Barracuda (1978)

barracuda poster 1978 movie
2.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 2/10

Attempted to do a different story

Bad visuals

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Barracuda

Studio:  American General Pictures

Genre(s):  B-Movie/Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  October 16, 1978 (Sweden)/January 1979 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Oh no! A barracuda!

Something is driving the barracudas mad in a Florida town.  With multiple deaths, an environmentalist (Wayne Crawford) and the local sheriff (William Kerwin) are out to find answers.  With a major chemical company dumping into the water, the reason behind the attacks will be more shocking than the murders.

Directed by Harry Kerwin and Wayne Crawford, Barracuda is a B-Movie horror environmental film.  The movie was also known as The Lucifer Project and was generally poorly received.

With the release of Jaws in 1975, there were big bucks in ocean theme movies and movies involving killer animals.  Barracuda throws in a bit of environmental paranoia like Day of the Animals and becomes a mess of storylines.  That is the surface…the actual movie really doesn’t have anything to do with barracudas.


Oh no! 2 barracudas!

The movie is a case of misdirection.  The movie wanted to build on the popularity of these animal attack movies, but decided it wanted to be a thriller.  The movie goes for a bit of a Three Days of the Condor feel in its plot with government conspiracies and scientific experiments…but it is bad.  The whole movie involves the U.S. government trying to control citizens through the experiment.  The fish are incidental.

The cast is really kind of strange.  There isn’t really a “hook” with the cast and it is made up largely of character actors that you kind of feel like you recognize.  They aren’t great actors, they aren’t bad actors…they are character actors and probably shouldn’t be leads.


Nothing says action and suspense like these two…

The movie obviously is cheap.  The barracuda attacks largely look like the attacks in Piranha (which was released around the same time).  They feature actors holding barracudas to themselves and spinning in the water with a red filter.  It is pretty weak and never pays off since it goes to a killer for hire story for the second half.

Barracuda is bait-and-switch.  If you go in expecting a lot of animal-attack story, you are going to be disappointed by the government conspiracy ending sequence (which honestly is probably a bit more original).  I can’t really recommend the movie, but I do give it some props for at least trying to differentiate from the other multiple clones…it just is not that good.  The thing I took out of the movie more than anything was Heart’s “Barracuda” playing in my head through the whole thing.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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