Place this film was found: local market.
I consider myself something of an expert on SyFy Channel whoops-there’s-a-monster-attacking-our-beach-resort films, having seen “Sharktopus”, so I felt ready to handle the great Roger Corman’s latest movie epic. Also, I’d just seen “Corman’s World”, the documentary made about him, earlier that day, so I was in a forgiving mood towards all things cheap and nasty.
Joining me for this was my wife, who must have been in a good mood to agree to this. She once threatened to hit me with a stick if I ever mentioned “The Room” again, after making her watch it once.
Okay, onto the film. Much like “The Horror Of Party Beach”, this is all about the environment. But now it’s not nuclear, as no-one cares about that anymore, it’s the melting of the polar icecaps. One bit of ice falls off…and out comes a bunch of Dinosharks! They’re of indeterminate size – they look very small, but by the time our friend makes his way to where the film happens, he’s a big fella.
It’s Eric Balfour! The boat captain from “Haven”, most tedious of all SyFy Channel’s original series. He’s off back to his childhood home in Puerto Vallarte, Mexico, to do a bit of boat captainning (he at least knows what his strengths are as an actor – staring at the ocean). There’s a plot with him and the local harbour chief having a bit of a history, but as the film doesn’t bother developing it, neither shall I.
MID REVIEW EDIT: Turns out my comparison up above was even more accurate than I thought – Corman also made “Sharktopus”, and this film’s director (Corman was producer) has also made “Dinocroc”, which inspired “Supergator” and, brilliantly, “Dinocroc vs. Supergator”. A pox on hybrid-named monster movies, say I!
So, where were we? Oh yes, he goes to his favourite sleazy local bar where he meets this film’s victims…er, supporting cast, and the lovely Iva Hasperger, as a marine biologist with an indeterminate European accent (probably German, but it’s a tough one to place). Blah blah blah film setup blah blah blah, that Dinoshark is hungry and he starts munching through people at an alarming rate, while this busy seaside resort just merrily goes about its business. Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but if I was on holiday at a seaside resort and found out that some people knew about a massive bastard of a prehistoric shark that was killing people, but let me go swimming in the ocean anyway? I’d be on the phone to my nearest solicitor.
Oh, Ms. Hasperger is also, for some reason, organising a water polo match. She’s not only a marine biology teacher (with a specialism in just the sort of thing this film needs) but also coaches a local water polo team? It gives her an excuse to walk round the poolside in a jolly nice outfit, so I shouldn’t complain too much. She’s asked by the local resort owner to get the girls to play polo in the water by the resort, as that’s just the sort of thing the regatta needs. Well, the sleazy guy just wants to have sex with her, but insists that the crowds will be well up for a game of that most popuar of all sports, water polo. Not even beach volleyball?
We have a finale being set up nicely, lots of people in motion and getting eaten, so we need the scientist who helps our plucky band out at the end. This turns out to be Roger Corman himself! His largest acting role to date, apparently. This inspired a little exchange between the wife and I:
Me: Corman’s been doing this for fifty years, you know.
Wife: Wow, you think he’d have got better at it.
Can’t argue with that. Corman remains unconvinced that Dinoshark really exists, until there’s some DNA on something or other. Then the police finally stop hassling poor Eric Balfour (another sub-plot, this time about the guy who’s been looking after his boat being a drug smuggler, is completely dropped at this point too), but…they still don’t bother telling anyone to get the hell out of the water! What is it with these people? Dinoshark just moves down the seafront a little to where the water polo match is about to kick off and gets back to munchin’. People are remarkably calm in this damned film. Maybe it’s Mexico.
The film ends in much the same way as these films always end. Yay victory! Ooops, looks like there’s more Dinosharks where that last one came from, and they’re hungry. Dinoshark vs. Sharktopus could be a battle for the ages. Dinoshark is like the “best” bits of the various low-budget monster movies of recent years – it jumps out of the ocean to snag people in a variety of amusing and implausible ways, it savages a beach resort, and is impossible to kill except for one small weakness.
Anyway, that’s another awful film out of the way. I have a stack of Poundland purchases to review in the near future, but enough of them.
Actually, one last thing. Eric Balfour’s boat is registered in a place called “Drummond, MT” (according to the painting on the side of the boat). Now, as a Brit who’s married to an American, I feel I have to learn a little about her home country, and what little I knew of Montana (cattle, mainly) didn’t make me think it was the sea-est State in the Union. So, I looked on Google Maps, and it’s in the middle of the plains, nowhere near any water! I then looked about a bit, and I can’t see any evidence of anyone linked with this film actually coming from Drummond, so it remains a baffling mystery as to why they’d have a boat registered to a landlocked town of 300 people. And I realise obsessing over this is a bit silly.
RATING: 2 weirdly mutated monsters out of 5
– Mark Longden