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Frankenfish DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byMark A.Z. Dippé
Produced byDavid Hillary
Written by
Music byHot Wheelz
CinematographyEliot Rockett
Edited byDrew Hall
Dennis O'Connor
Distributed by
Release date
  • October 9, 2004 (2004-10-09) (TV premiere)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States

Frankenfish is a 2004 American horror film dealing with genetically engineered fish in the bayou. The film was based on the snakehead fish incident in a Crofton, Maryland, pond. It is one of three movies based on the incident, the others being Snakehead Terror and Swarm of the Snakehead. Franken fish was filmed in Baldwin County Alabama.


Medical examiner Sam Rivers and biologist Mary Callahan travel into the bayou to investigate the mysterious death of a fisherman. Having grown up in the area, Sam is comfortable in his surroundings while Mary is not. They find Elmer noodling for catfish in the swamp canals. With Elmer, Sam and Mary travel up river to the fishing community. They meet Gloria, the wife of the deceased fisherman. Gloria's daughter Eliza and her semi-boyfriend Dan also live in the house. Gloria explains that a boat washed up river a few months ago and strange things have happened since.

Sam and Mary find the boat along the bank of a canal. They explore the interior while Elmer waits in the canoe outside. They discover the remains of the crew in the hold. Upset, Mary clumsily knocks Elmer from the canoe and something drags him down. Sam and Mary flee in the canoe, unaware that they have triggered a homing signal on the ship. On the mainland a team relays the information to their employer, a wealthy bounty hunter.

One of the villagers hears noises while on his porch. He leans over the edge and a frankenfish leaps up and decapitates him. His girlfriend attempts to escape the houseboat on a canoe but the fish flips her out and kills her. Frightened, the group tries to flee in boats but the fish destroys them. On a neighboring stilt house, Ricardo baits a large hook using an entire catfish and manages to land one of the frankenfish. Nearly as big as a full-grown man, the fish can breathe air and hops forward biting at Ricardo's legs. Ricardo manages to kill it with a shotgun blast to the head. In vengeance he tears out its heart and barbecues it. As he takes his first bite a second frankenfish leaps from the water and devours him.

While everyone panics, Mary declares she has an idea on how to get off the boathouse. Before she can explain, she is shot by the house. A fire propels a propane tank into the boathouse causing an explosion that sends Eliza into the water. Sam dives in and rescues her at the same time a frankenfish leaps from the water and bites off Gloria's legs. The fish have begun attacking the boathouses, punching holes in them to make them sink.

The bounty hunter and his crew arrive and the fish attack them too. Knocked out of the boat, they swim quickly to the safety of the sinking stilt houses. The hunter explains that the fish are genetically engineered snakeheads. Sam, Eliza and Dan have no choice but to join the hunter in pursuing the fish.

The crew follows a trail of blood back to the fish's den. The hunter forces Sam at gunpoint to enter first. Sam flees the den as behind him a frankenfish kills two hunters. Dan, Sam and Eliza quickly leave on the fan boat, chased by the frankenfish. Dan falls from the boat during the chase but scrambles up a mudbank. Realizing they cannot outrace the monster, Sam drives the fanboat up a stand of tree stumps and knocks off the protective lining of the fan. Unable to slow its momentum, the frankenfish launches into the whirling blades to its death. Sam and Eliza kiss and go back the way they came to get Dan. However, Dan is trapped in the mud as dozens of baby frankenfish attack him.


(in credits order)

Home media[edit]

Frankenfish was released on DVD and VHS on October 26, 2004.[citation needed]


James Mudge of Beyond Hollywood wrote that the film, as judged by its peers, was "a surprising success".[1] Jon Condit of Dread Central rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote, "It is what it is and it’s better at being it than most of the recent offerings similar to it."[2] Dennis Prince of DVD Verdict wrote that the film is a retread but has good gore effects.[3] In a 2018 retrospective review, Glenn Cochrane of ScreenRealm wrote that although the film's visual effects are severely dated, it still offers a fun time for viewers with "a penchant for cheesy B movie creature features."[4]


  1. ^ Mudge, James (2005-10-13). "Frankenfish (2004) Movie Review". Beyond Hollywood. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  2. ^ Condit, Jon (2004-10-06). "Frankenfish (2004)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  3. ^ Prince, Dennis (2004-12-08). "Frankenfish". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  4. ^ Cochrane, Glenn (2018-07-05). "'Frankenfish': This Underseen B-Grade Creature Feature is Oh-So Dated, But Still So Much Fun". ScreenRealm. Retrieved 2018-07-05.

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