Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (2014)


Michael is a fish and wildlife expert who moves to a new town with his wife and kids after being summoned by the town mayor to help deal with its declining fish problem. However after finding out that lampreys, vicious invading eel creatures, are on the loose, the town's residents quickly learn that a casual dip in the pool or routine trip to the toilet can turn deadly as the lampreys hunt for their next victim.

REVIEW: I know it's been a long, long time since my last review (February, I believe), and for that I apologize. Life has just been way too hectic lately, and it'll probably be that way for awhile yet as we're going into Summer and that's the busy season at my work. Still, I'm hoping to get these pumped out a bit more regularly then once every few months. For that reason, I again put out the call for Guest Reviewers. If you've seen a B-Movie recently that you want to do a review for, even if it's for one that's already on here, please do so. Just send me an e-mail with the heading Guest Review followed by the title of the movie. All I ask is that you follow my grading system which is that everything above 5 is positive, everything below 5 is negative, and 5 is when there is just as much stuff you liked as you disliked about it, and the ratings are in relation to other B-Movies, which is to say that a 10/10 for one of these is not saying its as good as Jurassic Park or Lord of the Rings, it's just saying it's exceptional in relation to other B-Movies.

Now, the thing that really made me want to do a review of Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, really, is the fact that the always-beautiful Ciara Hanna is in it. I mean sure, there are other things to look forward to with this movie – It's another killer animal movie by The Asylum (this time on Animal Planet since SyFy has stated they're majorly cutting down on their Original Movies line-up), it's directed by James Cullen Bressack who did 13/13/13 and the upcoming horror flick, Pernicious (not by Asylum, but also starring Ciara Hanna, Jackie Moore from Atlantic Rim, and The Asylum's hottest couple, Jared Cohn [Atlantic Rim, Jailbait] and Sara Malakul Lane [100 Degrees Below Zero, Jailbait]). I'm quite familiar Ciara Hanna from..erhm...Power Rangers Megaforce and it's second season, Power Rangers Super Megaforce, and she is easily one of the top good things on that show right now, so I was super excited to not only be seeing her branching out into other areas of acting, but that those areas are also another top interest of mine – B-Movies! And ones made by my favorite B-Movie company at that, The Asylum!


I suppose Blood Lake was an 'ok' first foray into B-Movies for her. For fans of these things, the movie wasn't terrible or even bad at all – The acting from everyone (including major stars Shannen Doherty, Jason Brooks, Zack Ward, and Christopher Lloyd) was pretty good, with Lloyd easily stealing the show as the stubborn town mayor that refuses to believe the killer lamprey problem is as bad as it actually is. The characters they all played were written well, were likable, and were fun to watch, and the special effects on display here were what you would expect, with a few moments of being better-than-average, and the entire thing was directed well enough, with some really beautiful shots in there, so what exactly is my issue with the movie? It's just so darn repetitive. 

Honestly, you could tune in at almost any random point in the movie after the first half hour or so, and you would have no idea how far into the movie you were, because once the killer lampreys come out in full force and the town gets evacuated, the rest of the movie has no further escalation and it's pretty much just the same generic 'running from group of attacking killer lampreys, looking for missing family member, fight off group of attacking killer lampreys along the way, discuss how to defeat them' kind of scenes over and over and over. And don't get me wrong, there were tons of fun stuff in some of those scenes, such as a swarm of the things overtaking a police cruiser and killing the cop inside in a pretty bloody fashion, or Ciara Hanna impaling one on a fire poker with what is quite possibly the most hilarious freeze-frame-worthy facial expression to ever grace The Asylum's cameras, or Christopher Lloyd sitting on a toilet and having one swim up into the toilet from the pipes and...well... I'm sure you can guess what happens with that. But there needs to be more than just a few random fun shots, there needs to be some form of continuing escalation, and there needs to be a bit more meat on the bones than just random chase scene after random chase scene that can be viewed in pretty much any mismatched order and the movie still play out the exact same way. You can only see people kicking away, electrocuting, and stabbing lampreys so many times before it just starts getting boring, and sadly that point hit quite a ways before the movie was over.


What did keep my attention though, as briefly mentioned above, was the main cast. Christopher Lloyd easily stole the show, the man can play 'stubborn grumpy town official' beautifully, and Ciara Hanna pulled off 'sassy teen daughter that doesn't want to move to this small town' to perfection (and I'll never complain about all her bikini scenes either). But in addition to them, there was also Jason Brooks (Days of Our Lives, Baywatch) as the main lead, playing as a wildlife officer and father, Shannen Doherty (90210, Charmed) as his wife, Zack Ward (Resident Evil: Apocalypse, BloodRayne 2: Deliverance) as the wildlife officer in charge that Jason Brooks' character moves to town to help assist with his lamprey problem, and Rachel True (The Craft, The Drew Carey Show) as another wildlife officer. All of these people did great with what they had, and slightly better than average for a movie like this. Hell, even first-timer Yar Koosha, playing the younger brother of Ciara Hanna's character, did way better than you would expect from such a young person, and in his first role ever. It also helps that their characters were written well and each were given enough entertaining stand-out moments to grant a few chuckles (and even some full-on laughs in the case of Fred Stoller from Everybody Loves Raymond, who played a rather minor-but-always-hilarious role as the goofball wildlife officer in this movie).

The lampreys themselves made for a pretty entertaining threat as well, being able to scale walls, travel through pipes and the water systems, leap up in a spring-launched attacked, and all that kind of jazz. Like most people, I hadn't even the faintest clue what a lamprey was before this movie came out, but now I'll never forget these creepy little eels-with-teeth critters. The only downside to focusing an entire movie around them is, like I've already stated, there's only so much you can do with them and once you exhaust all those, the movie just gets painfully repetitive. Also, unless I missed it, there never was any sort of explanation given as to exactly how and why these lampreys were growing so large and becoming such a dangerous threat, other than just 'they are'. I admit though that I did find my attention wandering quite a bit in that last 20-30 minute stretch of the movie so it's quite possible it was explained there and I just completely missed it.


For fans of these kinds of movies, there's certainly enough in Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys to enjoy that should warrant a viewing if you haven’t done so yet, but the repetitiveness of the second half of the movie will probably make it difficult to ever feel like revisiting it, which is a shame because I really enjoyed this crop of actors in these roles, and there admittedly were quite a few really fun moments scattered throughout.

Still, it was a decent enough first foray for Animal Planet into the wonderful B-Movie world that is The Asylum, and I really hope to see more of Asylum's future killer animal movies find a home at Animal Planet if SyFy continues their decline in Original Movie products. After all, this channel is no stranger to such low budget B-Movie-esque kind of stuff, having been responsible for the fun low budget found-footage TV series, Lost Tapes. I know the ratings weren’t very high (1.3 mil), but I believe that's about average for these kinds of movies on SyFy, so I'm hoping Animal Planet has around the same expectations, and we continue getting more movies like this on their channel.

6/10 rooms in the Psych Ward




Comments

  1. I thought the movie was laughable and have seen better middle school films. Palm trees and mountains in the background for Lake Charlevoix, Michigan? Hmmm...that is new...never seen those there.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that kind of stuff is the norm for B-Movies. They're not MEANT to be genuinely good, well-made movies on the level of a Hollywood blockbuster. They're meant to be low budget and on the bad side, that's the whole fun and appeal of them, and everyone involved is usually in on the fun as well.

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  2. Full Audio: Sprinter - Vurdalak (Psychedelic Electronic Music)

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