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Filtering by Tag: film

Protected: The Legend of Frankenfish Part 2

Vernon T. Hightower

Here's Part 2 of our blog on "The Legend of Frankenfish" by Vernon Hightower.  "Frankenfish" was filmed on the Mobile Gulf Coast, and Vernon would love to tell you all about this not so classic film.  To check out Part 1, click here.  

He hit it! Check out that cgi blood! Sam is one helluva shot to shoot a target moving that fast!

But Frankenfish is tough! I’ve never seen a fish get shot with a 9mm, but I have a hard time believing that even a Frankenfish could survive that. Yet we know he/she does, because there’s still a good 30 minutes left in the movie. Unless they decide to do another dinner scene.

“There’s got to be a weapon here somewhere among the wrenches and screwdrivers that the hippies had!”

Eliza should know better than to think a couple of hippies living up on the swamp would have anything useful. She should have broken into Scarface’s houseboat and stolen whatever gnarly weapons you know he has over there.

Speaking of, Frankenfish has decided that his next target will, unsurprisingly, be the next character that we couldn’t care less about.

Here he is jumping up onto the deck of the houseboat, because he’s a (SPOILER ALERT!) mutated snakehead fish, which is sorta like a big mudskipper. Meaning he can go on land for brief periods of time.

But our man ain’t goin’ out like that! He sticks a shotgun in Frankenfish’s mouth and pulls the trigger, blowing Frankenfish’s walnut brain all over the place.

But, wait a minute… where’s the wound caused by Sam’s gunshot? And isn’t there still about 20 minutes left in the movie?

That’s weird…

I love this giant fake fish. I think he looks great. This is probably where the film spent all their money. The spent it all on that fake Frankenfish, and it looks great. They certainly didn’t spend it on the filming location, because that probably cost them a few cold Busch Lights and a pack of smokes.

Just what, exactly, is Scarface doing to that poor Frankenfish corpse?

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I think out of all the cliche characters in this movie, Scarface is probably the only one I wouldn’t mind hanging out with. He wastes no time in firing up the grill and throwing a couple slabs of Frankenfish Filet on it.

Scarface just wants to have a good time, but not in a hippie way. He’s more of the “hold my beer while I do something stupid” type. Then at the end of the day, he grills up some Frankenfish leftovers, passes out a bunch of cheap beers, and playfully flirts with your wife.

Look at that mug! Such sheer joy and exuberance! You won’t see anyone else enjoying life as much as Scarface in this movie, I can tell you that.

At this point, my thoughts were, “There’s still 20 minutes left in the movie. Something bad is about to happen to my man here. Maybe he’ll eat the Frankenfish and turn into a Frankenfish! Oh man, I bet that’s what is about to happen!”

Nope. There’s another one. And it eats him.

Something blows up. I can’t really remember what. Whatever it was, it gets the attention of these jive turkeys, whose role is still unknown, other than that they’re looking for the Frankenfishes.

Frankenfish has been hitting the gym, all in preparation for just this moment.

Just like in Jaws, I’m amazed at the tenacity with which these waterbeasts go after a meal. And how much can they eat? He just ate Scarface, and thereby a small bit of his comrade, but he still feels like it’s necessary to break through the bottom of the houseboat and try to eat someone else.

Wouldn’t another alligator, who is already in the water and not flippin’ armed, be a safer choice? Alligator isn’t too bad. A little tough, but tasty. I’ve never had human that I know of, but maybe Frank here has developed a taste for it. Or maybe he’s just still high from eating those two hippies and really doesn’t even know where he’s at right now.

The fire over at Scarface’s place spreads, coincidentally engulfing a propane tank and a shotgun.

BLAM! The fire heats up the shotgun so much that it goes off (is this even possible?) and blows half of China Chow’s head off. I knew she was doomed as soon as Eliza showed up.

“The house shot her!”

Possibly the highlight of the movie.

Oh wait, this might actually be better…

The fire continues to heat up the propane tank, which ignites…

…launching it across the bayou.

Lololol. This shot, man. Sam and Freddie follow the propane tank through the sky, in its trajectory towards the hippie hideout and Eliza, still looking for a serviceable weapon, presumably.


Nothin’ but net.

KA-BOOM! Spoiler alert, Eliza survived the explosion. How? Movie magic.

