Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Laura Nativo, Rhoda Jordan, Edwin Craig, Ike Gingrich, Laurence Hobbs
Director: Reinhart 'Rayteam' Peschke
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Just When You Thought...
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 11/30/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Seventeen years ago there were a number of mysterious deaths. One local claimed that they were killed by fish men that were dubbed Aquanoids. In the present he is a drunk and everyone makes fun of his stories. Everyone except on young woman who has always looked up to him.
While diving, the young woman spots, and out swims, an aquanoid. They are back. But no one will listen to her, not even the drunk. Even though it is the 4th of July weekend and the island town needs the money, she tries to get people off of the beaches. A corrupt mayor and a corrupt developer try to shut her up. She must enlist a small group to help put an end to the menace from the deep.
This is one odd movie. Obviously no one looked at the script too closely. Although the drunk is scorned, we only meet two people who don't accept the reality of the creatures. Most of them know for a fact that they are real. Also, our hero who has never used a gun, is given a single-shot launcher that holds the one and only explosive round in existence (why not give it to the experienced shooter?). Parallels to Jaws abound (small island town, 4th of July weekend, Mayor ignoring risks for economic reasons, etc.). While one of the heroes is lying on the beach and bleeding to death, the rest of the heroes decide to sit down and rest. There are plenty of scenes involving small motorized scooters (even some close-ups) that make me think the manufacturer was the main sponsor. There are plenty more scenes like this.
There is very little footage of the aquanoids and one never gets a good look at them (I'm not sure the costume could stand a close look). All in all it was a weak effort but gets points for heckle-ability. If you are looking for a real scare, real tension, a plot, or most anything people look for in movies, this one is probably not for you."
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 10/07/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When I see a film sitting on the shelf entitled "Aquanoids," I simply cannot help but grab the case and head for the door. Who among us could do differently? Better yet, who among us DARE do differently? When you love cheesy movies, a word like "Aquanoids" attached to a film requires your undivided attention. As I inserted the disc in the DVD player, I mulled over the possible meanings of the term "Aquanoid," and came up with several scenarios all of which fit the movie to a T. It's obvious I have spent way too much time watching B-movies because I can usually take a glance at the DVD case and know exactly what is in store. "Aquanoids" is a film that seems to pay homage to those ultra cheesy low budget 1950s and 1960s mutant monster gone bad movies. All of the elements are there with the exception of a soda fountain, pomade slathered toughs in leather jackets, and squeaky clean teenage gals mooning around in poodle skirts. I kept expecting to see Steve McQueen and a bunch of people run kicking and screaming out of a movie theater.
The film opens with a romantic shot of the seashore on some night in the year 1987 as two lovers kick around in the sand before taking a quick dip in the water. Sadly, an ugly creature, an Aquanoid if you will, attacks the couple and turns them into dog meat even as Jackson (Hugh Hobbs) stands on the shore wincing in sympathy. He does nothing to help save these two people, oddly enough, which forced me to start blaring "Get in there and save them, you idiot!" at the screen. We're not five minutes into the film and already there are serious problems with character motivation. Then "Aquanoids" rapidly jumps ahead to the present day, introducing us to the small town of Babylon on Santa Clara Island off the California coast. It's the Fourth of July and the whole town is out and about taking part in events and hoping to make a bundle of moolah from the tourists. Marine biologist Vanessa (Laura Nativo) stumbles over proof that the Aquanoids have returned after a long hiatus. She stumbles into Mayor Walsh's (Edwin Craig) office full of demands to close down the beaches. The town of Babylon can ill afford casualties related to a full scale Aquanoid attack, argues Vanessa, but Walsh and his sleazy associate Clint Jefferson (Ike Gringrich) have different ideas. They've got plans to open up a ritzy shopping mall and don't want anyone scared off.
Vanessa doesn't appreciate the inertia from Walsh's office, so she enlists the help of friend Christina (Rhoda Jordan) to start handing out flyers about the potential menace. Meanwhile, the Aquanoid (I think there's only one) goes on the offensive, killing people with impunity. The creature plows through a bunch of local kids, a corrupt cop named Ray, and a few other people before Vanessa and Christina decide to enlist the help of--you guessed it--Jackson, he of the flaccid reaction to the initial Aquanoid attack back during the Nightmare of '87. A main obstacle to destroying the Aquanoid remains Mayor Walsh and Clint Jefferson, who prowl around town constantly upsetting Vanessa's plans to save lives. When an Aquanoid victim heads to the coroner's office for further investigation, Walsh and Jefferson show up to put pressure on Doctor Remson (Doug Martin) to cover up the killing. Jefferson also seduces a reporter who is getting too close to the truth, and both men resort to ham handed assassination plots in an effort to keep the masses ignorant. "Aquanoids" doesn't conclude as much as it lurches to a stop.
This movie, directed by someone named Ray Peschke, is such a disaster that you can't help but like it in a weird way. Nothing works yet most things work, if that makes sense. The acting is uniformly unbelievable and atrocious. Trying to convince me that busty airhead Vanessa is a marine biologist would take a lot more work than the movie is willing to undertake. And Jackson! Oh brother! Where did they find this guy? His performance isn't acting--it's an atrocity banned under the Geneva Convention. At least Walsh and Jefferson, as pathetic as their respective roles were, garnered a few chuckles. As laughable as the actors and actresses are, they pale in comparison to the low rent appearance of the Aquanoid. This thing looks like a guy wearing a suit made out of melted cheese. Since the movie is a nickel and dime production, you don't even get to see any of the attacks up close because that would involve compound special effects. Instead, the camera bobs and weaves all over the place before we see the requisite blood spot in the water. In fact, I am willing to wager that nearly a quarter of this film is unwatchable due to cloudy underwater shots and poor editing. Ultimately, you do get a few acceptably gruesome scenes on land, but not enough to entertain hardcore gorehounds. I strongly suspect that the surfer music heard in several scenes was the same music I heard in "Blood Surf," another cheap and cheesy schlockfest.
Despite all of these problems (and many, many more), there is something oddly alluring about "Aquanoids." It's like watching a car accident unfold in front of your eyes while you're powerless to do anything about it. Whoever put this out on DVD saw fit to add a commentary track with Peschke, the producer, and the editor of the film. Regrettably, the commentary isn't too interesting, with lots of talk about how they bought stock footage for certain shots and other boring technical stuff. You also get trailers for this film, "Game Over," and "The Attendant." Take it from me: watch "Aquanoids" only if you simply must see as many cheesy horror films as possible.
Shot on video juvenile cap
I. Strecker | Germany | 07/21/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"AQUANOIDS sounds good, but it is just a cheaply made shot on video amateur movie. The acting is bad, the monster is bad and the showdown is a laugh. Actually, it is just a shameful rip off of the much more entertaining Roger Corman production HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP. If you are interested in fish monsters, stay with the Corman movie."