Having received a copy of Deep Blue Sea for Christmas – it is one of my favourite bad films – I decided to have a look at what else has been happening in the world of shark-based horror. In hindsight, I should’ve realised this wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. Much like the provocatively dressed best friend of the female lead in any number of slasher films, I may as well have gone outside to investigate a strange noise. I mean, duh!
So, I bravely set about updating my LoveFilm rental list (for some reason these offerings don’t seem to be available for streaming) and waited.
I didn’t have to wait long, Ghost Shark and Shark Night arrived on my doorstep on the same day, and were soon followed by Sharknado.
Ghost Shark should really have been enough to put me off shark films for life. It really is an utterly appalling dog turd of a film. The premise is hilarious, and if you are a fan of bad films, it’s worth watching just to see how the ghost shark actually comes into being. That isn’t a recommendation, though. I couldn’t sleep at night if I thought I was responsible for someone else’s suffering.
Anyway, the shark gets killed and, not letting a little thing like being dead get in the way, it almost instantly eats it’s killers. You’d think the dead shark would content itself with eating those who go swimming/surfing/water skiing etc. But no. Ghost shark can manifest anywhere there’s water – baths, pools, car washes and puddles. Anywhere that’s wet. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain. Although, maybe not. At least if I was eaten by ghost shark I wouldn’t have had to watch the whole film. I’m not sure why I disliked Ghost Shark so much. It’s obviously dreadful, but you don’t watch something like this and expect it to be a life changing experience. But it wasn’t even so bad it’s good. It was just painful.
And that leads me onto the equally ridiculous Sharknado. Starring Tara Reid (yes, her) and some bloke who I think used to be on the original Beverly Hills 90210, Sharknado begins with some storms down south drive a whole bunch of sharks north just as the water rises to unprecedented levels. A rather irritating group attempt to flee inland to safety, but with sharks swimming underneath cars and bursting out of storm drains, that’s easier said than done. I kind of don’t really care if they survive and that’s the main problem.
I don’t really mind that sharks fly through the air, attacking people, even though they need to be submerged in water to survive. I didn’t mind that a man cut his way out of a shark with a chainsaw. I didn’t even mind that a shark was able to cling on, with its teeth, to a rope that was being used to pull a man out of the water. That was all good as far as I’m concerned. What I don’t like is a film where I don’t care about the outcome.
That leads me neatly on to Shark Night, where the obligatory group of college kids trot off into the middle of nowhere to spend a super-cool weekend at their friend’s amazing house. Thanks to some dodgy locals with a penchant for sharks and human suffering, they’re about to have their worst weekend ever. In 3D. Queue no phone signal and no way to make it back to the mainland (did I mention the amazing house is on an island?). Sigh.
All in all I’d have to admit that my trip through shark horror land was not the happiest or most enlightening, but at least now I know not to let a little thing like there being no water or the shark being dead stop me from worrying about a shark attack.
The next time I feel the need to watch a ridiculous film about sharks I’ll stick with what I know and re-watch Deep Blue Sea. It has everything you could want: a ridiculous premise, big stars (Samuel L. Jackson, for example), a rapper-turned-actor, some rousing speeches and of course some ultra intelligent killer sharks.