Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Super Shark

As many of you may have figured out by now, I love a good bad movie. Ridiculous, silly and cheesy – these are the words that I like to use when describing a B-movie. I’m a connoisseur of crap. I can’t help it, they just entertain me. So on my quest to find another flick to add to my roster of stand-by guilty pleasures, and based on the recent viewing of one perfect specimen known as Sharknado, I decided to mine the never ending waves of bad killer shark movies and stumbled across a little ditty called Super Shark.

A mining operation cracks open a deep underwater cavern that unleashes a gigantic monster shark that has the ability to walk on land. A disgraced OIB Agent (Sarah Lieving) and a drunken boat captain (Tim Abell) take it upon themselves to find a way to stop the predator from wreaking havoc upon the beaches.
Oh man, is this flick bad. I mean bad bad, but in a good way. Does that make any sense? Probably not, so I’ll explain in a little more detail the ways in which Super Shark sucks in the areas of, well, everything.

The script is a mishmash of every monster movie ever made and the inclusion of the sharks’ ability to walk on land (it has to be seen to be believed) is a thinly veiled attempt to add some sort of uniqueness to the creature. Sadly it isn’t pulled off quite as well as you’d hope.

The interior scenes all look like they were shot in different rooms of the same house. The décor is the same in each one (except the bar) and it’s plainly obvious that it’s the same house used for the exteriors of the villain’s home as well. Additionally, there are two boats used by different characters in the film, and when their exteriors are shown they are revealed to be the exact same one.
The special effects of the shark are of the Playstation 2 variety (ever play Jaws: Unleashed?), and the walking tank contraption used during the underwhelming finale suffers the same fate. When the shark is underwater it doesn’t look that bad, but once it comes to the surface and begins stomping around to devour random beachgoers it looks horrendous. What’s worse is that when the titular character eats someone they literally disappear from the shot completely a moment before the mouth wraps around them.

The acting is abominable. Leads Sarah Lieving and Tim Abell have zero chemistry together, appear to have memorized their dialogue a fraction of a second before the director yelled “Action!” and they look totally disinterested in what they are doing, especially in any scene involving the shark walking on land when their characters are present (they just stand there looking at the horizon reciting their lines robotically). Funnily enough, John Schneider and Jimmie “JJ” Walker get top billing and are barely in the movie. Schneider can’t successfully pull off his slimy businessman villain role and Walker capitalizes on his J.J. character from Good Times as the annoying DJ of a local radio station. Epic fail.  Although I was surprised to see Bobby Rice (the web-based fan shows Star Trek:Hidden Frontier and Star Trek: PhaseII) in a small role. Kudos!
The script by director Fred Olen Ray, Clyde McCoy and Antonio Olivas is just a garbled mess of clichés and random occurrences to build a body count to alleviate viewer boredom. For example, there’s a group of random lifeguards who offer nothing to the plot (except for a pointlessly laughable love triangle) and receive a decent amount of screentime only to be unceremoniously killed off at the film’s midpoint in some half-assed attempt to get a the same reaction from viewers as Samuel L. Jackson’s death in Deep Blue Sea. Another being that the shark is attracted to the signals given off by radios? I’m talking a little boom box sized radio. Most likely the shark was trying to get the characters to stop playing crappy Coldplay covers.

Freed Olen Ray’s direction is pitiful. Uninspired, cheap and beyond lazy is the name of the game and he shows yet again why he’s been making nothing but ultra-low budget soft core porn and schlock for the past couple of decades.
But strangely enough all these faults come together to make for a surprisingly entertaining B-movie. The ocean of cheese the shark swims through is so thick that I couldn’t help but be swept up in the gleeful goofiness of the whole thing. Seeing the title character walking and jumping all over the beach like some sort of hyperactive dog who wants to play with its owner put a smile on my face, as did watching it take out a submarine and dodging torpedoes. I lost my shit when the slo-mo shot of the walking tank drop kicking the shark in the face popped up. Craptastically awesome.

Super Shark doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what’s on the surface – a hokey movie about a giant shark eating people. In that respect I give it total props. It’s a total guilty pleasure type of flick that I regretfully admit that I got a kick out of. It’s definitely not something I’d call a good movie, or even a decent movie, but if your idea of a fun weeknight is making some popcorn and cuddling up to watch a bad monster movie on SyFy, this is your jam.

3 out of 5

1 comment:

  1. Right on... those who see no value in this film need to lighten up. It does what movies are supposed to do, entertain. There's no nail biting or hiding eyes to avoid what could happen. There are on the other hand quite a few smiles and chuckles from a genre that is under appreciated. I really enjoyed it.

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