Saturday, July 20, 2024

Dark Waters (2003)

Dark Waters (2003)

A marine researcher, Dane Quatrell (Lorenzo Lamas), who needs help with funding and assorted legal issues, reluctantly takes a job with a wealthy investor who needs his services after an expensive underwater rig is lost. Utilizing a high-tech submersible, Quatrell and a crew venture to the depths and discover some hostile sea creatures and other dark secrets. Dark Waters is a 2003 made-for-TV shark film directed by Phillip J Roth and starring Lorenzo Lamas. With the spate of shark-themed movies released after Deep Blue Sea, Dark Waters follows with a plot involving genetically altered sharks and black ops military operations. As with Shark Hunter, released a few years prior by the same studio, the film features great-looking sets and a dynamic pairing of Lamas and Costar Simmone MacKinnon. The film does not feature much shark action but has several shoot-outs and close-quarter combat. Dark Waters is a much better and more entertaining film than the many Asylum Shark films that would follow this movie. 

Friday, July 19, 2024

Shark Hunter (2001)

Shark Hunter (2001)

A young boy seeks answers after witnessing his family get taken out by a massive sea creature. Years later, he is a marine researcher who looks to use his expertise and some corporate money to help find the elusive creature that killed his family, the long-extinct Megalodon. Shark Hunter is a 2001 underwater thriller directed by Matt Codd and starring Antonio Sabato, Jr. Shark Hunter was released a few years after Deep Blue Sea and predates the big studio film The Meg by 17 years and is one of the first movies to utilize a Megalodon shark. The sets look great and mimic the style of movies like Alien, The Abyss, and Leviathan. At the same time, Sabato and co-star Heather Marie Marsden don't look like shark experts; the sub-driver Grand Bush delivers the best performance and is the best actor in the movie. The underwater scenes were done with footage slowed down as there was a lack of bubbles in many scenes. While it is not a major studio release, Shark Hunter looks like it had some money for the lavish sets. Still, like so many other copycat shark movies, it suffers from plot issues and an ocean full of scientific inaccuracies. Nonetheless, this movie is much better than the many cheap shark movies released in the past decade.  

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sharktopus vs Whalewolf (2015)

Sharktopus vs Whalewolf (2015)

In the Dominican Republic, a down-on-his-luck charter boat captain deals with challenges involving local voodoo gangs, pestering police, and problems with his boat. Another challenge arises when a scientist involved in some weird science creates a deadly creature by crossing a killer whale and a wolf. With this new creature unleashed, it soon finds a new foe in the Sharktapus. After battling a Pteracuda in the previous installment, the Sharktopus is about to take on its most formidable opponent, the dreaded Whalewolf. Sharktopus vs Whalewolf is a 2015 monster comedy directed by Kevin O'Neil and stars Casper Van Dien, Catherine Oxenberg, Akaari Nito, and Jennifer Wenger. As with the previous installments, these movies are meant to be fun hybrid creature features with goofy CGI, great locations, and some fun talent. While the film is quite silly, it's still fun to watch and marvel at the absurd trilogy of the Sharktopus films. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Post-Apocalyptic Commando Shark (2018)


Post-Apocalyptic Commando Shark (2018)

After a catastrophic war, the Soviet Union reemerged and, with the help of an evil German scientist, planned to unleash the most deadly weapon on the remnants of the United States. These super soldiers turn out to be half-man half sharks and face off against newly formed militias that intend to fight for the USA. If there was an award for most outlandish movie titles, this is undoubtedly a word salad of silliness. Post-Apocalyptic Commando Shark is a 2018 low-budget movie directed by Sam Qualiana and featuring Scream Queen Debbie Rochan. Looking like an Asylum film reject, PACS recognizes that it is a Z movie and nothing more. The low-budget look, silly shark heads, and intentionally lousy dialogue work well with the subject matter and make for a film that is entertaining in some ways. That is not to say that this a cult classic like Plan 9 From Outer Space, but Post Apocalyptic Commando Shark does have the potential to be a mildly amusing distraction for fans of Ms Rochon.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Apex Predators (2021)

Apex Predators (2021)

Beachgoers are alarmed as shark attacks occur, causing many to panic. As scientists discuss why the attacks are happening, some local community leaders are more concerned with how it will affect the local economy. Apex Predators is a low-budget shark movie directed by Dustin Ferguson that features a collection of horror fans and celebs in the cast. With so many low-budget shark movies, this one truly stood out for its low-budget and disjointed story. This movie is nothing more than a bunch of different people talking to each other about the shark attack, the usual stock footage, beach scenes, and some genuinely great-looking shooting locations. While the film features notable horror celebs like Brinke Stevens and Julie Anne Prescott, the rest of the cast is populated by folk mostly known for their work in low-budget Indie horror. Overall, this film could have been more engaging and might easily encourage viewers to move on to other horror movies.  

