DVD
Ultimate Predator

Starring: Manny Puig and Mark Rackley
VDI Entertainment
RRP: 9.99
VD10002
Certificate: 15
Available 12 February 2007


A star of both
Jackass and Wildboyz, Manny "The Shark Man" Puig is renowned worldwide for his ability to get closer than anyone to the largest predators. In Ultimate Predator Manny engages in some of the most insane encounters with wild animals that you're ever likely to see. From sharks and alligators, to bears and venomous snakes: if it's dangerous then Manny wants to hold it, study it, and even ride it...

Adventure explodes at every turn in this never-before-seen collection of insane animal encounters. "The Shark Man" Manny Puig and death-defying camera operator Mark Rackley engage nature's perfect killing machines: sharks, alligators, bears, venomous snakes and more. If it's dangerous, they want to find it, hold it, study it, and even ride it. Developing their own interaction techniques, Puig and Rackley are world-renowned for their ability to get closer than anyone to the largest predators in the wild - and this footage proves it.

This DVD will probably appeal to those that love shows like Jackass or any one of those Animals Attack style documentaries. What's interesting about Puig is that he doesn't do stupid stunts for attention, he'd been going it for years without exposure. He actually gets a huge kick out of getting up close and personal with these creatures and studying them. And, I have to say, that he makes it look so easy that for a brief moment I forgot that he was handling creatures that could kill him in seconds, and instead saw the world through his eyes; seeing the wonder of these spectacular predators.

It's never explained whether Puig actually just dives in there and starts trying to get up close to these creatures, or whether they are fed, or even drugged beforehand to ensure that they are less likely to attack him - either way the man has guts... or no notion of fear.

This is one of those releases that sounds a lot more exciting than it is. It's mainly underwater creatures that Puig plays with. There's a bear or two, and a rattlesnake, but that's about it. It's mentioned that he also loves to tackle wild cats, but we never see him going near them. Sharks and alligators are the order of the day here.

Possibly the most impressive of his stunts is the "alligator levitation". Here Puig simply raises the creature to the surface as though it were a plastic alligator. He places his hand underneath the creature's jaw and gently moves it to the top of the water - then the creature allows its head to be raised even further in the air.

Extras include 32 mins worth of interviews (which are just the full interviews that were chopped up and placed in various segments of the main feature); Deleted Scenes; and a photo gallery.

Ultimate Predator is fun, but it's a release that you'll probably only watch the once.

Pete Boomer

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