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Shark Lake

Shark Lake

Bottom Line Entertainment/FLF Films/Parkside Pictures/Tadross Media Group/Verdi Productions, USA, 2015
AKA: The Lake
Director: Jerry Dugan
Writer: Gabe Burnstein, David Anderson
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Sara Malakul Lane, Lily Brooks O’Briant, Michael Aaron Milligan, Lance E. Nichols, Kay Galvin, James Chalke, Frederick Douglas Plunkett Jr., Ibrahim Renno, Miles Doleac, Ted Ferguson, Carol Ann Scruggs, Melissa Bolona, Jeremy Jude, Matalin Rayborn, Kelsey Deanne, Bobby C. King, Kim Baptiste, Ele Bardha, Andrew Stern, John Ceallach, James Donald, S.T. Streetman, Christine Hilts, Jermaine Hines, Hannah Jacole Powell-Yost, Jerry Atkinson Jr., Gage Banister, Alexandra Bujan, London Curtis, Greg Faul, Richard Maximus Fleming-Vlamingen, Tom Holzhauser, Philip Schreck, Lauren Margaret Wills

Dolph Lundgren is Clint Gray, an animal trafficker. He finds rare and dangerous animals for people who are willing to pay. According to the police he has, among other things, kept a burmese python, a wolf and a tiger in his house. In his van on his way to deliver such an animal, his house is raided by the police. There’s a high speed pursuit ending with Clint going of the road and into the lake. He gets shot by a female deputy, and ends up in jail.

Five years later he is released. The same deputy who shoot him has taken care of his daughter Carly while he was gone, and she is determined to do whatever she can to stop him from seeing her. At the same time some wild animal attacks and kills an old man at the lake. Everyone thinks it’s a bear so they find a bear and shoot it. Well it wasn’t a bear but a shark living in the lake. On the night of his arrest Clint was delivering the shark to some Mafia guy and when he crashed into the lake the shark got away.

This Mafia guy had paid for the shark so he figures Clint either pay him back or catches the shark for him. He threatens to hurt Carly if he doesn’t get it his way. The police is trying to catch the shark aided by a creepy wildlife documentary host and when that doesn’t work out so well they plan for a reward that will make every fisherman by or close to the lake want to catch it.

Carly sneaks off to go look for her dad. He’s not home so she checks out his boat. She is reported missing and police suspects Clint has kidnapped her. He doesn’t know Carly is hidden aboard as he goes shark fishing.

Everyone and his mother seem to really hate this film. OK, the story might be a bit predictable and the CGI looks pretty cheap, but apart from that I don’t think it’s to bad. It’s got Dolph and it’s got sharks. What else could You want?

My verdict: 6 out of 10.

The Punisher

New World Pictures (Australia)/Marvel Entertainment/New World Pictures, Australia/USA, 1989
AKA:
Director: Mark Goldblatt
Writer: Boaz Yakin
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto, Brian Rooney, Zoska Aleece, Kenji Yamaki, Hirofumi Kanayama, Larry McCormick, Todd Boyce, Lani John Tupu, Gianfranco Negroponte, Noga Bernstein, Emma Soloman, Courtney Keiler, Emily Nicol, Cathy Stirk, Dominic Baudish, Robert Fraser, James Klein, Fotis Pelekis, Christian Manon, Colin Leong, Brian McDermott, May Lloyd, Holly Rogers, Brooke Anderson, Lois Larimore, Harry Weiss, John Samaha, Robert Simper, Johnny Raaen, Lawrence Woodward, Tom Coltraine, Donal Gibson, David Arnett, Brett Williams, Al Gockimen, Colin Handley, Isao Hirata, Ken Wayne, David Morris, Richard Carter, Char Fontane, Aku Kadogo, Steve Kuhn, Roslyn Gentle, Maurice Brimo, Joanna Lambert, Arthur Sherman, Chris Hession, Jade Gatt

When Police Officer Frank Castle’s family was killed by a car bomb by the Mafia everyone thaught he died with them. He didn’t. Instead he went underground and resurfaced as “The Punisher”. He is out to avenge his family and to punish the guilty.

The Punisher is suspected of the murder of 125 members of organised crime during the last five years, and wanted by the law and the outlaws. When the head of the Franco crime family is released by the court, The Punisher, wipes out him, most of his men and blows his house up. The Franco family brings in Gianni Franco from Europe to take over as the new head. He brings new ideas about uniting the different crime familys and end the Mafia wars. The first joint Mafia venture is a huge shipload of drugs brought in by boat.

The Punisher is watching and about to interfere when the smugglers and the mobsters are attacked and killed, and the drugs end up on the bottom of the harbour. The attackers were the Yakuza wanting in on the american market as the Mafia is loosing it’s grip thanks to the Punisher’s war on them. The Mafia refuses to cooperate with the Yakuza so Lady Tanaka, head of the Yakuza, have the children of every Mafia family leader kidnapped.

The Punisher realises this was possible only as a result of his war against the Mafia. They are so weakened they no longer can protect their own. He attacks the place where the children are kept and manages to free all but Tommy Franco, Gianni’s son. As the Punisher delivers the children to their familys he is arrested and put in a cell. Next day when he is being transfered to a proper jail the transport is attacked and he is taken from the police by Francos men.

Gianni Franco wants his help to find and rescue Tommy and he threatens to kill Franks ex-partner if he doesn’t agree. So the Punisher and the crime lord heads off together to attack the Yakuza headquarter and try to find Tommy.

The Punisher was one of my favourite Marvel heroes when I was a kid, and I think Dolph Lundgren does a very good interpretation of the comic book hero. The part is perfect for him as even his flaws as an actor is an advantage. Where I live the film was banned upon release so untill movie censorship was abolished many years later all we had was really bad pirated third or fourth generation VHS-tapes but I still loved this film. Today 30 years later I still love it.

My verdict: 7 out of 10.