Welcome back to Shark Month!
When I sat down and started thinking about all the bad shark movies I’ve seen over the years, the Sharknado or Mega Shark movies were not the first ones that sprang to mind. There are a lot of really bad shark movies out there - bad acting, bad story lines, bad CGI (computer generated imagery). In fact, when I did a Google search to see if I’d missed any from my list, one site boasted 57 bad shark movies!
But a lot of them I haven’t seen yet. So I’ll be sticking to my own list and reviewing three this week, and my final three next week. Starting the countdown to the end of shark month, we have Malibu Shark Attack.
The movie begins with an underwater earthquake that stirs up a whole bunch of prehistoric goblin sharks. They begin eating people along a well populated beach and as the life guards are dealing with this, the tsunami alarm goes off. Apparently sharks aren’t the only thing the earthquake unleashed.
Several life guards and a couple of stragglers end up trapped in one of the lifeguard towers when the tsunami hits. It’s amazing that the only thing that survives is the tower - everything else is swept away. One of the occupants is injured, and the wound drips just enough blood into the water to attract the goblin sharks. As the survivors realize just how far from shore they are now, without any way of calling for help, the goblin sharks attack the tower they’re in, breaking through the floor and eating one of them.
A couple more people get eaten and the rest have relocated to the roof of the tower when a couple of guys who were constructing a house on the shore show up in a boat (one of the lifeguards was a former girlfriend of the home owner). They eventually make it back to the half-built house and there’s lots of action of them trying to avoid sharks in the flooded house. Eventually the survivors are rescued by a helicopter.
Next up we have the 2-Headed Shark Attack, a movie that’s so bad it’s funny, despite the body count. This movie features a boatload of students on a “Semester at Sea” whose ship hits a shark and starts taking on water. Fortunately there’s an island/atoll nearby, so the students and their professor take the dinghy over to check it out. While they’re exploring, one of the crew attempts to repair the ship and gets eaten by a two-headed shark.
There’s a few abandoned buildings on the atoll, and the kids and professor search them for metal that can be used for repairing the boat. Three of the kids sneak off to go swimming and get eaten by the shark. The island is shaken by a tremor and for the next hour or so we get a lot of screaming, running, and jiggling - over half the students are girls dress in shorts with bikini tops. Oh, and let’s not forget the two headed shark chomping on students.
Tremors continue to beset the island and although it almost looks as though the shark is ramming the coral anchoring the island, it’s actually just the atoll collapsing in on itself. More screaming, more jiggling, more kids getting eaten. The kids distract the shark long enough for one of the girls to fix the boat, but then one of the boys takes off in it, leaving everyone else behind. But karma’s a bitch and the shark sinks the boat - which is actually a good thing, because it sets off a distress beacon. Unfortunately, by the time help arrives, the island is pretty much gone and of the twenty-three souls that started out, only two survived.
I didn’t think anything could be worse that the 2-Headed Shark Attack, but then they came out with a 3-Headed Shark Attack. This movie starts out on a research station and quickly moves to the water. Apparently, the three headed shark is the result of a mutation cause by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is actually a real thing, and the people at the research station just happen to be studying this mutation. It actually makes for a bit of an interesting sidebar to the story.
When the research station is attacked, you kind of have to wonder why everyone didn’t just stay on the small island the station was attached to, but no, the survivors took off in a boat. Having its fill of scientists, the shark follows a trail of beer cans and garbage to a party boat filled with rich kids where it starts chomping its way through the passenger list. This is one hungry shark!
Answering a distress call that was put out is what is supposed to be a fishing boat, but these guys look more like drug runners or something and they’re all heavily armed. You’d think guns would be handy against a three-headed shark, but not so much. The funniest part of this movie is when one of the thugs cuts off one of the heads of the shark with a machete and three more heads grow in its place - pretty darn quickly too.
The body count by this garbage loving shark is pretty impressive - out of about 70 people only two survive. And despite the promising beginning, this movie has issues: it uses the same scene cuts over and over, things won’t be working one minute but are perfectly fine the next, boats will go full tilt but not leave a wake behind, and the size of the shark tends to fluctuate. Looks like three heads are not better than one. Or even two.
Still, if you’re in the mood to waste some time and maybe a laugh or two, you can catch it on Netflix.