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Watchable "Fishy" Conspiracy Thriller
Filmfandave30 July 2014
Barracuda: The Lucifer Project is a movie with a social message that has its potentials but fails to realize them due to its pedestrian acting and mediocre directing. The plot is similar to that of Piranha but the suspense is barely existent, not to mention the lame special effects created for the barracuda attacks. Another thing that may make viewers dislike the movie is its downbeat ending, which I personally do not mind. Despite all that, the forbidding music helps to elevate the occasional suspense.

The plot tells about mutant barracudas violently attacking swimmers and divers in the seas near the shores of a US coastal town. A young marine biologist and a local town sheriff try to uncover the mystery that involves shady medical experiments related to government projects.

Viewers expecting to find another Jaws-like excitement will be sorely disappointed. The second half of the film diverts its plot from the barracuda attacks to unraveling the mystery of the attacks. From that point till the end of the film the narrative takes a different route to deliver the "excitement" through lots of dialogues and very little action to the point of leaving the main conflicts in the story unresolved!

With the rather unsuitable title, it was obvious that the film-makers wanted to cash in on the success of Jaws. Who would have wanted to watch this had it been called "The Lucifer Project"? Anyways, the film went into obscurity.

Barracuda belongs to the B-movie category and is watchable enough for those who are into low budget nature-gone-wild flicks. Because of its loose ending, it should have been made into a sequel.
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Surprisingly Interesting
TheExpatriate70027 May 2014
When I put Barracuda on Netflix Streaming after getting home from a long train trip, I was not expecting much, just your basic Jaws rip off with some cheap gore. To my surprise, although it was definitely a cash in on Spielberg's epic, it was still a fun, interesting movie.

The plot, at least initially, is what you'd expect. Killer barracuda suddenly begin attacking swimmers at a Florida beach, sparking an investigation by a local sheriff and a scientist. Things get interesting when the investigation uncovers a conspiracy.

Barracuda delivers all the gore you would expect from a Jaws knock off, but it also features elements that raise it to above average status. In particular, the scientist protagonist acts like an actual scientist, rather than the typical doom sayer we see in these movies. He initially expresses skepticism that barracuda could be behind all of the attacks and looks for evidence, like a real scientist.

Some reviewers have complained that the conspiracy angle crowds out the barracuda in the second half of the film, which has an element of truth. Still, the plot remains interesting, and the gore in the first half of the film more than suffices.
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Thriller-mystery with the barracuda used to drum up interest from 'Jaws' devotees.
Wilbur-1023 November 2000

I was hoping for another corny 'Jaws' rip-off with this film, but after two unknown divers are killed in a long, drawn out, silent opening scene, the plot immediately changes itself into a land-based conspiracy thriller.

The story is based around the town of Palm Cove, where a large chemical plant is the main source of employment. Chemicals are being put into the water supply in an experiment to control the population - they are also leaking into the sea and stimulate aggression in the local barracuda.

There isn't much to get excited about here - a few 'Jaws' links are of minor interest: a labrador chasing a stick on a beach comes across a divers head; sheriff and marine biologist are the two main characters and they have a night search out on the water similar to the one enjoyed by Brody and Hooper.

The film has the look of a home-grown project and the multitude of credits given to the co-directors Wayne Crawford and Harry Kerwin suggest this may be the case. Once it is clear the barracuda threat is only a plot device the films interest level begins to wane.

Whilst production values are poor 'Barracuda' is still fairly watchable and the characters are fleshed out to a reasonable degree ( particularly Lester, the fat useless Victor Buono-like deputy ). This is still as far below 'Piranha' as 'Piranha' was below 'Jaws' though, so while not quite a full-blown turkey its very close.
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"Shut Up, Bubbah, While Your Pappa's Talkin'!"...
azathothpwiggins22 July 2018
BARRACUDA (aka: THE LUCIFER PROJECT) opens w/ a suspiciously familiar underwater sequence, complete w/ roving camera and generic musical score. Oh no! A pair of unwary divers is attacked by the languid, title fish! It seems that some hippie environmental-types are trespassing where they don't belong, taking water samples. Apparently, the Jack chemical company is pumping... well, chemicals into the ocean, for it's own nefarious purposes. Its owner, Papa Jack (Bert Freed) is nonplussed by the sudden hippie infestation, wanting only to continue dumping his chemicals in peace. This all has something to do w/ the ornery fish and their cantankerous mood. It's got the townsfolk worked up into a froth as well. Just what is the Jack chemical company up to, and what does it have to do w/ our government? How many swimmers must be shredded by these toothy terrors? Alas, as JAWS clones go, BARRACUDA is extremely tedious to watch! It's comprised of lonnnng stretches of skull-squeezing dullness, occasionally interrupted by "action" that barely registers enough to be noticed! Making it all the way to the end is like swimming through jello, while wearing a lead suit. Co-stars Jason Evers (THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE) as Dr. Snow. Glub... Glub...
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Not a Jaws rip off after all..
Rattrap0077 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I started watching this film thinking it was going to be another 70s killer animal movie or a Jaws rip off. For the first 1/3 or so of the film it seemed that way. It had several underwater attacks by the title fish, but after a point it became a mystery about the why the fish are aggressive and soon became a conspiracy movie.

