It’s mermaid time, bitches and I, for one, am thrilled! I love me a mermaid story in pretty much any capacity, but an evil one? I am so in.
It was my turn to choose the film for Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab 2015, Part 3.
I did think this film was called Killer Mermaids (plural), suggesting multiple fishy babes, but I was mistaken. I avoided all reviews/trailers so as not to spoil the bound to be incredible premise and I’m glad, for this was a fishy treat to the very end (sort of).
Let us begin.
Killer Mermaid (2014)
AKA “Nymph” (Original title “Mamula”) – so good, they name it thrice
Where to Watch:
Two young American women go on a Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress. What was once a carefree adventure becomes a deadly fight for survival. (via IMDB)
The Uncondensed Version:
We open with an underwater scene reminiscent of Jaws but without the John Williams soundtrack (there is music and it is trying to be Jaw-sy but failing dismally). The POV shot takes us on a tour of an abandoned shipwreck before veering straight for the surface.
Next we see a series of cheesy holiday snaps between a bald man and his cutesy blonde companion. It’s typical cheeky fair, having japes in a Mediterranean setting while taking lots of pictures. All set to a Euro trash disco track that mentions partying a lot.
It’s night time. Baldie and Blondie are by the shore. Blondie takes off her top and asks Baldie if he’s just going to stand there staring. He closes his mouth and strips, but is distracted by a sound rather like (bad) singing. He walks to the edge of the water and is gone. Blondie is inconsolable and while she is screaming for help, a man (?) in Wellington boots comes up behind her and swings a hook/anchor type affair into the back of her head and drags her off. It doesn’t look good for Blondie.
Enter our heroines, Kelly and Lucy, two Americans out for a good time. Lucy is obviously the good time girl because she can rock a bikini like nobody’s business, while Kelly is a little more serious as she’s covered up and keeps talking about work. She’s a writer and her editor is bugging her about writing a piece on the town they are visiting.
They converse by the pool and it turns out they are here to visit their friend, Alex who Lucy had a thing with seven years previously, in college. It’s cool though as she is adamant they are ‘just friends’. Alex rocks up but he is not alone. His glamorous companion is a lady called Yasmin, who turns out to be his fiance. It’s a bit of an awks meeting to be honest, and Lucy obviously isn’t all that pleased by this shock news.
Alex is obviously a sensitive soul as the first thing her says to Kelly in greeting is “Did you get a boob job or something?”
Just before they get on Alex’s yacht to go back to his place, Kelly has a moment of apprehension about the water. We don’t really learn what’s going on with her but we do know she’s scared for good reason (she ain’t seen nothing yet).
Yasmin gets drunk back at the house and makes a dig about Lucy and Alex’s past relationship but they both maintain they were only ever ‘good friends’, that old chestnut, and she gets over it. They all have a dance and then Yasmin pukes. Alex and Lucy go outside and prove how friendly they are by getting off with each other, but not before Alex asks her about Kelly’s deal.
Turns out Kelly’s brother drowned when she was 10. She wasn’t able to swim then so ran for help, returning too late. Lucy assures Alex that it’s okay, because Kelly can swim now, she just doesn’t like to.
Somewhere on the island a random drunk man is whistling to himself whilst having a wee in the harbour and neglects to hear the sound of chains behind him, as he become Hook Killers next victim. Oopsy.
Next day Alex and Yasmin take the girls off in his yacht. On the way to the harbour they notice a gruff looking fisherman type on the boardwalk who they jokingly nickname Moby Dick (thus making my job easier). One of the girls then makes a hilarious quip about I Know What You Did Last Summer, which I had already done to myself moments earlier, so I think we’re going to get on famously here.
Also, could Moby be the Hook Killer?
When they’re all safely ensconced on the boat they have another awkward chat, this time about having had too much to drink the night before. Lucy is so obvious about having done it with Alex that she might as well have a flashing neon sign pointing at his head, yet Yasmin, god love her, seems not to be the brightest bulb and doesn’t notice. Or chooses not to.
Alex mentions that they are going to see an abandoned army base (obvs) which has an old (abandoned) submarine tunnel (but of course). He then says that there is also an abandoned prison nearby which is, sadly, impossible to get to on his boat. (Dammit).
They frolic about in the water opposite the army base for a while. Kelly stays on the boat reading, obvs; at one point she looks up and notices a beardy fisherman near the submarine tunnel but doesn’t have time to say anything to the others as Yasmin is grabbed from below the water by something.
