I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published January 24th 2023
A macaroni and cheese pizza in movie form
I thought I'd have a little personal film festival and bring to your attention a collection of killer shark movies. These are not classics, like Jaws, or even Sharknado, but lesser-known, terrible (sometimes hilariously so) movies about creatures from the deep. Since I apparently have too much to say about each individual film for one article I will break it into a series of separate reviews, beginning with this wonderful piece of silliness from 2010.
1. Sharktopus (2010)
This high concept gem was made for the SyFy channel and directed by Declan O'Brien (director of the Wrong Turn series). Since there is already a film called Megashark vs Giant Octopus, I was hoping that the Sharktopus was the result of Megashark and a giant octopus choosing to make love, not war. Alas, Sharktopus, or 'S11', as it is known to its creators, was genetically engineered as a government super weapon. It escapes from the collar intended to control it and goes around randomly killing people, necessitating a team to be sent out to recapture it.
Eric Roberts plays Dr Nathan Sands, who created the monster together with his daughter, Nicole (actress and model Sara Malakul Lane) is introduced wearing glasses, so we know she's smart. She then loses them when she lets her hair down halfway through the movie, and apparently sees just fine without them. Fisherman Andy Flynn, (Kerem Bürsin), is hired to capture the monster, and provides one of my favourite moments of the film by shouting "noooooo!" while firing his gun at nothing in particular in the manner of Keanu Reeves in Point Break.
Meanwhile, a journalist and her cameraman are also on the monster's tail, hoping to get the story of the century. I was really hoping the poor camera man, Bones, (Héctor Jiménez from Nacho Libre) would survive, because of his refreshingly sensible attitude to road safety. Prolific director, Roger Corman, has an uncredited cameo as "man on the beach".
This is a little different from other shark movies because as well as using its jaws, the Sharktopus can grab people with its tentacles and even travel over land for short distances, which is fun. Characters are introduced purely to be killed off, often in ironic ways. The scene with the two painters on the side of the ship contemplating their own mortality before being speared by giant tentacles was reminiscent of the gravedigger from Hamlet. And who could forget the immortal opening lines:
Bikini girl 1: Come into the water with me! Bikini girl 2: No, there's fish in there!
Sharktopus is a must see for fans of silly monster movies. I'm not sure where you can find this one online, but I know it's available on DVD because I own a copy, and I'm not even ashamed of it. Apparently there are two sequels, called Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda and Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf which I must track down.
The trailer includes the fun theme song by the Cheetah Whores created for the film. I'd give the movie an extra star based on the song alone. It's a bop!