Meanwhile, Gloria gets bitten in half. All that Voodoo preparation, only to get Mortal Kombatted while trying to escape to the roof of her houseboat.

It’s funny how you think certain people in movies “deserve” to die, and some don’t. Like you’re just itching for the irritating, stupid guy to die. I realize it’s just a movie, but it’s kind of terrible to be hoping certain characters get killed off, merely because you’re tired of hearing them whine. In Movie World, being annoying is grounds for getting your wig split. Or head bitten off.

Once again, I’m impressed with the special effects in this movie. I guess it’s a bit easier when everything is done in the dark, but this bisection looks great!

Freddie might not agree with me. He seems a little put off by this half-missing woman.

The house boats are sinking! What do we do?

Probably walk to shore.

So, two houseboats are sinking and one is exploded. Time for stupid heroics.

I wish I knew who they got these Cajun castles from. It’s a shame they had to sink them. I’ve always kinda wanted to have my own little fish camp up in the delta, with my own ravenous superfish. Yolo!

“Hey whatchall doin’?”

Finally, Beavis and Butthead show up in their airboat…

…and immediately get tumped overboard.

Just a side note here. Do you use the word “tumped”? Like, “tumped over”? For years, I just assumed everyone said it. Then I moved to Nashville, where there are a lot more transplant yankees and wannabe yuppies.

“What does that mean?”

“What does what mean?”


People think it sounds stupid. It sounds normal to me. I like it.

Moving on…

Somehow they end up on this dock. Crocodile Dundee, Yakuza, and Freddie Prinze.

Now that I think of it, I guess this is just the roof of the houseboat that has sunk into the marsh and quicksand. Quicksand seems so 80’s, for some reason.

Dr. John Popper, Sam, and Eliza are now stationed on one of the other roofs. Surely Sam would have some way to contact his fellow law enforcement buddies, right? Granted, they’re up in the delta, but I would think that an agent like him would have some other means. Like a really big walky-talky or something.

At this point, it’s time to swallow your pride and call in the effing Marines, Sam. There are Frankenfish run amok, and Dr. John Popper’s BB gun isn’t gonna be enough.

“I’ll drink to that!”

If there’s one redeeming quality to Freddie Prinze, it’s that he pretty much boozes throughout the entire movie. Although that pint has lasted quite awhile. He’s nursing it.

Crocodile Dundee: “Here’s my Scooby Doo plan: I was the one responsible for developing the Frankenfish. People in Asia love these things. They eat em! Can you believe that shit? Anyway, I thought I would engineer these big ones because bigger is better, right? And these babies sell by the pound! I also am a total badass, and I like to hunt things that hunt me back.”


The ol’ “Most Dangerous Game” routine. How many times is a villain gonna use that excuse? If your life needs that kind of excitement, to be hunted by Frankenfish, just go to the zoo and throw yourself into the polar bear enclosure and save everyone else a lot of trouble.

Sam does not approve, but at this point, what can he really do?

Frankenfish surges out of the water, grabs Dr. Popper, and goes back underwater.

What is that thick, black line supposed to be under Frankenfish? I think it may be supposed to be Dr. Popper’s arm. If you are familiar with the book, “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey” you may recognize this arm as belonging to Jeffrey, the ghost that lives with author Kathryn Tucker Windham.

Not to break things up too much, but take a look at this ghost photo of Jeffrey and then tell me that that is definitely not him making a cameo:

That photo is haunting. Get it?

Anyway, home stretch, let’s finish this thing up…

To get back to the action, Dr. John has just been shanghaied into the bayou by Frankenfish. Crocodile Dundee is upset about this, and follows Frank, shooting at him all the way…

…all the way into the water. I have circled it for you here so you can see his stupid ass diving off into the mud, after Franky and Dr. John. No one ever said that tough guy, most dangerous game, hunters were the smartest people in the world.

“Hey, my airboat is totally fine now. Why don’t we just hope in the ol flatbottom hot rod and roll outta here?” – Crocodile Dundee

“Sure, no problem, good idea.” – Everyone else.

What??? Wait a minute. It’s already been proven that being in a boat is not safe and that Frank can tump over a boat any time he pleases. Plus this airboat has already been sunk once by Frank. How is this happening? And why is being in a boat suddenly a great idea?

