Despite the campy title and movie poster, Frankenfish is actually a pretty straightforward horror film — as straightforward as a movie about giant killer fish can be. It’s refreshing to see a horror film with a largely black cast that doesn’t revolve around the ghetto and in fact doesn’t really revolve around race at all. There’s no reason why these characters are black; they just are.
Sam “Pun Intended” Rivers (Tory Kittles) is a medical examiner called into medically investigate a fisherman getting eaten in the Louisiana swamps — hardly rare, I’d imagine. The victim’s daughter turns out to be foxy old high school acquaintance Eliza (K.D. Aubert, who for some reason is replaced on the cover art by non-love interest and soon-to-be-dead China Chow), and his wife is a voodoo practitioner who hates Eliza’s “white devil” date (in her defense, he is a dick). Beyond that, voodoo and race don’t enter into the equation; they’re just ways in incorporate some early humor.
Anyway, genetically engineered, amphibious snakehead fish have apparently escaped from a nearby shipwreck and proceed to eat everything in sight with glorious, gory carnage. It doesn’t help matters that the “neighborhood” these people live in consists of a series of houseboats with no access to dry land. Louisiana indeed. Frankenfish is directed by Spawn‘s Mark A.Z. Dippe (who, in between, oddly helmed Disney Channel flicks), and although it’s budget is a fraction of that of Spawn, Frankenfish easily out-performs it in terms of thrills and sheer entertainment value. Plus, there’s much less flatulence.