It’s killer creature time in my latest marathon on Tubi.
BLOOD BITE (2020)
This Asian shark film feels like a cheesy SyFy mashup of Jaws 3D and Deep Blue Sea. I couldn’t wait to type that sentence.
Unfortunately, the film doesn’t live up to that description. Or…maybe it does. This is just 76 minutes of terrible CGI shark that’s always glowing red while everything around it is blue, plus people who look like they are suspended in harnesses and pretending they’re swimming underwater, with the blue background added later. It’s so bad it had me and the hubby giggling.
Anyway, you’ve heard this plot before. An underwater aquarium with glass tunnels in the ocean is run by a hot, evil man who has a mad scientist creating a genetically mutated great white.
The great white totally snaps, shatters the glass window, floods the facility, and leaves our small cast gasping for air as they try to stay above water while dodging this maneater.
There’s plenty of shark action, but every moment is filled with such silly visuals that it’s impossible to enjoy Blood Bite even for camp value.
THE HUNTING (2021)
I love me some low budget werewolf action, so I was totally into this one, especially when the opening kill created stunning werewolf atmosphere with moonlit woods, and a fishermen getting killed by a good old cheesy wolf man in the style of Big Bad Wolf.
As for the other good stuff, this small town horror movie really has some beautiful fall settings, and although it’s not specifically Halloween, there are several shots of decorative pumpkins to add to the autumnal tone. I really love the vibe of the film, including the 80s-esque synth score interludes.
Another visual bonus is leading man Peyton Hillis, a former football player whose hunky muscle bod we immediately get to see shirtless. He plays a cop in the town working on a bunch of missing persons cases.
Now here’s the problem. This movie is bogged down by dialogue as Peyton, his cute bearded cub partner, a wolf expert, and a Native American man try to solve the case together. This all takes place in one day, which means after the opening werewolf attacks, there are absolutely no other werewolf attacks until the final act. This is a huge misstep in the writing.
Eventually the town is placed under curfew, but two girls and a gay guy who has a hard-on for Peyton’s ass sneak off into the woods. This setup should have come earlier, there should have been a larger group of friends, and we should have been treated to a long segment with them running through the woods being subjected to werewolf attacks.
Would you believe these three characters are killed within the course of two minutes…two of them at the same time? Sigh.
It’s unfortunate that the structure of the plot is so weak, because I have to say that the film takes a turn at the end that I totally didn’t see coming and is so fricking good it deserved to be attached to a much better paced film. I even like the setup for a sequel in the final frame.
A college dude and his classmates go camping in the woods so he can research his belief that fracking pollution is causing wildlife mutations.
We’re immediately treated to some sex and titties, an obnoxious dude who is undeniably funny, and a tough chick with a taser who won’t take any shit from him. Taser girl fricking rox and is one of the best parts of the film as it progresses.
Once the group is settled into camp, the icky maggots strike. This is truly classic gross-out madness, with everyone screaming, maggots flying through the air and latching onto people, and of course, maggots being squished into gooey messes. These maggots with teeth are very reminiscent of the Killer Condom.
The cast lives up to the comedic craziness with the help of horror indie king Edward X Young. It’s astounding how he can be in so many movies, be so damn good in them, and still not be a household horror name.
The only odd thing for me is that Maggots seems to consist predominantly of practical effects (yay!), which makes it glaringly horrible when there’s a sudden shift to a daylight scene and we get a terrible CGI maggot moment. It feels so out of place in this otherwise traditional, old school creature feature.