Directed by Griff Furst [Other horror films: I Am Omega (2007), Wolvesbayne (2009), 30 Days to Die (2009), Lake Placid 3 (2010), Maskerade (2011), Arachnoquake (2012), Ghost Shark (2013), Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators (2013), Starve (2014), Cold Moon (2016), Trailer Park Shark (2017), Nightmare Shark (2018)]
I first saw this some years back during an October Challenge I took part in. As such, I barely remembered any of the specifics, and the movie came across as new, which is probably a good thing, as overall, aside from a somewhat fun cast, this is the normal, sub-par Syfy fare.
It’s some of the performances here that give the movie’s otherwise stilted story and terrible effects more heart than it should. None of them are names I particularly know, but Kristy Swanson (who was in Deadly Friend back in 1986, along with Flowers in the Attic in 1987), Jeff Chase, and D.B. Sweeney all bring a little something to the table. For eye-candy, you have Ashton Leigh (who was in later Syfy films such as American Horror House, Ozark Sharks, and Mississippi River Sharks) and Sophie Sinise (honestly, she actually does pretty good, so she’s definitely more than just ‘eye-candy’). Jason Rogel’s character doesn’t have the character arc I was hoping for, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t see Robert Davi as anything other than a cheap Tommy Lee Jones clone.
So, as one can see, there’s a lot of performances here that, at the very least, stand-out, which is a good thing, given that every other thing the movie does is somewhat laughable.
Really, it’s the special effects that are the worst, though – just look at the scene where the shark jumps up and rips the guy’s head off. The unfortunate thing is that it was probably one of the few scenes of note in the film. I have to give it to the story writers that they did come up with an interesting way to finally kill off the shark (as ridiculous as it is), but that Jaws-inspired scene, I could have done without. The movie’s titled ‘Swamp Shark,’ for God’s sake, it’s not going to be anywhere near Jaws’ level.
Compared to other Syfy shark films, Swamp Shark might actually be a little better, if only because I sort of had a fun time with the group of characters going shark-hunting, and the whole ‘we have to hunt down this shark to save our restaurant’ theme they had going for it. It’s still a below average film, and although I don’t remember how I felt about this one the first time through, it’s one of those movies that I think’s okay, ultimately, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find again.