Late last night (of course) I got inspired to look back on the shark movies Jill and I have reviewed for the blog. It was a lot of fun so I thought, in honour of undoubtedly the best movie of the year opening this weekend, I would revisit them properly in a post.
That movie, to be clear, is The Meg and I’ll be there on Friday clutching my popcorn with the biggest grin on my stupid face. I’ll also be wishing Meghan Lightle was with me because this is a movie ripped straight from our minds, frankly.
Anyway, to the sharks. It’s hard to sort these into order of preference because there’s love in my heart for each of them, no matter how ridiculous.
The planet is now mostly ocean and it’s full of angry mutant sharks. It’s a very bad scene, man. Survivors are living on makeshift rigs in the middle of open water just trying to dodge a bloody fate and while it’s far from ideal, some self-made tribes are getting on just fine.
Help might just be at hand when a bunch of plucky scientists rock up but at what cost really? AT WHAT COST?!
A favourite of mine, Ghost Shark is the tale of a wronged Great White who exacts glorious, witty revenge on the small beach town that let her* down. This might sound familiar but, wait – Ghost Shark is special because she has the power to manifest in any body of water – with hilarious consequences.
An absolute highlight. *I like to think of her as ‘she’.
I’ve never ventured beyond the first Sharknado but this was a lot of fun to rip apart. Plus, apparently I have a thing for Ian Ziering, who knew?
You probably don’t need me to give you a synopsis on this one, given that it’s one of the most well-known modern shark B-movies but there’s a hurricane heading towards LA and the tornado at the centre of it is spitting out killer sharks. Luckily, sex pot Fin Shepard (geddit) is on hand to save the world and look damn fine while doing it.
Sometimes there’s only one way to deal with a problem and that’s to build an identical steel version of that problem – and have both versions fight it out to the death. Throw in a kick-arse central character and you’ve got yourself quite the treat.
I’m not even being insincere when I say this one was pretty okay.
What’s better than a shark movie starring Jason Statham? That’s right, a 3-headed shark movie starring DANNY FREAKIN’ TREJO, King of my Heart.
This film has a lot to say about the environmental impact of all that plastic in the ocean and I appreciate it honestly because you don’t always get a message from your straight-to-DVD titles. Triple the heads = triple the fun.
A shark (or two) terrorises the beach one hazy summer while the Jersey Shore tourist board turns a blind eye to the carnage because tourism, yo.
Hot lifeguard Alex isn’t about to let this slide though – and if all this sounds familiar it’s because 12DOT is based on the TRUE STORY that also inspired the Rolls Royce of Shark movies, Jaws. So not bad for a TV movie and it might also be thanks to salty sea dog, Captain (John Rhys-Davies).
I’m quite sure there will be many more shark movies in our future but until now, enjoy these gems.
What, you’re not already on your way to pick up all these titles now? What’re you waiting for? 🦈🦈🦈
Three friends filming an audition tape for an extreme reality show, take part in shark cage diving, only to be left in great white infested waters, turning their recording into life and death.
Jeff and Josh (Joel Hogan and Josh Potthoff) are brothers (I think). Jeff is in love with Megan (Megan Peta Hill) and the three of them are tight af – living life as only blessed young people from Laguna Beach can. The three friends decide they’re going to make an audition video for an extreme sports reality show but, don’t worry, things like that never go wrong.
For their show reel, they travel to Australia to stay with a distant cousin of the boys’. Their intention is to film absolutely everything they do on the trip, including the shark cage dive, which is the jewel in their audition crown.
Things are idyllic and light as our good-looking trio arrive Down Under but it soon becomes clear that there’s a tension between Megan and Josh, Jeff’s brother (AKA they’re secretly banging). Shiiiit.
I’m not sure how this will bode when it comes to exercising trust in the middle of a crisis (CLUE: Not well) but for now it gives us more of an insight into our main characters. With everything being filmed, it isn’t long before the camera picks up a secret rendezvous between the illicit lovers (we never learn how far the relationship has gone tbf) but luckily duplicitous Josh manages to conceal it in the nick of time.
Jeff seems nice if decidedly D-U-L-L. He also has some sort of a heart defect which is mentioned a lot, particularly by his mum just before they leave LA. Hmmm, could this be foreshadowing? Also, minor question, but when the trio leave the States why does Josh say “Thanks Laguna, you treated us well” (to paraphrase)? I don’t say that to Brighton every time I leave for a holiday – IT MAKES NO SENSE (unless he’s psychic and realises he isn’t going to return).
