After watching a string of dismal movies in the Netflix Basement, I switched over to see if there were some hidden treasures I was missing over in the Amazon Prime Dungeon. Short answer: No. What I did find were some appalling pieces of trash that barely qualify as movies, let alone anything worthy of your time. This week, we delve into the creature feature Swamp Ape.
Swamp Ape (2017)
It’s hard to quantify which pile of Amazon Prime poo is smelliest. This one was the most entertaining in a “This is so terrible you kind of have to laugh, even though the film-makers know it’s terrible, too” kind of way. So I’m running strong in finding super-cheap garbage films that Amazon has purchased with your hard-earned Prime subscription money. Free shipping though.
Swamp Ape is also barely a movie. It has a “shot on VHS camcorder” aesthetic featuring the best actors that the filmmakers happened to know or are related to and showcasing embarrassingly bad, failed film school quality audio. It also clocks in at a leaden 58 minutes, not long enough for feature length, but plenty long enough to prove the filmmakers have no idea what they’re doing.
Of course, we start with two redneck idiots hunting in a city park that does not in any way resemble the Florida Everglades. Then a guy in a shaggy gorilla suit drowns their dog. There’s crappy bullet effects as the actors pretend to shoot the water while someone added a red filter to the picture. Then they are killed by an off-camera shadow with a squirt of neon red ketchup.
Then we get a group of very old “teenagers” who go on some sort of science camping trip to the Florida City Park– Er, Everglades. The plot takes forever to get started as the assorted science class, made up of a short guy, a muscle guy, boring blonde guy and girl, the buxom Latina, and a heavy-set black girl are driven in a mini-van by the shlubby, obnoxious science teacher. The movie pauses for some unfunny Porky’s style antics like shirtless dude wrestling, fart jokes, and the guys peeping in on the stripping girls, but are blocked from seeing anything by the chubby black girl standing in front of the window.
After we’re long past the point of caring, the titular Swamp Ape shows up, looking exactly like a guy in a terrible gorilla suit with plastic abs. He punches the head off the black girl, because of course she dies first in a poop-storm of a movie like this. Then in quick order, he randomly pops up to bloodily rip off the limbs of the actors and steal their food.
Then in the absolute worst bit of Amazon Prime torture I witnessed this week, and I wish I was making this up, Swamp Ape sports a gigantic boner and sexually assaults the remaining two girls. But it’s okay though, because minutes later, he gets his wiener bitten off by a tiny alligator.
This whole debacle ends terribly with a badly dubbed Native American tracker knocking out the Swamp Ape and delivering a lecture on preserving nature. Really, you’re going to give us a nature sermon in your Swamp Ape boner movie? Then the unintentionally funniest scene happens. It’s the last shot of the movie when the tracker is rowing the Skunk Ape down the river and in wide shot the actor in the gorilla suit jumps out of the boat, capsizing it and accidentally takes out the Native American guy.
Swamp Ape is an excruciatingly bad non-movie. Amazon Prime should be ashamed. That being said, they are all short and are guaranteed to make the next movie you see look like a work of genius. And you will need to watch something else to help scrape the cinematic crud off your eyeballs.