Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature

Tagline : Beatiful, seductive and totally deadly.

Runtime : 91 mins

Genre : Horror Fantasy

Vote Rating : 5.7/10

Plot : Two carnies (Sewell and Gugino) abduct a mermaid in Ireland, circa 1900, and decide to transport her to America. As their ship loses its way and heads towards the mythical Forbidden Islands, the mermaid begins to display its deadly side.

Cast Members


_**This ain't no "Little Mermaid"**_ Released to TV and video in 2001, "Sea Creature" is about a couple of carnies (Rufus Sewell & Carla Gugino) in the early 20th century who come across a real mermaid in Ireland (Rya Kihlstedt), which they apprehend and intend to transport to America as a freakshow attraction. Horror ensues. Reno Wilson and Gil Bellows are also on hand. Originally called simply "Sea Creature" the movie was unnecessarily burdened with the overlong title of "Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature," which doesn't make sense since there's no "Part 2," although the ending leaves room for that possibility. The movie plays like a modern-day Hammer flick with elements of "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Species" and "Alien/Aliens." While it lacks the budget of those three films, the production is comparable to those Hammer horror movies that take place during the Victorian era. "Sea Creature" also shares similarities to 1961's haunting "Night Tide" with Dennis Hopper, which also was about a (possible) mermaid. There are three basic settings in the movie: The opening carnival sequence that segues into a (sorta) castle sequence and, lastly, the long ship sequence that takes up the bulk of the story. The last one reveals the greatest weakness of the movie in that sailing on a ship is a limited setting, which makes for a little dullness here and there, but the flick makes up for it with an over-the-top horrific last act. The renowned Stan Winston was on hand as producer and you can tell with the excellent F/X of something revealed at the end, which is on par with the Aliens, Predator, and Pumpkinhead movies. No kidding. While a TV movie, "Sea Creature" is adult-oriented in that the mermaid is top-nude the entire movie (the horror, the horror!) and there's at least one overt simulated sex scene. Keep in mind, however, that the movie was shooting for realism and not raunch; not to mention that redemption and comeuppance factor into the equation. BOTTOM LINE: Despite a couple of dull or dubious scenes, "Sea Creature" delivers the goods for those who appreciate Hammer's haunting Victorian-era films, as well as movies like "Bram Stoker's Dracula," albeit understandably no where near as lavish as Coppola's film. Carla shines in both beauty and acting chops, as does Rya (who's been married to Bellows since 1994); and Sewell plays a superlative protagonist. "Sea Creature" shows that a quality product can be made on a TV budget. The film runs 91 minutes and was shot in California. GRADE: B+

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