Maybe they’re counting on the fact that Frankenfish just ate a big meal, so maybe he has the meat sweats and must take a break from all the mayhem? That’s not really something I would count on, considering that both Frankenfish that we’ve seen are relentless killers.

“Show me where you found the dredge boat that was carrying my specimens of ultimate fish genetic superiority.”

Keep in mind that these people have now been up for about 24 hours, so maybe they’re not thinking straight, but if I were Croc, I’d just cut my losses and hope I didn’t end up in prison.

“Ok, here it is.”

I was so obviously wrong in my assessment that this is either a small shrimp boat or a dredge boat. It is clearly a boat specifically made for transporting frankenfish from one place to another.

“What’s that?!?!?!” – Croc

“Uhhhh, some sticks and grass. Possibly an alligator nest.” – Sam

This really does look like a possible alligator nest. If I was an actor, this is the point where I’d draw a line in the mud. I’m not going in there, unless I get TWO 12 packs of Busch Lights and a carton of Parliaments.

Croc makes Sam go into the alligator nest at gunpoint.

Doesn’t Sam have a gun? Maybe not. Maybe Dr. John Popper used it as a harmonica.

Also, how does Croc know that is a Frankenfish dwelling? You get the impression that he’s spent a lot of time in the swamp and probably knows an alligator nest when he sees it.

Wait. Is that Dr. John Popper sneaking in the scene in the bottom right? I think it is! I have been found out. It’s been a few days since I took these screenshots and now, when I’m writing this. I guess it was one of the Asian guys who got snapped off the dock and had the ghost arm. But why would Croc care enough about one of those guys to chase him into the water?

As usual, it probably pays to not ask too many questions about a movie like this.

Croc and Sam are in the alligator nest. Croc really wants Sam to do something, but I can’t really remember what. Does it matter?

“Go underwater and make sure my shoes are tied! Do it!”

There. That’s what he wants.

Sam escapes, hops on the airboat with Eliza, and cranks it up.

Just for the record, Dr. John Popper has definitely disappeared at this point. It doesn’t really matter how.

Crocodile Dundee tries to swim out of the alligator nest, but gets caught by Frank. I love the dangling legs. It’s like if the game Rampage had a Frankenfish.

Now, all they have to do is get away, but I guess that’s kind of been the point the whole time, and is kind of the point of all monster movies. Good guys go looking for the monster, find it, discover that it’s way more of a pain in the butt than they are ready for, then escape.

Can’t help but wonder how they did these shots, as Frank chases the airboat through the swamps. Something is kicking up that water and wake. Were they just dragging a rubber Frankenfish behind them?

They make a sharp left and Freddie Prinze, who is still alive somehow, gets tossed out of the boat and into a little marsh area here.

He must have been really getting on their nerves… because they just let him go! They don’t go back for him or anything!

Sam pulls one out of the Top Gun playbook and stomps on the brakes, causing Frank to fly into the propeller. This is what 2004 cgi effects look like in broad daylight.

Sam: “Baby, I know everyone you love has just been eaten by a big fish, but you look pretty good covered in blood!”

Eliza: “Hehehehe, I kinda have a mustache.”

Just in case you needed another shot of the Frankenfish, diced up by an airboat propeller.

Is it just me, or does the size of Frankenfish constantly change? When the one got killed by Scarface, it looked like it was 2 1/2 feet tall and about 6 feet long. This one is about 8 feet tall, and no telling how long.

The last shot of the movie is of ol Poor Man’s Freddie Prinze getting eaten by dozens of baby Frankenfish. So I guess the two big ones were male and female.

I guess Sam and Eliza escaped the two big Frankenfish, but what about these little guys? They’re still floating in the water, without a boat, up in the middle of the delta. In reality, they would be completely screwed, but since the movie ends with them laughing and smiling, we’re supposed to infer that they lived happily ever after.

Not me. I’m assuming that the baby frankenfish ate them, or they were captured by renegade Cajuns, a la Southern Comfort.




That’s it. The credits roll and we’re left with two protagonists stranded in the middle of the delta.

I’m sure that Frankenfish is someone else’s Friday the 13th Part 7. It’s part of someone else’s personal legend, and not just for the actors involved. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would rather forget about it, but for someone out there, probably a local that lives on the delta, they’ll never forget it.

