Sharktopus (2010)

Sharktopus (2010)

Half-Shark. Half -Octopus. All Terror.

A genetically engineered shark-octopus hybrid, code named S-11 and billed as the Navy’s next super weapon, has its control implants damaged during a demonstration and escapes into the wild. A team is dispatched to try and bring the creature back alive and they head to the Mexican holiday resort of Puerto Vallarta where it has staked a hungry claim to the holidaymaker-filled waters.

 

Sharktopus is one of those films which has thrived on the publicity for its title. Like Snakes on a Plane or even the terrible Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, the hype machine worked a lot harder to whip the audiences up into frenzy than the actual people who made the films. As it turns out, it’s just another cheaply-made carbon copy creature feature from the Sci-Fi Channel. With such an outlandish creature, you’d have thought that more knowing winks and waves at the audience would have gone down a treat but the bulk of the film is played straight and it’s to its detriment.

Come into this film expecting to be dazzled and you’ll be sorely disappointed but come in with a few beers and like-minded friends and no doubt you’ll be in stitches before the titles hit. Sharktopus runs like a sequence of terribly thought-out set pieces where the sharktopus is right there at the centre of the action. You see it from the start and it gets a lot of camera time. The necessary human plots serve little more as a distraction as anyone who’s watching this wants to see the sharktopus do its thing. The sharktopus gets well fed and this Mexican holiday resort is filled with all manner of hunky men and bikini-clad women swimming, sailing, bungee-jumping and all other of activities. Heck, the creature doesn’t even stick to dry land to feed. It seems to spend more time on land than the water, walking around on it’s tentacles like stilts. So no one is safe. The kills are all very comical and not to be taken seriously in the slightest. Most have some sort of ironic twist to them like the two painters who are talking about the worst ways to die (including the film’s best line, “oh no, not like this!”) or another character who conveniently states that there is no thing as a sharktopus about thirty seconds before said creature drags him into the water.

The creature looks both awesome and terrible at the same time. Obviously when you’ve got a shark-octopus hybrid monster, it’s going to look bizarre and unique. But the CGI is ropey beyond belief and it has this perma-grin on its face to make it look like it’s constantly smiling at the camera. The rest of the special effects are just as bad with the CGI and human character interaction reaching new levels of hilarity as various characters shake, scream and fall around the camera pretending to be grabbed by one of the tentacles.

Eric Roberts heads the cast as the head scientist and spends most of his time sitting on a yacht drinking scotch and barking out orders to his minions. To go from The Expendables to this in the same year makes me laugh. The guy just wants to get paid! Sara Malakul Lane is his scientist daughter and Kerem Bursin is the mercenary hired to track the creature down – two young, single people with history together and reunited in the face of adversity – what is the betting they get together by the end? The rest of the cast are there simply to sit on the buffet tray including said mercenary’s best friend (he’s foreign and bald so he’s bound to die), a news reporter and her cameraman, some local fisherman, a radio DJ and his smoking hot assistant plus Roger Corman himself in a small non-speaking cameo role. The acting across the board is atrocious but even half-decent actors would have a job to get motivated when they know they’re playing second fiddle to a giant sharktopus!

 

I’ll never forgive myself for giving a Sci-Fi Channel original such a decent rating but the truth is that Sharktopus is everything a cheap, goofy and enjoyable monster movie should be about. It is set piece after set piece of trashy, tongue-in-cheek fun which drifts too closely to the rest of the generic Sci-Fi Channel stuff but has just enough bizarreness and originality to see it through to the end. Hardly something to get worked up about and its reputation will no doubt be greatly enhanced by its name but just spare us the inevitable Sharktopus Vs Mega Shark sequel!

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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