Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mermaid Movie: Splash (1984)

For many, Splash is the quintessential mermaid movie. Daryl Hannah’s long golden locks, intense gaze, and long, fiery-orange tail sparked something in girls all over the world. They dived into the pool, bound their feet together, and pretended to be mermaids swimming in the ocean. Not only that, but the movie is considered to be a classic in its own right, and no self-proclaimed mermaid fan can go without seeing this awesome movie.

The film centres around a thirty-something bachelor named Allen Bauer who is convinced he can’t find love. However, after a boating accident in Cape Cod, Allen is rescued by the woman of his dreams: a mermaid! It turns out that years ago, when Allen was just a young boy, he was saved by this same mermaid after falling off a ferryboat. When the mermaid comes ashore as the beautiful young woman Madison, Allen begins to fall in love with her, but he will eventually have to choose between land and sea and the love he has been waiting for his entire life.

Splash was the second mermaid movie I came across, the first being Disney’s The Little Mermaid. At times it’s cheesy and fluffy - for example, how they fall madly in love in only about six days - but at its heart it is the story of two very different people who have to fight against odds to be with each other. Whether those odds are a set of fins and scales or a deranged scientist intent on capturing Madison and dissecting her, Allen and Madison don’t have it easy.

The movie also has its few moments of strong language, mainly on the part of Allen’s brother Freddie, and there a couple brief moments of nudity on Madison’s part, but as a small child watching this, I didn’t pay much attention.

So if you haven’t watched Splash, definitely check it out! The underwater scenes are breathtaking, and the ease and grace with which Daryl Hannah swims in her mermaid tail will make you wonder if maybe Daryl Hannah really is a mermaid!

What are you waiting for? Drive on out to your local video rental place and check out Splash, because if you’re a diehard mermaid buff, you definitely won’t want this movie to be the one that got away!


  1. This movie made me fall in love with mermaids - I had the honor of having several email conversations with Thomas Shouse - the creator of the beautiful tails Darryl wore - he's incredible!! There's so much work that goes into making the tails & there are different types too. If any of thebooks from the FINS Trilogy made it to tv or movie, I'd want him to make the tails as he seems to be the only person on the planet able to get the dimension right.

  2. I am an Academy Award winning makeup and visual effects designer (Beetlejuice) and I am the designer and creator of the mermaid tail from Splash. I hired and supervised this team; Thom Shouse (project foreman), Karen Kubeck (make-up, propmaker), Don Pennington (molds, castings), Brian Gaughn (production assistant.), David Heilman (production assistant)

    Thom worked under my direction as a sculptor, painter, fabricator and as my assistant on set and on location.

    It was my great privilege to work with this talented team of artists.