Fish from Hell (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #520 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Hollywood]

This is one of the all-time great ephemera titles and it doesn't disappoint, though to be more accurate, it should be called Narrators from Hell. Murky footage of deep-sea sport fishing is narrated by a guy whose religious mission is to convince us that fish are EVIL. The passion and logic of his arguments lay somewhere on the spectrum between circuit-riding revival preachers and psychotic cult leaders, and his delivery brings back scary memories for me of my dad listening to the Nebraska-Oklahoma football game and nearly blowing a gasket. The footage cooperates with the narrator's religious mission by mainly showing us various ways to kill sea life, including guns. The highlight of the film is the scene with the giant octopus––to the narrator, this creature is Satan himself and he responds accordingly. Even porpoises are dismissed as only being good for leather and oil, and sharks always bring out the most violent behavior possible in the fishermen––it's a good thing they didn't have access to nuclear weapons, or they would have most assuredly used them against every single shark they meet. If you haven't figured it out by now, this film is an environmentalist's nightmare. It's great ephemera, though––from HELL!!

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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