I’m sure people who live in New York don’t seek out every movie that is filmed in New York. How could they? I mean, they have Manhattan and Ghostbusters. What else do they need? But for those of us living down here in the swamps and bayous of the Gulf Coast, a movie filmed here is a big deal.

Maybe it’s because we’ve always had a chip on our shoulder about being the “Third Coast”, but we want a little recognition occasionally too.

And seeing the back bays and bayous of our local area is exciting, especially when there’s a giant fish biting people in half.

That said, Frankenfish is worth watching. I hope you enjoyed my breakdown of it. It has some decent special effects and the monster never just makes anyone disappear. There’s always a maiming of some type, or dangling legs, which is always a crowd-pleaser.

See ya next time!

Protected: The Legend of Frankenfish Part 1

Vernon T. Hightower


We all have our own personal legends. Stories that, in our own lives, stand out above the rest. They may even be a life-changing experience for you, but not even a blip on anyone else’s radar.

For me, and a few others (like our own Sean Herman, and maybe even internet celebrity Adam the Woo), the time that Friday the 13th Part 7 was filmed near my parents’ house is one of them.

From what I can recall, everyone knew they were filming a Friday the 13th film up on the delta. My sister, who was older than me, even knew some people that were involved. One of the local fish camps was helping the film crew out with boats and with getting around the little bayous and marshes of the delta, without getting stuck in the mud, or eaten by alligators.

I was around 10 years old when the News announced that the filmmakers would like to invite the locals up to where they were filming, to watch them BLOW UP A HOUSE.

My dad was all over that. Me? I hated loud noises, so the prospect of being anywhere near an explosion terrified me. Not to mention that Jason might be up there.

We loaded up the family truckster and rode the 2 miles up to Byrnes Lake. Byrnes Lake is a boat launch on the eastern side of the delta.

In my memories, it was cold that night. A lot of people were milling around. Mostly locals, but a few crew members from the film as well, wearing Friday the 13th varsity-style jackets (a friend of my sister still has hers).

Jason was nowhere in sight, and everyone else was leaving the next day. This was the last shot of the movie that still needed to be done.

A countdown began. The crowd and crew both counted down…

I couldn’t believe they were gonna blow up a house. I mean, a REAL HOUSE. It was huge. It wasn’t just a theater prop.

I held my ears when the crowd got to around 4.

When the house went up, my 10 year old heart soared. It was loud. It was terrifying. But it was also one of the coolest things I’d ever seen.

When Friday the 13th Part 7 came out, of course my parents rented it. Thankfully, they let me watch all kinds of stuff when I was a kid and I turned out, more or less, ok.

When the house blows up at the end, we knew we were there. And Part 7, aka “Carrie vs. Jason”, has been my favorite Friday the 13th movie ever since. Even as a kid, I recognized it as an action movie, and not a horror movie.

Anyway, about 10 years later another movie crew discovered Byrnes Lake and the delta as a great filming location. It’s a film that I didn’t even know was made near my parents’ house until about 2 weeks ago and it’s one that, I’m sure, plenty of locals have added to their own legends…

And that movie is, of course…

Our story opens with a quick prologue involving this guy here. I don’t know why every person who lives on the delta, or in the swamps, in movies must wear a straw hat like this.

I mean, I guess I get it. The filmmakers need for this character, and his location, to be established immediately because he’s not gonna get much screen time.

In other words, you know as soon as you see this poor chap, that he’s doomed.

Can I call’ em, or what?

Coming in with one of the best deaths in the movie, this guy tries to swim back to his boat with only one arm.

Whoever made this movie knows what people like: dismemberment.

And speaking of that, this is a fairly gory flick for a “Syfy Original”. It also has some nudity. This is only the second Syfy Original movie that I’ve seen (the other being “3 Headed Shark Attack“), but they both have tons of swearing, gore, and boobies. Are they counting on the after-market sales? Netflix?

There’s no way I can watch an underwater monster movie and not think of Jaws. I assume the filmmakers are the same. This shot is particularly reminiscent of it. Just when you thought it was safe to pull up your crab traps, right?

There’s a lot of “po’ man’s version of” actors in this movie. This poor man’s Martin Sheen (maybe mixed with a little T-1000) shows up and we meet the main character, Sam.

Sam is investigating a murder here, but Martin 1000 thinks he should drop whatever he is doing because someone got eaten up down in the bayou and the Cajuns down there won’t talk to outsiders.

