Swamp Shark (2011) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Swamp Shark originally aired as a Syfy Original on the Syfy channel. The story centers around a group of misfits that own and operate a local small town Louisiana restaurant (on the swamp of course), complete with their own alligator show. When the sheriff’s endangered animal smuggling operation goes awry (creative, no?) with a dazzling escape (for a shark) from a containment trailer the bayous of the Atchafalaya Basin are never more dangerous. It’s up to this band of misfit restauranteurs to stop the great hulking beast. Swamp Shark is a good old fashioned monster hunting movie that is just the right amount of gory, silly and fin (c’mon, that was funny).

If you take stock in your group of friends, would you be able to gang up and defend yourselves from a monster attack? Luckily the crew of The Gator Shed (or is it the Crawfish Plant? kind of hard to tell) is matched up perfectly. Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays the strong and hardheaded leader, Rachel Bouchard. D.B. Sweeney (Fire in the Sky) is Tommy Breysler, the expert marksman wildlife agent. Jeff Chase is Jason ‘Swamp Thing’ Bouchard (that’s straight out of IMDb), the muscle. Jason Rogel is the nerdy science geek, Martin (not important enough for a last name), that helps track the shark (there’s an app for that). Richard Tanne is Tyler, the good looking bartender (perfect for when people start getting bored on the shark hunt and want a mimosa). Finally there’s Sophie Sinise (yes, that’s Gary Sinise’s daughter) playing Krystal Bouchard, the damsel in distress. Rounding out the cast is Robert Davi (Raw Deal, Die Hard) as Sheriff Watson. Everyone does a fine job in the film with the goofy yet entertaining script. Director Griff Furst has made a watchable and somewhat charming romp in the swamp movie.

The shark attacks are not too gory, but do get worse as the movie goes on. There is a lot of killing out of sight with people being drug underwater and then the water turning blood red. But there are also some nice touches, such as the shark pulling a Free Willy fatality (remember that part where the whale jumps over the kid?) on a deputy. And of course what killer shark movie would be complete without several references to Jaws, including the last scene when they try to kill their shark in the same manner as Police Chief Brody got his (with a funny twist). In the end it’s the shark that suffers the bloodiest death of all (granted it gets all over everyone else, and blood doesn’t come out of clothes easily, so you tell me who gets the last laugh there).

I would recommend Swamp Shark to anyone that loves b-movie monster flicks and has some time to kill. It’s not a bad watch with friends either. To put it simply Swamp Shark is the kind of movie that has a typo in the synopsis on the back of the DVD (they left out a word).

Director: Griff Furst
Stars: Kristy Swanson, D.B. Sweeney, Robert Davi

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