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Mega Shark? Bah, Sub-Standard You Mean

jaquetteIf you haven’t seen the trailer yet for MegaShark vs Giant Octopus, you’re missing out. The preview for the direct-to-DVD movie hit the internet in May and instantly became a YouTube sensation with its less-than-B-movie schlock, finishing with a shot of the titular mega-shark jumping from the ocean to attack a passenger airplane. The movie comes from the studios of The Asylum, an American company known for their direct-to-DVD features, many of which have some shocking similarities with some much bigger movies, and this year alone has seen the release of Transmorphers: The Fall Of Man and The Terminators.

When a marine experiment goes awry and an ice shelf collapses, freeing the battling animals of the title, Emma MacNeil (Gibson) thinks she sees a large shape swimming away. After a series of disasters, including the destruction of an oil rig and the death of a whale, Emma turns to her mentor Lamar Sanders (Lawlor) for help identifying the cause, and the owner of a large tooth fragment. They’re approached by Japanese scientist Dr. Shimada (Chao) whose own clues point towards a giant eye, proof of the octopus. With the two prehistoric beasts becoming an international threat, the three scientists are charged with finding a way of capturing, or destroying, the battling duo.

With the movie’s low-budget, the CGI shark and octopus are rarely seen: it’s a forgivable situation, were it not for the fact that much of this CGI is repeated each time the giant animals clash. After the third or fourth time the same scene gets repeated it becomes quite frustrating, and the repetition extends to character-based shots as well, with more than one scene of a shaky camera zooming in to show the same extra reacting to an attack.

Mega.Shark.vs.Giant.Octopus.2009.DVDRip.XviD2It’s all understandable when you consider that Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is very much a B-movie, but even then it has its problems. The acting isn’t terrible, and 80s pop singer Debbie Gibson puts in a good performance, certainly with as good a delivery as you might expect in a TV-movie. The dialogue is even suitably cheesy, even with a forced romantic dalliance between Emma and Shimada, but the problem here is that it’s not always entertaining.

There’s a vast difference between one scene of the movie and the next, some with tongue firmly in cheek, and others taking themselves far too seriously. It really affects the tone of the movie when it turns its back on the humour at the mid-way point to focus on the dangerous animals. Even with the film’s climax taking place on a submarine, there’s little attempt made to dress the set up, so offices, submarines, freighters and laboratories all look like the same room, with the same walls just with some different tables and props (a fact that’s confirmed by the rather sub-standard special features on the disc.)

mega-shark-bridgeBut Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus breaks one of the cardinal rules of movie-making by not holding onto anything for the movie: if you’ve seen the trailer, then you’ve seen all the best bits of the film. And even if you haven’t seen it, the trailer is provided in the disc’s special features so after watching the movie, there’s always a reminder of why you picked it up in the first place. And if you don’t feel like buying the DVD, just check out the trailer below.

Zombie Rating: C-

Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus is available on DVD now.

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  1. November 2, 2009 at 9:39 PM

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