STREAM QUEEN: if you miss the days of nature striking back on SyFy…

This foursome of flicks I found on Amazon Prime includes the kind of shark, big bug, and crocodile horror you might leave on if you accidentally stumbled upon it while channel surfing during a boring weekend about fifteen years ago. Does that make any of these worthy of your selective streaming time today?

CENTIPEDE (2004)

I figured I’d start with the real deal. You know it’s some serious made for SyFy creature feature nonsense from 2004 when it’s a full-frame aspect ratio.

Centipede is just goofy. After a quick opening attack scene, we’re off to a caving trip in India with a bunch of young people. They are partying for a friend about to get married, so there’s a silly dance montage that makes me long for happier times. And by that I mean a time not too long ago when we were generally happier as a society—or at least we believe there was hope that there might be a future.

Anyway, after a load of cave exploration and typical young partying people nonsense (except sex), there’s finally an attack about 50 minutes in, after which all the fight for survival action begins.

There’s really no gore or suspense, and the giant centipedes are what you’d expect from a SyFy creature feature. This is about as memorable as any other SyFy flick you watched fifteen years ago.

FROM THE DEPTHS (2020)

What the hell did I just make my hubby watch? I figured I was getting him into another bad shark attack movie. Nope. This is a very different kind of shark movie…

Look. If you go into this one with a really open mind and an understanding of what it’s about, you might be able to enjoy it for its silliness. Just don’t expect a shark movie.

This is a movie about a girl spiraling into madness because she was the sole survivor of a shark attack that killed her boyfriend and her sister. She sees this shark everywhere—swimming down her hall, popping out of puddles, floating past her therapist’s office window…

Meanwhile, this girl is a lesbian, is having intimacy issues with her girlfriend, and is convinced the shark is the crotch block.

WTF?

You only start to realize this is sort of a comedy when the main girl’s dead sister shows up as a corpse and starts cracking one-liners in between trying to convince her to kill her girlfriend. The sister corpse is actually the best part of the movie, especially when she pokes fun at bad shark movies on SyFy.

APEX PREDATORS (2021)

If you’re not even going to show anything but some stock footage of real sharks swimming through the water in your shark movie, don’t make a shark movie.

Not even tossing a bunch of B-movie horror faves like Brinke Stevens, Shawn C. Phillips, Peter Stickles, and Maria Olsen into the mix can camouflage a non-existent film structure.

It’s implied that people are being killed in the water by sharks. Brinke Stevens is a scientist on the verge of figuring out that sharks are evolving…into what we never find out because we never actually see anything but a couple of stock footage shark clips. The man in power wants to keep the beaches open. He has a contentious relationship with his hunky son, who spends most of the movie driving around in a car.

At least he shows off the beef in the last few minutes when he agrees to be human bait…and then wakes up from a dream and sees a cloud shaped like a shark? I have no idea what this move was about.

SALTWATER: THE BATTLE FOR RAMREE ISLAND (2021)

“Based on true events” should have told me all I needed to know about this killer crocodile movie that’s mostly about monologues being delivered on what’s clearly a sound stage that’s supposed to be swamps at night.

American soldiers are trying to get the better of the Japanese during World War II. Their guide through the jungle is a Middle Eastern guy who sounds like a 7-Eleven character from The Simpsons and is not surprisingly used as the only comic relief in the film.

Like I said, there are a lot of character monologues…and yet…there are barely any characters. Despite us seeing virtually no crocodile attacks and their being no suspense whatsoever, the movie just dwindles quickly to only two characters. It’s simply not worth sitting through this one just for a few shots of croc snouts. Really, it’s not worth it, not even for the postscript explaining what the true events were that inspired the movie.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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