Genre dreck, horror, Movies, scraping the barrel

Scraping the Barrel – Sharktopus

Oh what the hell, I’ve decided to follow my archive review of Wrong Turn 3 with another Declan O’Brien monstrosity and make it a double bill. Enjoy.

Stupid scientists working from a lab in a Florida tanning salon create a super weapon for the Navy, a genetic hybrid of shark and octopus.

During testing the creature dings the metal box that allows the scientists to control it and runs amok feasting on anything it can find wearing a bikini. Stupid scientist leader Dr. Sands (Eric Roberts, sporting the smug air of a man who knows his five star hotel is a limo ride away) needs to recapture the beastie because a Navy man on video-conference is very annoyed by all this. Luckily the monster has gone south of the border, so he’s not so fussed about the carnage (even though all the victims appear to be US citizens).

Fortunately Andy Flynn, a feckless former Navy Seal fired by the dept for creating-super-weapons-through-drinking-games, is hanging out by a nearby swimming pool doing tequila shots in a Sombrero. Hurrah!

Taking only a few minutes to put on his Bermuda shorts and pack his machine gun (that well known fishing implement), Feckless Flynn sets of Stupid Scientist leader’s comely daughter Nicole, and soon-to-be-dead African American exposition-spouting friend.

Also following the trail of human-chum are: a selfish reporter, her Mexican cameraman, and a Quint-type character played by the world’s worst Bruce Campbell impersonator. Pausing only for an extended sequence of whip panned shots of Mexico, that may or may not have been taped off the Travel Channel, our motley crews set off in pursuit of the toothy and tentacled menace.

Depressingly Sharktopus is a Roger Corman production (he even does a Stan Lee-esque cameo in this PIECE OF SHIT). The unholy monster mash is one of those films whose sole purpose it to fill the space between adverts on the SyFy Channel. It is the sort of junk that some love to claim as an ironic treat but it is actually a completely depressing piece of tat.

The film is incompetently shot by hack director O’Brien (responsible for the wretched Wrong Turn 3). Shots often don’t match, a weird dirt-on-the-lens filter has been employed at random, and bad continuity-zilla runs amok (especially in the Sharktopus attacks when no one seems to have been taking notes of where the bleeding tentacles are). The script is devoid of wit or excitement. The digital FX are bargain basement. Roberts may be smirking-it-up with disbelief that he is being paid to take a vacation on a yacht, but the rest of the Z list cast imbue their characters with the grim determination of a group who know all they have to look forward to at the end of the day, is a minibus to a Travelodge two hours drive from the set.

Have you heard the term “landfill indie”? It was coined by the music press to describe the glut of identikit guitar bands failing to make the charts over the last few years. Well this is a landfill genre film; yet another in the endless succession of genetic freak monster mash-ups being churned out by SyFy and Asylum. Five months after release these charmless digital monstrosities fill the bins at Poundland. The worst part of the whole endeavour is how glaringly obvious it is that everyone involved in this farrago (up to and including Roger Corman) clearly know that this is a piece of crap and see no reason to put any effort in whatsoever. Please don’t waste your time.

Review originally appeared on the now defunct Chris and Phil Presents website.


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