Killer Mermaid (2014) – By Philip Smolen

Friends Kelly (Kristina Klebe) and Lucy (Natalie Burn) take a vacation to Montenegro in order to visit Lucy’s ex Alex (Slobodon Stefanovic). The reunion hits a snag, however, when Alex introduces the girls to his new fiancée Yasmin (Sofija Rajovic). Determined to show the girls a good time, Alex takes them on a boating trip around the islands of the area. Along the way they meet Alex’s friend Bob (Dragon Micanovic) who tries his best to impress the girls. Later that evening at a restaurant, the girls wonder if Alex and Bob will take them to Mamula, a strange island they saw that day at sea. Despite warnings from a salty sea dog named Niko (the ultra cool Franco Nero), the group go and visit the island the next day. Almost immediately, they see a derelict pouring a bucket of bloody body parts down a hole in the center of the island. Horrified, the group tries to flee, but the strange man sinks their boat and begins to chase them around the island. But as the group tries to escape from the crazed killer, they begin to realize that there is even something deadlier that exists on the island.

 It’s not every day that one gets to review a horror film made in Serbia, but that’s exactly where “Killer Mermaid” was produced. What’s even more surprising is the film is competently made by film makers who obviously love good horror films. Director Milan Todorovic and screenwriters Marco Backovic and Barry Keating take a very familiar idea and breathe some fresh life into their story of a killer fish-woman. While they still rely on some overused themes, (a cursed island where no one should ever go), they still manage to keep the movie moving along at a brisk clip.

One of the things I liked best about “Killer Mermaid” was the mythology surrounding the creature. As in the original Greek myth, the water nymph lures male victims to their deaths with their sultry and haunting siren call while the women are unable to hear it at all. This is a nice touch and shows some real originality.

The other thing I really liked in the film was that the characters were not annoyingly stupid. For the most part, they act rationally. Once they realize their lives are in danger, they do their best to get out. They don’t linger or go off on their own in order for the killer to do them in.

The actors turn in good performances, especially horror veteran Kristina Klebe. She brings a nice vulnerability to her role. But the real treat here is seeing exploitation veteran Franco Nero spitting out his lines as the angry Niko. He’s as intense as ever and is great fun to watch.

While the movie is predictable, this is still is a fun horror flick that kept me interested throughout. Not as exploitative as one might think, “Killer Mermaid” adds some bright and original ideas to the underwater-themed horror movie.

For more information on “Killer Mermaid”, please visit this site: http://www.epic-pictures.com