The opening credits roll as Sam drives down to Byrnes Lake, past the USS Alabama.

…past the city of Mobile, Alabama…

…through the Bankhead Tunnel (which, headed this way and given the last couple shots, he must’ve had to turn around at some point)…

…which you can see here. A lot has changed since 2004.

Sam pulls up at Argiro’s late that night, which is only about a mile from the Bankhead Tunnel. Or was, before Katrina blew it away. I wish I could write a whole ode to Argiro’s, but that would delay the plot to Frankenfish.

In the movie, Argiro’s is where the local Sheriff’s deputies are stowing the body of our man from the prologue.

Yeah, they’ve got this guy on ice IN A DELI. Kids, now you know where corned beef comes from.

Sam wonders, “Who could have done this?” Judging from his facial wounds, the prime suspect could be the Joker. There’s no way a giant fish would take weird little linear bites out of the guy’s face. I guess some crabs may have gotten to him.

The next day, Sam meets up with a gal who works for Marine Resources, played by an actress named, no shit, “China Chow”.

The biologist tells Sam that they must go look for what is, probably, a bull shark.

Our heroes head out to find the culprit behind this heinous man-chewing.

This is on the north side of the Causeway that crosses Mobile Bay.

This is even further north than that. This is in the Tensaw river, I’m pretty sure. Very much a part of the Delta.

I really appreciate the shots like this in the movie. Not only are they beautiful shots, but they can really capture the isolation you can feel when out on the delta. You can’t hear any cars, there aren’t any planes flying overhead, and it’s even rare to pass another boat. You truly are deep in America’s Amazon.

And fortunately for Frankenfish, or other ne’er-do-wells, in the delta, no one will hear you scream… because there’s no one else around.

This is just another shot of the lovely rivers and swamps, as our heroes are still traveling up to the little bayou where most of the action takes place. There’s really only two filming locations. Neither of which we’ve seen at this point, so I felt like these establishing shots of the bayou were important to include because, unless you’ve been there, there’s no way you would know how far from civilization they are getting.

“Hey! What’s that?!?!”

“Just an alli-WHOA! His head is gone!”

“No problem, it’s just a rubber alligator head.”

They find an alligator that has had its head bitten off. In this shot, they are prodding it with a paddle, which serves only to prove to the audience that this particular gator head is made of foam rubber, not mud and gristle and a bad attitude.

The next person we meet is this Cajun, who is busy noodling for catfish. They ask him about the death of Winston and he clams up, but agrees to take them to someone who can help.

Noodling is something that seemed to catch on for awhile, right around the time this movie was made, but I guess people figured out that you can catch the same fish on a cane pole. And who the hell goes noodling fully clothed? Suspenders and all? I guess this guy. Boudreaux or Thibodeaux or whatever the hell his name is.

We’re finally led to the little bayou where the vast majority of the action takes place. Here amongst the Cajun castles. I know I’ve been where this is, and I assume it is near Byrnes Lake, but I can’t place it right offhand.I guess that’s another part of the danger of the delta. It’s easy to get turned around and lost if you aren’t paying close attention.

Disposable Victims #1 and #2.

This is definitely one of those movies where you get quickly introduced to a litany of future victims. It’s like an episode of Scooby-Doo, except instead of potential suspects, you just know they’re doomed to be gobbled up. And if it’s a lady, she’s there for some boob action AND to get killed.

Not to mention, what are these damn hippies doing up there on the delta anyway? The girl looks like she has a healthy meth habit to maintain, and the guy looks like he should be somewhere spending his trust fund on exotic drums. Neither of these things are stuff you can do on a houseboat in the swamp.

Next we get introduced to some other archetypes:

Hot Young Love Interest, Irritating Jerky White Dude, and the Wise Old Swamp Witch Black Lady.

Out of these, Irritating White Guy is definitely gonna get it, while the other two will probably survive.

They all roll off to search for a bull shark (which could actually be possible, at this point).

They stumble across what could be a small shrimp boat, but what is probably some sort of abandoned dredge boat. Either way, it is not what they say it is in this movie.

Meanwhile in New Orleans, an Asian guy gets a mysterious phone call and leaves wherever he is…

This shot is definitely in the French Quarter somewhere, but I can’t quite pinpoint exactly where. The horsehead hitching posts give it away. At least they filmed one place where it was actually supposed to be in the movie.

