Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

American Mary, or: Murder > Student Loans

Another week, another blog collab! Part who is even counting of Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab! This week was Christa’s choice, American Mary. Check out her review here.

The Film:

American Mary

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Premise:

A struggling med. school student begins performing body modification surgeries for the extra monies.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

Word of caution: you probably don’t want to eat anything while you’re watching this movie. I was unwinding with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, which I regretted almost immediately b/c the first scene of this film is Mary practicing surgery techniques on a raw turkey. This is perhaps the most disgusting scene in the entire movie (admittedly, I have a particularly strong aversion to raw meat; objectively, some of the later surgery scenes are pretty gross).

Thank me for sparing you all of the really disgusting raw turkey screencaps.  You're welcome.
Thank me for sparing you all of the really disgusting raw turkey screencaps. You’re welcome.

All discussions of raw meat aside, our story focuses on Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle of Ginger Snaps fame), med. student whose ambitions are high but funding is low. Her creditors are harassing her, her professor is harassing her, and she’s trying to sound sane and normal to her Hungarian grandmother.

It kind of seems like this story is about to take a Lifetime movie twist when Mary applies to work for a shady strip club owner, Billy (played by Marco from Bomb Girls, Italian object of my affections). Mary kind of sucks at the whole sexy routine, but Billy offers her $5,000 to perform an off the books surgery in the seedy basement.

The next day, Mary gets a call from a lady named Beatrice, who has had many surgeries to look like Betty Boop. She has a friend who wants to talk to Mary about an operation, which is essentially to finish the process of making her a real-life doll. Including in terms of anatomy. Catch my drift? No? Am I being too vague again? Okay, she basically doesn’t want to have nipples or a vaginal opening anymore.

Easily my favorite character in this movie.
Beatrice, easily my favorite character in this movie.

Mary gets $12,000 to do the surgery, which I admit would be extremely difficult to turn down. All I can say is there’s a very good reason I’m not a doctor. I mean, besides all of that math and science.

Meanwhile, ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of the doctors are shady as shit, including and especially her professor. She gets invited to a party with all of the doctors, which lead to a solid 10 minutes of me cringing because it becomes really obvious just how creepy her professor is. You know what I mean.

After the events at the party, Mary quits med. school and gets a new patient in the form of her creepy predator professor. Let’s just say he undergoes a few body modification procedures. She also starts a clinic of sorts for people into body modification, which involves more willing patients but is still illegal as fuck.

Billy keeps having fantasies about Mary, whose sudden transformation is marked by red lipstick (obviously). His fantasies are equal parts hilarious and bizarre, pretty much always involving a sexy dance and blood.

Sir? Sir? I’m going to have to ask you to take your fantasy life elsewhere.
Sir? Sir? I’m going to have to ask you to take your fantasy life elsewhere.

Based on her work for the doll lady, Mary gets attention from twins who run a body mod website/mag, who pay her a visit. They’re German (please, please don’t let this become Human Centipede) and ask Mary to switch their left arms and deepen their connection, whatever the fuck that means. IDK, maybe they’re switching vaginas. It’s unclear what exactly the procedure involves beyond arm switching.

Apparently Mary’s creepy prof is still alive, hanging from hooks in the basement, all limbs amputated, mouth sewn shut. Unfortunately, a cop discovers Mary’s activities, leading to his untimely demise. Billy has decided to take out the doctor who tipped off the police that Mary might be a suspect.

Following all of this, her grandmother dies. We’re rapidly approaching Shakespearean numbers with our body count.

The next time Mary sees Billy, he confesses he may have had something to do with that doctor disappearing. He asks her to go to LA with him for a few weeks, and though she seems interested in him, she is the master of bored facial expressions.

I'm sorry, Katharine Isabelle.  You are better than this screencap.
I’m sorry, Katharine Isabelle. You are better than this screencap.

When she gets home, Mary gets a call from Beatrice, who has been attacked and left to die. It turns out the doll lady’s husband does not appreciate her body mods, and is after Mary for revenge.

