In the former TV Superman’s latest straight-to-video nail in his career
coffin, Cain is Sheriff Bailey, a small-town single dad still grieving
over the unexplained disappearance of his wife. His daughter, Pearl
Bailey (seriously screenwriters?), is a high school
good girl on the verge of cashing in her V card. Oh, and there’s a big
bear or something in the woods ripping apart sexually active kids.

The bulk of “Maneater” follows Pearl (appealing newcomer Lacy Phillips)
and her clique hanging out and partying and eventually breaking up into
couples to neck and copulate. Those among the latter group are ripe for
slaughter, because as Sheriff Bailey discovers, the beast — whatever it
is — becomes unleashed around arousal.

That naughty aspect is about the only shred of originality “Maneater”
has going for it. Although Cain really isn’t a bad actor, the movie
affords him nothing to do beyond being likable and sensitive. It doesn’t
help that debuting director Michael Emanuel casts some of the most
annoying youngsters he could find to play Pearl’s pals, with the smug
Maximillian Roeg (son of director Nicolas Roeg and actress Theresa
Russell) being the worst offender, as the character Wahoo. Had we cared
about the kids, we might be more invested in the cardboard scare show.
—Rod Lott

Rod Lott

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