(Weird) Watching with Alex, Episode 14: It Came from Florida!

Swamp Ape [2017]
Directed/Written by: Geoff Ward
Featuring: Vanessa Capriglione, Justin Brackett & Adam Brudnicki
Produced by: Hollyward Entertainment
Category: Man-in-Ape-Suit “Horror/Comedy”

I spent quite some time making revisions and I still don’t like this review.

I thought I had this movie pinned down in my head. The cover was standard, the trailer was standard, this was going to be a standard independent horror movie about a guy-in-an-ape suit hunting college students. Only it wasn’t because it’s from Florida. Oh, it starts off well enough for a movie filmed with a camcorder: it’s the last trip for the Generic College Science Course and the professor has packed up a van full of students and volunteers to head into the Everglades for an environmental pollution study, foo-fooing the warning of “tonight’s Blood Moon” from the Native American storekeeper for good measure because these characters have really got to deserve what’s coming.

We meet several wooden characters, such as Wendy the Fat Chick, Lily the Awkward Girl, and Mack the Jock, who is summed up completely with “Jock”. I expected this so I go along with it. I also suspect that the IMDB rating of a ridiculously generous “5/10” stems mostly from the fact that the “Anna Marie” character is astonishingly easy on the eyes; I’m not gonna lie, she helped me get through the opening half of this movie. Props to you, Miss Gonzalez, you are a gorgeous woman.

But then we get to what passes for “humor” in Swamp Ape which mostly consists of Wendy constantly snacking because she’s fat or Mack constructing sentences mostly out of the words “homo“, and “gay“. I’m not finding the antics of this group entertaining and they’re all I have until Mr. Fuzzy finally starts doing more than hovering at the edge of the plot. After what feels like much too long, I finally get to the first Swamp Ape kill which is simply hysterical for the sheer level of overkill involved for such a poor effect. At last, some action!

But then the movie, which has already exhibited some jumpy editing, goes Full-Florida and starts to have a seizure, leaping from location to location without any heed to either plot events or the laws of physics. The body count piles up and then we arrive at a point late in the game where the Swamp Ape kidnaps the women and it is here that the importance of the Blood Moon is finally revealed in the “Swamp Brides Scene”, and boy is it done in some of the poorest taste that I’ve seen. I now hold the dubious honor of watching the skunk ape get a big red dog-boner

Swamp Ape then hobbles on to a non-conclusion and drops back to the Amazon page. Good.

Favored Ability: Hair? Fuck, I don’t know.

Rating: 1 (Slimy Rock) [+1 Everglades Setting]

The locations are lush and spectacular with all the animal and plant life that the Everglades have to offer. It’s goofy, it’s got a great lousy ape suit, and the faux-trailer at the beginning wins the Gold Star for not trying. I shouldn’t hate this movie but it’s the Middle School-level humor, the poorly-executed shock bits and and the whole attitude of the film, which is meant to be in good fun but comes of as cinematic trolling, that bring the movie down as a whole for me.

Or it could have been that this was my horror movie choice while having dinner with my parents and they watched it with me. Remember that bit about swamp ape boner? Yeah, that was super awkward, but you do get to see an alligator bite Swamp Ape’s weenie so I guess you have that.

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