A medical examiner and a biologist travel deep into the Bayou, investigating the death ofa local fisherman. They and the inhabitants of a group of houseboats are soon all-too-aware ofthe what killed the man: giant, genetically modified snakehead fish. The fish lays siege toour unfortunate characters.
Not much more plot to this tight little creature feature than that. It gets right to the point, andwastes precious little time on subplots. Most of the film consists of…the fish racking up the bodycount (in delightfully gory fashion). The CGI are a long way from convincing (especially theunderwater scenes), but their splattery nature makes up for a lot. Nothing original here, but thepace is quick, the performances professional, and the atmosphere effective. Exactly what a B-flick should be.
The dialogue is clear and never lapses into buzzing, no matter how much yelling is goingon. The placement of effects is good, and the front left-right separation is particularly strong. Theoverall surround sense is not bad, but the night sounds of the bayou could do with a boost in therear speakers — as things stand the environmental effect could be a lot stronger.
The transfer is a very sharp 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. There are a couple of shots thatare a little bit soft, but for the most part the image is very strong. The blacks are deep, and thecontrasts are superb. Though the film takes place primarily at night, the picture is never bleachedor murky. There is no grain or edge enhancement, though there is some very slight pixelationduring some night sequences. The colours are very bright, and during the day scenes, the film hasa rather charming 70s exploitation feel.
Nothing but a few trailers (including one for Frankenfish itself). The menu’s mainscreen and its transition to the feature are animated and scored.
There are no Oscars in this film’s future, and it’s place in cinema history will be a small one.But it gets its job done with admirable economy, and is a real schlocky bit of pleasure.
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