Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Sharktopus

Roger Corman. This man is a true blessing to movie fans and I will tell you why. No one makes movies quite like he does. Sure, everyone has their own distinct style as a director, but even movies produced by him are very clearly Corman films. He is his own genre in the best way possible. He takes trash and makes it into true schlock treasure that people will watch over and over again. He's no Picasso, but he is very much an artist who weaves together low budget films that are still more competent than your average Michael Bay film. Did I mention that Corman is a legend in his field? Because he is and it's a well-deserved title. His library of films hovers between horror and sci-fi mostly, because those are what he seems to love doing, but he has other genres under his belt as well.

That's not all that's under my belt...

But, as prolific as he is, this isn't about him. No, this is about his glourious monster hybrid that hit the world back in 2010. Yes, that was the year the SyFy channel gave us the beauty that is Sharktopus. And, badly renamed network aside, it was a true wonder to behold. It felt like the old 50s monster movies were coming back to say hi all over again and I couldn't have been more pleased if they had decided to make the titular monster fight some sort of pterodactyl and barracuda hybrid.

But we all know they'd never make that happen, yes?
Our story is basically about how this group called "Blue Water" gets hired by the U.S. Navy to build a truly bad-ass weapon of mass-destruction. So, do they build a missile? No. How about some really big bomb thing? Nope. Well, maybe they're mixing up some chemical type weapons? Nyet. It turns out they're hired to genetically engineer a shark with an octopus who can do nifty things like wander onto land, because that totally would never lead to lots of innocent people being horribly murdered. So, Blue Water head honcho Eric Roberts says alright, takes the cash, and builds a big whopping sharktopus. His daughter, otherwise known as the token hot nerdy girl, programmed Sharkypussy to obey their orders with this little sensor device on its back.

I sure hope nothing happens to that thing that is the thing what controls the thing.
Enter General Douchebag McGee who comes in and says "why don't you make it chase that boat" and the girl is like "that's a bad idea because the equipment is still not perfect yet", but they ignore her and guess what? The boat propeller breaks the thing on its back, causing both the boat to explode and the kid gloves to come off of our swimming garbage disposal. Oh good, I'm sure this won't lead to a huge massive blood bath that the General never gets blamed for even though he's the idiot who was all like "let's see what this baby can do, you pussies!" Well, it seems pretty good at killing stupid young people, General. I mean, there are tons of young idiots just partying and begging to be eaten all over the place in this movie. It seems kinda horrible that so many young lives are snuffed out all willy nilly.

But, to be fair, they are pretty stupid. Nevermind, it's more funny than sad.
While all the munching is going on, Roberts consults our hero, Generic Bohunk #563647, to save all the stupid people from jumping straight into the mouth of a genetically engineered aquatic monster. He's expensive, sure, but damn if he isn't pretty to look at while also being super generic. Surely he shall go down in the ranks of horror movie heroes like Bruce Campbell, Sigourney Weaver, Donald Pleasence, Heather Langenkamp, Roy Scheider, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Alex Vincent. Truly we shall never forget Ol' Whatshisface. Yep. Anywhat, Bohunk Jenkins takes his Mexican pal, the hot nerdy girl, and two guys we'll call Sharkchow and Sharkbait.

Impending lawsuit from Disney in 3...2...1...
They take some knockout juice on some harpoons and go hunting for sharktopussy. Not surprisingly, they find it and our friends Sharkchow and Sharkbait live up to their names. Bohunk also gets hurt in the exchange, but not on his beautiful face, because that would be too much to bear. We also have a reporter lady on the land who is desperate to be taken seriously and what I can only describe as Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite if he moved to Venice Beach is her cameraman. They're out to find the juicy story of a monstrous thing eating people. They meet an old fisherman who sent them a photo of Mr. Toothy Tentacles which led them to track him down. After some bribery, he agrees to take them to where he saw it. They make it just in time to see Sharktopusspuss murder an entire beach.

At least they're playing to his strengths as an actor.
But, not daunted by nearly being eaten, they go out on the fisherman guy's boat and run into our heroes. I'm trying to remember if anything relevant happens, but since I am drawing a blank, let's go with no. There's a lot more carnage, the fisherman gets eaten, the cool Mexican guy gets eaten, the stupid reporter lady....sadly survives. Eauughhh, I really wanted to see her die and the fisherman live. Oh well, maybe later. Bohunk gets pissed, because the Mexican gent happened to be his bestie and you just don't go and eat a guy's bff like that without there being ramifications. So he tells the drunk Eric Roberts to stuff his money, because he is going to fuck this beastie up. Roberts responds a little less nicely and decides to take some guys with guns to go kill Bohunk. Did I mention he's been drinking this whole time? Yeah, he's been drinking.

I always make all my decisions after downing enough scotch to kill a Scotsman.
So he finds Bohunk and his daughter and threatens to shoot him, while she of course defends the guy she wants to rip the clothes off of. Her dad tries to talk some sense into her but the moment gets ruined when his henchmen suddenly come down with a bad case of being eaten by the tentacled shark monster. She gets nearly eaten after Bohunk gets knocked out and Roberts shows he gives a damn by shooting the creature and getting his throat slit by one of its tentacles. Seriously, ouch. That monster clearly wanted him to die slowly, because it is so evil and conniving like that. Really, why did it slit his throat so precisely? It makes no sense! If it had been done by a tentacle just thrashing about, that would've been fine but...you know what? I feel silly, because I am trying to argue sense with a movie about a Sharktopus. My bad. Let's move on, shall we?

Guess who finally dies?
Yes, after giving Bohunk and Nerdy McHottiehot a ride, the reporter separates from his bewildered cameraman and finds his bloody camera just in time to find herself being eaten. I couldn't be happier too, because she was more annoying than those big hoop earrings that look like they're begging to snag on something and rip the wearer's ear right off. I hate those earrings. But yeah, she dies in an amusingly horrible fashion (although I wish it had been more drawn out) and Bohunk finally lets the smart girl he's been with for the majority of the film have a decent idea. They just have to shoot a receiver thingamajig into Sharky's Machine and then she can remotely blow its noggin up. So he does so, then proceeds to use a pointed stick to fight his enemy until she can figure out her dad's password and then Sharktopus pops like an overripe zit on prom night.
A POINTED STICK!?!?
That's the movie. Our heroes enjoy a bloody embrace as the credits play us out. And while the film definitely isn't perfect, it's still very entertaining. SyFy isn't exactly know for their riveting film offerings, so it's best that they take what they're good at and revel in it. Sometimes that doesn't turn out so well, but then other times we get Sharktopus. Sure, it doesn't have the popularity of Sharknado, but it has a lot of fun silliness that can easily lead it to becoming the sort of cult classic that my generation looks back on fondly for what it really is. And what is it? Harmless campy bloody fun, which is perfectly alright with me. I know there's a new Sharknado around the corner that people are creaming themselves over, but I am quite honestly more excited about the prospect of once more taking a trip my favourite non-Japanese tentacle monster when the sequel, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda comes out next month. I sincerely hope I won't be the only one.

I hate to eat and run, but I just gotta! Later days, Bleeders.

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