goldblum documents the hideous results of his teleportation experiment, his own transformation into a human/fly hybrid, crystallized director David Cronenberg's signature emotion: Clinical revulsion.

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a horrible night indeed! :o