What will happen next???

I don’t know, I kind of like leaving cliff hanger endings. This may be the new normal, guys.

The Critique:

There are certain parts of this movie that worked very well, but many WTF moments too. In terms of plot the movie kind of fell apart, but Katherine Isabelle was great, especially when she was being sarcastic and dark. It was certainly entertaining and went by quickly, but there were times I felt mesmerized in the same way as someone watching a train wreck.

And this is just who I am as a person—looking for meaning where there is none, analyzing everything to death—but what the fuck is an American Mary? Does that mean something I’m not aware of? Or is American just used in the way it’s basically used in all titles to warn the audience that satire may be involved in this production?

I also kind of wanted to see more of Beatrice/the doll lady, which I wouldn’t have expected since I was kind of freaked out by the doll lady. I mean, do what you want to do with your body, but I’m probably going to be at least a little creeped out if you look like a doll.

After this movie, I do admit I sort of want horns or at least Vulcan ears.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 3/5 Pink Panther Heads

I was thinking about 3.5, but then I remembered Antonio Cupo (Billy) doesn’t take his shirt off even once. (Have I ever claimed that I’m not the shallowest of critics? Because if I have, that’s a lie.)

On the bright side, this movie gave me very strange dreams involving Lena Dunham and Antonio Cupo filming a movie together in Italy. I think it was a series of vignettes like Paris Je T’aime except all starring Lena Dunham (because of course they do). In the part I can still remember, Lena Dunham was playing a ‘60s tennis star with a blonde wig who went around looking dramatic on speedboats and trying to impress her benefactor, who I’m 95% sure was Helen Mirren.

Read Christa’s review for her take on the film!

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Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Grabbers, or: Alcohol Is the Answer

New round of Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab! Compare/contrast with Christa’s excellent review on her blog.

(We’re just going to pretend it’s still Sunday or I have to acknowledge my role as the worst collaborator in history. Worse than the Nazi collaborators.)

The Film:

Grabbers

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Premise:

Alien tentacle monsters terrorize a small Irish island until everyone realizes liquor solves all of your problems. Or at least all of your alien tentacle monster problems.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

In the beginning, an ominous light streaks across the sky towards Earth (presumably aliens).

Whatever THE THING is (yeah, it’s aliens), when it crashes off the coast of Ireland, it takes out the entire crew of a fishing trawler (admittedly, a very small fishing trawler).

What will happen next??? Will we discover humanity is the true monster? (No, it’s the alien tentacle monster.)

Cut to eager young policewoman arriving on a small Irish island. A hungover cop is there to greet her/grumble and generally act like a dick.

Meanwhile, shots of the gorgeous Irish coast are interrupted by a significant number of small-ish whales washed up on the beach (immediately thought this would be a Star Trek IV rip-off, and the Enterprise crew would turn back time to save the whales). At this point, we get two stories of ocean life gone wrong—the first follows the whales, which the police and a marine ecologist investigate. Marine ecologist Russell Tovey (actual actor who has been in real movies; you have now entered the Twilight Zone of bad movies) says sometimes these pilot whales just wash ashore for reasons no one understands. The power of science has failed us, just like it’s failed to bring us a reliable method of teleportation.

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This is by far the most gorgeous monster movie I’ve ever seen.

Other ocean life gone wrong story happens when a crusty old fisherman, Paddy, catches what he describes as a lobster. (In the words of another Irishman, “It’s no feckin’ lobster.”) Paddy VERY wisely decides to give the “lobster” a new home in his bathtub. Largely because he is in a constant state of intoxication, Paddy brags about his discovery to anyone who will listen, including that cop, O’Shea, who is not so secretly an alcoholic.

O’Shea is definitely really into new cop Nolan, which he makes embarrassingly clear by showing up at her door drunk and asking her out. She responds by putting him in lock-up for the night.

