About Really Awful Movies

Horror movie authors and journalists who also review exploitation, action, grindhouse, kung fu, sci fi and other genre films. We are hosts of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a celebration of low budget cinema - smart genre film chat, predominantly horror movies.

Beneath

Not to be confused with What Lies Beneath, the Zemeckis-directed supernatural horror starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, Beneath is a killer catfish movie (which also explores what lies beneath, or as the tagline says the terror that “lies just below the surface.”) But is it a killer, comma, catfish movie?

Who knows? It’s not exactly a large pool to draw from. Catfish is pretty sui generis stuff.

A bunch of high school seniors gather for one last blowout before college, as surefire a way to bring about their sudden demise as a cop with 2 weeks to go before his retirement contemplating a seaside vacation before he’s filled full of lead.

Despite warnings from a crotchedy old man (Mark Margolis, the human IED from Breaking Bad, spoiler alert) the teens in Beneath venture forth, as this is a horror movie and to do otherwise would bring the proceedings to a grinding halt. Soon, the catfish, a creature unbeatable when paired with paprikash and dill and served straight out of the Danube in Budapest, begins to fairly convincingly terrorize the boaters, one member of whom receives a fatal bite.

Director Larry Fessenden (Wendigo) keeps things chugging along and as the vessel begins to take on water, the surviving crew members (including bickering siblings) resort to justifying why they should not be sacrificed to the beast and thrown overboard to save the greater good. That differentiates it somewhat from its natural horror brethren.

Fessenden has said that boogey men don’t have backstories (or really need them), and unlike other killer fish movies like the iconic Piranha, Beneath contains no “save the whales” messaging or politicians hosting business-as-usual regattas when swimmers start disappearing from their beaches.

Unfairly maligned, this one is actually quite well shot with an indie sensibility and some choice lines coming at the expense of one member of the party, a wannabe director.

*** (out of 5)

New action movie book celebrates the wildest, funniest films in the genre

It’s here, action movie fans (well, not so much here or anywhere just yet). Mine’s Bigger Than Yours! the 100 Wackiest Action Movies is available for pre-order through Amazon. Spanning the globe and genres, we break down the likes of Miami Connection, GetEven (sic), Wired to Kill, Deadly Prey and many many more (96 more, to be precise). We’ve highlighted highlighted action genre gems with all of the necessary components for greatness: Heroes! Villains! Henchmen!

We have shootouts in abandoned warehouses, choice zingers spanning “I’m going to kill you LAST” to “here’s a quarter, buy yourself a personality,” rambling spiels (“I’m telling these motherfuckers that if they continue killing our children to make their precious millions that they deposit in their secret Swiss bank accounts, counselor, before your last suit even gets off the court clerk’s desk, I’ll have their stinking bodies in garbage bags and ship them back to Japan for fertilizer.”) Wilhelm screams, heroes hanging off choppers (what’s with chopper pilot lateness? they never time it just right), shooting villains off fire escapes, and getting teary-eyed over wallet photos of loved ones…

Our pal Brian Trenchard-Smith (Strike of the Panther/Stuntrock) penned the foreword. If you enjoyed your last book, Death by Umbrella, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll dig this one too.