As she shrieks and Kelly begs her to get out of the water, a good-looking yet annoying man pops up. Turns out he is Yasmin’s friend, Bob. He meets the girls who both think he’s hot and then Yasmin invites him to join them later for drinks.
Later, at the restaurant, the gang are talking about the abandoned prison on the small island of Mamula again and Bob says he can take them there in his smaller boat. Moby Dick is sitting nearby and butts into their conversation, telling them to stay away as the island is ‘drenched in blood’. He tells them that the prison was used by Nazis in World World II as a concentration camp. He says men, women and children were tortured there.
He then tells a mumbled story that I could only hear snippets of. The gist is that he lost some of ‘his men’ to Mamula and it wrenched his heart more than anything. He urges them again to stay away from Mamula. He walks off. The groups ponder who Moby is. Bob says his name is Niko and he is in town looking for his missing daughter. He handily pulls out a missing poster and yep, you guessed it, Blondie is pictured.
This does mean however, that Moby can’t be the Hook Killer. Or can he?
The gang ignore Moby completely and go to the prison the next morning in a flimsy rubber dinghy. Lucy rocks a very small pair of hot pants and this is not a criticism. She should never wear anything else to be honest. The gang have a blast looking all over the prison and taking snapshots until Kelly spots the lone fisherman from the submarine tunnel and alerts the others.
He isn’t Moby but looks almost exactly like him. This leads me to thinking that all fishermen look the same. Not Moby is carrying two buckets. The gang follow him to the square where they witness him tipping the contents of these buckets down a well. The contents are bloody and contain human body parts.
Not Moby almost spots one of them (Yasmin, you loud idiot) but they hide away. Bob has the brain wave that they get to the well and take some pictures with Kelly’s phone flash so they have evidence to take back to the police. Kelly snaps a few shots and looks at her phone while the men bicker about whose idea it was to come here and she is shocked to see the very clear image of a young woman down the well.
In surprise she drops the phone. I think this is because Not Moby is now shooting at them. They gather again by the boat which has been shot to pieces, leaving them no way to get off the island. Not Moby is shooting at them again, but luckily he is a rubbish shot, which buys them time.
The gang get split up and run in separate directions. I’m just going to say for the next twenty minutes or so there’s a lot of running and shooting and dark passages and torches. Bob, Yasmin and Lucy are together and find Not Moby’s lair, which is full of hooks and newspaper clippings.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Alex are in the tunnels. Alex hears some singing and rushes to the door it is coming through. He peeks through and can see the girl, who looks decidedly cheerful for a captive, but never mind. Kelly shouts at him to come with her as he is acting crazy but he calls her a bitch so she runs off to find the others.
Bob and the girls find a locket with Blondie in it and an old photo of Not Moby and Moby Dick as much younger men together. Bob also finds a blueprint of the prison so they have a way of getting out. Not Moby/Hook Killer has other ideas and comes after them, though.
Alex, elsewhere, manages to get into the room to rescue the girl. He walks to the edge of the water where she was spotted and sees some scattered dead bodies. He can still hear light singing and is grinning like a buffoon.
Hook Killer comes back but as the gang, now reunited with Kelly, run off, Yasmin is captured and thrown into the blood bath (an interesting central feature of Hook Killer’s ‘office’). Hook Killer hacks off her head and follows the others, when they stop to wonder where Yasmin is, he tosses her dismembered head at them and walks off.
Can we take a wee moment for Yasmin here? She had rotten luck with her slimy cheating fiance, who didn’t really seem that into her anyway and then gets murdered on a day trip with the girl he cheated with. She died for nothing and seemed sweet, if a little formless. RIP Yasmin.
The others run off to find Alex and the girl, entering the room he was last seen in. Hook Killer follows and has a fight with Bob. The girl reveals herself again, dragging herself up from the water. She looks like a freaking 90’s supermodel with perfect hair despite her apparent captivity and webbed fingers. A tail swishes out of the water and she reveals herself to be a very mermaidy mermaid.
Except, she’s very smooth with not even one scale which blows my perception of all that is mermaidy (what, no shell bra?). She’s not Ariel put it this way.
While Bob and Hook Killer scuffle, the girls are transfixed by Mermaid, who changes from Cindy Crawford to poor Beetlejuice special effects quite quickly, before their very eyes. They spot Alex floating face down in the water, deaded. Somehow Lucy ends up in the water too, where she is killed by Mermaid.
