by Peter Nielsen
”Something lethal within the water… extra harmful than any shark or killer whale!”
Here’s one other one which slipped previous me after I was younger! I bear in mind the trailer… I bear in mind studying about it… and I bear in mind seeing the quilt within the video shops again within the day, however for some cause, I by no means watched the rattling film! A few years again I occurred upon it on a “Drive-In Double Feature” DVD, paired with Island Fury aka Please Don’t Eat The Babies from 1983, which we could get to later!
The film takes place in a small, quiet coastal city known as Palm Cove, and begins with two divers getting killed in an unprovoked assault by aggressive barracudas. Since this isn’t regular conduct for barracudas, marine biologist Mike Canfield appears to be like into it, and suspecting the native chemical plant is perhaps dumping one thing within the water, he tries to take water samples from one in every of their underwater pipes. Him, and his colleagues, are seen by the plant’s safety guards, and a minor scuffle ensues, leading to Mike getting arrested and thrown in jail.
Mike is performed by Wayne Crawford, who additionally co-wrote and co-directed the film along with Harry Kerwin. Mr. Crawford directed the entire underwater sequences! I principally bear in mind him as an actor, in films like Valley Girl, White Ghost, Diary of a Hitman, or Jake Speed!
The city sheriff, Ben Williams, doesn’t actually consider Mike as a foul man, and he actually doesn’t thoughts him checking up on the chemical plant both… or its supervisor, Papa Jack! And if it seems that they’re dumping stuff within the ocean, making barracudas assault harmless swimmers, he needs them to be held accountable for it. As it seems although, the plot is a little more sinister than that!
The sheriff is performed by character actor William Kerwin, whom you might (or could not), acknowledge from a bunch of Herschell Gordon Lewis directed films within the 60’s, like Scum of the Earth, Blood Feast or Two Thousand Maniacs. He additionally had a small half in The Evictors… somewhat film directed by Charles B. Pierce… and why, you ask, ought to that identify ring a bell? Well, amongst others, Mr. Pierce directed the unique The Town That Dreaded Sundown from 1976… one other little film I get pleasure from! William Kerwin additionally labored collectively along with his brother, Harry, on a few films… and sure, his brother is similar Harry who directed Barracuda! But I digress…
Roberta Leighton, from Stripes and the TV present The Young and the Restless, performs Liza, the sheriff’s daughter who takes a liking to Mike, and the 2 type of begins “hanging out”. The sheriff doesn’t appear to thoughts them spending time collectively both, and when Mike’s out of jail, invitations him to remain of their spare bed room.
The city’s physician, Elliot Snow, has his personal lab, so Mike asks him if he can use that to have a look at the water samples, and in addition a few the barracudas he’s caught… what he finds, are traces of various chemical substances that may trigger Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and that might clarify why the fish are extra aggressive than common. The scary half is that, all by means of the film, you get little hints right here and there, that one thing is perhaps affecting the townspeople too! They appear to drink numerous water… they really feel heat… there’s irritability… fatigue… confusion… and whenever you put two and two collectively, it type of matches!
When Mike investigates additional he finds that the nice physician is concerned with one thing known as “The Lucifer Project”, which appears to be some form of behavioral experiment, sanctioned by the federal government! And everyone knows that, in this kind of film, when the federal government is concerned, issues don’t all the time go too nicely for our protagonists.
With the poster, and taglines, you’d suppose that Barracuda is simply one other Jaws rip-off, nevertheless it’s really not… it’s extra of a conspiracy thriller, and the barracudas don’t actually have a lot to do with it, aside from to work as a set off to get the story going. You do get a few barracuda assaults although, however not a lot, and for those who thought you’d get much more of that, nicely… you may be upset, I believe, as a result of that’s what the poster leads you to count on! It’s a advertising factor… to get butts in seats… everyone knows it! What you do get although is (like I stated) a low finances, commonplace conspiracy thriller, with somewhat twist on the finish, and you realize what? I type of preferred it!
Sure, it’s a bit sluggish typically, and the appearing isn’t prime notch from all of the cast-members, however the story is intriguing sufficient to maintain you entertained all through. I just like the interplay between Mike, the sheriff, and his daughter… it feels real, for lack of a greater phrase. The bumbling deputy, Lester, performed by Cliff Emmich (Halloween II, Return To Horror High, Mousehunt), grows on you and, though a bit rotund and lazy, is a man you’ll be able to depend on when the shit hits the fan!
The physician is performed by Jason Evers, who’s executed numerous TV, in addition to films like The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and The Green Berets (with John Wayne). It’s a bizarre character and Mr. Evers does a great job portraying him. He doesn’t actually suppose he’s executed something unsuitable and says he could make every little thing proper once more, every time he needs to.
I even have to say the music in Barracuda! The rating is completed by Klaus Schulze, a reputation I acknowledged instantly… he was, briefly, a member of the band Tangerine Dream, in one in every of their earlier line-ups, and I’ve been a fan of Tangerine Dream since my early teenagers. The rating for Barracuda could be very paying homage to their music, in order that was a giant plus in my guide!
Now… would I like to recommend this film? I don’t know… for those who count on a nature gone wild with numerous barracuda mayhem type of film, then no… this film’s not for you! But… for those who like a great little conspiracy thriller, with a smidgeon of barracuda motion thrown in for good measure… Yeah, I’d say it is best to give it a attempt! I did… and I ended up liking it!
So, my associates… that’s it for me this week!
Until subsequent time… watch a film… try my earlier evaluations… or why not head on over to the Retro Movie Geek web site, and take heed to our shenanigans on the podcast! You gained’t be upset! I promise!