“They tried to call it Killer Mermaids,” said director Milan Todorovic, introducing what was then called Nymph, at Frightfest 2014. This, to peals of audience laughter and derision. Fast forward to almost a year later, where what was then called Nymph has arrived on DVD, now retitled... yep, Killer Mermaids. Cue peals of audience laughter and derision.
Killer Mermaids, Killer Mermaid, Nymph, Mamula... whatever you want to call it (not Killer Mermaids), one of the odder movies of the year is here, its story, for better or worse, very much doing what it says on the tin; killer mermaids, hunting a pretty young group of holidaygoers in beautiful Montenegro. Separating this from the rest of its SyFy ilk is a surprising level of technical competence and the presence of one Franco Nero as a mysterious, grizzled local.
By default the world's most second-most notable Serbian film, Killer Mermaids goes easy on the *shudders* newborn porn and dodgy underground antics, instead laying on the camp as thick as they can get it. The overbearing nightclub rave soundtrack only adds to a feeling of weird disco you'd struggle to find outside of the Eurovision Song Contest or a sweaty nightclub somewhere warm and abroad. Not even the entrance of the titular murderous mermaids can save Killer Mermaids from feeling as desperately daft as it is, no matter how straight Todorovic and his cast play it. From the front of the camera (the appearance of Nero never seems any less bizarre, no matter how long he sticks around) to behind it (where the catering company is listed as one of the producers) it feels genuinely fresh, even if that doesn't always translate to good filmmaking. Even better, haters of reading can rejoice (heathens!) - to appeal to a bigger audience, Todorovic had his film made in English. As though a title like Killer Mermaids won't have everyone gagging to see the main attraction.
Utterly, befuddlingly ridiculous, Killer Mermaids is a beautiful oddity. Silly, sexy and strange, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but its siren song is well worth hearing out.
Special Features: None
INFO: KILLER MERMAIDS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MILAN TODOROVIC / SCREENPLAY: BARRY KEATING, MILAN KONJEVIC / STARRING: FRANCO NERO, KRISTINA KLEBE, NATALIE BURN, DRAGAN MICANOVIC / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 29TH