The film is decently acted for the most part, but there are parts and roles that are just very poorly acted or awkward. Papa Jack's son reminded me of Buford T. Justice's son Junior in the Smokey and the Bandit films. He acts more or less like an idiot or adult child. There is one scene with extras who get in a fender bender and start arguing. The acting here is really bad and comes off a little cheesy. Same goes for the diner sequence with the waitress spilling the glass of water and arguing with the cook. Both seem very unnatural.

The barracudas themselves look like puppets when biting people. When it is the tail end you see it seems like a set hand was just holding the puppet by the head and shaking it in front of the camera.

Overall it is an OK film. It is cheesy enough to be fun for a watch, just don't expect anything great.
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Fond Childhood Memory
Squonkamatic12 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I still remember sneaking downstairs one June evening when I was about 12, watching the tail end of Johnny Carson and then managing quite by chance to catch BARRACUDA on The Late Show. This would have been in about 1979, and amazingly three scenes stuck with me for the ensuing 28 years: A cute young chick in her swimsuit (identified as one Jill Shakoor, who was cute enough for me to have a crush on all summer after seeing it that one time) playing fetch with her dog in the surf before finding a severed human head, a nauseating roadside diner lunch consisting of fried fish with the eyes still intact (echoes of CHINATOWN, maybe), and the predictably nihilistic paranoid 70s ending where the two heroes are blown away in slow motion by a legion of crooked state troopers.

If you think I just gave away the whole movie rest assured that there's a LOT more going on here than meets the eye, even on a threadbare budget that barely afforded a dune buggy for the hero to drive around in during the big climax. As a matter of fact, this movie has a bit of everything: JAWS ripoff, environmental "nature strikes back" thriller, a newspaper investigative editor on the trail of a hot scoop, government corruption intrigue, a few girls in swimsuits, PG rated but still somewhat gory barracuda attacks, a doctor who may be mixed up in a military chemical warfare experiment, men in black government assassins with chirping silencer equipped pistols, intriguing underwater photography, a greedy chemical plant owner with a somewhat retarded son, goons menacing people with shotguns, a touch of summer love romance, and an amusing parade of late 70s fashions & hairstyles that is exemplified by the hero's striped rugby shirt -- remember those?

Nearly 30 years later now I managed to track down a foreign language subtitled VHS of the film and was pleasantly amused to find out that while BARRACUDA is a home-brew vanity project of sorts (written in part by Wayne Crawford, directed in part by Wayne Crawford, produced in part by Wayne Crawford, and starring Wayne Crawford under his clever early years screen name of Wayne David Crawford, who is still at it these days with favorites like 2002's SNAKE ISLAND) it's actually a pretty competent little low budget "Regional Horror" effort made in and around Pompano Beach, Florida, that managed to anticipate THE X-FILES 20 years before Chris Carter debuted his creation, including an ominous electronic synthesizer music score by Klaus Schulze. Someone had their thinking cap on when they wrote this.

We get the scruffy looking post-doctorate grad school teacher marine biologist hero-type trying to get to the bottom of a mystery of why the local barracuda population has suddenly turned to attacking humans, teaming up with a reluctant local sheriff (Hershel Gordon Lewis favorite William Kerwin), the requisite Fat Cop deputy (longtime supporting heavy favorite Cliff Emmich), the sheriff's sweetie pie 19 year old daughter (Roberta Leighton, looking fresh), and the local newspaper editorial staff (Wayne Hackett, along with future gay porn actor Scott Avery as his, ahem, assistant) with the town doctor (the late Jason Evers, whom Star Trek: TOS fans will recognize as Scalosian leader Rael from "Wink of an Eye") implicated by shady connections to the mystery which -- get this -- involves creating a "hypoglycemic condition" within the townspeople via the chemical waste produced by the corrupt chemical plant owner (ubiquitous bad-guy expert Bert Freed in another priceless role) that is really the front for a government run chemical warfare experiment on creating hostility & disorder within a civilian population.

