Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)

I have this friend, Cameron (who you might know from my YouTube videos), and we've known each other for many years. Back when he first got an Xbox 360, I was watching him play Fallout 3 on it and, having not played it myself yet, I posited a question for him as he swam in the dark murky water: were there any sharks in it? From there, he admitted to not knowing or being certain and I seeded the idea that perhaps there were. Perhaps there was even simply just one really large one. Perhaps the folks at Bethesda were demented enough to include a Megalodon. What are those? They're really large sharks from a time long ago and they fed on things like dinosaurs. Why am I telling you all of this (besides the fact that me making Cameron paranoid about a giant shark in Fallout 3 is hilarious)? Well, it's because today we have a film with a Megalodon in it.

It was also nice enough to bring a playmate along. How lovely.

Yes, this is a movie that you've probably heard of. In actuality, I am probably one of the last people to become aware of this particular film, mostly because I rarely watch SyFy, instead opting to see their film offerings in a manner that does not require me having to fast forward through commercials. To say I wasn't aware of this though is a bit facetious, as I had seen it in the bargain bin, I just never payed it much mind. But after seeing the titles of its sequels, I felt it only proper that I go back and give this thing a thorough once-over. This is The Asylum's answer to kaiju movies and it shows, as they do love their sharks.

Especially when they're trying to eat Tara Reid and Ian Ziering.
But, as silly as their shark fascination has gotten, I have to admit that the idea of a giant shark battling it out with other giant monsters is an appealing thought. True, it's not as cool as Sharktopus, but who wouldn't want to see Gamera or Gigan take on Mega Shark? The closest we've gotten to mentioned a shark on a giant scale is Penguin's pet shark from Arkham City, which still makes me shudder. Thus I decided to descend into The Asylum and see these movies about a massive shark running amok as it battles other giant monsters. Let's do this.

And let's never talk about Tiny again. Even when he's dead he still creeps me out.
The story opens with our protagonist, former pop idol of the 1980s Debbie Gibson, as she pilots a small submarine with her buddy, John Blutarsky's brother. They monitor some whales, the military drops an experimental transmitter in the water, and two giant monsters wake up because of said military fucking around. Yep, there just happened to be two giant monsters frozen in a glacier: a Megalodon and a giant octopus.

No, not that giant octopus! Get that outta here!
In the aftermath of this a drilling platform around Japan gets attacked by the giant tentacle monster because...well, it's Japan. Giant monsters and tentacles are sorta their thing. Our heroine, meanwhile, discovers a dead whale with what appears to be a rather massive shark tooth sticking out of it. She doesn't know that's what it is though, so we need to be reminded there's a giant shark. What's the best way to go about doing that? Maybe recreate a famous Jaws-type scene? Have it eat a boat? Perhaps show it eating other sharks while those sharks attack people?

Or have it eat a plane that's flying overhead. That works.
Debbie gets fired, because of plot reasons that don't really matter, and she brings the tooth to her old teacher who tells her it's from a Megalodon, which blows her mind more than the 80s ever did. To be fair ,she was busy performing a lot back then, so she missed a lot of the best stuff. Like Jem and the Holograms. I bet she would've loved that show. They then meet up with Dr. Seiji Shimada, the hunk of the film, who tells them about his calamari problem while they share the similar problem they're facing. Man, I could go for some calamari right now. They all decide to work together but the party gets crashed by Lorenzo Lamas because he's a cowboy and on a steel horse he rides.

"Get on the bike, losers. We've got justice to dish out."
But, sadly, we're not getting biker Renegade Lamas...we're getting useless military flunky Lamas. I just sighed really loudly. I don't know if you heard it, but it was rather loud. They agree to help the government take down the mosnters but they want them taken alive for study, which is a valid point, as they are extinct species so the scientific community could learn a lot from them. While working in the lab, Debbie gets her a little "yellow fever" and Seiji goes where every teenage boy in the 80s wishes they could go. Unless they were Tiffany fans, then they'd probably rather fuck Lamas. I mean, he does have similar hair. This makes them think of using pheromones to lure both creatures into places where they can be subdued and the plan is put into action, with Seiji heading back to Japan to confront the giant tentacled threat there while Debbie and her Kitchen Irish take on the shark.

But first they play with some Mattel Slime Seiji had that he totes didn't put his dick into while watching Debbie's videos.
The plan goes into action and all seems to going fine, but Lamas has to go and fuck everything up by ordering the ships to attack the Mega Shark, which only makes it angry and leads to it escaping. Good job, Lamas. Oh, and it also bites the Golden Gate Bridge in half afterward too, because it was so angry that it wanted to do what Godzilla was too nice to do.

"FUCK THIS TOWN, I'M OUTTIE!"
Lamas continues being a fucktard, suggesting that they nuke it and they learn that Seiji's team had no luck on their end either. Then Debbie remembers her own rivalry as a pop idol and suggests they let the two monster duke it out, saving everyone a lot of time and irradiated water. Otherwise we're all going to be living Fallout 4 rather than playing, ya dig? They do the lure thing again, bringing the two massive predators together, and a fight ensues while Lamas whines about having to ride in a submarine a lot.

Insert whining sounds here because he's a big baby who needs a diaper change.
But the fight doesn't last long and the two end up splitting, with Mega Shark pursuing their submarine as they go through treacherous underwater area. This leads to the driver freaking the fuck out and turning his gun on the captain, which doesn't fly one bit in the Navy. Debbie knocks him the fuck out and Kitchen Irish takes over, steering them through as they reach the other side and the crisis seems averted, as their backup arrives...only to immediately get killed the giant octopus. Then the Mega Shark decides it want to gnaw on the submarine our heroes are in, which means the important characters have to get in the mini-submarine as it's now time for the big one to get bitten in half. Seiji then shows up to help in a submarine of his own, but gets shaken roughly by the giant octopus, making Debbie worry about her Asian sensation. The mosnters notice one another, they grapple, and finally both seem to wipe out one another, as they float down into the dark depths below. Seiji survives the rough shake, they make their relationship official, and the three main heroes end up heading off to investigate something else as we fade into our credits.

No one really cares what happens to Lamas, as he was an asshat who got people killed.
I was prepared to dislike this movie for it's Asylum-ness but it actually won me over a bit with the main trio of heroes and the ridiculous creature attacks. It's a B-movie, no doubt, but it revels in that and delivers a fairly decent (if cliche) kaiju story about man versus prehistoric monsters. Do I wish Seiji had more screen time? Hell yes, because Lamas was not fun to watch here. I do like him in some things, but here he was just an unlikeable dick and even these types of characters can be done in an entertaining fashion. Here you're just left hoping he'll get eaten somehow and I personally was disappointed when he survived. The Mega Shark was obviously the main focus too, as we barely see much of the giant octopus. I would've liked to see it attack a cruise ship or something.

No! NO!! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!
The effects themselves are what you'd expect out of a movie from The Asylum, meaning that they're not the worst but are definitely not that great either, and the design of the octopus on the cover art is a lot better than what we actually got. Overall, it wasn't the worst giant monster movie and it had its charm, but I don't know how often I'd want to see it again. Watch it if it's on or if you want to check out this whole Mega Shark series like I am, but otherwise don't bother with it. There are better giant monster movies to watch out there, believe you me. So, until Debbie Gibson bursts through my door to tell me she needs my help to stop a giant Tiffany from destroying all the malls in America, I'll be here trying to findsomething to curb this craving for calamari I'm having. Later days, bleeders.

You have to admire a lady who knows how to handle a joystick.

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