A picturesque California fishing village slowly watches the source of its economy disappear with the arrival of an underhanded resort developer who’s playing dirty with the town – and the environment – in “Shark Swarm,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie Event premiering Sunday, May 25 (8/7c). John Schneider, Daryl Hannah, Armand Assante and F. Murray Abraham star in the thriller that pits small town values against big-buck deceit – and hundreds of man-eating sharks!
Daniel Wilder (Schneider), like all of the fisherman in Full Moon Bay, has found the fish population drying up – coincident with the arrival of developer Hamilton Lux (Assante). Lux, with the help of his henchmen, led by local thug Kane Marcus (Enos), has slowly been “persuading” the Bay’s residents to sell their seaside properties, enabling Lux to build high-priced resort condos. Wilder and his wife, Brooke (Hannah), and daughter, Kim (Michaels),
aren’t immune to Lux’s chicanery, as the conniving crook tries to wrest the last key property – theirs – free.
For most of the town’s residents, however, it doesn’t take much persuading. Lux has secretly been pumping a toxic chemical into the Bay, killing off the locals’ source of income – the fish – but also having a curious effect on the other residents of the “Red Triangle” region – sharks. When an EPA agent, Amy Zuckerman (McComb) comes to town to investigate, Lux’s crooked web begins to become apparent.
But not only are the fish disappearing – so is the human population of Full Moon Bay, as hundreds of ravenous sharks, mutated by Lux’s toxic sludge, make meals of everyone from surfers to churchgoers. With the law, the local government and the press in Lux’s pocket, it’s up to Wilder, Brooke, his marine biologist brother, Philip (Critchlow), Philip’s mentor, Professor Bill Girdler (Abraham) and Zuckerman to save the town from the Lux – and the sharks.
This is a riveting movie in spots, as the viewer waits to see who might be the next victim or victims of attack from a swarm of sharks. This story has all the elements that make for a good movie including good actors (John Schneider, Armand Assante and Daryl Hannah), in addition to mystery. Armand Assante plays the villain well, as an underhanded greedy man who comes across as a public servant to the people. He plays Hamilton Lux, and he plays him like a smiling snake. John Schneider is terrific as the good guy willing to stand up against the odds and to a gullible community which embraces Hamilton. It is great to see a focus on the importance of family. There’s a nice scene of people attending a church service and gathering on the beach for a baptism service (until the sharks show up and interfere).
There are some intense scenes in this film, but it is a fascinating topic and we award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the film.