In other words the movie has almost too much going on, with the at times gruesome barracuda attacks just a red herring to involve viewers in a mystery that explains itself from the back to the front: Events in the final ten minutes cast ominous light over actions from the body of the film which seem at the time to have little bearing over the story (people arguing for no reason, a seeming addiction to bottled water, the doctor doling out odd looking blue tablets for the slightest ailment), but by the time the pieces all fall into place the heroes have been effectively condemned by their mounting paranoia, with only one possible conclusion.

So here's a movie who's ideas are actually bigger than the production itself. The cinematography is rather pedestrian with no real grabber moments -- aside from the three big barracuda attacks, which occur at roughly 20 minute intervals -- and none of the acting will make anyone forget about Brando's monologue about nearly being a contender. A couple of the sequences are lifted directly from JAWS, most notably a dinner table discussion followed by late night scuba mission that is as close to plagiarism as it gets. But the story being told is convoluted enough to help the film amount to more than the sum of it's parts, and rewards patient viewers with a taste for regional low budget horror with something that's quite out of the ordinary ... in spite of how ordinary it appears to be.

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You yell barracuda ...
Chase_Witherspoon1 May 2011
A top secret government experiment leads to fatal barracuda attacks on the beaches of a small coastal town formerly renowned for its lobster. University biologist (Crawford) and sheriff (William Kerwin) uncover a plot involving a mentally unstable former war-medic (Evers) pioneering research into hyperglycemia and the effect on human behaviour. Compelling on a small scale, with some effective shocks and special effects, "Barracuda" unfortunately spends too little time underwater with its title stars; in point of fact, the last third of the film plays out on land, focused firmly on the conspiracy theories and intrigue.

Crawford is affable if unconvincing, and he rejoins regular co-stars the Kerwin brothers to write, produce and direct this b-grade thriller. Playboy bunny Leighton isn't the typical victim-based leading lady, and has her share of the spoils, while veteran tough guy Freed is largely wasted in an underdeveloped supporting role, with a retarded son whose character literally fades out without explanation after being prominent throughout the first half. Evers is the real asset to the acting ranks, portraying a distant, unbalanced patriot whose purpose and conviction is dangerously misguided, leading to his own personal tragedy.

Crawford – who also undertook the underwater directing – does a capable job with the toothy critters, and it's just a shame that they are absent for most of the second half. The scene in which the beach walker's dog retrieves the severed head of a scuba diver is memorable, and there's the occasional dismembered limb amid a watery cloud of claret to satisfy the appetite for gore. Audiences accustomed to upbeat conclusions will be disappointed, although Cliff Emmich does manage some light relief as the lazy, obese and apparently narcoleptic deputy sheriff throughout the film. A potentially interesting idea, just a great pity more time wasn't dedicated to the barracuda themselves, who despite their rather innocuous reputation, still look fierce enough to substitute for sharks in this familiar role.
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Some Good Moments Here and There
Uriah436 May 2014
Something strange is happening in the water off the coast of a town called "Palm Cove, Florida". For starters, the owners of a chemical plant have become extremely sensitive about their business and have hired some guards to prevent the collection of water samples taken anywhere near their facility. In one specific incident a marine-biologist by the name of "Mike Canfield" (Wayne Crawford) is arrested by the local sheriff "Ben Williams" (William Kerwin) and taken to jail for trespassing. While there he manages to help the sheriff investigate some deaths to local divers in the area. Along with these deaths the inhabitants of the town have become increasingly aggressive to one another but neither the sheriff nor Mike can connect any of these incidents together. At any rate, while this movie is similar in many respects to "Jaws" it obviously didn't have the financing of the former film and the quality of the movie isn't anywhere near as good. Even so, it had some good moments here and there and for that reason I give it a rating of average. But just barely.
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Not so bad (I really appreciate it!)
krieger-315 June 2000
I bought this movie because I really thought it would be terrible. I imagine something like "Spawn of the Slithis", or "Nazi Surfers Must Die", but this movie turns into a good one after all. In the beginning, the plot is very silly - barracudas eat people. Amazing. The filming under water, with the barracudas waving their tails while eating the limbs of people is laughing. But... in the middle of the movie the barracudas disappear, and the story, although with poor acting, is interesting. In fact, X-Files is very close to that. And the end is a lot better than one you could expect from a movie called "Barracuda".
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Hilariously bad conspiracy theory flick with not much Barracuda but plenty of 70s cheese
The_Dead_See31 August 2013
I would love to hear the story behind how Barracuda got made. My guess is this: someone penned a land-based thriller entitled "The Lucifer Project" (which is the movies' subtitle) that was about a government conspiracy to control the populace through blood sugar manipulation. The film started pre-production, but someone said "hey, this movie called 'Jaws' was really successful three years ago and now I hear this new one called 'Piranha' is also going to do well. How about we change the title to 'Barracuda' and throw in a few scenes of hypoglycemic fish attacking divers to see if we can make more money".

