Razorteeth (2005)

Reviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Ken VanSant, Dave Fife, Brice Kennedy, Stevan Anselmi

Directed by Mark & John Polonia

Razorteeth is one of those no budget, shot on digital films that I’m sure everyone involved with had a blast making, and I’m sure when the cast and crew get together with their friends and loved ones to screen it they all have a great time. Problem is, 99.99999% of the movie-watching public was neither involved with nor knows anyone that was involved with the production of Razorteeth. Those of us in this category expect to see a real movie and not some piece of crap, tongue-in-cheek, fan film homage to the 1978 cult classic Piranha masquerading as an original film. By the time this movie finally reached the end where it proceeded to rip off the finale to Piranha shot for shot I was ready to start ripping my hair out, and not just the hair on my head either. I’m talking the hair on my head, chest hair, arm hair, back hair, pubic hair, nose hair, eyebrows, you name it, any hair on my body was fair game because that’s how maddeningly aggravating this pitiful excuse for a movie is.

Since I wasn’t able to find a copy of Razorteeth at any of my local video stores – most likely because they know better than to stock movies like this that guarantee customers will return it angrily demanding their money back – I decided to shell out a few bucks and buy the DVD. Admittedly, I have to accept some blame for this one. I should have known better. I figured what the heck, it’s a new nature gone amok piranha movie. Even if it was a Polonia Brothers production I figured it couldn’t possibly be as bad as their last flick Peter Rottentail, a tongue-in-cheek slasher flick so brutally unfunny it made it onto my list of the five worst direct-to-video horror movies of 2004. I was wrong. If nothing else at least Peter Rottentail had an original premise at its core. I already described Razorteeth as a piranha fan film and that is precisely what it is. This is not a real movie.

The liner notes for the DVD has the Polonia Brothers bragging about having 24 movies under their belt but all that really means is that at this point they have no real excuses to fall back on. The Polonia Brothers may be proficient when it comes to the technical aspects of shoestring budget filmmaking but I dare say they don’t have a clue what actual filmmaking is really all about. Pacing, tone, humor, character development, storytelling; they’re clueless about all of it.

For starters, damn near every scene in the film begins with anywhere from 15 seconds to a full minute or more of extraneous footage. If someone is taking a walk or driving down the road then we get to see way too much of that character doing just that before the heart of the scene really begins. Hell, everything that takes place in the first 15 minutes of Razorteeth would have been condensed down to five minutes by any other movie made by real filmmakers. A perfect example of what I’m talking about is when we’re introduced to the first piranha victim. You first see her jogging along the banks of the lake, then she stops and looks around for a few seconds, then she starts doing some stretching exercises, and then she finally strips down to her swimsuit and goes for a swim, and even then we have to watch her swim around for a few moments before the piranhas move in for the kill. This is the kind of stuff that should have been tightened up in editing but it’s obvious that the Polonia Brothers didn’t do so because they knew doing so would bring the movie in at well under an hour in length. Yeah, Razorteeth is only 65 minutes long and yet it is still loaded with intentional padding and stretched out scenes.

A military plane carrying an experimental bioweapon crashed into the ocean back in 2002. For whatever reason, it takes the military about 2-3 years to get around to retrieving this bioweapon, which consists of genetically engineered, individually laminated piranhas. Unfortunately, the military just doesn’t have much luck when it comes to transporting bioweapons because the plane carrying the salvaged man-eaters crashes into a resort lake. This time the piranhas awaken from hibernation, escape from their Ziploc Baggies, and proceed to feed on anyone that gets in the water.

From there the plot – and how it chokes me to even use that word when describing what passes for a storyline in this movie – revolves around a series of barely connecting characters, the only thing they and their storylines really have in common is that they are all uninteresting characters with no discernable personalities played by people who could only be considered actors by loosest definition of the word. Every scene involving these people feels completely random as if there were no real cohesion to storyline.

There’s a government agent that looks like a college Republican dressed up like a member of a Talking Heads tribute band that mostly does a lot of walking and driving around. He occasionally telephones his equally young looking superior officer for orders on how to proceed next yet he does virtually nothing until the last 10 minutes of the movie.

There’s some hapless loser whose girlfriend or fiancé or whatever runs off claiming she needs some time to think about their relationship, only she ends up taking a fatal swim in lake leaving him to wander around the lakeside yelling out her name as if she’s been hiding underwater the whole time and is suddenly going to jump out upon hearing her name called. Even after he finds her shredded swimsuit floating in the water and a piranha leaps out of the lake to bite him it still seemingly takes him a short while to put all the pieces together.

There’s the mentally unstable pilot of the plane that crashed into the lake releasing the piranhas. Now he stands next to the lake staring out at it for long periods of time, at least when he’s not hobbling around on crutches babbling about how everyone’s doomed. He finally goes off the deep end and walks into the lake screaming that they aren’t going to get them all the while trying to smashes the attacking piranhas with his crutch. I was of the impression this scene was supposed to be played for laughs. It fails, just like every other strained attempt at comedy on display here.

We also get the potentially shady resort owner and how he tries to deal with his patrons getting bit by something in the water and a hick fisherman who ends up in an almost Elmer Fudd-style feud with the piranhas, culminating in a death scene that seemed a bit reminiscent of the toilet scene in Ghoulies. Perhaps that was yet another homage, and why not seeing as how I’ve previously stated, this entire movie is not a real film but an homage?

The piranha attacks are even filmed in an identical manner as they were in Piranha only that weird fluttering sound that was used so effectively in that movie during the underwater attack shots has been replaced with an awkward mechanical noise that sounds like a wind up toy. The end of the movie is a carbon copy of Piranha’s climax and in the movie Piranha the name of the government experiment was “Operation Razorteeth”, so you can guess what this film’s title is a tribute to. Again, this whole exercise in wasting digital stock is nothing more than a piss poor fan film designed to pay homage to a real movie. The Polonia Brothers may have set out to pay homage to Piranha but all Razorteeth really does it sully it.

And don’t give me the whole “you’re taking it too seriously” or “just sit back and enjoy it” argument. Crap is crap, and while I do watch crap movies all the time this is one of the rare ones that goes beyond just being crap and manages to piss me off. This particular crap cost me $15 and stole an hour of my precious time so forgive me if I sound especially nasty when I say that I wouldn’t take a dump in this movie if it were the last toilet on Earth.

With that said, I’d like to announce my retirement from reviewing movies made by the Polonia Brothers. I’ve only seen two of their films but that was three too many. I’m sure their friends and loved ones and half dozen sadomasochistic fans will enjoy their future works but I will not waste another second of my existence on them because it isn’t humanly possible to hate oneself that much.

Just as a side note, the producer of Razorteeth is fellow named Ron Bonk, whose name has been something of a running joke on the message boards for quite awhile now because he apparently made some insufferably terrible movie that even I’m not familiar with. At least now I have a reason to share in the condemnation.

0 out of 5

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