There is something oddly endearing about filmmaker and producer Roger Corman. He has been a man famous for creating some of the worst movies ever made and, yet, he also has a knack for spotting talent and giving them their first chance. The list of great directors that got their start with Corman’s film studio and went on to greatness is impressive. He is the “king of the B-movies,” however, and he is famous for making schlocky stuff on a tight budget.
Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Joe Dante and even James Cameron all got their start with Corman. He put Jack Nicholson in his original Little Shop of Horrors and brought his manic grin to the screen for the first time. The thing about it is that everyone in his films know they are in a Roger Corman film and, as such, everyone seems to be having a great time knowing they are making movies just for the fun of making movies. As of this writing Corman is 84 years old and he is still going strong.
The Syfy Channel has been the last bastion of schlocky movies. Thus, it is a marriage made in bad-movie-heaven that Corman and Syfy have teamed up to bring one of the worst monster movies you are ever likely to see. At the same time, it is a movie that has “cult hit” written all over it. Fans of bad B-movies everywhere, you must put Sharktopus on your must-see list.
The funny thing about this movie is that it is actually a bad remake of an already notoriously bad film. It is a remake of a movie so bad it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. That original movie was called Monster Shark and it told the story of a fish that was bred to be a weapon for use by the U.S. Navy. It is a hybrid of a shark and an octopus (in case you couldn’t tell from the name of the newer movie). In the beginning the animal is being controlled. Well, how much do you want to bet that the control device is going to get damaged and the thing will run wild?
The original combined a prehistoric-type shark with an octopus. The new version just features a computer-generated shark head with a bunch of ridiculous-looking tentacles stretching out behind it. This one very bad-ass sea creature, but what this ridiculous movie monster can do is likely to make you laugh until you spill your popcorn all over your friends. In fact the only real victims that Sharktopus is likely to have are those who laugh themselves to death.
Eric Roberts is the only named star you are likely to have heard of. He is the mad scientist who created Sharktopus. The plot, of course, doesn’t really matter. You don’t watch a Corman film for the plot. You watch for the body count and for the general badness and Sharktopus has plenty.
The acting in this movie is so bad that, at times, it is painful. The movie soon settles into the same pattern. Random people are introduced, out of nowhere, and then you see them get eaten by the sharktopus. Who are these people? Where did they come from? What is their motivation? Where is the character development? Who cares? All you need to know is that they are human chum for the computer-generated monster.
Hilarity ensues watching these beyond-Z-list actors attempting to act like one of sharktopus’ tentacles has wrapped around them. The acting directions seem to be to try and look scared and then jiggle around a lot.
The movie monster is beyond awful. Not once did it look like the sharktopus was actually there to threaten anyone. Plus, this is a sea creature that is evidently bullet proof, capable of walking on land using its tentacles, and it roars. Yet people keep shooting at the damn thing as the body count reaches that of some small wars.
The movie is so low budget that they, apparently, could not even afford enough blanks for the machine gun the hero carries around uselessly for much of the movie. During a scene where he is supposed to be getting vacationers to run for their lives from the approaching sharktopus he is unable to convince them it’s for real (can you blame them?). So, he raises his gun and fires into the air. Except the director apparently didn’t want to waste blanks being fired so he cuts the gun out of the frame and has our hero jerk his hand around as if the gun is firing. Sound effects are added and, voila, you have a gun firing that isn’t firing anything.
This is the kind of movie begging to be ranked among the classic bad movies that Syfy has been cranking out lately. Who can forget 2009’s Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus? Well, this one is a worthy companion to that. It is just as bad with special effects that might be even worse. During the film’s debut the Syfy Channel had a host between commercials and the director and one of the actors in the film came by to make fun of it. So, you see, everyone involved knows this is bad and seems to be having fun.
That’s the great thing about bad movies. You can get together with a bunch of friends, make a lot of popcorn and snacks, and then sit around and make fun of it. I strongly encourage you to throw things at the screen. Sharktopus is one that will leave you laughing and talking about the horrible scenes and bad acting long after it is over.