Friday, June 1, 2012

Super Shark

NetFlix NA
IMDB 2.5/10
My Rating: 5/10

An oil drilling rig run by the Dukes of Hazzard awakens a giant, bulletproof prehistoric shark that can walk on land and fly.  Clearly this was a film aimed at the NPR audience.

Once I saw the trailer to this thing on YouTube, there was no way I could resist checking it out.  So whadda we got here, eh?  Sleazy oil man Bo Duke (John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard) is using some kind of weird chemical to dissolve ocean floor rock to make drilling easier.  I guess at this point, when you join the oil industry you just automatically have to change alignment to Lawful or Chaotic Evil.  Anyway, said chemical releases Super Shark, a gigantic monster shark that possesses not just the abilities to walk on land and perform jet-powered leaps, but also a really savvy intelligence and a, *ahem*, biting wit.  Super Shark doesn't just eat the cast, he eats them in the most ridiculous and embarrassing moments possible.  Feel like your love life is in the dumps?  Don't answer that doorbell, it's Super Shark!  Annoyed by obscene phone calls?  It's Super Shark calling you from upstairs!  He hovers over the movie like an omniscient giant eating machine, and half the reason I give this movie a 5 is due to the laughs induced each time Super Shark turns up to take another bite out of the assembled crew.

With a giant walking shark on the loose, it isn't long before people notice and begin delivering observations like, "That's bad" and, "I need a drink."  The heroine, a lady CSI-type, fences with Bo Duke a bit and ends up advising the army that they're going to need a bigger boat.  Said military types send a squad of soldiers, a jet fighter, and a robotic walking tank to battle the beast.  Along the way, lots of people get chomped in ways both gruesome and hilarious.

The Kentucky Fried Popcorn Relationship Guide tip #1 - If you want to have a happy marriage, start with a woman who is willing to watch Super Shark with you.  But be prepared to get punched in the arm a lot, because the cheesecake level in this flick is, well, right up there with a Fred Olen Ray film because it IS a Fred Olen Ray film.  Yep, that would be the guy who brought us classics like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, an understated gem of the 80's video store era.  This is a TV movie so there's no nudity, but ole Fred takes advantage of his beach setting to throw bikini boobies at us every chance he gets, which is roughly 2/3 of the film.

Aside from the cleavage FX, we get a whole lotta CGI shark.  Syfy has gotten better at this, but most of their rendering still looks like something you could do on a Mac, and it doesn't help that when the shark is out of water crawling around, the bright sunlight isn't too forgiving on the special effects.  The climactic fight with the CGI robot tank is even sillier - It's a lot of fun to watch (assuming sufficient quantities of beer are on hand) but it lacks the coolness of the great Ray Harryhausen monster battles because A) the robot design is REALLY uninspired, and B) it isn't nearly long enough.

The cast does a bouncy job throughout, and they're the other reason I give this a better rating than IMDB...  I mean, as a movie, it's a 2.5, yes, but as an entertainment package it's a hundred times more fun than any Sex & the City episode ever made.  The leads are competent, the sidekicks are tolerable, and everyone delivers their Ed Wood dialog with a sense of barely-suppressed fun.  Except for Jimmie "JJ" Walker, who delivers his own performance through a megaphone of 1977 insanity:

Does he have anything to do with the movie?  Absolutely not, why do you ask?  He just plays a local radio host who occasionally pops in to narrate the latest news of Super Shark's thrilling adventures on land and sea and air.  Acting-wise, however, everyone takes a back seat to Super Shark himself, that mega-Pacino of the high surf - He has a lot of personality for a CGI blob and I expect him to be invited to host Cannes any day now.

Bottom line - The leads are decent actors, the story is fun and silly, there are copious amounts of  boobage on display, and it stars a giant shark that eats an oil rig. This is not a movie that I'm ever going to want to go back and watch again, but it was a hoot, and would be great for group MST3K sessions. If you watched Sharktopus, you'll get much the same thing here.   And if you're at all curious for a taste of this flick, check out the FUNKTASTIC trailer below - Yes, Super Shark even has his own theme tune, straight out of a 70's disco!  Truly, this may possibly be one of the greatest movie trailers I have ever seen.

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