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Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (Blu-ray Review)

Sharkansas-Womens-Prison-MassacreGet ready for a wild ride when Dominque Swain (Skin Traffik,Alpha Dog) and Traci Lords (Cry Baby, Not of this Earth) come face to face with the deadliest prehistoric man-eaters nature has ever spawned when the uproarious SHARKANSAS WOMEN’S PRISON MASSACRE Blu-ray™ debuts May 3, 2016 from Scream Factory™.  Directed by cult filmmaker Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, The Return of Swamp Thing), this high-camp, creature-feature also stars Cindy Lucas (America Pie Presents: The Book of Love), Christine Nguyen (Get Him to the Greek), Corey Landis (Chrysalis), John Callahan (Falcon Crest) and Amy Holt (Dinocroc vs. Supergator).  Available for the first time on Digital, On-Demand, DVD and Blu-ray, SHARKANSAS WOMEN’S PRISON MASSACRE Blu-ray and DVD editions contain insightful audio commentary with director Jim Wynorski and actresses Cindy Lucas and Amy Holt. Pre-order the Blu-ray and DVD now at ShoutFactory.com

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Film Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0

When a fracking mishap accidentally rips apart the earth’s crust, the resulting hole opens up a gaping underground waterway leading to a vast and mysterious subterranean ocean somewhere deep below. Instantly, giant prehistoric sharks begin wending their way upward toward a murky bog in the heart of the Arkansas bayou. Unfortunately for a group of female prisoners on a work detail in the swamp, the deadly sharks attack without warning – pinning a hapless group of potential victims in a small deserted cabin in the heart of the wetlands. For these wayward women, death may be the only means of escape!

Jim Wynorski is credited as having directed 101 films according to his IMDB page.  Of that number, there are some that have made an impact for me in my life.  Stuff I’d like to refer to as all-time favorites.  Things like Chopping Mall and Deathstalker II.  Yes, a cult director.  Yes, some cheese.  But, he’s got his fans and he does what he does quite well.  So, let it not sound weird and at that when I heard about Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre, I became quite excited.  Unfortunately, the film is a big time let down.

Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre is a complete tease when you think about it.  The film goes for the exploitative jugular in multiple ways on its title and delivers about a quarter of each of those.  Its hampered by being a television film.  So, no boobs, barely any blood and the sharks are pretty lame and super cheap.  I guess that’s good for all the underage folk who can’t watch films like the one this is trying to be, but it still won’t leave them feeling like they’re getting away with something.  It doesn’t even work too much on a parody level.

Billed on the top of the title is that of Traci Lords.  The cult actress is delivered to us as much as the title would have promised.  She was probably only around for a couple days to shoot and its obvious.  Most of her scenes have her just sitting, driving a car and chatting.   That’s like 90% of her role.  She’s worked with Wynorski before, so maybe this was her doing him a solid.  But, you can do yourself a major solid and skip this movie at really any cost.  Only hardcore Wynorski fans should check this out if they are curious.

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Video Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre brings about a very vivid image that is sharp and crisp.  However, while it looks above average and neat, there’s a little murkiness to it that keeps it from being top notch.  This is clear enough to make the CG effects look crappier than they were probably intended to be.  However, nit picking aside, this looks quite good and most people will probably take it at a higher value.

Depth:  Spacing is above average here with natural and smooth movement.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich in the film.  No crushing witness and sharpening and shading look terrific.

Color Reproduction:  A very vivid looking image, a lot of the color burst has to wait for the women to change into more fashionable or flashier clothing.  For the first act or so the more lively color comes in the form of the blonde hair.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and maintain a consistent appearance throughout the duration of the feature.  Facial details come through showing us thick layers of make-up on the actresses, lip texture, wrinkles, stubble and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  This is a solid 5.1 track.  While its not some masterpiece of 5.1 mixing, the track sounds very good and eventful.  The action gets plenty loud and booming where it needs to be.  The 2.0 track for this is probably more effective in a less is more sorta way, with just as much effectiveness.

Low Frequency Extension:  Explosions, gun blasts, engines revving, sharks attacking and more all get a boost from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  The rear speakers aren’t utilized enough, mainly ambiances.  But, the front channels give way to a fun depiction of onscreen events.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clean and clear.  Just a hair lower in the mix than the music and the sound effects.

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Extras Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Jim Wynorski and Actresses Cindy Lucas and Amy Holt

 

Photo Gallery (HD, 3:58)

Trailer (HD, 1:16)

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0

Consider me disappointed.  Jim Wynorski is a master of a certain craft, and he certainly didn’t live up to his standards here.  Probably making it for TV severely handicapped that.  This Blu-ray isn’t handicapped, with good audio and video as well as some solid extras.  Fans of Wynorski should check it out if curious (You don’t have to), but wait for it to come to a stream or rental near you.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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