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Popcorn Fall

Popcorn Pictures

Reviewing the best (and worst) of horror, sci-fi and fantasy since 2000

  • Andrew Smith

Blue Demon (2004)

"Your deepest fear lies below the surface"


A top secret government project to genetically modify sharks so that they can be controlled by a remote computer goes horribly wrong when someone releases the sharks from their pen. The sharks escape into a lagoon and head down river towards the sea, killing anything in their path.


‘Killing anything in their path’ isn't really the correct phrase to use since these sharks aren't hungry in the slightest! Chalk up another notch on the rung of the post-Deep Blue Sea 'genetically tampered' sharksploitation flicks with Blue Demon, a straight-to-video chunk of chum which would struggle to even get a TV movie release. No matter how many times that studios keep churning out these same feeble shark flicks, I'll be there waiting and watching. One day, just one day, we'll get one which ticks all of the correct boxes and provides something entertaining. Blue Demon is not that one.

From the cover art, Blue Demon promises to be something that it never really sets out to achieve and that's to be both entertaining and interesting. It's just basically Deep Blue Sea without the underwater station, without kick ass special effects and without a high body count. The worst part of all is that it's clearly played with a tongue-in-cheek mentality which doesn't help it at all. Some of the characters are way too cartoony (Jeff Fahey's cigar-chomping general, complete with a really silly entrance theme is just one of many who ham it up) and the dialogue is just terrible. There are lots of jokes in there but they're just not funny at all. When a low budget horror flick like this tries its hand at being a silly comedy, it kills any potential unintended comedy element that it may have had in the first place. Blue Demon is then stuck in the awkward zone where its not funny, not scary or not exciting because the writers weren't able to decide on a common consensus approach.

At least if it was played seriously, there may have been some unintentional laughs. The main focus of the film seems to be the bickering between the two scientists who, conveniently for the sake of the plot, are married and going through a divorce. Most of the film has them biting at each other every few minutes as opposed to the sharks biting people. Throw in some human villains and Blue Demon spends more time with the human characters verbally sparring with each other than the sharks. When the highlight of killer shark film is a car chase, then you know that the script got it wrong somewhere. Michelle Pfeiffer's little known sister, Dedee, is the star of the show here but there's a reason she's not as famous as her infinitely more talented and hotter sister. Jeff Fahey tries single-handedly to save this with a corny performance but he's not in it enough to make it count.

Let's face it: the only people who will watch this are people like me who want to see sharks killing people because we love Jaws and/or to a lesser extent, Deep Blue Sea. When we don't even get that as the main focus of the film, I tend to be a little bit ticked off. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people in the water for the sharks to eat - it's just that they always seem to lose interest in their victim right before the kill. I lost track of the amount of times a shark had a swimmer in its sights, only to turn away at the last moment and swim off.

The sharks also look ridiculous too, with unrealistic CGI being used for the underwater scenes (where the underwater facility always seems to have a camera positioned at the right moment to catch something interesting). The worst effects are saved for the dorsal fins, usually the safest method of signalling the presence of a shark. When you see one of those gliding through the water towards you, it immediately conjures up horrible thoughts of the beast lurking just underneath. But here the dorsal fins move so slowly and out of sequence with the tail fin, it's like watching a huge bus turn in a circle. I thought these sharks were supposed to be super-fast? Yet we've got the slowest things to ever grace the water attempting to generate a few scares. Pathetic. A puny body count of four is even more annoying when there are actually FIVE FREAKIN' SHARKS in the film! That's not even a human each!


Final Verdict

Blue Demon is one of the single worst shark flicks I've seen, and believe me there's been some stinkers. I believe that instead of trying to make the best shark flick ever, there’s a competition to see who can make the worst. Blue Demon has laid its claim and it will be a tough act to beat!


Blue Demon

Director(s): Daniel Grodnik

Writer(s): Brett Thompson (written by), Lisa Morton (written by), Ron Oliver (written by), Daniel Grodnik (written by)

Actor(s): Dedee Pfeiffer, Randall Batinkoff, Danny Woodburn, Josh Hammond, Christine Lakin, Jeff Fahey

Duration: 99 mins


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