After chomping through the fish population, thousands of starved lampreys begin attacking the citizens of a sleepy lake town, and the community scrambles to stay alive.
I have made no secret of my love for the films of The Asylum, so if you really hate films like Sharknado, Two Headed Shark Attack, and Supercroc, I should tell you to stop reading right now. Because I love this film more than any thing in their catalogue.
I watched this when it aired originally on Animal Planet. I laughed my ass off the entire time. This film is proof that The Asylum knows exactly what sort of films they are making and that they are capable of a laugh at their own expense. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual.
Fish and Wildlife officer Mike (Jason Brooks) has moved to a dinky little town in Michigan. Newly appointed to the local game commission office, Mike finds himself dealing with a situation – thousands of lampreys have somehow gotten caught up in the turbines of the hyrdo dam. No one seems to know why or how it is happening. Along with the other game officers (played by Fred Stoller, Rachael True, and Zach Ward) Mike tries to figure out why the safeguards aren’t working.
Meanwhile, Mike’s family is trying to adjust to life in an all new town. Mike’s wife Cate (Shannon Doherty), and their kids Nicole (Clara Hanna) and Kyle (Yar Koosha) are trying to make the best of it, but needless to say, teenage drama is go. Nicole is miserable and acting out due to her anger at being uprooted from all of her friends. She latches on pretty quickly to a local boy named Alex (Nicholas Adam Clark) and proclaims her never-ending love…like you do at 14 after one day.
Kyle is a strange child who talks to animals and spends most of his time alone. He makes due by be-friending a stray dog at the beach and bringing home a pet lamprey (uh oh). Apparently a big fan of Dad’s work, he seems to know everything there is to know about wild animals.
The town mayor (played by the fabulous Christopher Lloyd) doesn’t see the big deal. After all, they’re just stupid lampreys. His only thought is to keep the town open for the summer and bring in those tourist dollars. So when mike suggests the town may need to shut down the lakeside, and the dam, and the town water supply, in order to fully assess the problem, the mayor is not so keen.
So Mike takes matters into his own hands, and calls a press conference to close the lake and warn the people about the pending threat of…lampreys. The Mayor is definitely not keen on this, and Mike spends a lot of time arguing with Hizzoner to do the right thing. Which only gets Mike fired.
Sound familiar? Indeed it should. This is probably the best parody of Jaws I’ve seen to date. All the expected tropes are in place.
Everything about this film is sheer cheesy goodness. Written by Anna Rasmussen (Sharknado, and Sharknado 2, along with many other Asylum classics) and Delondra Williams (Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators, Rise of the Zombies), and directed by James Cullen Bressack,(son of animation writer Gordon Bressack and voice artist Ellen Gerstell), and score by Steven Bernstein (Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Pinky and the Brain).
Not to mention cameos a-go-go all through the film, not the least of which is Jeremy Wade from the Animal Planet series River Monsters. Also, if you look closely, the director and his dad both appear briefly in the film as well.
The main cast are all quite talented with a lot of experience under their belts. We all know Shannon Doherty, of course. If you don’t know, she was the bitchy girl on Beverly Hills 90210.
Jason Brooks you may know as Peter Blake on the long running daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives.
Clara Hanna is of course probably best known as the Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers Megaforce.
In all honesty, just about every single actor in the film is recognizable from something else. It’s like they heard a new Asylum film was coming out and they lined up to be in it. Heck…if I had known, I would been in that line, too.
The special effects are about what I expect from this company – some really crummy CGI, a few moments of magic in practical effect make up, and some of the most ridiculous kills anyone could ever imagine. Weed whacker? Sure, why not? Lampreys in the toilet? Let’s do it!
I repeat my assertion that this is one of the best films The Asylum has put out to date. It’s cheesy, self-referencing, has no pretense at all, and it’s just a stupid good time. if you go into it expecting a horror film, you will hate it. But if you come into it realizing it is farce, you will enjoy every minute of it.
So on a scale of one to ten, ten being awesome, I’m giving this film 6 hot curling irons.
why hot curling irons, you ask? You’ll have to see the film to find out……