I had vaguely thought about doing one of those 2010 best/worst rundown posts, but I’m rubbish and lazy and instead spent my time drinking whiskey, cuddling kittens and, as it turned out this morning when I sat down to write some stuff, thinking about sharks. It’s fairly common knowledge that I love a shark movie. Oh, boy, do I love a shark movie! I barely even discriminate, I’ll watch anything and I pretty much love them all in one way or another. There’s a lot of work and effort goes into loving shark movies so to save you all the blood, sweat and the tears, little naps and distracted nail painting that I go through on a regular basis here’s a brief peek at seven of the most awesome. (I am for the most part using ‘awesome’ in the broadest sense it’s possible to use it, ever).
The undisputed daddy. I don’t even feel the need to write anything here. It’s Jaws. It’s awesome. And it’s still bloody terrifying.
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
Raging Sharks (2005)
Quite genuinely the stupidist plot I’ve ever heard in my life.
Two alien spaceships crash into each other, (yes, you heard me, alien spaceships) and some manner of spacey type generator thing from one of the ships falls into the Bermuda Triangle (yup, that’s alien spaceships and the Bermuda Triangle). Said super spacey device is, it turns out, powered by magic space crystals,(space crystals, people!) which strangely enough have a devastating effect on the local sharks making them go all extra mental and kill crazed that. Mental, crystal crazed sharks attack then proceed to attack an underwater research lab, cleverly and systematically cutting out the power and oxygen because, naturally, space crystals make them smarter than your average shark. Fortunately for humanity, the Navy sends specialists to rescue the scientists trapped inside, however, little do they know there is already a covert black-ops team within the lab that have their own nefarious agenda. So essentially all Steven Spielberg’s early films sliced up and shaken around in the wacky pot until they congeal into one giant ball of craziness; Heck yeah, Nu Image!
Utter and complete madness presided over by Corin ‘Parker Lewis, I Know My First Name Is Steven, Jonas Quinn’ Nemec. I think if I had sharks that were not just angry or a wee bit miffed but actually raging then I’d send in Parker Lewis, he can’t lose apparently. Raging Sharks is one of those movies where it’s best to start drinking earlier, you may then find that as Parker Lewis negotiates his way through sharks, aliens, spaceships, treacherous assassins, nuclear submarines, cosmic crystals, Corbin Bernsen and some footage from Shark Attack 3: Megalodon that you actually start to enjoy yourself in the midst of the stupidity.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
On a remote research facility in the middle of the ocean scientists try to cure Alzheimer’s by experimenting on the brain make up of Mako sharks. Unsurprisingly this ends in tears before bedtime. Under the noble but stupid impression that by increasing the brain capacity of the sharks they can then harvest the tissue as a potential cure for Alzheimer's disease scientists prod about in shark’s heads until all hell breaks loose. It turns out that the increased brain capacity also makes the sharks faster, more dangerous, more intelligent and more angry so naturally they begin to engineer their escape and their bloody revenge on dratted scientists who have imprisoned them.
When this was first out at the cinema I paid a good £6 in good faith to see Samuel L. Jackson take on some bloody big crazy sharks. Let’s face it, if anyone can do that, (after Scheider), it’s Sammy L. This is not what I got. My incredulous cry of ‘…the fuck!’ at a particular part of this movie was heard echoing through the theatre and I was seconds away from demanding my money back from someone. Fortunately for all involved, especially my mum who was at that stage fearing a scene, the whole thing picked up and I got carried away with the exciting shark action, and LL Cool J. Instead of curing Alzheimer’s the sharks decide that their time would be much better served in systematically taking down a deep sea science facility and eating a load of people. What could possibly be wrong with that?
Megashark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)
A megalodon and giant octopus are conveniently flash frozen amid a titanic battle a long time ago, in the olden days. Much like a really long game of musical statues, the two colossal beasts remain in their mid battle frozen state until the present day when pesky global warming begins to thaw them out and it’s not long before they are back swimming free in our modern waters unleashing carnage and devastation in their mighty wakes. The kind of carnage a megalodon and a giant octopus wreak turns out to be largely eating improbable things like bridges, off shore oil rigs and goddamn, bloody airplanes, in flight. Eventually scientists, mainly Debbie Gibson, come to the conclusion that the only way to stop these mighty killers is to pit them against each other in one final battle of prehistoric proportions, kind of like Gladiators. I entirely misinterpreted the scientific plan for the destruction of the beasts on first viewing and for quite a long time genuinely thought that the plan was to encourage them to have sex with each other until they both died. I was disturbingly disappointed when I learned this wasn’t the case.
From the concept alone I knew this film was going to be a winner with me. While I was inexplicably a little disappointed by the lack of interspecies prehistoric sex, the whole affair was ultimately worth it for the opportunity to see a shark take down a flying plane, and Debbie Gibson, it was nice to see Debbie again after all these years.
Hell yeah, shark films rule! They manage to all at once be horrendously disappointing (mainly just on the basis that they are not Jaws, except for Jaws which is obviously Jaws) and being unbelievably exciting and satisfying simply because, irrespective of all else, they’ve got great big sharks eating stuff in them. I bloody love them. Stay tuned for my further adventures beneath the sea and in the depths of my DVD collection where I will explore such important issues as; what happens when you cross a shark with an octopus and can you actually fit sharks in Venetian canals.