So September has been a pretty sad month for me. The whole shark movie thing hasn't really turned out as expected and the last few entries have made consider whether continuing to blog is really worth it. But I really feel that, if I just keep going, surely things will turn around and get better.
But there's the light at the end of our shark tunnel. I recently had a good experience with Brandon Cronenberg's ANTIVIRAL, so let's hope that Fred Olen Ray's bouncing baby boy can also maintain his family traditions. I am going against critical consensus with this, but I found SHARK WEEK to be not so hideously bad. Let's sound off on its weaknesses before proceeding...
The sharks in SHARK WEEK are typically Asylumish/SyFy-y CGI, rendered on the cheap, so sometimes they look like last-minute projects for animation class. But, be fair, lots of the shark action here happens in the dark, which covers a lot of flaws, even if people will then bitch about not being able to see anything. Also of note: this isn't AVATAR, so don't expect AVATAR-level continuity. A girl goes from barefoot to flip-flopped and back a lot, and wounds migrate all over people's bodies and also bandages magically appear before a first-aid kit even shows up. Again, this is a z-movie and this ain't your parents' space-time continuum. If you can't handle it, why are you even here?
Plot: these two people are a narcotics tycoon named TIBURON (for gawd's sake!) and his consort, gamely played by Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler. They've kidnapped a bunch of people from all walks of life and they want to play a game. The game is this: the kidnappees will run through caves and across beaches. Each day, they must fight a different species of shark. Theoretically, they could just avoid the water, but the landscape has been hilariously rigged with traps to ensure that they end up in water. The first time this happens, I laughed so much that I fell off of my couch.
This is mostly explained in Patrick Bergin's 80s Hulk Hogan-style monologue, which tells you immediately to expect madness. "They're only babies! They're only less than two months old, but far more sophisticated and independent than humans twenty times their age!"
If the kids beat the sharks, they get a prize. Sometimes it's sandwiches, sometimes it's bandages.
All the while, Tiburon is calling the action via hidden cameras and microphones. I love this aspect of SHARK WEEK a lot, since he's like a single-minded kid who only wants to talk about sharks and doesn't care about anything else. "Do you know why most shark attacks happen in three feet of water?" And the kids are like, "We are trying to not die right now!" This movie one-ups L'ULTIMO SQUALO by having the sharks not only growl like lions, but by having them do it underwater in defiance of all of physics' so-called laws. That's a fine example of the sort of high points that await you every ten minutes or so. If you slough it out, you (the viewer) get a reward. Here's another example:
AAAAAAA, LAND MINES, OMG!!! I'm honestly baffled by the negative reaction to this on Netflix and IMDB. What kind of movie did you think you were getting? If the answer is not "one in which one dude lifts a large shark out of the water on a spear while his bro grounds and pounds it", that's the wrong answer.
Clearly terminally flawed, but also terminally fun. A warm, enthusiastic...