Sharktopus, a SyFy productions movie directed by Declan O’Brien and written...
You know, that doesn’t matter. It’s produced by Roger Corman and has Eric Roberts in it. Just in case you weren’t sure, the name Roger Corman brings visions of epic cheesy goodness. Eric Roberts is an incredible actor who has no fear of diving into the river of Queso or drink at the pool of Fromage.
Couple that information with the name; Sharktopus, and you can be assured of precisely what you are going to get. Truly, the fun you have with the trailer is pretty much the whole movie.
I really liked it, which is surprising in some really unusual ways.
To begin with, there’s Eric Roberts. You won’t recognize any of the other actors. Many are well known in some circles, but I’m betting you wouldn’t know them without the IMDB. I don’t think anyone was hopeless, but with Eric Roberts in the scene, you get someone to compare them to and everyone just comes up really short. If you’re watching the movie now, try this; Just as Eric Roberts enters a scene, try saying “Excuse me, I’m going to act now”... It sounds right, doesn’t it.
It’s like everyone is sitting a little straighter when he’s around.
The camera work was a little oddball. I could go on for a while about the shaky cam thing I hate, but I’m not going to pick that out for some personal ranting. Instead I’m going to mention the often off look of the movie. It seems as if there are just so many beginner mistakes in how the camera is used. They are subtle and regular and give me the feel of a Troma film without the dripping snark. I can’t decide, was this the result of a fast shoot or was it intended to give the viewer this atmosphere?
The leads played this movie straight which was sometimes painful. Mostly because they had to act across from Mr Roberts. I generally agree with this in a good ‘B’ flick, but conventional wisdom would have had them up against Caspar van Dien or Billy Zane who are much gentler with character actors. I’ll come back to this though.
The supporting cast was more than unusual to say the least. Other than the news team following the creature, everyone else is cannon fodder. A string of people who are there to show how many ways a fictional monster can kill you. Watching them, you get the feel of someone standing up at a big party where everyone is wasted, calling on everyone to come down to the beach to shoot a movie! None of these guys shot for a whole day and they were still buzzing from the party. I wouldn’t doubt it if half the party-goers came up with their own ideas; “Can I get chomped while bungee jumping?”
This was particularly unusual because a good rule of thumb in a ‘B’ movie is that everyone is serious or everyone is having fun. Make it real or make it silly. The leads make it real and the support threw up in the hot tub. Like the camera work, I wonder if this was a brilliant plan or a lucky accident.
The effects were, well, this is a SyFy presentation so money was not an object... that the computer guys had in their hands. They pretty much said to hell with it and just had their own party. Probably some drugs involved, all I can say for sure is that they had fun. I saw on the IMDB boards some movie geeks were complaining about the creature’s method of locomotion... COME ON! Sharktopus! The monster did lots of implausible things just like any CG monster, but it was cute. Seriously. Just watch the damn thing.
Ultimately, I had fun. The movie brought back the kind of feeling I got when I watched Bad Taste as a kid. It’s a silly movie and there is an awareness about the movie like it knows precisely how silly it is. This is also the first time I've seen SyFy promote one of their movies like they should. Acknowledge the schlock and enjoy it for what it is.
From a technical sense, this movie doesn’t even get a single star, but for fun I’m willing to give it three.
Info on IMDB: Sharktopus