My celebration of Shark Week continues, now officially one month late as of today! I’m continuing on partly because this was all planned ahead of time and partially out of spite. Going by the listing on the back of the “Shark Bait: 6 Killer shark Films” DVD case I’ve been pulling movies from, today would be Santa Jaws, but I’m saving that one for Christmas. The gay kid from Joe Bell manifesting a Santa hat wearing nightmare shark? Sounds hilarious! But that means today I’m stuck watching Swamp Shark. It’s not the worst shark movie I’ve seen, but it’s far from the best. It’s the only film in this pack that’s available on Tubi, so that says something.
So how does a shark end up in a swamp? Animal smuggling, of course! The local sheriff is corrupt as shit and was transporting a recently discovered ancient shark because… uh… someone was going to pay for it, I suppose. It escapes into the local swamp and the sheriff not only covers up the immediate deaths, but spends the rest of the movie trying to convince people that there’s no such thing as a swamp shark. Does ACAB work with sheriffs, too? The answer is obviously yes, but still.
Fighting against the shark is a family that runs a restaurant together along with a douchey boyfriend, a nerdy coworker, and a mysterious guy that’s definitely not an undercover fed spying on the sheriff. When their alligators get eaten–it’s a themed restaurant, you see–nobody believes that it’s really a shark, so they have to defy the corrupt law enforcers to get to the bottom of things. A number of people die along the way to the climax, but none of them are really worth ment–wait one fucking second. Is that Ms. Ashton Leigh as the ambiguously aged girl who gets killed in a little rowboat? Holy shit, it is! She’s the girl who survived the initial shark attack only to show up later and ended up with the doofy main character in both Ozark Sharks AND Mississippi River Sharks! IMDB says this will be the last time we see her this week, but hats off to her for agreeing to be in three different shitty TV shark movies.
Anyway, the shark eventually dies, getting harpooned and dragged into an airboat’s fan, although no one inadvertently dies because of this like in Ozark Sharks. The sheriff gets eaten, the douchey boyfriend gets eaten–seriously, never trust a himbo whose default expression has his mouth hanging open–and the guy the sheriff was trying to sell illegal birds to is arrested. The singular shark is dead and the day is saved.
I liked some of the character interactions, but only some. The nerdy guy doesn’t end up with the girl he has a crush on in the end–in part because he never finds the confidence to make a move–and I thought that was kind of a nice and realistic touch. The movie didn’t feel the need to pair up people just because that’s what these bad movies do. Granted, the main woman doesn’t seem to care too much when douchey boyfriend dies and pretty quickly rebounds to the fed, so that trope still rears its ugly head.
I do want to take a moment and talk about the people behind the film. Swamp Shark has three writers listed on IMDB, none of whom have written much else. Jennifer Iwen has no other credits of any kind, Eric Miller also wrote Ice Spiders, and Charles Bolon (who was uncredited on this film) only has one other film listed on his IMDB page: Monsterwolf. Then there’s director GE Furst, AKA Griff Furst. Wait, there are real people named “Griff?” Anyway, his directorial list is… interesting. In addition to shit like I Am Omega (the Asylum mockbuster of Will Smith’s I Am Legend, which I swear I will rant about one day), Arachnoquake, and Wolvesbayne, he also directed Ghost Shark, Trailer Park Shark, and the very intriguing Nightmare Shark. See, that last one is about the survivors of other shark movies teaming up after the titular nightmare shark starts killing people like an aquatic Freddy Krueger. Well, I think I know what I’m going to do next year for Shark Week! And hopefully I’ll get the date right!
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