29th Jun2015

‘Killer Mermaids’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Franco Nero, Kristina Klebe, Natalie Burn, Dragan Micanovic, Miodrag Krstovic, Slobodan Stefanovic, Sofija Rajovic, Zorana Kostic Obradovic, Jelena Rakocevic, Janko Cekic | Written by Marko Backovic, Barry Keating, Milan Konjevic | Directed by Milan Todorovic

Killer_Mermaids

Serbian director Milan Todorovic, who helmed the direct-to-DVD Ken Foree starrer Apocalyse of the Dead (aka Zone of the Dead), returns to the horror genre with Killer Mermaids, which follows two friends Kelly (Klebe) and Lucy (Burn) who travel into the depths of Montenegro to visit an old friend.

While there, they decide to explore an abandoned military fortress located on a remote island. As the summer sun quickly sets, the dark mystery of the night envelopes the girls as they realise they are not alone. There are secrets which must be protected and an evil darkness hidden beneath the island. Awaking the mythical terror, dawn may never come for the two girls who realise they may not leave the fortress alive.

Having missed Killer Mermaids when it played at Frightfest last year (under the title Nymph), I was keen to sit down and watch what some had described as a “ridiculous Jess Franco-esque Euro-horror”. Now that may not seem like cinematic fun for everyone but for those of us accustomed to Euro-trash horror from the early 90s, when Redemption ruled the horror shelves in video stores across the UK, that description sounds like manna from heaven!

And it’s a description that couldn’t be more apt. For Killer Mermaids is as ridiculous as it’s title suggests. In fact the title is the Ronseal of all movie titles, i.e. it does exactly what it says on the tin. There’s a mermaid and she kills people (yes, in what turns out to be something of a let down, there’s only ONE mermaid. No mermaids, plural, here folks – well not until the set up for part two!). Oh and there’s a guy that kills people too, with a boat anchor, usually through the neck, who happens to feed his victims to the mermaid, who lives down a well. Yeah, it’s all a bit wierd really.

It doesn’t help that despite being played utterly straight, the finished product comes off as camp as Christmas. Maybe its the inept pigeon-English spoken by half the cast? Or maybe its the completely overwrought soundtrack which lumbers from disco-esque to manic John WIlliams wannabe (yes, that IS how over the top some of this films soundtrack actually is).

Hell, not even a stern-faced Franco Nero can save Todorovic’s film from being anything other than ridiculous… Ridiculous fun that is! Yes, despite everything going against it, Killer Mermaids is a fun as it is camp and really lives up to the cheesy Euro-sleaze title, making this the best genre title to come out of Serbia. Ever.

Killer Mermaids is out now on DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment. The film, along with many new film releases is available from Cinema Paradiso, who offer over 80,000 films and TV series to rent!

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