Aboard the dredge boat, our heroes find a plethora of latex cadavers to choose from.

“What happened here?”

“Looks like some people died.”

Instead of immediately reporting it, our hero (who works in law enforcement) takes a few pics and leaves the bodies there to rot even more. He doesn’t have time to waste on such paltry matters as a boat hull full of corpses! He has a bull shark to find! Or if these bodies are any evidence, or connected to the same case AT ALL, perhaps a peckish zombie?

Boudreaux Thibodeaux gets eaten Jaws-style. Pulled through the water. He has noodled his last noodle.

I bet this was pretty fun for the actor though.

“Oh no! Bummer! Let’s get outta here!”


The Yakuza gets a phone call. At this point, these guys’ involvement is still a mystery. However, given the title of the film, I suspect they may be dabbling in a little genetic engineering in order to create a superior race of atomic superfish!

Another Poor Man’s cast member here. Poor Man’s Freddie Prinze Junior learns of Boudreaux’s death. Although perhaps this is Rich Man’s Freddie Prinze? I’d probably rather be in Frankenfish than “She’s All That”.

You can kinda see them here, but this is the Voodoo Queen’s houseboat… complete with wicker Voodoo masks.

As you can see here, our hippy friends are upset about the death of their friend.

And they’re also naked. I told you there would be boobs! Hemp the world!

The Yakuza enlists the help of classic tough guy character actor Tomas Arana, and Poor Man’s Dr. John Popper. Apparently these guys make a living hunting badass critters in the delta. Granted, they’re in an airboat, with a gun, so I don’t really know how tough they could be considered, necessarily. Dr. John Popper probably hasn’t ever killed anything but a terrible blues record collection and a few poboys.

“Dude, I am so high. Hit this.”

I know it looks like they’re getting stoned, but they’re actually just passing a giant fish scale back and forth between them. China Chow is like, “Mercy me, that is a big fish scale!”

We finally get introduced to Ricardo, occupant of the third houseboat. His face is all scarred up and he’s clearly the loose cannon hardass of the community. Plus, he’s IN THE WATER. That’s where Frankenfish is! Is he crazy? Yes. And also brave, I guess. There’s a fine line there somewhere.

Gloria (the Swamp Queen) makes a gumbo. Of course. Freddie Prinze can’t stand the heat.

At this dinner, which sucks up a good 15 minutes of the movie, we learn that Sam and Eliza went to high school together, and that Eliza always had a crush on him. Our suspicions are confirmed and it is now destiny that they get together by the end of the movie. This also leaves China Chow open to being Frankenfish bait.

Just wanna point out here that they’re guzzling Coronas. Part of me actually likes this because, unlike in Treme where they would have you think everyone in New Orleans is hanging out drinking Abitas and eating Hubig’s (RIP) pies and Zapp’s, these folks are going the other way. South of the Border.

I have never seen anyone near the delta drinking Coronas, which makes this a fairly obvious case of product placement. They would probably be drinking something cheap, like High Life or Natural Light.

“Man, Boudreaux Thibodeaux died today. Guess I’ll get high.”

Right here I was almost expecting a sort of misguided drug trip kill sequence. Like he was gonna hallucinate a naked lady out on the water and walks towards it, but falls in and gets eaten. You know what I mean. You know you can picture the type of scene I’m talking about. The kind of scene where it’s painfully obvious that whoever wrote the scene has never done any drugs stronger than aspirin.

Instead, he sees a big fish in the water. I would probably do the same thing he’s doing here, minus the wig.How could one resist looking when you see a big fishswimming just underneath the surface? That thing could feed him and Misty for a month! Or they probably would rather have some quinoa, or gas station gumbo, depending on which drugs they are on at any specific time.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw an alligator gar. I was a kid down at our neighborhood boathouse on Bay Minette Basin, and one breached. Being as I was obsessed with Loch Ness, I thought for sure it was a monster.

Too bad for Trust Phund here, it’s not a gator gar under those waters…

Nothing like a solid decapitation, is there? Really. What else could you want from a monster movie? I know I’ve already said it, but the monster biting off limbs is the pinnacle of monster movie filmmaking, and it doesn’t get any better than the head. Especially when the body gyrates for a minute, spraying red corn syrup everywhere.

