Frankenfish (2004)

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Movie Review
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Directed By: Mark Dippe

Starring: Tory Kittles, China Chow, K.D. Aubert, Matthew Rauch, Donna Biscoe, Tomas Arana, Mark Boone Jr, Reggie Lee, Noelle Evans

Subgenre: Creature Feature

Synopsis: A medical examiner and biologist head into the swamp to find the cause of death of a local fisherman only to discover genetically mutated fish that prey on alligators and more.

Thoughts: On the surface, Frankenfish looks like brethren of the huge wave of Asylum offerings, but it actually preceded Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus by 4 years.  It also happens to be a much better movie.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Frankenfish isn’t joining any list of great horror movies, but it is a pretty solid creature feature.

The cast is mostly filled with unknowns, although there are a couple of familiar faces, especially to fans of Grimm and Sons of Anarchy.  While the characters themselves are all very cliché and cookie cutter, the actors do an above average job of portraying them, something you don’t see in a lot of movies like this.

I knew the name of Director Mark Dippe was familiar to me, but I wasn’t sure why until I looked at his filmography.  He was responsible for one the most disappointing comic adaptations I have ever seen.  He helmed Spawn in 1997, a movie that failed to capture the spirt of Todd McFarlane’s creation.  It took 7 years for him to direct another movie, with Frankenfish being one of 3 movies he directed in 2004. Since then, he’s directed three direct to vide Garfield movies, not exactly a stellar resume, but an interesting one at least.

As is often the case in these movies, the real star is the creature, or creatures in this case.  The mutated fish are actually created by Rob Hall’s Almost Human studios.  If you aren’t familiar with the name Almost Human, you are surely familiar with their work (Teen Wolf, The Crazies, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Quarantine, Firefly, and a whole lot more).

Frankenfish was a fun surprise for me.  It was included in a multi-movie pack that I bought for Piranha II and I ended up having a good time watching it.  This isn’t a movie I would suggest seeking out, but if you catch it on a random cable channel or see it for cheap, it’s worth taking the time to watch.


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