Suppose the recent oil spill in the Gulf wasn't a disastrous accident, but rather a cover up? A cover-up for what? you may be asking, What would be worth covering that they'd put our environment at such risk? Why good old fashioned nuclear power, of course, or something like it, some controversial fuel source hidden in a reservoir beneath the seabed that when ruptured spills forth a small quantity of the super juice, the existence of which can't be known by the general public (or competitive nations), so in order to conceal it, a few hundred million gallons of oil are spilled to cover it up. But not before the super juice can infect a swarm of Portuguese Man-O-War, fusing them into a single, mighty, mega(if you will)-man-o-war that then drifts into the gulf stream toward the Atlantic seaboard.
Thus begins Man-O-War.
Our real story begins on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina's Outer Banks, a quaint island town south of the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. Mac Finn, a strapping young bearded lad in his mid-30's, is returning home after a 15 year absence. He's been living out west, Oregon, a failed writer, a failed husband, now a boatbuilder, returned home in the wake of his estranged father's death to settle the old man's estate and restart his life where he thought he'd left forever. Ocracoke is a small, tight-knit community, everybody remembers everybody, and Mac is met with mixed reactions; those who are happy to see him back in the fold, and those who still view him as an uppity creative type who thought himself better than them and so deserted the island and his father, a widower.
Mac is at the heart of the horrors to come. Over the next few days bodies will start to appear, burned and lacerated, from the ocean. I think I've set it up well enough that you can figure what's killing these folks. From there, without revealing too many gory details or my twist ending (just to say there are only so many ways to kill a man-o-war, I had to get inventive), the man-o-war fucks some shit up, and it's up to Mac and a cast of locals - not scientists, not soldiers, just average people, fishermen and waitresses and drunks - to vanquish the marine monster before it destroys their idyllic community.
Think Jaws meets Eight-Legged Freaks meets Hard Rain.
As for the locals: Ellie Caffrey, waitress at the Red Drum, a small bar on the Ocracoke pier, an ocean-side found-artist, not a native but treated like one, and Mac's potential love interest; Kurt Lund, the curator of a local tourist-trap aquarium, early 40's, more of a carnival barker than a scientist; Red Oldham, brash owner of the Red Drum; Henry Olive, another non-native, a wide-eyed young journalism intern for the weekly local rag covering the deaths; Abram Tompkins, the aging sheriff who for thirty years has had the island under his stern thumb and who just happens to have been Mac's father's life-long best friend, thus making him also Mac's harshest detractor; plus others like a mayor, a deputy, a stoner line cook, a fish mime (a mime that, well, mimes fish), a couple of amiable alcoholics, a bait boy and the requisite chum-in-waiting tourists.
I'm seeing David Charvet as Mac, Lindsey McKeon as Ellie and Seth Cassell as the stoner line cook. I'm willing to give him a shot at redeeming himself.
I'm just sayin'.