Barracuda dares to ask the question, "What if we took a cliched shark movie and replaced the giant man-eating killers with cute little finger-chomping barracudas instead?"[3] This was quickly realized to be a terrible idea, so they removed 99% of the barracuda scenes. What's left is mainly a parade of fat and/or ugly people wandering aimlessly around a podunk Florida backwater, and some conspiracy-theory megabullshit about which the less is said, the better.

The opening of Barracuda is more or less an IMAX undersea life documentary that they forgot to narrate over, at least until the titular death fish (and occasionally, death puppet) shows up and spoils the realism just a tad. The immersion of the whole experience is greatly enhanced by a soundtrack consisting of droning boat propellers and a seismically distorted recording of somebody failing to tune a pipe organ, which feels like a hyper-realistic simulation of what it must sound like to actually drown in a scuba suit.

That's all a pointless diversion, of course, because like we said all of the barracuda scenes were removed and they have almost nothing to do with the plot anyway. As a creature movie with no creatures, this gives Barracuda the reserved pacing of a contemplative character study, which is incredibly bad news when your characters include Bubba, the inbred shotgun-wielding chemical factory lackey, and Lester, the world's greatest sentient ham with a moustache moonlighting as a sheriff's deputy. And let's not forget our hero, the smugly incompetent marine biologist:

Nothing spikes out the awkward-meter like haltingly asking a girl out and then telling her to put her dad on the line. "Hey baby, what's your dad wearing right now? Mmm, flannel shirt, huh? Does he still look vaguely like Ronald Reagan? Oh yeah, that's about you put him on the phone so I can hear him clear his throat?"

We're probably going to need a full review to deal with all of the subtle nuance and unending tedium of Barracuda. Suffice it to say for now that the big plot reveal involves "epidemic low blood sugar", which is basically the worst premise we've heard since "electrified rugby game decides the fate of Hawaii" or "some assholes get lost in a corn maze for 2 hours." Despite all of this and a complete lack of sharks, somehow Barracuda is still the best shark movie out of the three on our list this week.

You know what, fuck it, just give up and go watch the real Shark Week, or maybe slather yourself with A-1 and feed yourself to some Great Whites. Either way you'll have less regrets than watching any of this shit would give you.

Choice Quotable Lines to Repeat While Watching Actual Shark Week[4]:

  • "The University! Somebody should've set fire to that place years ago."
  • "I came in here for a cup of coffee, not to take a bath! Stupid woman!"
  • "They said my work could prove useful, if war."

You should watch this movie if:

  • You're sick of shark week and looking at goddamn sharks and want to see some cute little barracuda(s) get a little taste of the spotlight for a change
  • You've ever wanted to hear a character named "Bubba" get told to "shag their butts outta there!" in reference to hippies trespassing on a private beach
  • You're a reclusive conspiracy theorist but also a hopeless defeatist, so you want to see a movie about an evil government plot where the Feds get to win for once
  • You're looking for some choice character names to finally write your script for a Beverly Hillbillies reboot franchise (e.g. "Papa Jack", "Bubba", "Meggy", and "Lester")

[3] This is also essentially what Shark Week is, except it's zillions of adorable tiny baby sharks, and they kept 3750% of the scenes in.

[4] We swear to God, Satan and Roger Corman that these are all taken verbatim from a real movie that actually exists.

– Garrett "Hydrogen" Neil and Sean "Trillaphon" Neil (@trillaphon)

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