Monday, July 15, 2024

Predators of the Deep: The Hunt for the Lost Four

Predators of the Deep: The Hunt for the Lost Four (2023)

With so many shark movies being made involving people falling prey while they are out in the open water, it is a surprise that so few of these are done as found footage. Predators of the Deep is a mockumentary about four people who disappeared in the Gulf of Mexico while searching for a sunken Spanish ship that may have contained gold. The film follows the formula for found footage by showing a graphic about the footage located after the group disappeared. It is mixed in with clips of the four people, including Miguel Diaz, discussing the investment proposal needed to search for and recover this treasure. The film also includes segments from the families and other parties concerning the disappearance of the group as the footage is shown of the group snorkel diving in waters that will prove to be treacherous. The movie is a routine found footage style with clips of the lost party mixed in with video testimonies. While the footage of the lost group looked decent, the rest of the testimonials took up too much time. While the film presents itself with a mystery premise, the movie's last few minutes will reveal the true outcome, and it will be pretty obvious what occurred. Overall, Predators of the Deep is a decently made indie film, and, as found footage, has a good subject matter, but as with so much found footage, the ending will hit or miss with the audience.  

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Sharkula (2022)

Sharkula (2022)

After an angry mob corners Count Dracula, he jumps into the sea only to be bitten by a shark. Hundreds of years later, the Dracula shark is still using its powers to control minions on land. The influence of Sharkula is challenged when a pair of men looking for work arrives in a small town and challenges the shark's minions. Sharkula is a 2022 release, and with most other movies directed by Mark Polonia, you have the bargain basement of sets, elementary school creature effects, and the same cast of actors who are all regulars in his movies. These quickie-made ultra-low-budget films lack in everything except for their titles and cover art. With almost a hundred movies to his credit, Mark Polonia has developed a routine for these cheapie movies, and we will likely see many more since they cost nothing to make and can be dropped on Tubi and other free streaming sites.  

Friday, July 12, 2024

Sky Sharks (2020)

Sky Sharks (2020)

Decades after the defeat of the Third Reich, remnants of the Nazi order have hidden away in icy regions plotting their revenge. They suddenly emerge and hijack an airline with flying sharks and zombie-like stormtroopers, killing the passengers and revealing themselves to a terrified world. The world leaders turn to an aging scientist and his daughters to help fight this threat, but they learn a dark secret about their father's past. Released in 2020, Sky Sharks is directed by Marc Fehse and features a cast that includes Tony Todd, Yan Birch, Eva Habermann, Barbara Nedeljakova, and Lynn Lowry. The film is best described as a tech-fueled gore fest; Sky Sharks has several scenes with over-the-top violence and bloody killings that are played out in a cartoonish style. Along with the violence are several nude scenes for good measure. Sky Sharks is similar to the 2012 sci-fi film Iron Sky but has much more gore and better special effects. While the film may lack in some areas, there is no question that the bat-shit-crazy style of this movie will make it entertaining enough for gore hounds and fans of Nazi zombie movies.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Megashark vs Crocosaurus (2010)

Megashark vs Crocosaurus (2010)

In the aftermath of Megashark vs. Giant Octopus, a Navy Lt (Jaleel White) experiments with technology to fight off the giant shark he believes is still out there. As he clashes with his Navy bosses, he is reunited with a former colleague (Gary Stretch) chasing down a giant crocodile that he feels is more deadly. Despite their issues, they team up with a Secret Service agent (Sarah Lieving) who is determined to stop both of these monster threats. As with the previous monster shark movie, Megashark vs. Crocosaurus relies heavily on gimmicky CGI, cheap-looking sets, and random star power, including Robert Picardo. There is not much to expect with these quickie Asylum movies, so it is best to suspend all intelligence and watch giant monsters fighting one another as helpless people try to escape their carnage,  

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Ouija Shark 2 (2022)

Ouija Shark 2 (2022)

