Sharktopus (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus watches a movie that sadly missed out on the Oscars this year...
A top secret experiment run by Dr. Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) that ingeniously genetically engineered a half-shark, half-octopus, has gone wrong and Puerto Vallarta is now getting its local beach dwellers picked off by the deadly Sharktopus.
Sharktopus. Just the title alone tells you all you need to know about this movie right? You know you're in for bad acting, bad effects and some hammy visuals. Well you’d be right.
Sharktopus is all of that and so much more. Really the movie comes down to some Baywatch style acting from Eric Roberts and his “experts” and to break the monotony of that up, we get scene after scene of terrible actors getting picked off by some of the worst effects ever committed to our screens—and when I say terrible actors, I’m underplaying just how terrible they are. As an example, at one point, while being strangled by a sharktopus tentacle a character actually screams out “NO, NOT LIKE THIS!!” before being dragged into the ocean. Oh and you need to see the over-acting involved when anyone is being attacked by the shaktopus’s tentacles to be believed. It’s not unlike how someone looks when they’re terrible at hula hooping.
In amongst all that, there’s plenty of bikini clad ladies on the beach sunbathing or splashing about, an over chirpy radio DJ’s assistant (once again bikini clad) and of course some running and screaming girls...and you guessed it, they’re in bikinis. Sharktopus certainly has its targeted audience in mind throughout and despite having nearly nothing good to say about this flick, its makers certainly have a keen understanding of the balance between sharktopus screentime and half naked girls (now if they could have only reduced the amount of nonsense science talk).
I know it’s weird to say it but I went into this movie with high hopes. With a title like Sharktopus and a cover image that frickin’ stupid, I was looking forward to something to tickle the silly side of my movie enjoyment. Sadly this story of scientific atrocity gone wrong didn’t really do anything but embarrass itself and while I know watching this with a group of mates could maybe make it a bit more manic genius, Sharktopus just didn't get bad enough to transcend into being good.
Well I mentioned Baywatch earlier and to stick to that comparison Sharktopus doesn’t look unlike a nineties TV show. For a sunny location, everything feels pretty drab and the grainy image sort of shows off its griminess when the uber clean (barely detailed) sharktopus turns up in all its computer generated badness.
Really the movie comes down to two visual styles. In the bright outdoors or in the open water, the transfer looks bright and grainy and very Saturday afternoon TV show-esq, and in the exterior scenes (usually on boats) it looks even grainier, grimy and like a really low budget movie. All in all, the transfer is about as good as you’d expect from a movie called Sharktopus.
I almost wish this didn’t have a Dolby Digital 5.1 track because then I wouldn’t have to hear that horrifically bad synth score in my rear speakers from time to time. For the most part the entire track lives in the fronts speakers and it’s about as standard a track as you’d expect. Dialogue, music and sound effects are all just there. None of the elements are doing anything exciting; it’s just a simple case of the volume going up when the sharktopus action kicks off. There’s the odd flutter of a boat engine chugging away in one or both of the rear speakers but really this isn’t a track that thrives off of the 5.1 mix.
All there are in extras is the trailer. What, no fifty minute documentary about the time and effort that went into designing and rendering that sharktopus? Or even an introduction from an in awe of Sharktopus James Cameron? Denied!
There’s no point beating round the genetic freak that is Sharktopus. This movie is shit and I’m pretty sure all involved know it. Of course no one’s ever going to watch a good movie called Sharktopus, so at least the title lets you know up front what you’re in for, so anyone out there who wants to watch a movie with the tagline “ 50% Shark, 50% Octopus, 100% Deadly” knows what’s in store, but this reviewer thought it should have been even worse in order for it to be better (if that’s even possible).
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 14th March 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Stereo 2.0 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Declan O'Brien
Cast: Eric Roberts, Héctor Jiménez, Ralph Garman, Sara Malakul Lane
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Horror and Sci-Fi
Length: 89 minutes
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