Drive-in Double Feature: Barracuda and Island Fury (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring (Barracuda) Wayne Crawford, Jason Evers, Roberta Leighton, Cliff Emmich, (Island Fury) Monet Elizabeth, Tanya Louise, Michael Wayne, Mike Jacobs
Directed by (Barracuda) Harry Kerwin, (Island Fury) Henri Charr
Distributed by Dark Sky Films
I've got to say it ... I love these double feature grindhouse homage DVDs! They offer the viewer some pretty cool bits of nostalgia in addition to getting two movies for the price of one. Some films are so laughably bad that had they come out separately, all they would have merited is a bare bones release, so packages like these ease the pain for fans and distributors.
First up on our double bill is a 1978 flick meant to cash in on the Jaws craze called Barracuda. Killer fish movies were all the rage back then, and while most were just going through the motions, this surprisingly fun knock-off definitely has a personality all its own.
The local chemical plant in the seaside town of Palm Cove has done wonders for the locals by creating jobs, etc. Unfortunately they've also been dumping all of their waste into the water, thereby creating a mutant strain of hungry Barracuda that attack anyone who dares to dip his toes into the normally calm and refreshing ocean. From there it's up to a maverick marine biologist and the sheriff to right the big industry wrongs while there are still enough people left to live in their little slice of Americana.
This flick is your traditional cheese nugget of Seventies silliness filled with gore, a message, and enough awful performances from everyone to keep you giggling the whole time. It's friggin' priceless.
However, the good times kind of stop once the second feature, Island Fury, begins. The storyline, much like the rest of the film, is an absolute mess. Many years ago two young girls barely escaped with their lives from a remote island that is home to a family of cannibal rednecks that are about as threatening as The Beverly Hillbillies. A decade or so later some criminals force the chicks to go back to the island as a means to recover some long lost mob money. Stilted mayhem ensues. Roll credits.
There's a difference between movies that are bad in a fun way and just plain shitty movies. Island Fury sucks on just about every conceivable level. It's joyless, soulless, and abysmal. The only good time to be found here is had by making fun of the late Eighties fashion, but even that cannot sustain for ninety minutes.
The only supplemental materials included come in the form of the drive-in programming that bookends our features. Movie trailers, concession commercials, everything you would expect is here; and Dark Sky Films has done a great job of assembling it. The only problem is you cannot access anything separately. As a result, be ready to use your Next Chapter button a whole lot if you intend to skip around any!
There are many more obscure film gems out there that haven't seen the light of day in decades. Hopefully this will be the first in a long series. Just please leave the really crappy stuff hidden, mmmkay?
3 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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