Aquanoids (2003).

Director: Reinhart ‘Rayteam’ Peschke
Cast: Laura Nativo, Rhoda Jordan, Edwin Craig, Ike Gingrich, Laurence Hobbs, Suzan Spann, Robert Kimmel, Christopher Irwin, David Clark, Doug Martin

There is a secret of mine I wish to tell you the reader as a reviewer. It’s this: I have a curiosity towards ’indie’ independent film-making. I don’t know why, but I suppose it’s my way of looking at more than just the mainstream industry we all take for granted. Not only that, but I work with people who have been explorers in this niche market who have later gone onto bigger and better things, so in a way this is a form of subtle background research.

So yet again like I usually do, I brought 3 random DVD’s for £3 (yes I know). This film was, well, unfortunately one of them. Usually I get a few good-uns, but today I managed to buy a crap one. I watched this with Chris, (my housemate) and warned him, due to the front cover, that it could be, well, an hour of mindless dodgy porno entertainment.

Luckily it wasn’t. The basic plotline is thus: there are these weird sea-monsters called Aquanoids who are plaguing a city off the coast of California. Vanessa, (Nativo) is a lifeguard/environmental researcher who discovers one of them and immediately tries to tell everyone not to go in the water. Coupled together with a weird sex scene, a c**p acted Doctor and a bastard mayor, this is a film that is worse than a student production.

There are two reasons for this, one is due to the camera angles ’Aquanoids’ frequently tries to utilise. It ‘tries’ very hard to be a B-movie, but alas, because of a poor (maybe even no?) budget, and the director’s crap skills, it fails completely in what could have been a good film. The camera itself is not the problem (because I’ve used more or less the same camera and produced some good quality stuff).

Bar Nativo, (who seems to be there just for the male audience) there isn’t much quality acting really either. This is my second point. The acting, the plotline, all of it seems too rushed, too wooden and too bleak. After half an hour of the 90 min run time you actually want it to end before you go into a state of mindless existence. Coupled together with the ‘special’ effects – underwater/explosions (which can be done on any editing software), the use of fake blood, various injuries, and the poor costume the Aquanoid wears near the end (which looks like something out of the old Doctor Who) it’s like a rollercoaster of depression with bad editing techniques thrown in as well.

In retrospect after watching this piece of ‘hurried‘ film-making, it’s like ‘Baywatch’ meeting an episode of ‘The Outer Limits’. It’s a TV-movie (if that) you’d expect to watch in an American hotel late one night instead of watching the porn channel, because it‘s cheap, tacky and a film to fill the time-slot because everything else is being shown on continuous repeat.

I must admit there are a number of independent films I could name that are actually worth watching, such as ’Black Sheep’ (2007) but this isn’t one of them. Avoid it at all costs. It’s definitely one going on my list of ’Films that should never have been made’. Not only has this film shown me what a bad movie can be like, it’s also given me a good idea on what my web series might end up like if I don’t spend time and effort on it.

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