Friday, July 10, 2009

RED WATER (2003)

WHAT THE MONSTER TAUGHT ME: Rappers go down nice with Cajun spice.


La Bomba, Culo-io, Buffy Prime, Cajun Man the Backwater Philosopher, a serious lack of subtitles during stupid accent scenes, hideous acts of Grampa-cide, the Schofield Skid Mark, Southern-drawled sodomy jokes, a whole lot of bayou bull shark, a fishy trip to the dentist, and Shark: 1, Has-been Rapper: 0.

More details here.


Down in the Mississippi Delta, an elderly man goes missing while fishing with his Grandson. The cops do nothing. Another person disappears after fishing off the shores of the mighty Mississip. The cops do nothing. A hot chick gets gobbled off a resort pier by a giant fresh water bull shark. Call in the Coast Guard! Meanwhile, John Sanders’ (Lou Diamond Phillips) diving business is tanking and the bank is threatening to repossess his boat unless he comes up with some quick cash. His ex-wife Kelli (Kristy Swanson) suddenly shows up and offers him a business proposition. A former environmentalist, she works for a mega-corporation that wants to drill for natural gas in the bayou – but, you know – safely. Uh huh. And since John is the best natural-gas finding-guy in the world ever, she has turned to him to make sure things are done right. He begrudgingly takes the job to save his business, to keep his Cajun hired hand Emery (Rob Boltin) happy, and maybe to get another shot at the Boff Buffy title. On the other side of town, hotshot Aussie diver Brett (Langley Kirkwood) is hired by a Rasta-drug dealer to accompany his cousin “Ice” (Coolio) on a trek up the river to search for a guy named Jerry (Jaimz Woolvett) who knows the location of a cache of submerged drug money. Eventually, these worlds collide and John and his crew are taken hostage by the murderous baddies and forced to go diving for the loot or suffer the wrath of listening to Ice’s last CD. But the sinister force that gobbled up those Cajun yokels earlier is still hungry, and this fresh water bull shark’s got a hankering for some jerky jambalaya – human-style!


Red Water is a made-for-TV movie (most likely the Syfy channel) and … get this … isn’t half bad. It’s not half good either, but the one half that is watchable makes for a decent viewing. Yet another shark movie that’s actually more of a treasure-hunting adventure thriller, the movie features some pretty good action sequences, a very well-done practical effect for the shark, and a few (intentional) laughs here and there. Wisely avoiding the pitfalls of a creature feature hunt-that-beast story, the movie focuses more on the dangerous trip up river with a dash of character development (a very small dash, that is) and a crime caper subplot to kill time until our toothy friend shows up and blows the roof off the joint with his gleeful voracity. I’ll also give points to the movie for coming up with a pretty cool way to do away with the creature. Let’s say that just like humans, dentists may be the shark’s natural enemy. I do have one thing I have to mention, though, and it’s something that came up while watching yesterday’s movie too. What is it with B-movie makers and their love of characters with ridiculous accents? There are at least three different stupid accents in this movie – the Rasta drug dealer guy, the fake Aussie diver, and the Cajuns. Each of them are incomprehensible and really don’t add anything to the characters beyond an opportunity for ridicule. Why do they have these characters? To enrich the tapestry of human interaction that swells into a brilliant expression of humanity that’s tragically quelled by Bruce the Urpy Shark? I don’t get it. Anyway, Red Water certainly isn't atrocious, has some fairly likable characters, and a cool shark. Plus you get to see Coolio get swallowed whole for the sake of his overdue phone bill.

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