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...
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:
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
Email Dr. Boogie
SCARY-ASS TRADING CARD #8!
COLLECT ALL 19 SERIES II CARDS
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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:
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