Main cast: Kristina Klebe (Kelly), Natalie Burn (Lucy), Dragan Micanovic (Boban), Slobodan Stefanovic (Alex), Miodrag Krstovic (The Guardian), Sofija Rajovic (Yasmin), Zorana Kostic Obradovic (Scylla), and Franco Nero (Niko)
Director: Milan Todorovic
First off, no, Killer Mermaid isn’t a comedy. No, there isn’t much nudity here, and what little that passes for nudity is actually a body suit carefully designed to give the illusion of nudity, worn by the killer mermaid in question. No, there are no sex scenes here, no excessive gore, nothing of that sort. So why would anyone want to watch this film?
Believe it or not, this is a more sober movie than the packaging would want people to believe. The original title of this flick was Nymph, a more elegant yet inaccurate title as Scylla, the malevolent creature in this movie, really is a mermaid. Unfortunately, despite its good intentions, this movie ends up being a rather typical low-budget flick. I’m paying for the film people’s sins with my time and money.
Kelly and her best friend Lucy meet up with Lucy’s ex-boyfriend Alex in Montenegro for a holiday. Much to Lucy’s dismay – as she still would like to have a few more rounds with Alex, if you know what I mean – Alex brings along his fiancée Yasmin, who is immediately suspicious of the two women. It looks like she’s well aware of Alex’s womanizing ways, heh. These group of people decide to visit an abandoned island that once housed a military prison. Yes, that’s always a good idea, so don’t listen to the local fisherman Niko, y’all. If the cast isn’t big enough, they are joined by Boban, a guy Yasmin knew from way back. These twits find the place exactly like what an abandoned place would be – lots of stone walls, nothing else, nice – but wait, what’s that creepy old man doing? Is he pouring bloody fish bits into a well? Gasp! Oh no, he heard those twits, and he has a gun!
The idea of a creature that is a mix of the traditional siren and a bloodthirsty undine with a mermaid’s tail is pretty interesting, as is the potential relationship between her and the old man that acts as her guardian. However, for way too long, the movie struggles like a drowning puppy weighted down by a ton of bricks. For the first hour or so, nothing happens other than the flat one-dimensional characters being generally annoying and petulant. Once they are on the island and become part of the guardian’s target practice, they spend a long time just running around in corridors while the camera crew run after them. Seriously, the whole thing is as edifying as a bowl of soggy popcorn. It is only in the late half hour or so that some interesting concepts and lore emerge, but by then the movie is pretty much done for.
The two gentlemen that play the older members of the cast basically steal the show with their very presence, so it’s actually a shame that the movie didn’t let them do much and instead have a bunch of barely-adequate younger people running around trying to act. Those characters are all throwaway sorts anyway, so I can’t help feeling that the movie would have been so much better if there had been only one tourist who is accompanied by Niko to explore the island. Maybe then there would be more opportunity to go into the origins and nature of the Scylla and her relationship with her guardian old coot, which are the most interesting things about this movie.
Killer Mermaid is a wasted opportunity, basically, but still, I can’t bring myself to hate it completely. There’s a pretty good idea in here, and with a tighter script and bigger budget, this one may have turned out to be an unexpected horror movie to remember. But with it being what it is, it’s probably worth renting when there’s nothing better to choose from, and that’s about it.