After the absurd events of the first movie, it is no surprise to see a follow-up to the 2020 movie Ouija Shark. This time around, a strange team assembles to take on the renewed threat of the Ouija Shark, who is wreaking havoc on the world. As the fireballs and lighting bolts fly, the shark meets its match when the Tarot Gator emerges. One of the most absurd movies of my 2023 Shark Reek was Ouija Shark, and I remember just how silly and dumb it was. I can say that Ouija Shark 2 is no different as this film follows the same formula of strange people working together to fight a stuffed animal, shooting cartoon-like fireballs. As this movie is meant to be a comedy, there is no attempt at a storyline involving actual sharks, and instead, like the first movie, a bunch of unknown actors getting eaten by the ghostlike shark that emerges out of thin air and is completely unstoppable. Undoubtedly, there will be another one of these movies, as all one needs is an Ouija board and a cell phone camera.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Shark! (1969)

 

Shark! (1969)
An American gunrunner finds himself stuck in a small town on the Red Sea and decides to get work with a professor and his assistant, which involves some scuba diving. He soon learns that the real purpose of his work is far more dangerous. Shark is a 1969 action movie directed by Samuel Fuller, starring a young Burt Reynolds and Arthur Kennedy. Released six years before Jaws, Shark does not focus too much on the sharks and instead is more involved with Mr. Reynolds, trying to determine if the couple he is working with is on the level or merely using him. The movie's plot moves rather slowly, but the ending is quite creative, especially regarding its outcome. While the film may appear to be a shark film, the story is more similar to Peter Benchley's other novel, The Deep. While the movie is set in North Africa, the production was filmed in Mexico. As an early film for Burt Reynolds, it is no wonder he would become a massive star in the next decade. 

Monday, July 8, 2024

Alien Shark (2022)


Alien Shark (2022)

A young woman on military leave who hopes to enjoy a girl's weekend on the beach instead finds her friend's ex-boyfriend and his buddy crashing the vacation house. Despite this, the group enjoys the vacation until their fun is interrupted by bizarre events related to alien activity involving a shark. Set on the Alabama coast, Alien Sharks is pretty close to the beach house as most of the events occur in this location, along with some UFO shots in orbit. Alien Shark is a low-budget movie directed by Paul Tomborello and starring Brittany Altenbach, Lukas Silva, Bridget Nicole Andrews, and Jessica Claire Crosby. This movie could have easily involved several horror tropes, as the remote setting was perfect for a slasher, zombie movie, or deadly virus. Instead, it involved CGI alien critters when it could have been a fun slice-and-dice movie. The shark scenes are mostly stock footage with glowing green eyes and a silly CGI creature that provides some humor. The cast is largely unknown but reasonably attractive, spending most of the movie in bikinis and swimsuits. The main character portrayed by Ms. Altenbach is well cast as she carries what would otherwise be a forgettable movie.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Shark Huntress (2021)

Shark Huntress (2021)

After her activist mother disappears, a young woman travels to Thailand to meet up with her colleagues and find answers to what happened to her mother. As she sought the important work her mother was committed to, several shark attacks in the small community began to occur. Shark Huntress needs to be more accurate as the film's focus on hunting sharks is very minute and instead focuses on a conspiracy involving a major plastic company the mother was fighting. The lack of sharks is most apparent as most attacks are fake shark fins and blood in the water. As a result, the film is nothing more than conversations and conspiracies with little to no action and an anti-climactic end scene. Shark Huntress is easily one of the worst movies I have ever watched, given how terrible most shark movies I watch are. Bad CGI and shark roar would have been welcome to add some action or absurdity to this otherwise dull family drama. 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Megalodon: The Frenzy (2023)

Megalodon: The Frenzy (2023)

In 2018, The Meg was one of the biggest releases of the year and became a worldwide hit with its oversized killer shark. Never one to ignore riding off the glory of a big Hollywood blockbuster, The Asylum would put out its own quick-to-video knockoff called Megalodon. This mockbuster starred Michael Madsen and was instant Red Box fare with its low budget and atrocious story. Despite this, The Asylum would continue to pump out follow-ups with a third entry, featuring the prolific Eric Roberts as the marque star and horror Scream Queen Caroline Williams. This time, the havoc left by the second movie, Megalodon Rising, has the Navy with only a few ships to fight off a collection of Meg's that have been released due to deep sea mining. With some gung-ho spirit and determination, the commanding officer will lead his crew to finally defeat these sharks with the help of some scientists who offer their assistance. As with the previous movies in this series, this film features atrocious CGI, bargain basement sets, and absurd fight scenes involving the ship's crew and the sharks of random sizes. With little to recommend, one had to wonder how many more of these silly Meg movies The Asylum will produce, and one can hope to see Megs in Space.   

