Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action,Adventure,Comedy Movie Review of ‘Sharktopus’ (2010)

Movie Review of ‘Sharktopus’ (2010)

Sharktopus was born from a collaboration of two legends of campy cinema: Roger Corman and the Syfy Channel. Unsurprisingly, the love child of these two legends is the new reigning king of so-bad-they’re-good movies. Astonishingly, Sharktopus is not wretched – in fact it’s really enjoyable; a picture so unbelievably cheesy and intentionally bad that it manages to be oddly endearing. This is a film that is under no pretensions at all – it is not a movie with plot, or good acting, or tension. Instead, the majority of Sharktopus focuses on the genetically engineered titular beast that’s half-shark, half-octopus, and all awesome. Luckily, the makers of Sharktopus worked to let viewers in on the joke, and let them know that this is an exercise in fun not to be taken with a straight face.

The S-11 – or “Sharktopus” as it is better known – is a hybrid creature engineered by the Blue Waters corporation to be a military-controlled weapon. However, due to unforseen consequences, the deadly creature shakes off its electronic equipment and goes rogue. So the Sharktopus does what any respectable low-budget movie monster would do: he swims to Mexico where it’s cheaper to film. The creature’s designer Nathan Sands (Roberts) and his daughter Nicole (Lane) are tasked with reeling the bad boy back in, and opt to call upon some extra muscle to help: former Blue Waters employee Andy Flynn (Bursin), who has settled into a comfortable life of drinking and womanising. As Flynn and the others chase down S-11 to get it back under control, innocents continue to die, and news of the rampaging aquatic mutant begins to spread.

Intelligent plotting? Absolutely not. Insightful dialogue? Not a chance. Nuanced acting? Forget about it. Great special effects? Fuck no. Sharktopus is a pure cheese sandwich, and proud of it. A lot of cheap monster movies are rendered unbearable if a self-serious tone is adopted, which is why the masterminds behind Sharktopus never ask us to take anything seriously. Roger Corman is a long-time creator of low-budget cinema, and he has mastered the craft – he knows precisely what the people want, and he gives it to them. The movie is not full of fleeting glimpses of Sharktopus to tease the viewer until the final reveal… Quite the opposite has happened here: the movie is filled with full-on shots of the monster kicking ass within increasingly ridiculous set-pieces. And the monster itself has been brought to life using some of the worst CGI glimpsed in a motion picture for a while. In fact, the digital effects are so bad that they often look unfinished. Not to mention, the attack scenes are often incompetent to the point of unintentional hilarity. And Sharktopus’ roar is fucking hilarious.

The primary narrative concerns Blue Waters scientists hunting down Sharktopus, but a lot of extra vignettes were concocted focusing on characters who are introduced only to be killed off. The victims are mostly just beautiful-looking males and females in great shape who lounge around on the beach waiting for their deaths. Unsurprisingly, the acting is just this side of terrible. Veteran Eric Roberts ably holds his own and does his thing with sufficient enthusiasm, but he was hardly clueless as to the type of movie this is. The remainder of the cast alternate between horribly overdoing it and playing to clichés or stereotypes – thus, like the writers, the performers took the easy way out. Fortunately, the cheesy acting is all part of the film’s charm. Unfortunately, the film does begin to lose steam about halfway through as the novelty begins to wear off, but this is the only major drawback of an otherwise fun flick.

When it comes down to it, there’s no escaping the reality that Sharktopus is a bad movie. Sure, the script is perhaps a touch better than the average Syfy production because of how self-aware it is, but nobody can commend this movie from any serious critical standpoint. In fact, the script can only be commended for how hilariously cheesy the dialogue is (at the end Flynn says he hopes the creature doesn’t jump back out at them, but he’s reassured “That only happens in the movies“). There is no mistaking Sharktopus for art: this is a fun, cheesy movie which delivers what it says on the box. It’s cinematic junk food – the filmed equivalent of a Big Mac from McDonalds: greasy, made fast and cheap, and somewhat damaging to your health, but it hits the right spot when you’ve had a few beers and do not feel like exerting much effort to nourish yourself. A classic? No. But it is a passable time killer if you enjoy big dumb creature features…emphasis on dumb.

5.8/10

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