At the same time, the creatures kills at least 3-4 more people. The “lobster” in Paddy’s bathtub has migrated to the ceiling and attacks him (coincidentally, it looks quite a lot like the tentacle/vagina monster from Watchmen).

I decided not to use the tag "Vagina monster" for this post (to avoid [more] internet creep traffic), so I'll make up for it now: vagina monster vagina monster vagina monster vagina monster vagina monster.
I decided not to use the tag “Vagina monster” for this post (to avoid [more] internet creep traffic), so I’ll make up for it now: vagina monster vagina monster vagina monster vagina monster vagina monster.
All of this is punctuated with some gorgeous shots of the island. Sea monster tentacle aliens or not, I want to live on this island.

Next day: Smith, the marine ecologist, is studying the grabber (as Paddy calls it). Based on the structure of its tongue, the grabber must attack its victims and drink their blood like a leech. It essentially just needs blood and water to survive. This particular specimen was pregnant and full of grabber baby eggs.

It was pregnant and full of grabber babies. Smith suspects the whales were killed and used as a food source for the spawn.

After investigating one of the grabber attacks, Nolan and O’Shea return to the lab, where they light the grabber on fire. That’s right—IN THE LAB, which triggers the sprinkler system. Remember how the grabbers just need blood and water to survive? As Smith comments, “You really are Irish” (apologies to the Irish).

3
At least Nolan is on stand-by with the fire extinguisher? However, everything else about this picture demonstrates terrible fire safety.

The grabber attacks O’Shea’s face so he becomes difficult to distinguish from Davy Jones in POTC. It then turns to Paddy, but shows little interest in his blood. The old drunk guy is still alive, and the thing wasn’t interested in him; so they realize Paddy’s blood-alcohol level would’ve been toxic to it.

Brilliant plan: have a lock-in at the pub, stay out of the way, and drink. The only problem is that Nolan doesn’t drink and doesn’t even know if she can get drunk, which leads to an inspirational speech from O’Shea. As it turns out, Nolan CAN get drunk. Slurry, giggly, stumbly drunk. After the island doctor injects the tentacle monster with Nolan’s blood, there is one less tentacle monster to worry about.

So the cops get everyone to the pub, and the small group of people that knows about the real reason for the party discusses defense plans.

When a supersized version of the tentacle monster crashes the party along with some of the tentacle monster babies, the cops move the party upstairs. A fight breaks out because of course it does; there are many drunk Irish people in a small, enclosed space (sorry again, Ireland).

When the islanders realize the reason for the party, they start brainstorming, coming up with some GREAT drunk ideas like throwing a bomb at the monster or pushing it off a cliff. TOTALLY going to work. Finally, Nolan comes up with the least terrible idea to catch it with a crane and leave it out to dry. Unfortunately, she also inadvertently lights the pub on fire.

Will the plan succeed??? Does this movie suddenly become The Towering Inferno??? Can the poor Irish villagers ever stop drinking???

For dramatic effect, I will leave these questions unanswered. Also because this post is already 1,000 words long, and I need to cut myself off.

Seriously, I think you should watch this.

The Critique:

This movie has way better production values that I expected; it’s an IFC Film, and the effects/acting/film techniques are decent to good. Even if this movie were totally awful, the beautiful shots of the Irish coast would make up for it (though this movie is far from awful). It was surprisingly subtle/non-exploitative, especially for a horror-comedy. As Christa notes, most of the time I was laughing with the movie rather than at it. The entire experience was like stepping into the Twilight Zone, but in a good way—like in that episode where the grandmother comes to live with the kids and everyone is pretty much okay when she turns out to be a robot.

4
Seriously, the most charming fucking setting for a horror film ever.

Biggest complaint is that there were several times I had to turn on the captions, especially to understand Paddy and other drunk characters (plus there was a character named Tadhg, for feck’s sake. So many consonants, so few vowels).

