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SHARKTOPUS
DVD region 2. Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Sharktopus"There’s a killer shark-octopus hybrid heading this way, so please leave the marina in an orderly fashion.”

Yes, Sharktopus is here, and it’s everything you’d hope it to be. While other SyFy destined movies like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus have failed to deliver the goods beyond the trailer – ironically having too much actual plot and passable production values and not enough monster action – this film knows exactly what it is and why you are watching, and is determined to make you happy.
A slumming Eric Roberts stars as a Mad Scientist who has created the Sharktopus as a new weapon for the Navy – but when the control device is damaged, the monster goes on the rampage across the Mexican coast, and only his daughter, a renegade shark hunter and possibly a pushy TV reporter can stop it.

Plot is thankfully kept to a minimum here – we have several attacks by the hilariously dreadful monster in the first ten minutes, and they just keep coming, often with characters saying something like “there’s no such thing as a Sharktopus" just before being grabbed by a CGI tentacle and pulled into the water. There are wonderful moments with bungie jumpers snatched out of the air, boat painters killed as they discuss the worst way to die ("oh no, not like this", cries one as a tentacle grabs him) and of course the shamelessly brilliant sight of Sharktopus leaving the water to continue its attack on land.

SharktopusObviously, if you are looking for quality cinema, this isn’t for you – by most reasonable standards, this is terrible. But it’s also hugely entertaining. The performances are just what you’d hope for - while Roberts swills whiskey (you wonder if this was in the screenplay, or just something he needed to get through the movie!) and hams it up, the rest of the cast, straight-faced and trying hard, struggle with the combination of bad dialogue and cliched characters, while the supporting actors often Birdemic levels of woodenness. The CGI is terrible, as you’d expect, and the scene is set by the opening title sequence, which looks as though the filmmakers bought some shaky beach footage from a passing tourist (the handheld footage in the film appears to have been shot by someone who found the camera too heavy) as the worst music ever plays on the soundtrack. This might make Sharktopus sound a poor excuse for entertainment –but instead, the elements combine to make it a deliriously low-rent (albeit knowingly low-rent) slice of schlock.

The TV origins are clear – the one thing missing here is the gratuitous nudity expected in an exploitation film (there are plenty of bikini babes, but none of them lose their clothes), especially from producer Roger Corman (who also gets a cameo as a lecherous beach bum). Some Humanoids from the Deep-style sexism would have been the icing on the cake! There’s plenty of gore of course – US TV censorship being as backward as it is – but no-one swears either, resulting in classic lines like ”got you, you mother”.

So, for once, a SyFy channel film that actually lives up to the promise, and with a UK RRP of just £5.99, there’s no excuse no to snap it up!

DAVID FLINT

BUY IT NOW (UK)

BUY IT NOW (USA)

 

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