Swamp Shark – USA, 2011: overview and reviews

swamp shark

‘This isn’t a normal shark! It swims! It kills! And its out there!’

Swamp Shark is a 2011 American action horror feature film directed by prolific Griff Furst (Nightmare Shark; Cold Moon; Trailer Park Shark; Atomic Shark; et al) from a screenplay written by Eric Miller, Charles Bolon, and Jennifer Iwen.

The Bullet Films movie for the Syfy channel was produced by Kenneth M. Badish and Daniel Lewis and stars Kristy Swanson, D. B. Sweeney, Robert Davi, Jason Rogel, Sophia Sinise, Richard Tanne, and Jeff Chase.

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Plot:

It’s summer in the the gorgeous swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin. Lots of beautiful teens are at the beach the weekend before Gator Fest. That night an animal smuggling deal goes wrong and a large sea creature escapes into a swampy backwoods river. At the McDaniel’s “Gator Shack” restaurant, a local, Jackson is drunk, and gets mangled to bits.

The town sheriff blames the carnage on the McDaniel’s “escaped” pack of gators and tries hauling them off to jail. Rachel McDaniel, head of the family, claims to have seen the fin of a shark!

Rachel and her family, along with the help of a mysterious stranger, Charlie, take on the Swamp Shark and the law to clear their names, save Rachel’s kid sister Krystal and prevent the unwitting folks at the upcoming Gator Fest from being torn to shreds by a beast the likes of which no one has ever seen!

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Reviews:

“One of the more consistently enjoyable and exciting SyFy Channel efforts, this one has plenty of solid elements and wholly worthwhile positives that it remains one of the shining examples of their output overall. Really give this one a shot if you’re into these types of creature features or are interested in the better end of their output…” read more at Don’s World of Horror and Exploitation

“Yes, the shark looked like ass, but we expected that. It was stupid and we expected that too. Leading the shark to the festival so it can eat more people… didn’t expect that but it was appreciated.” read more at Films Critic United

“Not a great movie, but kind of entertaining […] I’m giving the movie points for being funny in places and the Jaws shout out, some decent effects and decent acting. It’s completely watchable if you’re up for a B movie and you don’t care about the accuracies of the shark information.” Ben Riley, read more at I Spit on Your Taste

“Most of the shark attacks amount to people falling into the water as a fin approaches, leaving blood to bubble up to the surface. Despite the pretty impressive cast, the characters are resigned to the stupidity of the script, which doesn’t forget the obligatory Jaws nods…” Brett Gallman, read more at Oh, the Horror!

When the shark is hiding underwater and all you can see is its fin, then I have no problem with that. As soon as it leaves the confines of the murky water, all of its silvery, shiny skin is exposed to the world. The cast is probably the only good thing about Swamp Shark. Kristy Swanson looks terrific for her age…” Andrew Smith, read more at Popcorn Pictures

“Besides the terrible, digitally aided day for night scene, Swamp Shark looks better than it should. Even though the casting director forgot black people live in Louisiana too. Furst isn’t much of a director, but he knows what to mimic and he rips off a couple memorable moments from Jaws and, in particular, Jaws 2.” Andrew Wickliffe, read more at The Stop Button

Swamp Shark is harmless and it isn’t terrible. All the actors seem to be having fun, none of them put in a truly terrible performance, the characters you want to die end up dying, and the ending is silly, over-the-top fun. It’s no Jaws by any stretch of the imagination but if it’s on the telly and there’s nothing else to watch it’ll pass the time.” read more at That Was a Bit Mental

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Swamp Shark’s big flaw is that it plays all of this more or less with a straight face.  I think if there was some flashes of humor or at the very least, some over the top gore, it might’ve been able to skate by with a Three Stars rating.  It does earn points for finding a fairly novel way to kill the shark though.” Mitch Lovell, read more at The Video Vacuum

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Cast and characters:

  • Kristy Swanson … Rachel Broussard – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Christopher Berry … Deputy Mandling
  • Wade Boggs … Deputy Stanley
  • Marcus Lyle Brown … Deputy Cooper (as Marcus Brown)
  • Jason Rogel … Martin
  • Edrick Browne … Deputy Green
  • Gary Catona … Red Neck
  • Richard Tanne … Tyler
  • Jeff Chase … Jason ‘Swamp Thing’ Broussard
  • Chris Deshazo … Emcee
  • Harold Evans … Jackson
  • Ron Flagge … Coroner
  • Lo Graham … Laura (as Lauren Graham)
  • Charles Harrelson … Noah
  • Robert Davi … Sheriff Watson
  • Thomas Tah Hyde III … Marcus (as Thomas Tah Hyde)

Filming locations:

Henderson and Lafayette, Louisiana

Technical credits:

85 minutes | 1.78:1

Trivia:

In Japan the movie was bizarrely named Frying Jaws

Related:

Jaws – USA, 1975

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