Also one of the lessons of this movie is sorta that love solves all of your problems, including and especially, alcoholism. But hey, that’s Hollywood.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 4/5 Pink Panther Heads

I know; this rating is losing all meaning because I use it for EVERY film.

Check out Christa’s review here.

Film Reviews

The Immigrant, or: Occasionally I Need to Take a Break from Bad Movies to Listen to Marion Cotillard Speaking Polish

I’m going to be honest, and it kind of hurts to admit this: I need just a teensy break from bad movies. Believable character motivations I miss. Meaningful dialogue also. Good special effects. Wardrobe and set design that MAKE SENSE.

I will say that reviewing primarily one type of film has given me a greater appreciation for people committed to one genre of book, film, music, etc. I lack the focus for that kind of dedication.

I’m going to call this a Hipster film just because it doesn’t really fit in with any of my other categories and it features multiple foreign languages. Really, I think most hipsters would consider the following too melodramatic and Marion Cotillard too mainstream, so basically this film is perfect to me.

The Film:

The Immigrant

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Premise:

A young Polish immigrant struggling to reunite with her sister must become a sex worker and contend with the general shadiness of men in 1920s New York.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

There is trouble from the start for Ewa (Marion Cotillard) and her sister, Magda, two young Polish women who have come to the United States to live with their aunt and uncle in the 1920s.

Immediately upon arrival at Ellis Island, Magda is detained under suspicion of having lung disease (TB? Right?). Ewa is detained as well because the address she for her aunt and uncle’s house does not exist, and she was accused of having low morals on the ship (tell Marion she has low morals ONE more time, Ellis Island official).

Luckily (ha), Bruno, played by Joaquin Phoenix, comes along and promises to get Ewa in to the country and hire her as a seamstress. Plus he can use his connections to get Magda released from the detention center. In reality, he expects Ewa to be a prostitute and perform in a shady cabaret, but first he has to play a bunch of mind games.

Bruno basically makes her feel super guilty that she stole some money from the other women and that she tells him to back off when he tries to embrace her. So now she has to perform in the semi-nude cabaret as Lady Liberty. They also have clowns (?). One of my biggest takeaways from this movie is that I have even less of a clue than originally thought about what the actual fuck cabaret was.

1
The Hooters of the 1920s, featuring clowns and women dressed as famous American landmarks.

Shortly after, Ewa gets her first client (john?), a young man whose father wants him to lose his virginity. (This movie killed every single moment when I’ve thought to myself, “Hmmmm, it might’ve been kind of cool to live in the ‘20s.”)

The following night, Ewa escapes to her aunt and uncle. They initially welcome her and it seems that she will be able to stay with them. However, because this movie is all about the heartbreak of the immigrant experience, her uncle rescinds the offer when he discovers her “low morals.” The police arrive and take her back to Ellis Island, informing her she will be deported.

2
You are, in fact, EVERYTHING. (I might have a SLIGHT crush on Marion Cotillard.)

Before her hearing, there is a show for the potential deportees. Why? I don’t know. Does deportation sting slightly less when you get dinner and a show (minus the dinner part)?

One of the performers is Orlando the Great, a magician played by Jeremy Renner with a lot of eyeliner. He notices Ewa and gives her a flower.

The next day, Bruno visits Ewa and gets her released. Ewa demands more money, but doesn’t trust Bruno to hold up his end of the bargain (a wise woman).

Ewa encounters Orlando the Great, aka Emil, again when the owner of the cabaret hires him as an entertainer. They’re cousins, but Bruno hates him because of his past history of drinking, gambling, and being, in general, more charming.

Emil brings Ewa on stage for his mind reading act, which just ends in tears when the audience shouts insults at her and starts throwing things. Bruno and Emil get into a fistfight, which erupts into chaos as pretty much all of the men fight with all of the other men just ‘cause. The owner, Rosie, fires Bruno, who takes the ladies with him to start a new business.

