After teasing Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre I had to give it a watch. Yes, Shark Exorcist let me down with its awesome premise but I remain an optimist eternal. And with how much the bar has been lowered this movie had to be a step up. Or twelve. The cast seems to be mostly TV actors, which makes sense because this was a TV movie. One character was the daughter from Face/Off but that is the only movie credit I recognized. The director Jim Wynorski is another matter. I didn’t recognize his name either but I do know a few things he has done and they will end up in this column at some point. He mostly seems to do cheesy monster flicks and porn. So the perfect guy to direct a sharksploitation/women’s prison thing.
The movie does not actually take place in a prison to my disappointment. Instead it is about five women prisoners working in… a bog? A marsh? Something like that. Somewhere between a muddy place and a swamp. One of the prisoners has somehow orchestrated an escape with an outside lover, and they take the two guards and the other girls hostage before finding themselves under siege by the sharks.
This was much better than I anticipated. It was extremely refreshing to be honest. First, the shark designs; They look pretty cool despite a minimalist approach. They are basically sharks covered in moving claw things. This is straight out of Tremors if you remember. I’m not even mad. If you’re going to take inspirations from a movie you should pick something good like Tremors. The shark is at least a partial practical effect but even when CGI is used it didn’t take me out of the movie. This is from someone that despises CGI in general. The sharks move from water to land which also is very reminiscent of the Tremors movies.
At times the characters do dumb things though the lead guard has some very smart moments, which, again, I found refreshing. The acting is TV level. Not amazing, but at least they seem to know how to act. The escape plan seems very half planned and haphazard, but again this works to the plot. In short this was actually competently written.
In the negatives there are some utterly pointless characters that only exist to pad the movie a little. They aren’t part of the main plot; they don’t add anything. They just fill time. There are some line reads that are slightly odd but I’d say it’s forgivable given the overall product.
Perhaps the biggest props I can give is for not ending the movie how I expected. Cool effects. Cool monster. High body count and passable acting. This was a very fun movie and should be the standard for cheesy TV shark films. So yeah, I totally recommend it as a stocking stuffer for the shark lover in your life.