Friday, 27 July 2018

Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre (4½ Stars)

I've criticised Jim Wynorski more than once for saying that people would rather watch films with giant sharks than films with giant breasts. I still disagree with him, but if his giant shark film also has Christine Nguyen with big guns it can't be all that bad. In fact, despite its silly name "Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre" is the best giant shark film I've seen since "Jaws".

A work group of five prisoners is driven from an Arkansas women's prison into the nearby swampland to move the branches. This seems like stupid occupational therapy, because the two guards looking after the girls could probably have done the job faster themselves.

Four of the girls have been imprisoned for violent crimes including murder. Christine is the exception. She's been imprisoned for illegally downloading movies. Bad girl! Anyone who illegally downloads this film or any other film that Christine stars in deserves the full punishment of the law.

While working in the swamp one of the girls is attacked and killed by a shark. "But there are no sharks in Arkansas", I can hear my readers saying. You're wrong. An oil company has been fracking in the swamps, and they've made an opening to a large underground lake. Sharks have swum up from this lake to the surface hunting for food. These are giant sharks with hard skins that are capable of leaping out of the water to catch their prey.

The guards decide to drive the four remaining girls back to the prison, but there's a problem on the way. The prison van is stopped by a woman who overpowers the guards. She's the lesbian lover of Anita Conners, second from left in the above picture. She only wants to free Anita, but the others are offered their freedom as well. They drive to a cabin in the woods, surrounded by a swamp, taking the guards as hostages. Soon the cabin is surrounded by sharks, so the prisoners, the guards and two scientists who stumble in have to join forces to defend themselves.

This is a fast paced action film which kept me sitting on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end. At the beginning of this review I might have given the impression that the film is only good because of Christine Nguyen. That's not true. It would have been a very good film without her, but with her it's even better. It's an example of Jim Wynorski's directing at its best. The picture quality is so sharp on the Blu-ray that it puts most big budget films to shame.

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