3
Sorry all of my screencaps are of Marion Cotillard looking fabulous. (No, I’m not.)

The new business is essentially Bruno and the women wandering around Central Park, trying to convince random dudes to pick them up by telling them they’re Vanderbilts and Fricks and such who ran away from home.  I guess that’s a turn-on if you’re a 1920s dude.

There’s a teenager who pretends to hire Ewa so Emil can talk to her and apologize for embarrassing her the night before. This seems kind of sweet at first, but b/c Emil and Bruno have two distinct stories surrounding their past history, it begs the question of whether Ewa should trust Emil, Bruno, or none of the above (ah, the ever-recurrent theme of “Don’t trust a bro”).

Bruno arrives and, seeing Ewa and Emil together, freaks the fuck out and attacks Emil with a knife. Emil is pretty fucking stupid because he enjoys deliberately provoking Bruno. The police arrive and break up the fight; Bruno will spend the night in jail.

After the knife incident, one of the other girls comes to talk to Ewa, aka blame her for everything. She says Bruno protects them from the shady/abusive/diseased dudes. Without him, the girls are losing money and may have to take it out of her cut. Yeah, Ewa is not putting up with your bullshit.

I will fucking END you with these scissors.

Emil also talks to Ewa, telling her of his plans to go to California. He asks her to be his assistant, but she declines to stay in New York near her sister.

When Bruno is released from jail the next day, Ewa goes to meet him.

She goes to church for Candlemass and confesses to being a woman of low morals. Bruno overhears her confession and appears to feel really conflicted. He’s such a confusing fucking character. This whole scene is awful because Ewa is ashamed and fears going to hell. Her confessor is surprisingly understanding, telling her the Lord rejoices even more when the lost lamb is found. (Listening, fundamentalists???)

That night, Emil visits Ewa and says he has money to get Magda released and all of them to go West like one big happy family. Ewa warns him to leave because Bruno has a gun.

When Bruno shows up, it turns out Emil has stolen the gun. He faces Bruno and fucks around with him, pointing the gun at his temple. (Lots of crazies in this family. LOTS. OF. CRAZIES.)

Basically because I believe in this movie and really think you should watch it, I will refrain from giving you any more plot details. Also a little bit because I’m tired. (Okay, a lot because I’m tired.)

Suffice it to say that only one man walks away from the Bruno/Emil confrontation, and Ewa either is or is not reunited with her sister.

The Critique:

I know the plot summary sounds super melodramatic, but there’s a surprising amount of subtlety and believable character motivations.

The acting is so great in this movie, all around. Marion Cotillard portrays Ewa’s incredibly inner strength beautifully, and her Polish sounds really convincing. Admittedly, I can say ONE thing in Polish and have never really listened to people speaking Polish for an extended period of time, but I believe everything Marion does is perfect. She’s going to be the BEST Lady Macbeth.

Joaquin Phoenix is also excellent in this film. Let’s just pretend his whole fake meltdown never happened.

If you like a good old-fashioned melodrama like Mogambo or Now, Voyager. Just be advised that this movie will probably enrage you on the behalf of all women everywhere.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 4/5 Pink Panther heads

I’m tempted to go as high as 4.5 Pink Panther heads for this one. It’s a really good movie, though I do acknowledge that your enjoyment of the movie will depend a lot upon the degree to which you worship Marion Cotillard as a goddess.

P.S. In other news, since my review of Codependent Lesbian Space Alien, I’m getting waaaaaaaaaaay more hits from creeps looking for porn using keyword searches such as “porno of a planet space lesbians” and “lesbian sex spitting hardcore.” I don’t even know what that last one means, but please don’t enlighten me.

Favorite recent search that brought someone to my blog: “why are mermaids boobs not covered.” Ah, the eternal question.

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Killer Mermaid, or: Sometimes the Baby Boomers Are Right

Part 3 of Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab 2015! Read Christa’s review here.

Posting ahem, Sunday night. It’s Sunday night somewhere, right??? No? Not even in Hawaii? Damn.