Annnnyway. After a few days partying, the kids make their way to the boat for cage dive time. We already know, via the medium of Found Footage and various news reports/interviews leading up to this recorded account of events, that Something Bad Happens.
Our gang get lots of cool content for their audition in the cage but things take a dramatic (and deadly) turn when a freak wave upends the boat, the cage and everyone on board. Ooopsy.
Well, as expected, there’s a warm shark welcome waiting for the tourists and crew when they hit the water, plus quite a few of the people have been injured in the capsizing, which basically makes them chum. It does not end well for several side characters, especially the dude with half his face hanging off already.
I don’t suppose much more needs to be said. As the trio drift further and further away from the boat’s original spot on the ocean, their chances of rescue seem more futile. With sharks still threatening at every turn, things are looking decidedly fishy (sorry) though it could be exposure to the elements that gets them first, or starvation.
Or they could just kill each other with their truths because where better to air your grievances than in the middle of the sea while great whites nibble at your toes?
When Jeff spots a blow up rescue boat bobbing in the near distance is seems as though things could be looking up. They suddenly have enough supplies and a relatively solid base to hunker down in until the coast guard show up. They even save another survivor who’s in a catatonic state. All they need do is relax and let fate take care of the rest.
Course things don’t really work out that way because Megan takes the most pointlessly stupid action of all time and fucks everything up for everyone forever. Will our reluctant menage à trois make it back to shore with all their limbs attached?
That this could be a happy ending for anyone is left open until the climax but you kind of already know going in. Have fun!
If I’m honest, I don’t have much time for any of the core characters. Megan is a screamer and although I’d be 1000% more hysterical in the same situation, I find her whining unbearable. She’s also playing both guys with little remorse. Like, brothers, Megan? How could that ever end well?
Josh and Jeff aren’t that well-rounded in terms of character. Josh is brasher than his brother who seems the best of a bland bunch but when they’re wet and screeching in the water, both with names beginning with a ‘J’, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who.
The shark action is satisfying though and although this is never going to be Jaws (because nothing is), I wasn’t disappointed by the horror of the situation our friends find themselves in. It’s literally the worst.
And yes, I did have to lift my feet onto the couch watching this, a sure fire sign this is scary, if only for the sharks.
3 smiling sharks out of 5. Tense because of the situation but you’ll be rooting for the great whites.
What does Wifey think? Would she cage dive with this one or leave it in the water? Find out here.
I’ve interrupted GLOTBC Month to satisfy my own twisted agenda and also celebrate possibly the best international holiday of them all, Shark Week.
I have no idea what this one is like but needless to say, it looks tremendous. FYI there are many shark movies heading to our shores over the next year or so, including but not limited to: Trailer Park Shark, Deep Blue Sea 2 and the incredible sounding, Statham-starring Meg.
I genuinely can’t wait. Until then though, there is this.
In the near future, glacial melting has covered 98% of earth’s landmass. Sharks have flourished and now dominate the planet, operating as one massive school led by a mutated alpha shark.
Holy mother of God. Don’t get too excited about this particular planet of sharks. It might be populated with many, many sharks but there isn’t that much actual, satisfying shark action to be had.
There is, however, an awful lot of shoddy CGI and you know what, of course there is. This is a made-for-TV Syfy channel special, so you get exactly what it says on the tin. I’m really not in a very good mood this evening so I’m going to tear this one a new one, even though there are a few areas I enjoyed.
Basically, the world appears to be more or less the exact same set up as Deep Blue Sea but on a smaller budget and a larger circumference. People are scavenging to survive, living on weird rigs made of flimsy materials and being eaten by jumping CGI sharks when they’re too blundering to get out of the way in time.
Junk City is the latest target and one afternoon every single resident is dined upon, apart from one survivor, who’s name I can’t even be bothered to look up. She’s given no lines anyway and does literally nothing, so whatevs. She’s lucky enough to be rescued by weathered hunk (?) Dillon Barrick (Brandon Auret) though who is doing better than most because he has a boat.
He also knows some lady scientists (and one dude) who live on another rig and are working on a rocket that will save the world. The lady scientists are all really hot and serious, and they need some bits of metal (?) to complete the rocket so they end up bartering with a very scary warrior queen called D’amato (Angie Teodora Dick) for said supplies.
While hanging around D’amato’s rig, she gives them a lesson in how her ‘tribe’ deal with the threat of sharks. FYI it’s genuinely the best scene and it’s all going swimmingly until it suddenly backfires spectacularly. Let’s just say, the film suffers for not having enough D’amato and her dodgy af accent.
Our scientists manage to get away in the fruckus and it’s all good because they’re in a boat. There’s a sort of plan but it backfires when a pilot they know gets eaten. It’s something to do with a volcano beneath the surface of the earth, a detonator and a laser that hasn’t worked for a long time.
All is not lost though, and the plan is soon on again- but now has to be executed by lady scientist/engineer Nichols (Stephanie Beran) on a kiteboard. Other lady scientist Shaw (Lindsay Sullivan) demands that her colleagues Munro (Christia Visser) and Ishiro (John B Swart) boot up the old laser, despite the massive risk to everyone on board the rig.
Shaw’s not messing though and they do as she says. They also share a moment which I actually thought was v. cute. In our rag tag group we also have another dude who’s super annoying, sarcastic and cowardly so I liked him immediately.
Oh, and have I mentioned that the team have worked out that all the sharks are being controlled somehow by a mutated Queen Shark (that inexplicably glows bright blue)? They try to manipulate the smaller sharks to turn on her but it doesn’t really work and then their plan turns out a bit lame too, we suffer several casualties and I can’t even remember how it ends.
I think the survivors just float off into the sunset on the boat.
Despite the fact that this is on the lower end of the shark scale in terms of literally everything, and most of the performances are unbelievably bad, some of our actors really give it their all.
It was also dead good to see so many kick ass females in one movie (not you, sole survivor) and in high level positions. I guess nobody gives a shit about giving all the best parts to the girls when it’s going straight to the goggle box, eh?
Apart from a slight twinge of fondness for Munro and Ishiro when they kissed (and awe when Ishiro got busy with some ninja daggers), this was pretty bad. It’s not a good sign I can’t remember the ending. Maybe ignore me trying to put a positive spin on this and watch DBS again.
1.5/5. Not the best. Maybe one of the worst. Not you though D’amato (RIP).
What did my Blog Bride thing of this offering? Would she drown it in the shark infested seas or let it come on her boat? Find out here.
Jill and I batted around the idea of doing political movies this month but after the last couple of weeks the UK has had and all the bullshit currently wafting around on Jill’s side of the pond, I think we made the right choice to back away from that for a while.
Instead, we’re doing Shark Month in honour of the USA’s wonderful Shark Week. We don’t have it here and frankly, it’s a travesty. Bonus is, I can pretend Nigel Farage is the one being terrorised and it makes me feel better.
Jill picked this week and I was all ready to mock the shit out of this overly dramatic TV movie. In the end I actually became rather engrossed.
Call it the handsome and earnest leading man, call it the hilarity of most of the cast members being all too eager to jump into the water even though there’s a goddamn shark in there!
Whatever it was, let’s get down to business. *Spoilers* as usual, though this is a shark movie so you can guess a lot of it.
IMDB Synopsis: For 12 days in July, 1916, a shark patrolled the waterways of northern New Jersey. This docudrama is based on Richard Fernicola’s account of those days.
It’s 1916 and there’s this new craze called sun bathing sweeping the nation. People are flocking to the New Jersey shore to cure their polio in the sunshine and to not think about the World War raging across the ocean. The Jersey Shore in this scenario is very different to the shore we know and love today (or so the film would have us believe). Though, I’d have paid good money for a cameo from Snooki.
Our hero is Alex (Egglesfield) and let’s no beat around the bush, having to watch him wrestle sharks for the next hour or so is not going to feel like a chore. He’s a good egg this one, life guarding like a boss on the beach outside a posh hotel and mentoring other less experienced life guards on his watch.
He receives a visit from his best friend Stanley (Dexter) and his fiance Alice (Harrison), who we later learn used to be Alex’s girl (oooooooh!). Alex tells Stanley he’s totally cool with them getting married (riiiight) and even helps Alice make a decision on the kind of cake they’ll be having on the big day. Like I said, kind of a hero.
Unfortunately, this is the first day of terror and a dandy called Charles (David Jeffery) becomes our first victim. It’s at this point I have to say, Charles, your dog is barking violently at something in the water, perhaps at least approach it with caution? Always listen to the animals, dude! As he runs into obvious trouble further out, Alex dives in to rescue him without a single thought for his own personal safety. Charles has a huge chunk missing from his leg and sadly does not make it to see day 2.
Alex is adamant that this was a shark attack (I mean, duh) but some ‘experts’ swoop in and imply that it could of been a torpedo. Ummmm… a torpedo with teeth? Alex doesn’t buy this one bit and suggests that perhaps they close the fucking beach until they know the score? But alas he is but a lowly Tom Cruise impersonator lifeguard and he’s poo-pooed.
