Today: April 10, 2024

Sharktopus

As the latest in a long line of low-budget, B-movie creature features,
Sharktopus intends to appeal to the same audience that watched Megashark Vs
Giant Octopus
on the basis of its laughable premise and the expectation of gory
death scenes. Armed with a singular plot and a says-it-all tagline (“50% shark.
50% octopus. 100% DEADLY”), this film follows in the same vein, hoping to fall
into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. Unfortunately, as many fans of the camp
horror genre will no doubt find out, this film is really just ‘bad’.

Eric Roberts hits a new career low as Nathan Sands, an egotistical
bio-engineer who, along with his sheltered genius daughter Nicole (Lane), has
developed a half-shark, half-octopus hybrid beast code-named S11 for the US
military. However, during a test run, the creature’s control unit malfunctions
and it begins massacring tourists on the popular Mexican resort of Puerto
Vallarta.

In order to recapture the ‘sharktopus’ and protect the military’s
investment, Sands hires a former employee, Andy Flynn (Bursin), to track it
down as it continues its feasting on unsuspecting beach goers. Also on the
trail of the mutant killing machine, however, is a morally bankrupt news
reporter, her cameraman and a cynical pirate-radio DJ.

What should be a straightforward monster movie is still so amateurishly handled
that all sense of pacing gets lost and the film plays like a series of
standalone scenes that bear little relevance to the one that played before it.
As a number of insignificant victims meet their toothy and tentacley doom, what
one would hope to be exciting and scary incidents end up wholly underwhelming
and disappointing.

The film’s failure cannot even be attributed to one particular element,
as the inexperienced actors deliver a poorly-written, cliché-ridden script
alongside visual FX that are so bad, they could have been drawn on to each
frame in crayon to better effect. The end result is a movie that irritates
rather than titillates and makes a usually concise 89min running time seem like
a frustratingly prolonged few hours.

The fault can only be placed at the feet of producer Roger Corman who,
as an infamous B-movie filmmaker for almost seven decades, is probably the
biggest selling point of the film (he is even afforded anill-timed,
out-of-place cameo). Unfortunately, unlike for example the similar and also
recently-released Piranha 3D, selling this film as a
knowingly bad, tongue-in-cheek horror film does not make it any better
than the sloppy, incompetent effort it really is
.

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