Sharktopus (2010)

(On DVD, July 2011) There seems to be an almost unexplainable appetite among young viewers for cheap trashy monster features, and Sharktopus seems determined to exploit this fascination without shame.  Playing up the camp elements of such stories, Sharktopus mashes a shark and an octopus (well, maybe a squid) and sets in in the middle of an intensely familiar monster-movie plot.  Someone gets eaten every few minutes while the plucky adventurers go hunting for the rogue creature.  Revelling in cheap special effects, Sharktopus doesn’t rise far above its “SyFy Pictures” straight-to-cable-TV pedigree: it only looks good when compared to some of the worst abominations coming out of SciFi/Syfy.  The acting is over-the-top, the script barely shows signs of sentience, the cinematography struggles to capture the lush tropical location… and yet, Sharktopus isn’t a complete waste of time, largely because it doesn’t really take itself seriously.  It’s not a comedy, but the nature of its set-pieces is ridiculous enough to suspect that someone is clearly having some fun behind the camera.  The actors have their own charm (Eric Roberts understands that he’s there to bark, whereas Sara Malakul Lane does have, to quote another character, that “sexy librarian thing going on”) and the forward narrative rhythm of the film isn’t too bad.  Sharktopus may be trash, but it’s engaging in its own way.  For producer Roger Corman, already a legend of B-movies, this is practically second nature: deliver an exploitation movie, make it fun, make it fast and don’t worry too much about respectability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *