“Frank, that doesn’t even make sense!” ~ Sheriff Martin to Mayor Stahl, which pretty much sums up this film
Don’t let that put you off though.
This is the last instalment in our Shark Month and I’m part sad, part relieved. These damn movies are all starting to blend into one. Next month’s theme is still being decided but whatever happens it will be very, very different.
Until then, let’s focus on this made-for-the Sy Fy Channel special which, for want of a better way to describe it, is bonkers. Seriously, seriously cray balls.
Let’s also take a moment to say see ya later sharks, it’s been real.
Ghost Shark (2013)
IMDB Synopsis: When rednecks on a fishing trip kill a great white shark, its spirit comes back for revenge, and soon turns its sights on the town of Smallport.
Oh god. Oh my actual god. Well, at least the synopsis is a bit different, although every time I think of it, I think of 1990’s Ghost Dad. An interesting little tidbit there for you, if not particularly savoury. I’m sure Ghost Shark is the lesser of the two evils.
We begin with some arsehole fishermen (on the whole are fishermen really this dislikable? They’ve been portrayed very badly in every one of these movies). I say fishermen but there is a female present. Through every fault of their own, this heinous pair (against the wishes of the captain of the boat) manage to torture and kill a great white shark, simply for doing what great white sharks do.
I can’t really understand why the shark sticks around so long, but this isn’t the first time I will seriously question something in the next 90 minutes. The shark is eventually badly injured (via the medium of kaboom), so drifts off to die in a small cave next to a lighthouse, nothing odd about that.
Oh but wait, the cave begins to glow eerily, showing off some weird neon markings on the wall. What does it mean?
Well it means this isn’t the end of Sharky’s story (let’s not beat around the bush: he manifests as Ghost Shark) and justice is served piping hot on those nasty killers. Sadly, that includes the innocent captain which is a bit of a shitter as he’s a well-known local in the town of Harmony, with two daughters who are understandably concerned when they find his boat bobbing unattended in the middle of the lagoon (?).
From here it feels more like a shark movie (bikinis, teenagers, flying heads) but I’m pleased to report that, apart from the bitchy Queen Bee of the group, who doesn’t survive this introductory scene, the kids are alright. We have; plucky Ava (Mackenzie Rosman), her sister Cicely (Coe), laid-back potential love interest, Blaise (Davis), quite hot Mayor’s son, Cameron (Mitchell) and joker of the pack, Mick (Shawn C. Phillips).
I have to admit that I was bracing myself for a fat joke or ten at the expense of Mick, who’s a big boy but there weren’t any and that was refreshing to me. Look, you have to take decency where you can find it sometimes.
In fact, although this film does not appear on my favourite website, the Bechdel Test Movie List and I forgot to monitor it myself, it’s clear at all times who the hero of this story is, and it’s Ava. Women (some) tend to fare better in horror than in any other genre, and they particularly excel in shark movies *bicep emoji*.
How many more deaths before someone fucking believes the kids when they say there’s a vengeful shark of the loose, tho?! (FYI if there was a big dog in this film you could legitimately pass it off as a Scooby Doo movie).
Honestly, I can’t thrash back and forth all the way through this review because that will be very dull but there’s a pool party at Cameron’s house to commiserate Vicky’s death (so sweet!). It’s okay though, because everyone knows sharks are sea creatures only. LOL! Carnage ensues and we begin to lose some of the core group.
One of the perks, apparently, of being a ghost shark is that you get to pop out of any body of water to wreak horrible revenge, so absolutely nowhere wet is safe. Bath tubs, taps, puddles, buckets of soapy water being sponged onto sports cars by bikini clad cheerleaders, even cups of water from the cooler – *anywhere*.
Ghost Shark doesn’t even seem mad anymore, he’s just hell bent on killing everybody and I don’t really blame him. Murder never looked so fun and nobody is exempt. Eventually the towns people realise what they have on their hands (duh) and Mayor Stahl (Johnson) who’s very shouty, goes out on a boat with Sheriff Martin (Murphy). He has A. Plan but you can guess how well that turns out.
Meanwhile, Ava and Blaise meet an eccentric museum curator who’s creepy beyond words but also informative – and they find out about an ancient curse placed on the glowing cave (I think, honestly I tuned out a lot towards the end). They then team up with Sean Connery, a mysterious local fisherman, who’s also a drunk and rumoured to have killed his wife.
He tells the kids some more about the cave and they work out what they have to do to destroy Ghost Shark. There’s a big bad showdown at the end and someone wins.
Will the plan work? Did Sean Connery kill his wife after all? Who will make it and who will end up as chum?
Uh. Actually, this isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen. I mean, it was almost worth it for the car wash attack alone (the scene itself is so damn gratuitous). In addition to the babes in swimwear, I feel as though the filmmaker did at least try to give this a back story and as mentioned, there was a strong female lead who didn’t have to hook up with the guy to be interesting.
She was steely, spunky and focused, exactly the person you’d want in charge during a ghost shark hunt. Imagine a team of shark hunting women comprised of Ava, Rosie and Nova? You’re welcome Sy-Fy Channel. Jill, perhaps we should write and direct it? (Although they’d only be hunting bad sharks, you understand).
The other characters were okay but not indispensable, Cameron was probably the strongest alongside Ava but I don’t know if that’s just because I fancied him a bit. Besides the bucket bit, my favourite scene was when Blaise finally twigged that as long as they stay away from water, they’ll be okay. Um, YAH.
The effects are horrible which makes them brilliant, the story is beyond stupid but it was entertaining at least.
My Rating: 3/5. It’s no MS Vs. MS but it was gory af and that pleases me.
Did Jill want to wreak bloody revenge on those who wronged her (aka. the director of this movie)? Or… did she like it? Find out here, if you dare!
Ps. If you see this is and enjoy it, there appears to be a sequel…