The SyFy Channel has finally become self-aware. After years of being the butt of jokes on websites like this, Twitter and so on, they realised that the only reason people watched their original movies was to mock them and decided to start the joking themselves. Throughout “Ghost Shark”, little boxes appear at the top of the screen with hashtag recommendations for your mockery, but does this spoil the fun?
Of course it does, is the simple answer. After “Sharknado” – https://iscfc.net/2013/07/17/sharknado-2013/ – SyFy became the bullied kid that started picking on itself to try and ingratiate itself with the cool gang. The films aren’t any better or more self-aware, they just didn’t bother hiring anyone particularly famous, relying on Twitter. The big name they got for this one was third banana on “Night Court”, a sitcom much more famous in the USA than it was over here, and he’s not in it all that much anyway.
After a couple of drunk rednecks wound a shark, it swims off to die in a magic cave and is reincarnated as Ghost Shark. That’s all the plot you need, really – a group of nondescript kids tries to save the day; the Mayor tries to stop everyone panicking due to the big development he’s got planned for the town; Ghost Shark eats a lot of people.
Unusually for a film about teenagers, they’re played by people who look roughly the right age, so when they’re filmed in extremely small bikinis, it made me feel a little uncomfortable. I mean, women in their mid-20s pretending to be teenagers, that’s a recipe for film success. This just seemed…indecent? The main male teenager is, unless I missed something important at the beginning, just a sleazy hanger-on to the main group of friends, who does literally nothing of any importance to the plot.
Enough of this. Let’s talk about my four rules of shark movies!
Rule 1: ‘there must be a shot where the three heroes are on a speedboat looking ahead with determination’.
YES! About an hour in, the Mayor and a few cops take their boat to fight Ghost Shark.
Rule 2: ‘ there must be a large seafront entertainment event that can’t be cancelled, for some reason’.
YES! (almost) The event that can’t be cancelled is a pool party, but as Ghost Shark can manifest in any water at all, I’m counting that as “seafront”.
Rule 3: ‘at least one character must behave in a brain-buggeringly stupid way, to drive the plot along’
YES! Line up, you dumbasses. There is no one specific moment of dumbness, though, just lots and lots of little ones.
Rule 4: ‘sharks be super-powered’
YES! It’s a shark that’s a ghost, that at one point appears inside a cup of water and proceeds to eat the water-drinker from the inside.
So, 4 out of 4, which is pretty good going. It also fulfils the additional “SyFy Film Naming Rule” – which is cool event or thing in one bucket, monster name in the other, draw a word from each bucket, make a film.
There’s really no sense reviewing any more of this film. SyFy clearly don’t care what these films are like any more, so why should we? If you’re bothered, you can look out for the number of times the rules surrounding Ghost Shark change and change back during the course of the film, the way the Sheriff describes normal police work as “madness”, the way one of the heroes is actually a panicky little asshole, and my personal favourite, survivors being bizarrely happy that everyone they’ve known or loved is now dead.
There’s no reason these films have to suck. There are plenty of B-movies on a level with this where there’s humour, excitement, well-shot fight scenes and a decent ending, but the air of no-one (aside from the young actors trying to get a start in the business) giving the tiniest bit of a damn hangs over every aspect. It’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, but replacing the comedians with Twitter, and the genuinely bizarre and terrible films they used to cover with just flat, boring garbage.
RATING: negative 1 out of 10