DVD Shopping Bag: Sharktopus Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, March 08, 2011


I try and stay away from the SYFY Channel original movies. I know what they are. You know what they are. Somehow when Sharktopus arrived on Blu-ray, I found that I was drawn to watching it. Now, I have reviewed a couple of Sci Fi Channel (notice the spelling) Original Movies before. To say that The Loch Ness Terror (see review) and Sands of Oblivion (see review) are a wasted afternoon is being kind. At least there were some actors worth watching, Adam Baldwin and Morena Baccarin of Firefly fame, Sharktopus really has nobody. Yes, I am saying that Eric Roberts is nobody. I’m not being cruel, just honest. To his credit he does lift the first act up but he flounders in the second and third making this an abysmal tour dour force. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain Sharktopus to you first.
Blue Water, our shady genetics research lab, has developed a sea creature for the United States Navy. Since you know the title of the movie I figure you know what type of creature it is. Sharktopus, of course, escapes or else there wouldn’t be a story and runs wild from Santa Monica, California to Mexico. Dr. Sands (Eric Roberts) and his daughter, Nicole (Sara Malakul Lane) want to bring the creature in alive as they have invested millions in research. They also have to bring the monster hunter out of retirement, an ex-Navy Seal, Andy Flynn (Kerem Bursin). All right I heard that too, a collective yawn. There really isn’t anything of surprise here in Sharktopus. Wait I take that back, Flynn and Nicole never hook up nor were they ever lovers. This was a missed opportunity as it would have filled out the second act with something other than a digital Sharktopus killing swimmers and sunbathers. Even Piranha, the original, had the sex scene between the two heroes.
Piranha is the connection here as this too is a Roger Corman produced film. I admire the guy for turning out films as fast as he does. He also supplies money and opportunity for would be filmmakers. Without him we might not have Joe Dante or the King of the World James Cameron. Sharktopus really does lend itself to the Corman style of filmmaking. Sadly, with all the digital technology and presented on Blu-ray it is too polished. It needs to be gritty and raw and packed with effects that are just “good enough”. Dilated Pixels, the visual effects company for the film, does a great job for this TV Movie. Since this is a horror movie and every horror fan is a filmmaker at heart we can over look bad blood squibs and terrible torsos. Digital limbs flying everywhere look “fake” in the way we don’t appreciate. Corman, please produce films the old way; fast, fun, raw, and dirty. Scare us with a less is more attitude and for god sakes use the computer for making credit sequences only. This wasn’t even fun after the first 60 minutes it was just boring.
Sharktopus arrives next week. Please check out my The Walking Dead Column as I detail my journey with it from Comic Con to watching it with my Mom.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. The Walking Dead: Season One [Blu-ray] (see last week’s column)
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop [Blu-ray]
3. Excalibur [Blu-ray]
4. Jackass 3 (Two-Disc 3D DVD / Blu-ray Combo + Digital Copy
5. Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XX
Brenda Starr, Reporter (Serial 1945) Starring Joan Woodbury, Kane Richmond, Syd Saylor and Joe Devlin
Inside Job Starring Matt Damon
Inside Job [Blu-ray]
The Man from Nowhere [Blu-ray] Starring Won Bin and Kim Sae-Ron
The Man From Nowhere
The Next Three Days Starring Russell Crowe and Liam Neeson
The Next Three Days (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
Akane Iro Ni Somaru Saka Complete Collection
Black Butler: Season One, Part 2 Starring J. Michael Tatum, Brina Palencia, Monica Rial
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Four [Blu-ray] Starring Colleen Clinkenbeard, Sean Schemmel and Monica Rial
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Four
Speed Grapher: Complete Series S.A.V.E. Starring Monica Rial and Christopher R. Sabat
Spongebob Squarepants: The Great Patty Caper Starring Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass and Clancy Brown
Off Limits Starring Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, Marilyn Maxwell and Eddie Mayehoff
On the Double Starring Danny Kaye, Dana Wynter, Wilfrid Hyde-White,
Exit Through the Gift Shop [Blu-ray] Starring Banksy, Thierry Guetta and Shepard Fairey
Jackass 3 (Two-Disc 3D DVD / Blu-ray Combo + Digital Copy Starring Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O
Jackass 3 (Two-Disc Edition w/ 3D)
Jackass 3 (Single-Disc DVD)
The Abducted Starring James Ray and Michael Harrelson
The Dorm That Dripped Blood [Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack] Starring Daphne Zuniga, Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs
Pelt Starring Justin Welborn, Ashley Watkins, Travis Goodman
Sex And Black Magic Starring Lucia Ramirez, Nieves Navarro, Richard Harrison
Son of Terror Starring Ben Andrews, Rodrigo De Medeiros, Marcel Davis
The Zombie Farm Starring Khotan, Adriana Catano, Roberto Montesinos and Monica Munoz
Alien From The Deep Starring Daniel Bosch, Marina Giulia Cavalli, Robert Marius
Doctor Who: The Seeds of Doom (Story 85) Starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen
Doctor Who: The Ark (Story 23) Starring William Hartnell, Peter Purves and Jackie Lane
Excalibur [Blu-ray] Starring Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Nigel Terry
Exploitation Cinema: Where Time Began / Encounters
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart and Shia LeBeouf
Tales From Earthsea Starring Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin
Terminators & Universal Soldiers Starring Jeremy London, Paul Logan and Dario Deak
Triangle & 2103: The Deadly Wake Starring Luke Perry, Dan Cortese, Malcolm McDowell and Michael Pare
The Walking Dead: Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden
The Walking Dead: Season One
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XX Starring Joel Hodgson and Michael J. Nelson
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.