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Small town sheriff Grady Barnes (Gary Busey) doesn't encounter many serious crimes while he's on the clock, so discovering that the nearby woods are littered with body parts is the ultimate shock. While investigating the source of these vicious attacks, Grady learns that the monstrous paw prints found in the forest could only belong to one animal—a blood-thirsty tiger. Now he must protect the panicked community from this dangerous Maneater before the body count becomes insurmountable.
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The film begins with several gruesome killings in the woods surrounding a small town. A local vet quickly examines the bite radius of the cast made from a victim's torso as being from a Bengal tiger. If that wasn't enough of a homage to "Jaws", the mayor also pleads that the sheriff not interrupt the "Corn and Apple Fest" due to concerns about the ravenous tiger. Gary Busey plays the sheriff, and exceeded my expectations, though he still has that kooky patina that makes him so interesting to watch. The tiger likes one boy (Ty Wood) who lives in a trailer, and therein begins the weird, mystical tiger-whisperer subplot that runs throughout the movie. Also making a peculiar entrance is Ian D. Clark as a Punjab tiger hunter. This at first struck me as utterly pointless, but actually his performance was one of the true highlights of the movie.
Needless to say, the carnage must continue for the film to work, and feeding grist into the mill is the Army National Guard, who show up with an arrogant smirk on their faces that doesn't last long. Aaron Hughes plays Sgt. Howe, and has a terrible accent that detracts from the generally good performances surrounding him. Fear not, his contingent is not part of the story for long. Throughout the film there are numerous confrontations with the press, and by the end I was praying that the Channel 8 Action News reporter could be eaten, preferably in slow motion, two or three times. Like the actual media, she was that annoying.
The film concludes with its final homage to "Jaws", an impossible gunshot to a tank of compressed gas. I was extremely amused despite the obvious derivation of the scene. The end of the film ties up several loose ends in a predictable, yet improbable manner, but seeing Gary Busey getting chased by a tiger was worth the price of the DVD by itself!
The film is a fine examle of contemporary B-cinema, and is one of the better made for TV creature-run-amok films I have seen; the cat is beautiful, the acting is good, the story is well-paced, and the price is right. What else could you want?
Surprised Busey who is at least a known actor was in the film.
Unfortunately you hardly ever actually saw the so called Man Eating Tiger actually attack anyone until the end of the movie.
Still I have to say it was enjoyable to watch if at times a bit gory with the body parts lying around.