Again, he’s not happy but what can he do but stay vigilant? The Mayor (Patrick Lyster) isn’t keen on losing out on the tourism and the President of the U S of A is due to visit any day now so the show must go on. They speak to yet more experts who state that it would be highly unlikely for the shark to come back (haven’t they seen Jaws?).
Come to think of it, Alex is our Roy Schneider, running around crazed and trying to cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to save lives. He’s also mates with a salty old sea dog called Captain (see what he did there?). Captain is John Rhy-Davies who was Gimli in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and I quite fancy him.
Since this is 12 days of horribleness, you can guess that the shark does indeed come back and this time it’s personal as he bites off Alex’s mates’ legs (both of them, no messing). Alex once again is first to the scene and it doesn’t end well for his friend, I think his name was Danny?
After this attack, the authorities half-heartedly concede that there might a problem and place some big steel fencing around the beaches to make it safer for swimmers. Alex has lost all his enthusiasm for the job since Danny’s death and quits, has a fight with Stanley (who tries to stop him doing anything rash. Oops TOO LATE!). He takes a job with Captain as his first mate, which sounds legit. Captain seems to fish a bit and just hang about on the docks but this time he’s been contracted to fit the fencing.
While they’re fitting the steel posts in the water, one of Cap’s crew gets spooked and shoots at the water, claiming he can see a shark. Alex and another crew member are in the water at this time and I have to say that absolutely nobody seems that arsed about shark attacks. And yeah, I get that rivers aren’t the usual stomping ground of great white sharks but when Captain sees a formidable shadow streaking through the water towards the creek and goes suitably mental, nobody else reacts accordingly.
You would not have to tell me twice to stay the fuck out of the water, let me assure you. Anyway, Captain is in his little row boat shouting at children to get the fuck onto dry land but he’s only one man and can’t get to them all. So a small group are splish splashing about when our shark rocks up.
A hysterical mother shouts to them from the river bank and they do nothing because they can’t hear her! Kids, eh? They pay the price for not reading her body language so there’s a lesson here.
When Stanley hears that a kid he knows is in the creek he gets rather heroic. I can’t work out at this stage if the kid is his (I don’t think so) but whatever, it’s enough to get Stanley moving. Several local men leap into the creek but don’t find the kid. I’m not going to outline each and every death for you, don’t worry but tragedy strikes round about here and makes Alex even fucking angrier that before.
Meanwhile, I’ve missed out a part where Cap seems to have caught a shark but there’s still another shark out there (I think this happened, I have an image of it), so there must be multiple sharks out there. Alex isn’t pleased that his mate is making money out of tragedy but this is how Cap rolls and I think we all just have to accept that.
Also sniffing around is a strange dude called Michael Schleisser (Jamie Bartlett) who works with dangerous animals. He doesn’t really have much going on apart from a deep fascination for the shark and attempts to go out on Cap’s tiny boat to see if he can catch it. As one does. He’s really dislikable and has an air of the guy who captured King Kong to me. He’s definitely not that into animal welfare and in it for himself.
Alex and Cap tell Schleisser his plan, to somehow ensnare the shark in a net and get dragged along by it until it tires itself to death, is rubbish but he’s having none of it. The shark must hear them talking and get fucked off as he jumps out of the water and tries to bite Captain.
There’s a final Jaws-esque show down between shark and human men, and I’m going to let you see how that turns out.
What becomes of pretty Alex? Does Schleisser rightly so get eaten by our big fishy friend? Will Alice and Stanley make it down the aisle after all this drama is over, or will a place open up by Alice’s side?
And what of the shark, whose only real crime is being a shark and going with its animal instincts?
Way more thrilling and entertaining than expected. It’s cheesy of course but the period setting lends it some class. It’s very reminiscent of a certain Spielberg directed shark movie but that’s because the film is based on the true-events that also inspired Jaws so you can’t blame it for that.
Shots beneath the surface of the sea are very Jaws-y and tense though this film lacks the horror element that made Jaws so amazing. You do actually care for some of the victims which helps and I have to say the fact you don’t see the shark for a good while helps the build up.
Some of those characters are so dumb though and none of the female characters really get a look in. Alice is a very 2D, decorative prop (and I say prop because she’s only there to add a subtle tension between the two best friends). It’s like one big fisherman’s club up in this joint. Also, when an experienced fisherman/lifeguard tells you to stay on dry land, STAY ON DRY LAND!
My Rating: 3/5. A TV movie that feels like a TV movie but like, a goodish one.
Did Jill circle this movie with interest or was it nothing but chum to her? Find out here.