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Popcorn Fall

Popcorn Pictures

Reviewing the best (and worst) of horror, sci-fi and fantasy since 2000

  • Andrew Smith

Jurassic Shark (2012)

"Dinosaur from the deep"


An oil company unwittingly unleashes a prehistoric shark from its icy prison, trapping a group of art thieves and female college students on an abandoned island where they must work together in order to escape.


Every once in a while, I’ll sit down and watch a film and proclaim it to be the single worst film I’ve ever seen. Go back through some of my old reviews and you’ll see this statement bandied around a fair bit. There can only be one ‘single worst film I’ve ever seen’ so the statement soon loses credibility if I keep repeating myself. So there will be no statements of grandeur for this review. I’ll just go on the record by saying that Jurassic Shark could be the worst film ever made. I’m not sure whether it’s even supposed to be a proper film or a joke that went too far. At one point, Jurassic Shark was the worst rated film on IMDB and, at the time of re-uploading this review, had an average score of 1.4/10.

More time was devoted to creating a kick-ass poster to trick punters into buying or renting the film than it seems actually went in to making it. Plus the title seems to have been chosen as a play on words of, well, Jurassic Park. Jurassic Shark is seventy-five minutes of incompetent filmmaking at its very best. Right from the opening scene featuring two girls who look to have been randomly picked up off the streets and talk like they were (they casually chat, not act, with each other as if the camera wasn’t there), the film never once manages to rise above looking and sounding like a college project which went viral. With a sparsely populated film, which is 90% set in the outdoors, you just get the impression that it was made by a group of friends in the middle of nowhere over some overcast weekend in July.

There’s little plot to Jurassic Shark and what little there is could easily be dissected to reveal the numerous lapses on logic and holes. But the small scope of the story, coupled with the general lack of people on camera, just gives the film a lightweight feel. A big oil company which has about three employees? A company which is drilling through ice in a lake which is warm enough to swim in? Thieves who plan to escape a heist on a rowing boat? I could keep going but there’s no point. I’m not trying to knock people who want to go out and make films for fun – I will knock them when their home movies get passed off as proper films and cause people like me to be out of pocket.

I wasn’t expecting the special effects to be up to much and I can’t say I wasn’t surprised – all of these direct-to-video shark movies have terrible effects so it’s best to go in and expect the worst. The best thing I can say is that the shark didn’t look as bad as I expected it to be. The same few frames of animation are repeatedly used whenever it attacks or is shown swimming around, they just switch it so it swims from left to right instead of right to left. There’s nothing exciting about the shark. It never once manages to instil fear, dread or any sense of physical menace. It’s just there. Yes it does eat a few characters but there’s nothing memorable about it. To say it was supposed to be a ‘Jurassic’ shark, the novelty value is non-existent and it could just as well have been any normal shark in a lake. The CGI effects typically vary in size from scene to scene and the effects also commit the cardinal sin of not interacting properly with their physical environment (for example the dorsal fin doesn’t even cause a ripple or anything when it moves along).

Like a lot of these low budget creature features, the shark is given the boot for a lot of the running time, with the ‘script’ opting to focus on the interaction between the human characters. Between the group of thieves and the college students, there’s about half a body of talent between them all. I don’t know where these films find these people (well actually I do – their close friends and family) but sometimes it borders on embarrassing just watching people try to act out roles like tough thieves, college students, scientists, etc. I’m sure they’ve all got a huge buzz out of starring in a film like this but for the rest of us watching, its painful to watch and listen to.

Another gripe is over a common weapon used by low budget filmmakers when they need to pad out a running time to something over seventy minutes and that’s the credits. Jurassic Shark has a staggering TWELVE minutes of credits to pad out the film. The film itself is only seventy-eight minutes long, meaning there’s barely over an hour’s worth of footage here before the cast and crew start slowly appearing and disappearing on the screen. You’d think that less Jurassic Shark would be a good thing but that hour or so felt like an entire lifetime had passed.


Final Verdict

Director Brett Kelly also made Raiders of the Lost Shark (see the pun again?) and Ouija Shark, neither have I any desire of ever watching even to see how awful they are. One Kelly killer shark film has been enough. Jurassic Shark can, somewhat confidently, be labelled as the worst film ever made. Its certainly the worst killer shark film out there and considering that there is some tough competition, that’s not a badge of honour.


Jurassic Shark

Director(s): Brett Kelly

Writer(s): Brett Kelly (additional dialogue), David A. Lloyd, Trevor Payer (additional dialogue)

Actor(s): Emanuelle Carriere, Christine Emes, Celine Filion, Angela Parent, Duncan Milloy, Phil Dukarsky

Duration: 75 mins


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