The fish stuff really is that obvious of an afterthought.

If you attempt to watch Barracuda seriously, it's incredibly bad on many levels: cheesy acting, bizarre plot twists, a hilariously inept police force (complete with the fat comedy relief character) and an ending scene that strives hard for the bleakness that was so fashionable in the late 70s but only ends up being kind of funny instead.

But I will say this, if you're looking for a movie to put on with friends, maybe with a little drink, and run your own MST3K style commentary over the top, Barracuda is an absolute gem. My wife and I had a riot watching it. Unlike a lot of the intentionally bad SyFy channel movies (like Sharknado) that come across as manipulative attempts to draw crowds through corniness, Barracuda is an *actual* bad movie, not a manufactured one, and thus is much more charming and fun to experience.
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Has a Split Personality
MiketheWhistle3 July 2018
OK, only watched because on Svengoolie and it was really really hard to get thru.At first it's like Jaws but sub in the barracuda and that would have been so-so.Won't give away any spoilers, but then it becomes a completely different movie genre.Only watch if you have a strong need to sleep.
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"The ocean is a very hostile place."
Backlash00723 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers

Barracuda is NOT the movie you think it is. It is not a rip-off of Jaws and it is not as much fun as Piranha. There is only one scene really of Barracuda even attacking people. What this actually is is a government conspiracy movie that is a bit boring. The government is tampering with the water supply of a small town with a form of rage serum. These aren't the rage infected zombies from 28 Days Later however. These poor townsfolk just get upset and yell at each other. The serum also leaks into the ocean and that's were the barracuda come in, briefly. The movie vaguely reminded me of Halloween III only it's not as much fun. It has the same silent, suited men stalking around that were in Halloween III, and the bad guys win. That was the best part of the film: seeing the heroes get blown away in slow motion, Sam Peckinpah style. So, in closing, creature feature buffs should stay away.
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Lying not-so-low in the weeds, not going to ambush anyone
Coventry25 November 2008
The main reason why I often enjoy imitations and cheap rip-offs more than the original they're inspired by is because the people behind it are so much more shameless and extravagant with their ideas. Spielberg's landmark classic "Jaws" spawned a copious number of imitations and suddenly nearly every type of sea animal – whether genetically altered or not – at one point during the seventies got depicted as an unstoppable killing machine. Not just every possible species of sharks, but also piranhas, octopuses, whales and even barracudas. This one, however, isn't exactly the "Jaws" rip-off you'd suspect it to be. If anything, it's actually more of a "Piranha" copy and not nearly as trashy and/or mindlessly entertaining as I hoped. The script tries to be a little too clever, creative and mysterious even though the outcome of the story is pretty obvious right from the beginning. I, for one, think the writers/directors duo Harry Kerwin and Wayne Crawford perhaps should have opted for a cheesy good old-fashioned creature feature rather than a pseudo-intellectual piece of eco-horror. "Barracuda" nevertheless opens promisingly with moody underwater images guided by creepy musical tunes, immediately followed by a scene of two divers getting virulently attacked by the titular creatures. There's something fishy – pun intended – going on in a little coastal town. Simultaneously with a couple of bizarre and unsolved diving accidents, a marine biologist discovers dangerous chemicals in the water, probably coming from Poppa Jack's plant nearby. Likely, the chemicals turn the barracudas into ravenous killers and even appear to negatively affect the townspeople that consume locally caught fish. The middle-section is intolerably boring, mainly because you're completely unprepared for the switch towards a slow and talkative film, and "Barracuda" eventually ends as a full-blooded political conspiracy thriller. The killer barracudas don't even get mentioned or shown anymore. This is a textbook case of misleading – or even downright false – advertisement, really. The alternate title for this film is "The Lucifer Project" and at least that one immediately gives a far more accurate small description of what to expect. Of course, the title "Barracuda" accompanied by a bloody drawing of a sharp-teethed fish devouring a human head attracts a lot more horror fans. Shame.
