Spring Break Shark Attack (2005)

Spring Break Shark Attack (2005)

Spring Break. Some come to party. Others come for the buffet.

Danielle travels to Florida to join her friends for college spring break without her parents knowing. There she falls for a good-natured teenager who runs a boat charter business with his mother. She also gets the unwanted attention of JT, a slimy frat boy who will do anything to get her to like him, even spiking her drink. Danielle is torn between her two suitors but that’s the least of her problems after a greedy businessman has been chumming in the waters off shore in a bid to attract sharks to kill off a rival’s tourist trade. This has attracted a school of tiger sharks and they begin a feeding frenzy along the beaches.

 

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again that I’m a huge sucker for killer shark films. Given that Jaws is one of my favourite films of all time, I’ll watch anything which even closely resembles that no matter how bad it may be. I’m aching for the world to give us another decent shark film – as much as people hate it, I actually like Deep Blue Sea and it’s probably the best of a really bad bunch. I can think of few sub-genres which have such an appalling track record – the Shark Attack films, Shark Hunter, Shark Zone, the numerous Italian rip-offs from the 70s and 80s, Red Water, Blue Demon, Shark Swarm, Shark in Venice, Raging Sharks and many more. So how does Spring Break Shark Attack stand up to the others? Well to put it bluntly, it sucks but it’s still very much one of the best of the rest.

The enjoyment from this flick is that it delivers exactly what it promises. Like the brilliantly titled Snakes on a Plane, Spring Break Shark Attack promises to be simply about sharks attacking college co-eds on spring break. And guess what? What happens when a sea full of horny and drunken partying teenagers end up in a sea full of hungry tiger sharks? Can you say dinner bell? Well not quite. I’m just thinking that this could have gone down the same route as Alexandre Aja’s glorious Piranha with loads of boobs, gallons of blood and some really silly stuff thrown in for good measure. Alas this film shows none of the ingenuity or balls to do anything remotely edgy and instead we’re stuck with a film that wastes its potential right from the get go.

Like many a creature feature film, Spring Break Shark Attack has more of the spring break side of the story and less of the shark attack part. The sharks do get well fed but that’s mainly towards the final third of the film during the inevitable beach attack scene. In the time between the attacks, we’re treated to a soap opera style love triangle between Danielle and her two male suitors. I’m ashamed to say it but this is just as entertaining as the dumb blondes being snacked on in the bay! Drinking, dancing, drugs, fighting, kissing – you name it. They are that bothered with partying that they fail to notice their dwindling number of friends who keep getting chomped. The cast look fresh out of college for themselves and have all clearly been cast for either looking hot, having toned bodies or a combination of the two. This tacky drama, which would give Dawson’s Creek a run for it’s money, is laughably bad but strangely addictive – and this is from someone who hates overly forced melodrama. Bizarrely enough, the likes of Kathy Baker and Bryan Brown show up to provide the token experienced hands on display. But this is all about the good-looking young cast who look great in their bikinis and the like.

But someone forgot about the ‘Shark Attack’ part of the title and every so often the film shoe-horns in some token attack scenes to remind you of what you’re watching. The great thing here is that it’s not just one shark, but a whole school of them. The scene with all of the dorsal fins gliding through the water towards the teenagers is a hoot and promises much more than it ends up delivering. You never get a good luck at any of the sharks and the attacks just usually consist of someone being pulled underwater before a fountain of blood splashes upwards. The actors don’t even make the attacks look real and seem to throw themselves around a lot as if in some sort of drugged-fuelled synchronised swim. But when there are so many of them in the film, that’s pretty easily forgiven. There is one pretty good shot of a shark circling underneath a boat but it’s about as exciting as the shark action gets. The sharks themselves are represented with old school plastic fins which make a welcome return and a few fake shark heads here and there. It’s a far cry from the days of the mechanical shark in Jaws but at least it’s better than totally relying on recycled Discovery Channel footage or CGI (both of which appear but in lesser quantity than one would expect). When the stock footage is used, they’re clearly not tiger sharks and the footage sticks out like a sore thumb. But you’re hoping for way too much if you think anyone in the effects department could be bothered to edit everything together coherently.

 

Spring Break Shark Attack delivers more of the spring break and less of shark attack action as I was expecting but it’s a terrible film which works in its favour. You want to see loads of chicks in bikinis getting attacked by tiger sharks? You know where to come.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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