St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

The Shape of Water (2017)

The Shape of Water title card

Fish man! Duh-nuh nuh-nuh nuh-nuh nuh-nuh FISH MAN. In The Shape of Water (2017) Guillermo del Toro gives us his sexy piscine love story with plenty of lime pie, bald jokes, and woman-on-fish action. A cleaning lady overlooked by everyone including the raging arsehole violent military dickbag gets away with shit for two hours before being shot to death but eventually escapes into a fairytale. Am I describing Pan’s Labyrinth or The Shape of Water? Por quĂ© no los dos?

Everything is green.

The first thing that hits you over the head like a wet fish is how green this movie is. Like everything all the time is green. It’s usually Parker who bangs on endlessly about the movie’s color palette, but this time it was so obvious that even a philistine like me noticed it. I get the impression it’s supposed to be vaguely sea-themed, but the noxious shades of snot, artichoke, and cold vomit just make you feel uneasy and unwell for the whole movie.

Livia from I, Claudius.
Livia from I, Claudius says: “Green! I’ve never seen green before.”

Where’s the Man Candy

Prime fish bum.
Fish man got abs all the way down to his dick.

Oh you’re gettin’ your man candy this week, but it’s in the shape of a fish man with some nice pecs and a very shapely bum. I never thought I’d be perving on a fish man for the entire movie, but del Toro deliberately made the fish man as sexy as possible. He even consulted his wife and daughters on the exact shape of the bum, for which I must applaud del Toro. If only more directors took such great pains to make sure the audience gets a good eyeful of man bum.

The cleaning lady gets funky with the fish man.
Can I say it? Can I say it? She’s sleeping with the fishes! Boom boom!

Although the main character is mute, she signs/mimes a description of how sex with the fish man works by some kind of cloaca opening up to reveal that amphibian wang. I have had a lot of boring sex so let me tell you, there were times I would have preferred a cloaca. This lady’s got all my sympathies. Actually, you know that infamous bestiality scene in Howard the Duck? This movie is like that, but not creepy.

The Skinny

The sickly green diner.

“That’s the future now — green.”

I loved this movie when it was still called “Pan’s Labyrinth” so I’m not going to start hating it now. The two movies were actually so similar I was able to predict the ending pretty accurately. Still, even the bits that were different had very obvious origins in other movies so this feels more like a pastiche than anything del Toro came up with himself. It’s a fun movie, though, so I can’t argue too hard. I just need to go look at something purple for five minutes to get all that bloody green out of my eyes.