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Film / Red Water

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2003 Made-for-TV Movie about shark attacks on a river. Also includes a plot involving stolen mob money. Stars Lou Diamond Phillips, Kristy Swanson and Coolio. Better than its kind of film tends to be.

A crimelord sends three of his men -including a psychopathic diver obsessed with sharks and a rapper-like thug (Coolio)- to recover 3 million dollars stolen from him and hidden in a river in Louisiana, near an oil rig. Meanwhile, a bull shark swims up the river and starts attacking people. The local Cajuns think it's a spirit angry because of the oil drilling. A reward of $10,000 is offered for killing the shark.

John Sanders (Phillips), a former oil rigger, his ex-wife Kelly (Swanson), her boss, and John's friend Emery are captured by the thugs, who force them to dive for the money when they discover the shark prowling around. Ultimately, the thugs are killed either by Sanders or by the shark, and the shark itself is killed with the oil drill.


In the end, John, Kelly and Emery decide not to cash in the reward, out of "respect for the legend".

Tropes in "Red Water":

  • Amoral Afrikaner: Brett, the cruel and pervy thug leader, is a South African.
  • Bad Boss: Rick tells Ice to kill Jerry once they retrieve the money, even though Jerry spent five years in prison rather than testify against Rick. Despite being Rick's cousin, Ice himself feels that Rick is a poor employer who "paid me chump change and treated me like a scrub."
  • Benevolent Boss: John is considerate of Emery's status, prospects, and employment when the bank is poised to foreclose on his boat, and takes a detour from the expedition he's been hired for so Emery can visit his family.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The drill.
  • Fanservice: People swimming in the lake, including bikini clad women.
  • Fan Disservice: One of these bikini clad women gets eaten alive by the shark.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • When Brett is stabbed by his cohorts, they throw him into the water, where the shark prepares to eat him, he spreads his arms as to embrace the shark as it devours him.
    • As the flames of an explosion race toward Jerry, he resignedly says that he should have stayed in his old band (which would have kept him from getting involved with the mob).
  • Kill It with Fire: John kills one of the thugs by shooting a gas tank and lighting him on fire.
  • McGuffin: The case with money.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The thugs end up betraying each other as soon as they get the money. The other two then stab their leader, and throw him into the water, where he is eaten by the shark.
  • Outrun the Fireball: When an oil rig blows up, The Hero and three workers make a frantic dash to dive into the river ahead of the explosion. Only two of them make it.
  • Papa Wolf: The shark's first victim is the daughter of an industrialist who posts a $50,000 reward for the animal's death, and then doubles it after the shark kills again and evades the hunters.
  • Shown Their Work: Bull sharks can breathe fresh water and swim up rivers.
  • Special Effects: Three shark models where used in the film, including an animatronic one that could swim by itself.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The shark does nothing but eat people and show up when dramatically appropriate.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ice (Coolio) tries to wrestle the money away from the shark. Guess what happens.
  • Time-Delayed Death: The foreman of the oil rig is shot in the leg by Ice after he tries to call the police, later in the movie, he dies from blood loss.
  • Voodoo Shark: Played with: despite the legend and the shark's unusual behavior, nothing specifically supernatural is shown to happen.