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Mermaids splash into film and literature

Elif Geris

Mermaids beaching the books

Vampires and zombies out?

After such creatures as wizards, vampires and zombies have been endlessly exploited, the mermaid now takes the stage in film and literature. Authors and screenwriters alike are satirizing the merperson as well as turning it into a romantic interest.

Last weekend’s Animal Planet mockumentary, Mermaids: The Body Found, investigates what would happen if a mermaid discovery were to take place. Five years of preparation for the mockumentary’s debut included a combination of Computer-Generated Imagery use and true events.

“One of the fellas that worked with me on the film said, ‘My God, Charlie, you’ve had Mermaids longer than you’ve had your kids,’” said Charlie Foley, Animal Planet’s serior vice president of development

When asked what inspired the film, Foley said, “First and foremost, I want to entertain people. And I do hope they wonder at it and have moments of wonder […] Look at the deep oceans, the fact is the surface of the moon has been explored more than our oceans.” Foley was interested in the mystery.

In the film, researchers for the NOAA originally mistook washed out merpeople to be dolphins, but in the film, no actual mermaid discoveries are made. The researchers conclude that at some point in the past, the fabricated aquatic creatures were the final development in human evolution.

Meanwhile, last month’s release of Anna Davies’s Wrecked introduces its readers to a romantic fling between a merman and a woman whom he helps to escape from drowning. And,  Zoraida Córdova’s The Vicious Deep foreshadows Tristan Hart’s transformation into a mermaid while readers see his dreams containing a razor-toothed antagonist.

Writers envision the mystery in their own ways.

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