Toxic Shark (2017)
"This vacation really bites"
A tropical singles retreat takes a terrifying turn when guests realize a poisonous shark is infesting the surrounding water. Not only will it rip apart its victims, but it also uses projectile acid to hunt - in and out of the water.
I’m pretty sure someone is just sat wading through the dictionary, looking for random words to stick in front of the word ‘shark’ and then sell the ensuing title to The Asylum or Sy Fy to then turn into their latest killer shark flick. Toxic Shark is the next one on my watchlist, following hot on the heels of Ice Sharks, Ghost Shark, Swamp Shark, Avalanche Sharks, Sand Sharks, Dinoshark, Jurassic Shark …. need I go on? Oh wait, at the time of writing this review I’ve also got Zombie Shark and Atomic Shark still in reserve.
Now let me try it. Five random words to stick in front of the word ‘shark’ to come up with the latest and greatest killer shark extravaganza:
Doctor Shark – the shark heals you before it eats you. Or it doubles up as a cardiovascular surgeon during the winter months.
Perpendicular Shark – the novelty of this shark is that it can only swim vertical pointing to the zenith at right angles to the plane of the horizon extending in a right line from any point toward the centre of the earth (I have no idea what that means, just copied it from the dictionary!)
Epilepsy Shark – the sight of the shark makes swimmers have an epileptic fit, incapacitating them in the sea so the shark can eat them easier.
Melancholy Shark – the shark eats people to try and make itself feel better.
Discriminatory Shark – the shark only eats people of a certain colour/age/gender/religion.
I think I’m getting the hang of this lark. Let’s face it, the majority of the actual films I named above are so carbon copy that it takes a unique selling point like some extra special superhero power in order to make the films relevant. Take the ‘toxic’ element out of this one and you have yet another routine killer shark flick, which rehashes every single cliché of this woeful sub-genre. The shark roars. The shark swims very quickly. The shark acrobatically leaps out of the water on a number of occasions to attack people standing on beaches or boats. There’s no sense of threat or suspense, not considering the giant shark can seemingly sneak up on people in shallow water without even a ripple or wave. Non-characters are introduced into a scene only seconds before being eaten. Even some of the main characters get rarely anything more than a few token nods to their personality before they’re killed off. Everything gets resolved fairly easily because humans in these films, particularly teenagers, all turn into shark-hunting specialists when faced with an immense threat like this.
The added ‘bonus’ factor in Toxic Shark is that when humans are exposed to the shark’s toxic spray, they eventually turn into some sort of half-assed zombies. That’s it. The token novelty value to separate this shark from one with two heads, ones that can swim through sand or ones that are ghosts. Swap these novelty skills around between the specific films and you’d barely notice the difference in the narrative. So if you’ve read any reviews for some of Sy Fy’s previous shark films, then go back and re-read them as I’m done wasting my time!
These shark films are so ridiculously played out that Sy Fy really need to give it a rest – there are so many other creatures out there that they could turn into killers yet continue to churn out literally the same abominable dreck time after time. Toxic Shark isn’t the bottom of the barrel, its actually gouged its way through the wood and popped out of the bottom.
Director(s): Cole Sharpe
Writer(s): Ashley O'Neil
Actor(s): Kabby Borders, Christina Masterson, Michelle Cortés, Bryce Durfee, Sean Samuels, Quinn Bozza, Cristina Jayo
Duration: 87 mins