It all goes a bit wrong here, but Bob manages to axe Hook Killer in the back and he and Kelly escape. Kelly is distraught about Lucy; and Mermaid is pretty upset about dead Hook Killer. I wonder what their relationship is? Is seems a little father/daughter.
Hook Killer, of course, isn’t really dead and gets up after a touching scene with Mermaid and follows them out. Just as they are about to be captured in one of the tunnels, they are rescued by Moby Dick, who tells them they shouldn’t have come. A fine time for I Told You Sos, Moby! He gets them on his boat and away they go.
Quite near to land they stop for a breather (brilliant idea), and he tells them about his relationship to the Hook Killer. It turns out he and his men (who all died in his previous anecdote) were diving crew sent to build the underwater passage (giggle) 30 years ago. Every one of his crew were killed by the Mermaid, including Hook Killer, or so he had believed. He says that sometimes Mermaids let one man survive so that they can do things for the Mermaid, implying that Hook Killer is in love with the Mermaid which is why he has been living and feeding her all this time.
Kelly ponders why anyone would fall in love with such a disgusting creature. Then she asks why she can’t hear the Mermaid’s song that lures sailors (and Alex) to their death. Moby says she should think herself lucky she’s a woman.
They miraculously get close to shore but Moby says that he knows the Mermaid is coming. He gives Kelly a harpoon and tells her to jab the Mermaid when she sees her. Alas, it is very dark and she can’t see well. Moby tells Kelly that she is going to have to swim the boat the very last few metres to shore and pull it in as they haven’t quite got there yet.
Bob (or Boob, in hindsight) says “You can do it Kelly” in a half-hearted way and Kelly looks pained. Then she gets on with it. Meanwhile, Bob stands up and the Mermaid jumps out of the water in the most hammy way and drags him under… this doesn’t appease her though as she comes back to grab Moby’s leg mere seconds later as he’s climbing off the boat and up onto the boardwalk.
Kelly grabs a spear and stabs Mermaid as they tussel in the water. Then Mermaid launches herself out of the water after Kelly and they fight some more. It looks as though Mermaid is going to go for the jugular but she is stopped just in time. By a net.
Moby starts to fall under Mermaid’s spell as she looks coquettishly over her shoulder at him (in her net) but Kelly slaps him so he snaps out of it. As he does so he grabs the spear and stabs her again. Kelly then gives Moby his daughter’s locket and he looks sad while he is thanking her. I feel sad.
Hook Guy comes out of the darkness behind them (where’s he been, eh?) and sees that Merm is mortally wounded and runs to her. Then they hear a lot of singing coming from all the way around the island and Moby mumbles something about Mermaid’s sisters coming to avenge her. Obviously.
We cut quickly to an aerial shot of the ocean with an apparent shoal of killer mermaids heading quickly towards them and then Moby mumbles something else I don’t catch and hooks his old friend, the Hook Killer, in the head, killing him for reals this time.
Well. I never thought it would go so pear-shaped as soon as the actual mermaid turned up but that is what happened. As a slasher movie (before the mythic element comes into play), it’s actually not too bad. Definitely better than any of the Hostel movies and I think it helps that it has a European flavour, it makes it trashier somehow. Sadly, the special effects just make it laughable when it comes to the crunch.
The characters are very 2D apart from Kelly, who’s a feisty one. She is set apart early on as the brains of the outfit, and so it’s no surprise that she’s pretty much the last one left standing. I like Moby but he doesn’t half mumble. There’s a chance I missed quite a bit of what he was going on about because of this. The woman playing the mystical central character of the Mermaid (Zorana Kostic Obradovic, yes really) is absolutely diabolical in the role. I haven’t seen worse in a very long time.
That’s about it. I wish it had been stronger. I wish it had been a bit more imaginative with the killings and stuff; and I really wish that the Mermaid we waited so long to see hadn’t been so Buffy the Vampire Slayer shit. Creature feature indeed.
3 sassy Ursulas out of 5
All this said, I am not put off mermaid movies by any means. I am now eyeing the crowd funded movie, Mermaid Down (2015), 2011’s short The Little Mermaid; and Sofia Coppola‘s live action version of The Little Mermaid (currently in production).
Head over to Jillian’s to see what she thought soon!
ALL IMAGES VIA GOOGLE.
UPDATE: I found The Little Mermaid short here. It’s pretty good.