Shark Zone (2003)

Shark Zone (2003)

Terror Has Surfaced

Ten years ago, Jimmy Wagner was part of a diving team searching the wreck of a Spanish ship supposedly containing diamonds when they were attacked by a school of great white sharks. Everyone except for Jimmy died, including his own father and he had nightmares over the incident. Now he’s in charge with keeping the beaches safe at a resort during it’s summer festival when the sharks decide to return.

 

Ever since Jaws, filmmakers have been desperate to make a ‘killer animal’ flick as good, as successful and as appreciated as Spielberg’s masterpiece. It will never ever happen. Jaws was a one off. But that still doesn’t stop people from trying. And trying. And trying. If they’re not making films about killer crocodiles, piranhas or squid, they’re simply rehashing killer sharks. What’s the point if you can never top the undisputed king of the genre? All you get are comparisons, criticisms and jokes. Well Shark Zone is here to prove a point that the killer shark genre died after Jaws. And not only died, it got gutted, had it’s contents spilled out over the dock and it’s rotting carcass left for the tiny fish to feed off.

Killer shark films are seemingly getting worse with age as opposed to getting better. You’d have thought that with our advances in technology, someone would be able to create a half-decent animatronic shark (Deep Blue Sea did but it’s the only one) to throw head-first into a film such as this. But no, instead of investing in making their films look realistic, the directors are heading to the vaults of the Discovery Channel and raiding footage from its shark week programmes. Arguably the best part of this film comes during a dream sequence when a shark attacks a boat and smashes into the side. For a brief moment we see a victim being chewed up by an actual model shark. It’s only on for a second or two but it’s the most realistic part of the film and had me hoping there would be more. Unfortunately there isn’t and all of the remaining attacks consist of stock footage. Only it’s the same footage over and over again! The sharks are well fed in this film but that’s only because it was really easy to re-use the same scene to pad out the running time.

Shark Zone is directed by a guy who was executive producer on Shark Attack 2 and what a surprise, the results are exactly the same. In fact Shark Zone seemingly lifts lots of footage from that film including attacks of surfers and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the sharks attacking those cages before (I don’t want to have to watch the other films again to find out). It’s like they decided to pad out the film with lots of footage from the other Nu Image films and add a few different scenes in to make it look like a different flick. You’re fooling no one Mr Lerner. As for the story, well…….forget it. I actually moaned on the plot of ‘a community figure striving to keep the beaches open for a festival in order for the town to survive despite local authority figure refusing to believe there is a problem’ which is has become an uber-cliché itself. So many films, especially killer shark ones, use the Jaws template.

Here we also get sunken treasure and some stupid plot about the Russian mafia which leads nowhere except for a bit more food for the sharks with pointless human villains. As if the sharks weren’t bad enough!  Dialogue and acting is atrocious and between Dean Cochran constantly spouting off facts about sharks that we already know and some puke-inducing quotes such as “you’re my hero, dad,” I think I’d rather hear the sharks roaring a bit more.

 

If I’d have done a bit of research before watching, I’d have found out that Danny Lerner was responsible for writing 9 of films in the Top 100 Worst Films of All Time on IMDB as well as directing another one (at the time of writing this review). Well you can make that #2 now because Shark Zone sucks. Stock footage is quite entertaining when you’re watching documentaries, not when it’s supposed to be scary and attacking actors.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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