Friday, July 5, 2024

Bull Shark 2 (2024)

Bull Shark 2 (2024)

After taking out the deadly shark in the first movie, former Game Warden Timms is tasked with finding some teens who went missing on the lake, and he suspects that another shark is responsible. While dealing with his divorce, alcoholism, and trying to bond with his son, Simms battles local city officials who want to reopen the lake. Fresh off the 2022 indie film of the same name, Bull Shark 2 is a sequel looking for a purpose and is instead a carbon copy of the first. While this sequel attempts to address the aftermath of the first movie, it spends most of its time with the main character sailing the lake and trying to rebuild his relationships. The shark scenes were a mix of poor CGI and Spirit Store shark fins that were just terrible. One major complaint was that the film makes every effort to point out that Bull Sharks can swim in freshwater, but the CGI shark is a Great White. 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Blind Waters (2023)

Blind Waters (2023)

While on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, a couple plan on taking a scuba trip but encounter a deadly shark that cripples their rented boat. While they reach out for help, they meet a man who offers to help them, but they don't realize how dangerous he is. Blind Waters is one of a number of shark-themed movies produced by The Asylum; as with their other fare, this film utilizes a few filming locations and relies on a CGI shark. While the plot is no different than many other similar shark-themed movies, Blind Waters does have a decent cast of competent actors who share good chemistry and are convincing as a pre-engaged couple. This aspect of the story offers viewers something more than other Asylum movies that look cheap and have unknown actors that viewers will soon forget. Overall, Blind Waters is a step above most Asylum movies despite its derivative plot.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Swim (2021)


Swim (2021)
A family renting a beach house for the summer faces a deadly hurricane that threatens to trap them inside as the storm damage results in a deadly shark preying on them. While these events play out, the father drives through the storm, hoping he won't miss dinner. With a scenic location and good-looking cast, Swim certainly does not look like the usual Asylum release. Despite this, the plot pretty much follows the same premise as nearly a dozen other shark movies, with the beach house setting being the only original idea. Joey Lawrence is top-billed, but he is mainly seen in random parts of the film as the absurd premise comes across. The only saving grace is the mother, portrayed by television actress Jennifer Field, who carries most of the movie until Mr. Lawrence sails in on a kayak. As with most other Asylum movies, the film features a shark doing impossible things, but these movies are never about factual shark behavior and are more about attractive swimsuit-clad folk in peril.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Shark Season (2020)

Shark Season (2020)

Three kayakers sail onto a remote artificial island for a photo shoot but find themselves trapped by a wayward shark intent on munching bikini-clad ladies. While they argue about their poor choices, the father of one of the ladies uses every contact to help find her before the sea swallows them up. While it may not be a mockbuster, this is an Asylum film with its random celebrity casting, minimal sets, and terrible CGI. The plot pretty much follows many other shark films, so there is little to expect as the stranded cast tries to find help amidst their bickering and idiotic decisions. There were moments in the movie when I was cheering on the shark as the two ladies were insufferable. Michael Madsen is top-billed, and his role must have been filmed remotely as he spends most of the movie behind a computer frantically calling emergency services. The film's poster states the film is based on actual events, so I imagine idiots getting trapped by sharks is something that does occur.  

Monday, July 1, 2024

Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)

Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)

After witnessing illegal military shenanigans in the Arctic, a marine scientist (Deborah Gibson) and her associates report a near-death attack by large predators frozen in the ice. With her reputation at stake, she seeks help from several colleagues to help convince others of a severe threat to coastal communities and shipping traffic. The US and Japanese Navy must contend with a dual threat of giant sharks and octopuses threatening both nations and Ms. Gibson's new scientist boyfriend. Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus has the usual low-budget sets and laughable stock footage from many other Asylum releases. The CGI could have been better, with the inconsistent creature sizes differing from scene to scene. With more than half the movie not showing the creatures, the film spends too much time showing the love story between the two scientists instead of the big beasts. The Asylum is well known for quickie mockbusters and red-box-level movies, yet Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus would set a precedent for getting a theater trailer that helped bring the film some hype for its DVD and streaming release.