Misty Meth gets in the boat and takes the scenic route over to the next houseboat. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is that not an outboard motor? Who is manning the tiller? The ghost of Phunky Blues Tribe String Band Experience? Already? Probably not, as I picture his ghost still hanging around his own headless body and being really confused.

This is our first real glimpse of Frankenfish, who is the size of a Blue Bird bus, yet somehow surviving in the shallows of the delta.

He’s big enough, and strong enough, to flip a boat over, dumping Misty into the drink for easy pickin’s.

I can’t really tell what’s going on here, and that’s probably not a coincidence.

Suffice it to say, Frankenfish ate her, then immediately had to lie down.

The upside down boat of failed dreams of a hippie utopia up on the delta.

I took this screenshot to illustrate just how calm the cast remains, when a giant fish just flipped a boat over and ate the person inside of it.

That is one consistent characteristic of these Syfy Original movies: the remaining victims stay surprisingly calm, despite the extraordinary events unfolding around them.

I guess it would be hard to act really distressed by a director saying, “Now look in this direction and act really surprised.” Maybe that’s why they’re in these movies, and not in the blockbuster cgi festivals that dominate today’s cinema.

Here’s an underwater action shot of Frankenfish. I think.

Meanwhile, Eliza tries to get over to the hippies’ houseboat for some reason. I don’t even know what she could want from over there. Maybe they owe her some money. Seems likely. Or maybe she just wants to get her blaze on.

Instead of taking a boat over there, which has been proven not to work, or just jumping over there because the two boats are probably close enough to do that, she takes a bucket on a string. A bucket that goes between the houseboats that we haven’t seen until this moment.

Frankenfish leaps out of the water, and Sam shoots at him, or her.

Continued in Next Blog, Stay Tuned!










Top 5 Mardi Gras Movies: Honorable Mention "Mardi Gras Massacre"

Vernon T. Hightower

There are a lot of horror movies set during the festive Carnival season, which isn’t surprising as the setting lends itself to horror. Masks, skeletons, excess, debauchery. How could a crazed killer resist such temptation?

If you go to imdb, type in “Mardi Gras” and see what pops up. Some of the search results may surprise you, but as a guy who actively seeks out films about, and set during, Mardi Gras, a horror film with Mardi Gras right there in the gotdang title is too much to resist.

Being one of the UK’s infamously banned 39 “video nasties” moved “Mardi Gras Massacre” straight to the top of my list of “must-see” movies. Unfortunately, it was almost impossible to find a copy, and has still never been released in the UK.

It was hard to find, that is, until a company called Code Red released the “Maria’s ‘B’ Movie Mayhem” version on dvd, which is easily obtainable via amazon.

The Maria in question is Maria Kanellis, who apparently is famous as a wrastling “diva” but also has tried her hand out as a “horror host”.


On this dvd, you can “watch the movie with Maria”, which is where she does her best (but not very good) Elvira impression and makes comments throughout the film. If you like that sort of thing, it’s ok, but personally I can’t recommend it.

It also includes a music video for her original hit single, “Fantasy”, which I could only make it through about 5 seconds of, and is shot in Los Angeles and has absolutely zip to do with massacres or Mardi Gras.


Thankfully, you can just “watch the movie only”, which makes it sound really boring, but clearly is the best option.

So without any more introduction than that, let’s watch it!



Super cool title screen. I think that is supposed to be blood? “Mardi Gras” is written all festive, but “MASSACRE” is very matter-of-fact, and adorned with blood. I think.


The movie opens with this weirdo, immediately identified as the antagonist by his bad guy voice, his fancy suit in a bar full of ‘tutes, and his persistent desire to meet the “most evil” prostitute in New Orleans. Here he is approaching two willing ladies and asking about which gal in the bar is the “most evil”.



He is then introduced to, supposedly, the most evil woman in the bar.

You would almost think that this guy is going to turn out to be a “Se7en” style biblical avenger, the way he is going after evil women and prostitutes. Turns out, not so much...


Due to the nature of the film being a "video nasty", you will have to check out the rest of Vernon's Rundown of "Mardi Gras Massacre" at his blog,  CAUTION: There are a few scenes from the film that are NSFW, and he goes over them on his blog, so it's not for the easily offended or too young of eyes, for there is some 1970's nudity and violence in "Mardi Gras Massacre".  Enjoy!

Check out the rest of the posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5