River Monsters Season 3 (DVD Review)

Animal Planet’s top-performing series ever returns as biologist and extreme angler Wade travels worldwide to solve freshwater fish tales and lures in watery culprits that allegedly attack mankind.  This season, Jeremy finds himself in places he’s never explored as he travels to the far reaches of the globe – from serpentine underwater caves to remote rivers filled with freshwater crocodiles. In the first episode titled “The Mutilator,” Jeremy searches for the giant cousin of the piranha that – with its gnarly teeth and gnawing jaws–has turned from vegetarian to meat eater, with a particular interest in male genitalia.  The second episode features “The Flesh Ripper,” a fish with toxic blood.  In order to test his hypothesis, Jeremy has to use himself as human bait and lure the fish by covering himself in fresh fish guts.   I’ve long been a fan of Billy the Exterminator who takes on gators and other creatures in the Louisiana area, but  I am convinced that Billy would soil himself and run like a little girl if he ever went on one of the fishing trips seen in River Monsters.



Jeremy Wade is a self described biologist and extreme fisherman.  He is obsessed with fresh water fish, most of which can easily described as monsters.  Many are responsible for savage injuries and even deaths.  Wade travels the earth searching out these monsters and solving mysteries.

River Monsters Season 3 contains the following 7 episodes on 2 discs:

Disc One

  • The Mutilator – Wade travels to Papua New Guinea where it is rumored that there have been fatal attacks in a remote village.  Locals tell the stories of the “ball cutter” that has injured the genitals of more than one man.  Wade discovers the pacu fish, which has been introduced to the area.  The pacu is a vegetarian turned carnivore, which has teeth resembling that of a human. Just as I am thinking scary things like that are only found in remote places like Papua New Guinea, I learn that pacu fish have been found in 19 states in the U.S.
  • Flesh Ripper – An eight foot flesh eater is a legend in New Zealand.  Wade discovers tales of supersized eels cracking a man’s ribs, and attempting to pull a young girl out into deeper waters.  He picks up road kill for use as bait when searching for the longfin eel.  Wade goes on a radio show to solicit local stories about eel attacks and learns that eels are capable of entering live sheep and pulling out their insides. In this episode, he turns himself into human bait.
  • Silent Assassin – A 12 year old girl in Argentina died yards from the bank of the river, killed by a freshwater monster.  The evidence points to a sting ray. While fishing for sting rays, piranha often takes his bait.  A catfish on the line manages to make Wade bleed.
  • Chainsaw Predator – Wade receives special permission to fish for the endangered saw fish in Australian waters.  The saw fish can be over 20 feet long and has a snout resembling a saw with sharp teeth on both sides.  The sawfish is rumored to attack boats to get at the fisherman.  Wade seeks to determine if the sawfish is as deadly as it looks, and why they swim so far into fresh water.
  • Electric Executioner – Three Brazilian cowboys have been killed and Wade meets with an eyewitness to help identify the suspect.   The electric eels are deadly, and Wade finds as many as twenty in less than six inches of muddy water.


Disc Two

  • Cold Blooded Horror – Wade makes his first trip to Japan to investigate two river monster legends.  He talks to the locals about the belief that these monsters can cause earthquakes and also seeks out scientists to explain the connection.
  • Jungle Killer – Wade investigates reports of a diver being attacked in a remote area of South America.  He suspects the anjumara or wolf fish and seeks it out.  During this episode a member of the crew is struck in the head by lightning, proving how dangerous the process is.


For a television show on DVD, I am impressed.  I have never seen a single TV show with so many different lighting conditions, and I am amazed that the viewer can see what’s going on in all of them.  Jeremy’s travels take him through the Amazon, into caves, in bright sunlight and in pitch black with only a tiny light on his head.  While the video is not high definition, the footage is impressive.  It’s not always a perfectly sharp picture but the colors are rich, and there is immense detail to be noticed.


River Monsters Season 3 is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.  The sound certainly didn’t wow me like the video did.  Although I often thought, wow, I can’t believe I can clearly see that…I don’t recall thinking wow, I can’t believe I heard that.  I was forced to adjust the volume because some of Jeremy Wade’s dialogue was a little low.

Special Features   

The special features, found on disc two, are just as interesting as the episodes of River Monsters.  I particularly enjoyed watching Jeremy have to earn the respect of the tribe in River Monster Goes Tribal, starting off doing “women’s work.”

  • River Monster Goes Tribal – Wade travels half way around the world to live with some of the world’s best fisherman.  He attempts to gain their trust and learn their techniques which cannot be learned anywhere else in the world.  Fishing tools include spider webs, machetes, kites, and rocks.  Fishing techniques include cursing at the fish.
  • River Monsters:  The Lost Reels – Footage never before seen by US audiences, including dangerous situations catching fish but most amazingly, a plane crash.
  • Amazonian Giant – Jeremy searches for the world’s largest freshwater fish,   called the Arapaima.
  • Himalayan Giant – Includes footage of Wade’s search for a man-eating catfish and Jeremy takes quite a hit to the chest when he gets too close to the net.  Although he laughs it off, it turns out the blow permanently damaged his heart.

Final Thoughts  

Jeremy Wade is awesome.  He cares about the fish, cares about his crew and solves some pretty big mysteries.  He made me interested in fishing.  Granted, it’s very extreme fishing, but fishing none the less.  I was excited for him when he got to yell “fish on” and reeled in his catch.  I am truly amazed how much I enjoyed this show and I can’t wait for River Monsters season 4.

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