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SAND SHARKS
DVD. Chelsea Films.

Sand SharksRegular readers will know that we have a lot of time for creature features here at Strange Things… at least, more time than many critics. And so Sand Sharks didn’t immediately fill me with dread. But five minutes into the film, it quickly becomes obvious that this will be a long and painful viewing experience.

You see, there are good films, bad films and deliberately cheesy films. That’s all fine – if you’re making a movie that is inherently ridiculous, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t just crank the absurdity up to eleven and have some fun. But Sand Sharks, while trying to do just that, fails miserably. It’s a bad film that becomes worse by trying to make a virtue of its rottenness… if that makes any sense. With a storyline that is entirely encapsulated in the title, smart-arse dialogue and visual references to other movies (mostly Jaws – even the soundtrack sounds like faux John Williams at his twee-ist), combined with idiotic situations and lousy effects – all very knowing – the film tries hard to be entertainingly trashy. But it fails because underneath all that self-conscious crap is a really, really bad film. It’s the sort of film that has Brooke Hogan as a shark expert scientist, suggesting that either someone genuinely felt a plastic looking, talent-free reality TV star was an ideal match for this role or that her presence would somehow boost the commercial potential of a film about giant sharks that live in the sand. I’m not sure which is the more depressing possibility. Even more depressing – her performance is astonishingly wooden, with stilted delivery of dialogue and all the emotional involvement of a rock… and she’s still not the worst performer here. I’m not saying that the actors are necessarily bad (though they might be) – just that they lazily don’t even try, because they presumably think the film is disposable rubbish and that no-one expects a decent performance.

Sand SharksLike so many films destined for SyFy, this is exploitation without vital exploitation elements – while there’s some gore, the gratuitous nudity that a film like this positively demands is nowhere to be found (American TV rules saying that entrails = good, breasts = bad). So the viewer is left with what might well be the most irritating bunch of characters ever gathered together in a single film, spouting shit dialogue while the occasional piss-poor CGI monster (looking nothing like the one on the sleeve, incidentally) pops up to eat one of them. There’s also a beach party that we’re told is the biggest hit of Spring Break, but which appears to only have about thirty people in attendance. I’d like to think this was a deliberate piss-take, but I suspect it wasn’t.

Sand Sharks is truly, truly awful. Just not awful enough to transcend its limitations and become entertaining. Stick to Sharktopus, which at least knew how to make this sort of throwaway trash fun..

DAVID FLINT

BUY IT NOW (UK)

 

 

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