|Copyright 1986 Troma
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 21 January 2001
- Peter - Disturbed young man that watched his grandfather get killed (by the hook we surmise), he has spent his life gathering little known and useless facts about music.
- Ann - Peter's weird girlfriend. Like sit on the pier and meditate while arguing with her friends weird. She is also one of those girls, you know, the "clingy" sort.
- Finner - Blonde guy with some anger management issues, has his ear removed before being gutted like a fish.
- Bev - Goofy girl who finds sit-ups erotic. She's also screwing up the ancient art of being a mother until hooked.
- Kiersten - It sure seems like everyone comments on how nice her hair looks, whatever.
- Evelyn - (Male, by the way.) Stressed out Vietnam war veteran that carries around a fake M-16 and is constantly advocating the shooting or burning of something (or someone).
- Rodney - Loves listening to obscure bands and wears a fishing hook as an earring. Gets a matching one in his belly, not just the belly button mind you, this thing is impaled through his guts.
- Mr. Duerst - Freak! Old man who was a friend of Peter's grandfather.
- The Annoying Family - At least when the movie starts, by the time it ends we are left with two orphans in need of counseling.
- Mr. Leudke - Korean war veteran with a plate in his head. When the cicadas and rock music mix it sets off a resonance which drives him into a murderous fishing rage!
|Being a serial killer is tough these days, mostly from the difficulty of finding a unique way of dispatching your victims that does not infringe on another killer's copyrighted signature. You have to be methodical, cold, calculating, depraved, and creative! What follows is a perfect example.
Peter and company return to the mountain lake where we watched his grandfather stumble off the dock and, ignoring the fact that a human body has positive buoyancy, promptly sink like a stone. There is more to this though, because Peter lets on that grandfather was killed by something. No idea what, but he is such a confusing mess of emotions that the others avoid him, including Ann (probably dorking up her aura or something).
The normally quiet lake is busy with events surrounding a yearly fishing competition to bring in the largest Muskie. All sorts of idiocy, whether it be the hundred food long structure shaped like a huge Muskie or cheating anglers inserting metal pipes into their fish.
In the midst of all this hubbub people start meeting the title device, a treble hook lure easily a foot long! The murderous fisherman is a champion at picking his targets and embedding the hooks into their bodies, then he reels them into range of the gaff or club. What sort of test line do you use to pull a full grown man off a boat anyway? Plus why doesn't the hook just rip through their flesh and pop out? It would leave a very unhappy camper for certain, but reeling a person in must require the hook catching on something like a rib or collarbone.
A couple of false leads are played for all they're worth, mainly that everyone and I do mean everyone, is using one of these giant hooks to supposedly catch fish. Muskie must have jaws that can unhinge, just like a snake. (Yes, I know where that lesson belongs.)
Watching the attacks is a riot, like when Kiersten is floating on a raft and the huge lure misses her by a couple of feet before being retrieved to cast again. She is completely oblivious to this, even though he misses more than once. I'm fairly comfortable in the water, but would quickly take notice of anything in my vicinity smacking around and generating waves. Blame Mr. Spielberg for that paranoia.
Eventually enough people are killed off to satisfy the script and we're awarded with an identity to the psychopathic angler. We also get to see what Leudke does with his victims, grinds them into food for his minnows! Only after they mature sufficiently though, since a strong rope is tied to his boat dock like a leader and it trails a number of waterlogged corpses (with the rope running through their chins, just like a fish). Forget the physiology challenge presented here, how did people miss seeing half a dozen lifejacket wearing corpses under the dock?
Ann is taken with a number three in about four feet of water, but the fisherman from hell doesn't kill her like everyone else. For some inexplicable reason, that I'm going to guess was the script, she is kept alive and locked in the cooler. Peter gives up convincing the sheriff about what is happening and instead goes to save his girlfriend by dueling Leudke! Two men casting giant hooks at each other! It is just the icing on the cake, good stuff.
Plot wise, we hit rock bottom early on and start rolling sideways, what is really great is seeing a friend watch this for the first time. All it needed was the silhouettes of a man and two robots in the bottom right corner, it is not as if the director couldn't make that happen.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- A narrow dock is not the best place to go stumbling around if you can't swim.
- Women should choose their words carefully when complimenting a fisherman.
- Fish can be easily tracked and hooked if you attach a hair clip to them.
- Synthesizers are more interesting than a young woman in negligee.
- Bullets will not go through a fish's head.
- Cicadas can drive a person insane, luckily only once every seventeen years.
- Keep your catches, even if human, on a leader to ensure best quality.
- Don't purchase hamburger from a bait shop.
- Law enforcement does not consider a bucket full of human entrails to be evidence of a crime.
- Previews - Eight minutes of this stuff! Get on with it!
- 18 mins - Maybe you shouldn't be antagonizing the unbalanced Vietnam war vet, he is holding a rifle and appears to be an amateur arsonist.
- 29 mins - Actress: "What is my motivation?" Director: "Spinning around in circles."
- 36 mins - You left your kid alone while you went running? Bad mom!
- 56 mins - Every fish in the area would have taken flight, that lure is like tossing a brick into the water.
- 66 mins - I'd like to point out that you'd have to be bleeding an awful darn lot for it to cover your hands like that while swimming.
- 71 mins - Why did he jump out of the boat? Why not just start up the engine and speed to safety?
- 86 mins - Run up the hill, Ann. Hello? Stupid yoga woman?
- 102 mins - Deja Vu!
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Bev: "Nice pole, I like it."
||Peter: "Uh, this is my house, you're on Van Cleese property." |
Evelyn: "Don't try to push me around or I'll torch the place!"
||Finner: "So when you leave the little guy alone out there aren't you scared he's going to get eaten by a bear or something?" |
Bev: "Well he might. I make sure he doesn't have any sweets before, bears can pick up the scent."
||Peter: "There's blood and bullets and my friend has just been killed and you're filling out a form?" |
Sheriff: "I understand why you're worried Peter, but we don't know that anyone's been killed. We need a body!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Rodney has had better days. Being hooked in your stomach and then dragged along by it looks painful. Of course, I would have noticed one of two things: |
1. The large treble hook on my cushion.
2. The psycho with his boat thirty feet from my own.
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