Barracuda (1978)


Your average animals attack story, with a coastal town under siege by a giant barracuda, and the sheriff and marine biologist who team up to take down the fish and the chemical company that created it. Think of it as the younger, more annoying cousin of Jaws. It’s on obvious attempt to make the ocean look scary again and cash in on the summer blockbuster phenomena after the massive success that Jaws enjoyed.

Sadly, Barracuda lacks the tight script and masterful filmmaking that made Jaws so compelling. This film had some of the worst sound design I’ve ever come across, the props weren’t realistic, and none of the story had the dark undertones or hell, any undertones at all. The anti-pollution message was layered on pretty heavy at the top, but the discussion failed to touch on anything new or interesting. Even in 1978, the debate would have seemed dated.

The characters are as flat as their acting, the story rambles on without establishing any real tension or memorable conflict, and the monster looked awful on screen. I was surprised at the level of gore included in a film from this time period, but that didn’t add anything to the story. Plus, it was pretty easy to tell which “pieces” where plastic and which were cow bones.

Skip this one. Go watch Jaws.


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