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Sharktopus

USA 2010
produced by
Roger Corman, Julie Corman, Adam Blake Finer (associate), Stephen Niver (line), Dan Golden (line) for Star Entertainment/SyFy
directed by Declan O'Brien
starring Eric Roberts, Kerem Bursin, Sara Malakul Lane, Liv Boughn, Héctor Jiménez, Julian Gonzalez Esparza, Blake Lindsey, Peter Nelson, Maija Markula, Megan Barkley, Mary Corman, Kyle Trainor, Lindsay Conklin, Greg Norte, Blanca Ponce, Anna Marie Laurita, Jack Hzte, Veronica Nava Honc, Rob Donohoe, Brian Sheeran, Adrian De Leon, Patrick Lacho, Adriana Robin, Patrick Pryor, Richard Miller, Shandy Finnessey, Ralph Garman, Roger Corman
written by Mike MacLean, music by Tom Hiel, visual effects by Dilated Pixels

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sleazeball Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) and his daughter Nicole (Sara Malakul Lane) have developed a half-shark-half-octopus-all-killer creature for the army, but somehow the creature has freed itself of its control device, and now it kills kills kills along the coastline of Southern California. Daddy Nathan wants his creature back at all costs, and alive, too, that's why instead of asking the army for assistance, he sends out Nicole with disillusioned former ally and ex-marine Andy (Kerem Bursin) to capture it. Of course, the sharktopus is always at least one step ahead of Andy and Nicole, and of course, Andy and Nicole first don't like each other very much but eventually fall in love. And Nicole gradually comes to the realization that daddy really is a sleazeball because he has messed with sharktopus's DNA behind her back to make it more deadly than it already was. Eventually, she decides the only sensible thing to do would be to kill the thing, a sentiment shared by Andy of course, when daddy and a couple of goons show up to keep them from doing just that - when sharktopus shows up to kill all the baddies while leaving Nicole and Andy alive.

Eventually, sharktopus goes up river, which is bad because there are many holiday resorts and thus many people to kill, but it's also good because up river Nicole and Andy finally have the opportunity to corner the animal and blow it up with some special device ...

 

A monster that's half octopus, half shark ... ok, I'm sold on the premise and the title. And you know what, the special effects are actually pretty decent, the creture looks quite impressive, and it's on camera long enough for one to appreciate it. And yet, Sharktopus is a pretty bad film. Basically, the film lacks narrative buildup. Most creature features of this movie's ilk (think Jaws) follow a simple formula that slowly builds tension and suspense until releasing the fireworks in the finale. Not so this film: The whole premise is explained in pretty much the first five minutes, and from then on it's just one sharktopus attack piled atop the other, with little actually happening on the sidelines, and narratively, the attacks are interchangeable. Even the finale is hardly any more exciting or spectacular than any of the other attacks (maybe apart from the explosion of course). Add to this totally flat characters, uniformly charisma-challenged actors (except for Eric Roberts of course), and an atmosphere- and shock-free direction that reduces all the sharktopus action to its mere mechanics, and you're left with ... well, a disappointment. Too bad, loved the title and the creature ...

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD