Written by: Daniel Hadley
Sharks are scary, right? Well at least to me they are. Beneath the crashing waves lies a cold and unforgiving world of gliding monsters and drifting beasts. One of our planets harshest environments is naturally going to breed the deadliest of earth’s creatures, but when there are jelly fish that can kill you in minutes and crustaceans loaded with so many toxins you’d be dead before the ambulance arrives, why is it that sharks are so terrifying? Place a great white shark in a fight with a killer whale and the shark loses that battle nine times out of 10. Yet people line up to see killer whales perform dive bombs into giant pools at Sea World, watching with adoration as they are soaked from the sidelines. The idea of training a shark to perform such feats (though that would be god damned incredible) is frankly absurd, we’re just too busy killing them. Humans kill more sharks than the other way around by a ratio so steep you’d struggle to climb it in a quad bike, so maybe that’s why we make so many movies about sharks killing people.
Most man versus shark movies don’t make it to theatres. The last one of note was the not so bad but not so great The Shallows, so if you really want to delve into the sea of shark related cinema you simply have to go direct to DVD. This medium is a treasure trove of ludicrously bad but somehow very entertaining killer shark movies, and while occasionally a great one comes around, like The Reef for instance, you’re mostly going to find the kind of insanity that I’m going to highlight here.
Please take note that all of these movies are bad, but you know: sometimes bad is good.
Now let that title sink in for a moment: Sharkenstein; maybe say it out loud a couple of times. It’s great, right? Unfortunately, the movie that goes along with that incredibly stupid yet equally amazing title is kind of a disappointment. After I read the synopsis about German scientists attempting to weaponize sharks during world II, well I was fully on board. That idea sounded so fucking stupidly awesome I couldn’t resist.
What we actually get is the standard killer shark movie we have all seen over and over with a funky looking shark. But the effects are so bad and the acting is so terrible that it’s kind of endearing. Give a shot, or you know don’t; I won’t judge you either way.
- Atomic Shark
Yeah that’s right, they went there. They did it. Why exactly they did it I don’t know, but I’m kind of happy they did it nonetheless. Much like Sharkenstein this one’s home to terrible effects and awful acting, but it’s also got Jeff Fahey and I can’t deny I sort of love that guy. Not that this movie is really a display of his talent, but he was a welcome sight all the same.
So this is a movie where a shark goes nuclear because of a Russian submarine or something like that. I mean does it really matter? I’m pretty sure the filmmakers come up with the titles first then just throw a random plot around them. That’s not a complaint by the way, how do you think we got Sharktopus?
- Planet of the Sharks
So this one actually has a decent premise: it’s pretty much a rip off of Waterworld which was in itself kind of a Mad Max rip off any way, so I won’t judge it for its derivative plot, though I could judge it for its bad effects and acting but that’s par for the course with movies like this, and Planet of the Sharks does have this weird slow motion dance/fishing scene. It kind of reminded me of that seemingly never-ending rainy cave dance bit from the Matrix: Reloaded, except you know, it was fun. Still stupid, but fun.
So Planet of the Sharks takes place in a world where glacial melting has covered the entire planet with water (like I said it’s Waterworld) and an army of sharks led by a giant super intelligent electromagnetic leviathan, is working its way across the vast ocean, destroying every human outpost that they can find. All the while a scavenger is making his way from outpost to outpost gathering parts for a scientific research centre that’s attempting to build a device in hopes of fixing the planet. It’s actually pretty entertaining if you can adjust to its crap factor.
- Dam Sharks
This one’s really not too bad. The effects are a step up and it can be pretty funny here and there. There are some really stupid jokes laden throughout and while not all of them hit (most of them don’t) I laughed occasionally. The sharks are pretty amusing too. They are very aggressive. The usual scene where one character desperately attempts to drag another from the water is done more than once here, but there was one time when it caught me a little by surprise, as the poor girl trying to drag her boyfriend from the water gets her arms torn off out of nowhere, like seriously out of nowhere.
Somehow some sharks get the idea to build beaver dams out of human bodies in a fresh water river. Why? I dunno, and nor does the movie apparently, but it’s pretty entertaining.
- Ice Sharks
So we’ve had Sand Sharks, Snow Sharks, Swamp Sharks and now we have Ice Sharks (maybe one day we’ll get Sea Sharks; imagine that concept). Of all the movies I watched for this list, this one came out way above the rest. It’s a pretty fun movie and the effects aren’t too bad, either. It’s still The Asylum, so you know to adjust any expectation accordingly, but if you can believe it, this is really not that bad. Okay, it is bad but it’s by far the most competently made film out of the bunch.
After an arctic research facility come under attack from a newly discovered overtly aggressive species of shark, the researchers build their own makeshift weapons in an attempt to survive. There’s also a whole subplot about the research facility sinking to the bottom of the ocean, like I said, it’s pretty entertaining, even if it is really stupid.
And there is my list: five mostly terrible shark moves that are oddly entertaining. Just remember, if your’e planning on checking any of these out, then just be very aware that they are not good. Hopefully I have made that abundantly clear by the two dozen or so times I’ve mentioned it.