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An admirable, if not altogether successful attempt at doing something more than your standard "Jaws" rip-off
Woodyanders27 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Given the premise (a small coastal community beset by ferocious flesh-eating barracuda in the ocean), one would easily assume that this is yet another run-of-the-mill opportunistic "Jaws" cash-in. However, the scenes with the titular fish attacking people are surprisingly few and far in between, with a greater emphasis instead on a conspiracy thriller plot that takes on truly unsettling monolithic proportions as the narrative unfolds towards a genuinely startling surprise bummer ending. Alas, the sluggish pacing, perfunctory direction, and an overly talky script all unfortunately prevent said conspiracy angle from acquiring the necessary tension and momentum it really needs to seriously cook the way that it ought to. On the plus side, Wayne Crawford as a crusading biologist and Harry Kerwin as the folksy sheriff make for personable heroes, the underwater photography is sharp and impressive, the overall brooding tone astutely captures a distinctly 70's post-Watergate sense of vehemently anti-government distrust and cynicism, and Klaus Schulze's moody'n'energetic score hits the quivery ooga-booga spot something sweet. Moreover, there are solid supporting contributions from Roberta Leighton as the perky Liza Williams, Cliff Emmich as bumbling overweight deputy Lester, Jason Evers as the nefarious Dr. Elliott Snow, and Bert Freed as crusty CEO Papa Jack. It's just a shame that this movie never quite obtains the essential punch that in turn would give it a more substantial impact. As it is, this flick ain't half bad, but it could (and should) have been ever better.
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Barracudas that just leave
BandSAboutMovies20 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Barracuda accomplishes a miracle. It goes from a movie that bored me senseless at the beginning to one that had me riveted at the end. That's a pretty incredible feat. It's also a time capsule of the post-Watergate emotions of 1978 while also taking huge bits out of the script for Jaws.

Now, compared to piranha, great white sharks and killer whales, barracudas don't seem so terrifying. According to Wikipedia, "Like sharks, some species of barracuda are reputed to be dangerous to swimmers. Barracudas are scavengers, and may mistake snorkellers for large predators, following them hoping to eat the remains of their prey. Swimmers have reported being bitten by barracuda, but such incidents are rare and possibly caused by poor visibility." That's hardly the ringing endorsement for their potential for carnage.

It all starts out with some promise, as some barracuda digest some swimmers and leave behind a bloody hand. Awesome. Show us more.

Nope - you have to wait a half an hour for more barracuda before we get to the real plot of this film - a top secret government experiment (I love that this film rips off Piranha, which was ripping off Jaws, making this film fish a bottom feeder) leads to barracuda going out of control, but they are really there to make everyone in town hypoglycemic so that they can control the whole town.

Seriously, the last half an hour of this film becomes a conspiracy movie where every single person in the town who could get the story to the public is murdered by men in black, including the two heroes who are gunned down in slow motion.

The underwater scenes were directed by the film's star, Wayne Crawford, who is also in Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things and HBO favorite Jake Speed. In fact, he was Jake Speed! The land-based director is Harry Kerwin, who also brought you God's Bloody Acre.

The town's doctor is played by Jason Evers from The Brain that Wouldn't Die. The town's deputy? Cliff Emmich, who played Haddonfield Memorial Hospital security guard Bernard Garrett in Halloween 2. The sheriff? It's William Kerwin, who in addition to being the director's brother, is also the voice that warns viewers of how much violence they are about to see in just about every Herschell Gordon Lewis movie. Finally, Papa Jack, the owner of the town's manufacturing plant, is played by Bert Freed, who was the police chief in the original Invaders from Mars and Ben Golden in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? He was also the first actor to play Columbo, acting as the gumshoe in a 1960 episode of The Chevy Mystery Show eight years before Peter Falk ever donned his famous trenchcoat.

