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Killer Fish

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    Ian Jane
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  • Killer Fish

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    Released by: Pulp Video
    Released on: 9/20/2003
    Director: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)
    Cast: Lee Majors, Karen Black, Margaux Hemingway, Marisa Berenson, Roy Brocksmith
    Year: 1979
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    A look back at the cinematic legacy of the late, great, Roy Brocksmith has been long over due, in my opinion. Having warmed our hearts as the fascinating Dr. Edgemar in Total Recall or in his turn as Tu in the Eddie Tudorpole Vehicle, King Kull, Brocksmith played the annoying fat guy better than any other annoying fat guy actor that I can think of. And nowhere is his talent for playing the annoying fat guy more obvious than in the Antonio Margheriti classic, Killer Fish, co starring Karen Black and Lee Majors' chest hair.

    Lee Majors plays Lasky, a master criminal working with Kate Neville (Karen Black of House of 1,000 Corpses) and a few other hoods on a jewel heist that will make them all very rich people. The man behind it all is Paul Diller (James Franciscus of Cat O' Nine Tails), an evil mastermind with a great brain, but a weak heart.

    After the crooks stash the jewels at the bottom of the lake, they take it easy at a local resort where they run into a high fashion model named Gabrielle (Margaux Hemingway, granddaughter of Earnest Hemingway, who tragically killed herself in 1996) and her photographer Ollie (Roy Brocksmith). Of course, with Lee Majors strutting his stuff in some exceptionally tight bellbottoms that accentuate his million dollar package and shirt that exposes all of his mighty chest hair, it should go without saying that it isn't going to take long for supermodel Gabrielle to fall for him. And fall for him she does, literally, as the suave SOB pulls her into the pool.

    Eventually some of the thugs decide that they're going to help themselves to the jewels before the rest of the crew can get to them though, and when they do, the movie starts to live up to its name and we witness the first of many piranha attacks. As more and more people get eaten, Lasky realizes that someone has taken some very extreme measures to protect their interests in the jewels and he thinks he knows who that someone is.

    Despite the lukewarm premise and goofy script, Killer Fish still manages to be a pretty entertaining little b-movie. Majors is great as the slicker than grease tough guy ladies man and Karen Black is equally as good as the weird looking sex pot criminal chick. Doesn't it go without saying the Brocksmith's Ollie is the star of the show? Or course it does, I don't need to go into detail there, he's great too!

    The true stars of this movie though are Margheriti's miniature sets, all of which blow up really nicely and/or flood when the dam inevitably breaks later in the film. These miniatures share the spotlight with some quality plastic fish (some of which are very obviously on wires) that attack anyone who gets near the jewels. Watch for Antonio De Teffe of Django The Bastard in a small role.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    I'm not entirely sure what the original aspect ratio of this one is but the DVD is presented full frame. Some of the framing looks a little tight but there aren't any heads chopped off or anything like that and the print used for this transfer was in pretty good shape with nice color reproduction and only minimal print damage noticeable in a few scenes. Edge enhancement does show up here and there a couple of times but it isn't ever a major detriment to the disc.

    Italian tracks are provided in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and Dolby Digital 5.1. An English Dolby Digital 2.0 track is also provided. Seeing as Black, Brocksmith and pimp daddy Majors did all their own dubbing, the English track is the way to go and for the most part it sounds just fine. Being mono it's obviously limited in range but it's never a chore understanding the dialogue and despite some minor hiss it sounds okay for the most part.

    The only extra on this DVD is a brief photo gallery.

    The Final Word:

    Despite its shortcomings, Killer Fish is a fun little movie with an interesting cast, some fun piranha action and an amazingly terrible disco soundtrack. Lee Majors and his amazing chest hair are reason alone to check this one out.
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