Director: Jim Wynorski
Cast: Dominique Swain, Traci Lords, John Callahan
Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD May 3, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 2/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
When a fracking mishap accidentally rips apart the earth’s crust, the resulting hole opens up a gaping underground waterway leading to a vast and mysterious subterranean ocean somewhere deep below. Instantly, giant prehistoric sharks begin wending their way upward toward a murky bog in the heart of the Arkansas bayou. Unfortunately for a group of female prisoners on a work detail in the swamp, the deadly sharks attack without warning – pinning a hapless group of potential victims in a small deserted cabin in the heart of the wetlands. For these wayward women, death may be the only means of escape!
‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’ follows five female prison inmates who accompanied by two male guards make their way to the swamp for a hard day of work detail, yet after one inmate mysteriously disappears during the course of the day, the remainder report the incident and begin heading back only to be accosted by an armed redhead woman intent on breaking out her girlfriend who happens to be one of the prisoners on the bus. Now, the women are in control and the guards are at their mercy, but little do they realize that a fracking accident has released a swarm of prehistoric sharks that are intent on killing anything (or anyone) they can find both in water and on land. Now this group of mismatched individuals will have to band together in order fight the army of man-eating sharks if they stand any chance of getting away at all, not to mention surviving the day.
Directed by Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Piranhaconda) from a script he also wrote along with William Dever (Spooky Tales, Monster Cruise), with additional material apparently contributed by Corey Landis who also stars in the film as Lords’ partner, Wynorski doesn’t necessarily do a horrendous job at the helm of ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacare’ so much as he properly adapts to the absurdity of the film in general which makes it slightly more difficult to truly criticize his directing duties. The film also includes a cast of B-movie talent and relatively unknown individuals with a few somewhat familiar faces sprinkled in, although the most recognizable person in the film is likely the infamous Traci Lords who portrays an almost unbearably annoying detective.
Let’s cut to the chase; ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’ is indeed as terrible as you might expect, but that should also come as no surprise considering the film’s title amply describes precisely what you will be provided without allowing any room for possible misconceptions. Filled with over the top performances and illogical plotlines and motivations for many of the characters’ actions within (including one of the most ridiculously baffling “sacrifice” scenes I think I’ve ever beheld), and let’s of course not forget about the swarm of prehistoric sharks tearing through whatever humans they can get their fossilized teeth on both in water and on land, even if most of the deaths sadly occur off screen. Granted the film is horrid and the effects aren’t much better, yet it does find one mildly redeeming quality in its decision to never attempt to be serious or anything other than exactly what it is which at least certainly provides some amusement along the way. While many folks probably won’t have the slightest bit of interest in this goofy romp, fans of these over the top shark attack spoofs might actually enjoy this one quite a bit.
Overall, ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’ is an over the top, goofy and generally terrible film that the majority of folks will probably want to make certain to avoid at all costs, although it does allow for a modicum of enjoyment in its wise choice to fully embrace the b-movie that it is. Fans of these goofy and seemingly never ending over the top shark attack films on the other hand might enjoy this one quite a bit more than majority of similar entries in the genre thanks to its wise decision not to take itself the slightest bit seriously.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole, delivering a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within, holding up admirably even during the fast moving and/or darkly list sequences and never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a more than competent high definition video presentation that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds pretty decent and aside from some mildly tinny moments noticeable during the occasional dialogue (more likely a result of the film’s production and not an issue with the release itself) it provides a consistently clean audio presentation. It utilizes all five available channels regularly in order to surround the viewer with the goofy music along with everything from waterfalls to bullets making its way throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fairly solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’ includes an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Jim Wynorski and Actresses Cindy Lucas and Amy Holt’, in addition to a ‘Photo Gallery’ and the ‘Trailer’ for the film (running just over a minute in length).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 2/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’; Swimming Onto Blu-ray, DVD, Digital & On Demand May 3, 2016 from Scream Factory.
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