I was totally prepared to hate this movie, but by the end, I was charmed by its left field turn into conspiracy and darkness. Man, the 1970's were really a rough time to be alive.
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Hungry barracuda terrorize a small town
almatz25 April 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Come on...The bad guys win in the end! how bad could any movie be, where the heroes are blown away, IN SLOW MOTION, by the evil empire of sludge lords? rent it. watch it. love it.
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Full Film Riding on the Back of Jaws
gavin694214 October 2013
A top secret government experiment leads to fatal barracuda attacks on the beaches of a small coastal town formerly renowned for its lobster. A marine biologist (Wayne Crawford) and sheriff (William Kerwin) uncover a plot involving a mentally unstable former war-medic (Evers) pioneering research into hyperglycemia and the effect on human behavior.

Writer-director Harry Edward Kerwin came out of the same group that brought H. G. Lewis to notoriety, and he was the brother-in-law of actress Connie Mason. Unfortunately, "Barracuda" was his last film, and he passed at age 48 the following year.

Writer-star Wayne Crawford has fared better, going on to act in bigger and better things, as well as producing a few noteworthy films of the 1980s (such as "Valley Girl" and "Night of the Comet"). Well played, Wayne.

I liked this film and think it deserves better than the low rating and obscurity it has achieved. This is actually a very clever script and contains good performances. Sure, it is misleading to make it about attacking fish when it is more of a government conspiracy film. And I do think the pace is a bit slow at times. But it is hardly a bad film, and the fact that (as of this writing) is has not found a Wikipedia page or a decent DVD release is sad. Where are you, Scream Factory?
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moviesforreal3 May 2018
The barracuda only show up once the human characters to make up for that are awful the editing is so bad could not tell what was going on this film is just truly terrible.
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Hypoglycemia, that's the name of the game
bkoganbing11 November 2017
Some people including scientist Jason Evers have been renting out Bert Freed's plant on a coastal Florida town. They bear the underlying responsibility for some disturbing and aggressive behavior with their experiments. And also some of the waste product being dumped is making the fish which strangely enough seem to be mostly Barracuda becoming quite aggressive.

It seems as though the experiments are causing hypoglycemia among the population of the town who all seem to be lab rats. Who is doing this and why is for you to watch this claptrap of a movie for. But I did look up hypoglycemia in Wikipedia and the primary results at least for people aren't borne out by their article.

Unbelievable claptrap and I'm sure the paranoid conspiracy people love Barracuda.
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Heart would be displeased
movieman_kev20 October 2008
Some hippies team up with a sympathetic sheriff and his bleeding heart daughter to investigate an evil (aren't they all in these movies?) chemical plant who's adversely affecting the native barracudas in this lame "Jaws" clone. The ferocious fish themselves take a surprising backseat plot-wise, the real focus of the movie is some claptrap about a government conspiracy. As that plot is pretty inane, the whole film suffers for it and becomes tediously boring because of it. Co-written and directed by Wayne Crawford, who'd have a later hit with "Valley Girl" and the equally ridiculous but more fun (in it's own campy way)"Snake Island". You would do better to give either of those two a rent and skip this one.

My Grade: D

Dark Sky DVD Extras: Vintage ads for various drive-in food; and Trailers for "Bonnie's Kids" (features nudity), "the Centerfold Girls", "Part-time Wife" (features nudity), "Psychic Killer", & "Eaten Alive". The DVD also comes with 1983's "Please don't eat the babies" (AKA: Island Fury)
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Painfully boring - nothing redeeming.
dustyp-17 August 2013
As a fan of B-movies and creature features, I can say with much confidence that there is nothing here that makes this movie worth watching. Another reviewer claims that it "pays off in the end", and I am here to tell you that there is no pay off.

Orca (1977) has a decent payoff mid way that makes it worth watching for pure "wtf" factor, this movie does not. The actors deliver their lines like they are on quaaludes and the music is so plodding and droney that it almost puts you to sleep.

Also, the movie is only BARELY about killer barracuda. It has another agenda and the killer fish are only seen a couple of times. It is obvious to me that the movie was designed to be a different type of movie, but with the popularity of Jaws and Piranha, they shifted it's marketing.

This movie was 90 minutes or so and it felt like 4 hours. Do not waste your time. You've been warned!
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BA_Harrison18 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
After clocking Barracuda's suitably trashy Jaws-style poster art, I took the bait and settled down for what I hoped would be an entertaining exercise in B-movie schlock horror. Unfortunately, rather than the cheesy monster-fish movie that had been promised by the publicity material, the film turned out to be an incredibly dull conspiracy thriller in which 90% of the action seemed to take place on dry land.

