DIRECTOR Matt L. Lockhart WRITER Matt L. Lockhart STARS Jason Mewes; Richard Riehle; Floyd Abel DVD Now
REVIEW Chris Costa
Jason Mewes, once the quintessential comic relief of Kevin Smith films, seems to have relegated to bargain-bin dross such as this. Here he plays a rich kid who, along with two best friends, a trio of bikini-clad young women and crotchety old boat driver (Richard Riehle), sets to the high seas on a private boat, only to be hunted by a bunch of fishermen whose choice of ‘special bait’ is unlikely to make the FDA approval list. Any eco message is merely hinted at in a throwaway line or two before the walking egos are downing beers and dicking around with crab cages.
A stalk-and-slash film with very little stalking or slashing, surprisingly little happens for the majority of the film. The lascivious lads drool over the girls getting naked in their quarters (cue obligatory tit shots), and even indulge in the odd bout of fishing; that is until their boat breaks down (due to one of the lop-eyed fisherman tinkering with it — yes, the clichés are that banal). Although rescue seemingly comes for the dehydrated shipmates, a gulp of drugged water later and the group find themselves tied up, soon to be eviscerated by the growling water folk.
With characters that are nothing but ciphers, particularly irritating ones at that, there’s no one to remotely care for. Mewes (who, during a moment of webcam puerility, again proves he’s more at home acting the goofball) is only in half the film, so perhaps they couldn’t budget him for the whole thing. The eponymous watermen — a bunch of bearded, cagoule-clad hillbillies — are remarkably unintimidating, as well as undecipherable; their few lines of mumbled dialogue almost make one wish for a subtitle option. Even the too little, too late moments of bloodletting are nothing that would cause the average horror fan to raise an eyebrow. Climaxing with a predictably lame nighttime escape (and throwing in a spot of rape for shock value), The Watermen reaches an inevitably contrived conclusion.