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Mermaids

DVD cover.
Directed by Ian Barry
Produced by Martin Brown
Written by Daniel Cerone
Starring Nikita Ager
Erika Heynatz
Sarah Laine
Music by Roger Mason
Editing by Neil Thumpston
Release date(s) 2003
Running time 84 min. (approx.)
Language English

Mermaids is a 2003 television film directed by Ian Barry and starring Sarah Laine, Nikita Ager and Australian model Erika Heynatz as a trio of mermaid sisters who band together to avenge their father's death.

Contents

Plot

The story begins with Mallick, an unscrupulous fisherman, using fishing bombs in open water. Mallick and his assistant Carlo are gathering spoils when they notice a body tangled in their nets. Upon closer inspection they are shocked to see that the body is a merman. As they are pulling the body in, they are hit by a powerful force that threatens to capsize the boat. Mallick looks into the water and sees a vague humanoid figure pointing a trident at him. Mallick and Carlo manage to get the merman's body into the boat and escape.

The person with the trident turns out to be Diana, a beautiful mermaid with superhuman strength and the eldest daughter of the dead merman. Although she loathes human beings, she travels on land to seek out her two sisters, Venus and June, to help her find Mallick and seek justice for their father's murder.

Venus, the middle sister, is working in a cafe where she swims in a tank with a fake mermaid's tail for the amusement of the customers. When Diana finds her she is appalled to see Venus performing for humans, and suspects that there's another reason for her working there. As for June, the youngest sister, she is working at a sea park where she can remain close to Randy, the man she's in love with but cannot find the courage to confess to.

Although the three sisters do not get along because of their differing life choices, they agree to band together to find Mallick and avenge their father's death. Over the course of the film, it is revealed that Venus has been working at the cafe because its owner, a man named Earl, has been holding Venus' object of power hostage, and is forcing her to work for him. It is also revealed that Earl's middle-aged wife Betty was once a mermaid, though she has forgotten her mermaid heritage after living on land for so long. Diana interferes with this arrangement and frees Venus from Earl. Venus in turn frees Betty, and Betty returns to the sea. Her human daughter Tess however, stays with her father because he needs her.

Another subplot of the film involves June and Randy, who spend time together as they try to track down and trap Mallick. At one point June, in her mermaid form, rescues Randy from drowning. Randy soon falls in love with June, who reveals her secret to him.

The three sisters eventually confront Mallick, and are shocked when he is ready for them. Mallick has researched mermaids and knows that they have to grant him a wish. He tells them to find him a chest full of treasure. Mallick also wants to use the three sisters as the main attractions in a theme park. Though they protest, he uses their father's body, which he is keeping in a freezer, as leverage.

The sisters manage to stop Mallick when the police arrive at his warehouse, following Randy's tip-off. When the police check the freezer, the merman's tail has transformed back into legs as the freezer is dry. They arrest Mallick on suspicion of murder, despite his protests that the three women are mermaids and the body is a merman.

At the end of the film, Venus and Diana argue whether they should keep the treasure. June ignores them, as she is happy that she finally has Randy. However, Venus confesses that she used her hypnosis ability to make Randy forget all events of the previous few days in order to keep the sisters' mermaid heritage a secret. June is crushed, especially when she learns that Randy has proposed to his fiance, Cynthia.

Despite this setback, June tells her sisters that she wants to continue staying on land, so to try to win Randy again. Venus wants to stay with her, as all her previous time on land has been as a prisoner, and she wants to explore it on her own terms. To the surprise of her sisters, Diana says that she will stay on land as well, so that she can watch over her younger sisters as their father would have wanted. The film ends on the implication that the three sisters will have many other adventures together.

Cast

Influences

The film borrows elements from Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. As part of the film's mythology, merpeople are said to live for hundreds of years, but do not have an immortal soul. There is also a legend that states that if a human loves a merperson, they will share half of their soul.

June's subplot in the film is also derived from the Hans Christian Andersen story. June saves the life of her beloved when he is about to drown. When June drags him to shore, he is half-conscious, but only manages to see a vague shadow of her. Later, at the end of the film, Randy decides to marry his dark-haired fiancée, Cynthia, as he does not know that June was the one who saved his life.

In this version of mermaid mythology, merpeople are magical creatures who gain legs when dry and a tail when wet, an idea that was made famous by the film Splash. All merpeople are said to have an "object of power" which they are bound to, i.e. if someone else possesses their object of the power, the merperson has to obey them unconditionally. They are also bound to grant one wish of anyone who asks it of them, no matter if it literal or metaphorical. The three sisters in the film also have other magical abilities: Diana has super strength, Venus can hypnotize men to obey her and June can find anyone anywhere in the world. Venus is also seen lifting a heavy treasure chest telekinetically underwater, but it is unknown if this ability is exclusive to her.

External links

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