The Flood Review

The Flood
The Flood
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B-movies often age well. With a few decades of hindsight, what was once considered as cheap and shoddy might end up being crudely charming- or rather, having a whiff of an innocence that lightens even the offensive parts with some sort of quaintness. “Oh,” we would say. “Those days were simpler.” Let us hope therefore that The Flood, the new killer-gator flick will suffer the same fate, whose best moments (or most amusing) are those that bring to mind pastish movies dating back 20 or more years.

This whole setup is like something out of a groovy 70s drive-in flick; except that a bunch of dangerous cons, each one introduced by their own separate cool title card have been stranded overnight by a storm at the small rural Louisiana township sheriff’s cells. As waters rise so do tensions—apparently—amongst prisoners themselves, prison staff and this hardnosed woman boss lady (Nicky Whelan) who runs this show here.

Remember also that there is a team of mercenaries in Desperado-style bulletproof vests later overruns the station on its way to release one inmate Russell Cody (Casper Van Dien) for no reason even after they are explained too clearly for your understanding? Before we get into that we should recall how two alligators slither through the roof vent swimming on waist high water into most sections of jail and join diverse groups together. Those gators came from above without any difficulty did they? Don’t ask yourself such questions. Could be strong gusts.

In The Flood movie characters speak in different accents ranging from southern twang which sounds somewhat British-Australian blend to an honest effort at Cajun dialect – Eoin O’Brien plays Big Jim, unlicensed gator expert and only likable character in this film. All them talk real tough but yet spit lines like rapid fire rounds at gators with their thick skins throughout the movie.

A character in the Flood has one of them say that cop killers merit capital punishment which is typical of its admiration for military authority and law enforcement. On top of this, the sole Black character called Jox (Randall J. Bacon) is a caricature of a carjacker from ‘da ‘hood’. Perhaps it’s rather silly to even criticize politics in a film where a character slaps her forehead and shouts, “I have to think!” However, one cannot miss the Punisher T-shirt, and so it must be noted as well. (To make up for this, The Flood does feed a neo-Nazi—played by tattoo artist turned prolific B-movie actor Mike Ferguson–to the gators.)

Speaking about people who recently appeared in many low-budget movies; Brandon Slagle directed The Flood – he is known for producing movies you might accidentally find renting from Redbox last year. This means that among other things, Slagle made three films last year. And he will do it again next year. Yet, despite being set in Louisiana, most parts were taken in Thailand by Slagle whose all scenes seem to be shot inside empty rooms that have been assembled out of soaked carton boards somehow.

This is a film that can afford to have standing water but not rain machines. It is thus understandable why the sheriff station was apparently computer generated reportedly to avoid the cost of making a sign, attaching it to a real building, and filming it as it was rained on by artificial precipitation. The only authentic thing about this movie is the stock helicopter footage of houses submerged in water after a flood; its everything else such as tattoos inscribed on the bodies of characters and pictures hanged on walls is terribly fake. It’s easy to tell where digital showers were superimposed over images of flooded storm drain since droplets are wrongly sized and coming from wrong direction.

When looking at these alligators and their blood, one can easily see how poorly things were done using digital technology. Instead of concealing the fact that they used CGI for their bloodthirsty reptiles, The Flood shows them swimming through hurricane backwash and crawling up wet, slick stairs in all of their unconvincing transparent weirdness. Similarly, digitized blood defiantly splatters “on the lens” in several shots too.

That quality of CGI looks like something you’d expect from a Syfy original movie from the 2000s: think late Lake Placid sequels or Supergator or Ice Spiders (both released in 2007). Indeed, the clumsiness of VFX does give them some retro appeal despite being an entirely new film. Van Dien’s casting similarly harkens back to his glory days during the late 90s too. But if your only good things about your movie are so retrograde as to throw viewers back into another century altogether then you will not be able to push it out in today’s market.


There is a certain crudeness that B-movies like The Flood posses when done on budget offering little more than just what you see on the poster: namely bloody monster-movie action. However, the interesting premise of convicts and cops working together to fight alligators during a killer hurricane loses its momentum quickly due to stilted performances and subpar digital effects. The Flood makes for good viewing but only with beers, friends, and low standards.

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