Set in the sleepy coastal town of Palm Cove, this dreary yawn-fest stars Wayne Crawford as Mike Canfield, a marine biologist who helps the local police in their investigations after a series of vicious barracuda attacks on local swimmers results in body parts washing up on the shore. Mike traces the problem back to the local chemical plant, whose waste products are polluting the ocean and affecting the sea-life, but certain unsavoury types are out to hide the truth—at any cost!

Poorly directed, totally devoid of suspense or terror, and relatively gore free, this film will definitely disappoint those looking for a cheerfully cheap Jaws knock-off. The shoddy direction, endless scenes of chit-chat, and particularly cruddy fish attacks will leave you wondering why anyone would have parted with good money to make this film, or to watch it.

The only positive thing that I can say about Barracuda is that it does end on a surprisingly downbeat note with the death of its two 'good guys'—a small touch of originality in the closing moments.
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You yell "Barracuda!", everybody goes, "Huh? What?"
Hey_Sweden16 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Underwhelming thriller is really not what the viewer thinks it's going to be. They'll think this is another of the various knock-offs that proliferated after "Jaws" became a sensation. Well, the title fish really don't have much to do in this ecologically conscious tale. Sure, they kill a FEW people, but never become that much of an issue. Instead, what this film does is get bogged down in a landlocked conspiracy plot. This plot involves a chemical company dumping its waste into the ocean, affecting the marine life, but there's more going on than that. It turns out, the PEOPLE are getting affected too. Young marine biologist Mike Canfield (Wayne Crawford, who also co-wrote the story and screenplay, co-produced, and supervised the underwater photography) teams up with local sheriff Ben Williams (William Kerwin, familiar to any fan of the Herschell Gordon Lewis classics "Blood Feast" and "Two Thousand Maniacs!") to probe the mystery, while nothing terribly interesting ever happens. Not even the barracuda attacks are that thrilling. For a B movie there's a better than average supporting cast, including Jason Evers ("The Brain That Wouldn't Die"), Cliff Emmich ("Payday"), Roberta Leighton ("Stripes"), and Bert Freed ("Paths of Glory"). The luscious Leighton is easy to watch, but what's going to stupefy the audience is seeing her throw herself at the not particularly attractive Crawford and seeing him show little interest! Evers is mostly okay - he is a veteran, after all - but when it comes time for him to emote, he can't pull it off. Director / co-writer / co-producer Harry Kerwin just can't seem to build up any real dramatic tension, despite the efforts of composer Klaus Schulze, who gives this thing a better music score than it deserves. Viewers may still be able to appreciate the last second twist ending, which concludes the story on a very downbeat note. Too bad the balance of the movie isn't that effective. Five out of 10.
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Just Skip This One
Michael_Elliott3 January 2014
Barracuda (1978)

* (out of 4)

Yet another rip-off of JAWS, this one here has a couple college students trying to test the waters of a beach community because a local plant owner has been dumping chemicals. Of course these chemicals turn the barracudas into man-eating monsters. BARRACUDA is one of the worst films from this genre that I've seen. Even some of the worst of the "when animals attack" genre at least keep you entertained but this sucker is pretty much bad from the start and it never gets any better. There are countless problems with this film but we can start with the screenplay, which is pretty much nothing but dialogue. I've never seen a film like this talk so much as it seems the characters want to talk about anything they can. This includes a silly love story that pops up between two of the characters and of course you get some "polution is evil" chat, which at times is rather funny. Even worse are the barracuda attacks because it really does seem that all the creatures are just stuff fished being moved around on people while someone else shoots out some blood. The effects are never believable and it's really too bad they didn't try doing something more original or at least keep you glued to what they might eventually look like. The performances are all pretty forgettable but there are a few nice supporting performances including Cliff Emmich (INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS). This film really isn't worth watching for any reason. Sure, some of the underwater photography is nice but that's not enough of a reason to sit through the entire thing.
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With this being shark week....
MiketheWhistle22 July 2018
Shark Week starts tomorrow so this was a timely planed showing by Svengoolie (1995). In a nutshell this is a cheap ripoff of Jaws (1975). Unfortunately for the actors I was rooting for the fish!!!!
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