Monday, July 13, 2009
There are movies that make us think. Movies that broaden us, and make better people out of us. Movies that serve as a communal experience enabling us to connect with the rest of mankind. Those movies have nothing in common with Razortooth, which is about a group of morons fighting giant eels in the Everglades.
The Everglades has a problem with a new invasive species, a type of eel from Asia. So a group of scientists working on the project genetically alters the eels to make them grow to enormous size. Why on Earth would they do that? Because they’re scientists, that’s why, and that’s what scientists do. Always poking things with their grubby scientist fingers and giantifying everything in sight. Those people need a keeper, I tell you.
Anyway, the scientists create enormous eels, and they go on a people-eatin’ rampage. Fortunately, they will be opposed by the local animal control officer and the sheriff, who in a movie coincidence used to be married. They are estranged, so it takes about five minutes of movie time before they commence PG-13 style shagging. The guy who plays the animal control officer also plays the harmonica incessantly for the first part of the movie, which began to tip my sympathies more toward the giant eel side. He also likes to walk around the local diner dangling dead rats on a string, despite which the owner of the diner thinks he’s just great. Despite the fact the town is located on the edge of the Everglades, the animal control guy is the only one in town that knows anything at all about any type of animal, which seems far-fetched.
Almost all the characters are some type of Southern stereotypes, which was funny back in 1970. There are plot lines that don’t go anywhere, such as the launch of a canoeing expedition filled with kids. You would expect there to be an extended sequence where the eels chase the kids, but nope. The next time we see them, they are corpses. The movie is steadfast in its determination to avoid anything plot-like or suspenseful. It is just one sequence after another of the giant eel eating someone, and then at the end the sheriff and the animal control guy blows it up, while they enjoy an oblivious, passionate kiss being showered with pieces of giant eel. I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m getting romantic and someone splashes me with eel guts, it takes me right out of the moment.
One of the taglines on the boxes is “always eating, never full.” I can explain that. When the eel attacks someone, it bites just enough of the person away to kill them, leaving 80-90% of the body to be found later. The eel would be much more satisfied if it would just clean its plate, rather than treat the Glades as a free-range human tapas bar.
Both the leads are primarily singers rather than actors, so the DVD has a music video, something of a rarity among giant eel movies. You should watch this if: you look at the DVD boxcover and think it would be something that would entertain you.