The Film:

Killer Mermaid

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Premise:

Best friends on a Mediterranean holiday end up fighting for their lives when a…KILLER MERMAID attacks.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

Killer Mermaid starts strong with a Moby Dick quote. Please, GOD, let this be the world’s most pretentious mermaid horror flick. There are also some incredibly dramatic shots of a shipwreck accompanied by music that almost sounds like some strange hybrid of the themes from X-Files and Jaws. This exists solely to create a mysterious atmosphere and contrast directly with the montage of a, ahem, “cute” couple enjoying their beach vacation. I already want them to die. This feeling intensifies because the accompanying music sounds like a Shakira rip-off and features lyrics such as “The sea is attractive like you in the sun.” Seriously.

So this couple is STILL enjoying the sun, being young, etc, and then not even 5 minutes in we see boobs. Like not even partially covered by strategically placed hair/arms, but straight up naked boobs. I wasn’t expecting that.

1

Our sickeningly smiley/happy half-naked couple is making out at night right by the sea which, as we are about to learn, is the worst idea.

Dude: Do you hear that?

Lady: Hear what?

Dude: Uh, that killer mermaid about to murder us?

Lady: Nope. Feel free to keep looking at my boobs, everyone.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, something emerges from the water and drags the dude into the sea. Yeah, it’s the mermaid. Meanwhile, someone approaches and kills the girl with a grappling hook, I think. This movie made me realize I have little to no experience with hook terminology, but I’m going with grappling hook. I really feel a harpoon or perhaps even an anchor would have been more appropriate, but I suppose when I make a mermaid horror movie, I can call the shots.

Now that we have a dramatic set up, we meet our protagonists, the Serious One with a 1940s Haircut and the Hot One Who Cannot Keep Her Shirt on. I had to Google their names because I could not for the life of me remember they are Kelly and Lucy, respectively. They arrive at whatever the hell Mediterranean country this is supposed to be to meet up with Lucy’s ex, Alex. You know, the one she’s completely over and not even remotely interested in. At all.

When he meets up with these two ladies, he brings his fiancée. Kelly is doing fine until she starts having flashbacks of her brother drowning at the age of 10. Ever since, she has been terrified of swimming. Then this crusty old man in a rowboat glares mysteriously at everyone, further pooping the party, as it were.

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Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, beware ye the island. No, I’ll give ye no further explanation or try to reason with ye logically. I’ll just expect ye to trust the advice of a creepy old man ye don’t know.

Still, it’s difficult to stop Americans from partying. When they arrive at Alex’s apartment, Lucy is suddenly wearing a plaid shirt and American flag booty shorts, aka PARTY ATTIRE. Alex’s fiancée kind of freaks out a little (a lot) because she’s jealous, and they all dance (WHAT).

WHAT IS THIS SCENE.
WHAT IS THIS SCENE.

The fiancée gets too drunk and pukes, Kelly goes for a walk, and Lucy makes out with Alex. Meanwhile, the grappling hook murderer strikes again.

The next day, our cozy little party goes to visit an abandoned army base; there’s also an abandoned prison they’d like to see later. Stellar ideas, all.

The crusty rowboat captain is watching as everyone goes for a swim except Kelly. Something suddenly grabs Yasmin as she’s swimming, but it turns out to be this weird guy named Bob. Naturally, Lucy invites him to join the group for dinner.

The only thing anyone wants to talk about is the island, Mamula, which was apparently like Alcatraz. (DON’T GO TO THE FUCKING ISLAND. JESUS CHRIST.) The crusty captain appears there (of course) and warns them not to go to Mamula because it’s drenched in blood and was apparently used by the Nazis in WWII (please, please be a Nazi mermaid). At this point, it occurred to me that this movie is basically an episode of Scooby-Doo but with boobs. So yeah…obviously they go to the island anyway, and it’s super gorgeous, killer mermaids aside.

I WOULD LIVE HERE.  Is there a discount based on the number of murders that have occurred on the island?
I WOULD LIVE HERE. Is there a discount based on the number of murders that have occurred on the island?

They realize they’re not alone when they witness this dude pouring a bucket of blood into a well. He disappears, and upon further investigation, Kelly sees a mermaid at the bottom of the well. However, the man returns with a rifle and starts firing at the group. When they try to leave the island, they realize the gunman has shot their boat. Shortly thereafter, we are shocked, SHOCKED, to learn this guy is the grappling hook murderer.

I don’t really know how to summarize this part without stating the obvious, so I’m going to state the obvious. Everyone tries to run from the grappling hook murderer. Everyone except for Alex, who starts hearing the mermaid’s song and becomes obsessed with finding her. Incidentally, the mermaid’s song sounds a lot like whale song, so it should go without saying that it’s really sexy.

The group is eventually reunited except for Alex, who’s still freaking out over the mermaid. As everyone files out of the grappling hook killer’s quarters, said grappling hook killer returns and kills Alex’s fiancée, Yasmin. It takes everyone a significant amount of time to realize she’s gone, which is quite depressing, actually.

Bob almost gets hypnotized by the mermaid, but Kelly punches him to snap him out of it. Finally, the group comes face-to-face with the mermaid, as well as the grappling hook killer, which leads to an intense action-packed fight scene. Or, more accurately, a fight scene with a moderate amount of punching. The mermaid transforms into piranha face and drowns Lucy while Bob manages to subdue the grappling hook murderer. Oh, also, Alex is dead. (Does anyone really care?)

Piranha faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace.
Piranha faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace.

And then there were two. The crusty captain appears out of nowhere, and the three escape in his rowboat. I think this is actually fairly close to the actual plot of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. The only thing we’re missing are cat werewolves and zombies. Apparently the mermaid killed all of the captain’s men when they were working on a top-secret underground tunnel connect the island to the mainland. Except for the captain, obviously, and the first mate(lieutenant? I don’t remember what this guy’s rank was), aka the grappling hook killer. Only men can hear the siren song, which is pretty disappointing, honestly. I would really like a lesbian mermaid sequel to this (admittedly, I say that about every movie since Codependent Lesbian Space Alien).

So finally the mermaid catches up, which Kelly helpfully points out by repeatedly yelling “There she is!” and “Watch out!” In another action-packed sequence, the captain harpoons the mermaid, then the mermaid drowns Bob and goes after the crusty captain. Kelly leaps into the water and harpoons the mermaid. But it’s STILL not over because, even after being harpooned twice, the mermaid jumps out of the water to attack Kelly. Luckily, the crusty captain is prepared with a net, which abruptly stops the mermaid (?).

Pretty sure the captain quotes from Moby Dick and then stabs the mermaid. The grappling hook killer shows up to mourn the mermaid’s death. Then the captain just kind of goes off on this dramatic monologue. Some have escaped from the mermaid song, but from their silence, never. (What?) The mermaid’s sisters are coming for vengeance. You shouldn’t fear death because living as a hypnotized mermaid slave is worse than death. “Maybe we’ll die, but we’ll kill those monsters one by one…starting with YOU.” [Kills grappling hook murderer]

The Critique:

I enjoyed this movie, admittedly often more in a laughing at you rather than with you kind of way. As long as I remembered that this is essentially a Scooby-Doo special, everything was ok. There was a group of young people who totally failed to heed the warnings of a random creep. As in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, the group rather stupidly interrupted a kind of blood sacrifice on an island from which they could not escape. And there were even zombies! Excuse me while I go re-watch allllllll of the 1990s Scooby-Doo movies.

Biggest takeaway here, loath as I am to admit it: sometimes you should listen to that crusty old guy who refuses to stop giving you nonsensical advice that seemingly doesn’t apply to your situation at all. You heard me—sometimes the Baby Boomers are right.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 4/5 Pink Panther Heads

Mostly because of the crusty old sea captain.