Sand Sharks (2011)

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This film is part of three different review series here at the ISCFC. First up is “Shark Movies”, following “Deep Blue Sea”, “Dinoshark”, “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”, “Swamp Shark”, “Ghost Shark”, (of course) “Sharknado”, and “Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast”. Along with “Snow Shark” it’s part of our “sharks moving through stuff they shouldn’t be able to move through” film series; and finally it’s the second in what I hope will be an ongoing Delpaneaux Wills (@DelpaneauxWills) series. He was in the sadly forgettable “Android Cop” but has a much funner part in this and if you look at his IMDB page, he’s in some films that sound great.

This film is amazing! Straight up, no fooling. Every ludicrous cliche in the monster movie handbook is dialed up to the maximum and the entire cast look like they’re having a blast. But I suppose you need me to tell you a bit about the film anyway? Okay. Corin Nemec stars as Jimmy Green, son of Mayor Greenburg and all-round sleazy douchebag. He has quite the past – dumped the Sheriff’s sister, leaving her with a ton of debt and skipping town; organised a party at some point in the past that left 15 people dead; and is now back because he’s had the idea for a Sand Man Festival, a bit like Burning Man crossed with Spring Break. Amazingly, for someone with such a poor track record at party organisation, the Mayor agrees!

We have, equally importantly, the disbelieving Sheriff, who doesn’t think the bodies they find initially are from a shark attack, and insists they keep the beaches open. Brenda, the Sheriff’s sister and now his Deputy, is a little less sure so she calls on a “scientist from the mainland” to help them identify the shark-like creature. Now, Denise Richards has always been the poster-girl for “unconvincing scientist” after her turn in “The World Is Not Enough” but this film has that one beaten comfortably. Brooke Hogan!

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Brooke damn Hogan! Famous for being Hulk Hogan’s daughter, for him trying to buy her a music career, for him trying to buy her a wrestling career, but not sadly for having any appreciable talent in any field of the arts. She’s a marine scientist of some sort, and I really hope the film hired her as a joke.

Jimmy’s helped with his organising by Willie (Delpaneaux) who’s the social media king, and the nakedly ambitious and wonderfully named Amanda Gore (Gina Holden). While these guys are trying to rustle up some interest in the Sand Man Festival (I can’t help but think they ought to have advertised this a little better beforehand), the townspeople are gradually realising they’ve got a very ancient and very deadly shark in their midst. There’s the grizzled local hunter that lovers of “Jaws” will recognise, there’s a very unlikely developing relationship between the Sheriff and Dr. Brooke, and there’s the increasing realisation that Corin Nemec is history’s greatest monster.

There’s a scene in this you’ll all know and “love”. A group of people are walking along, arguing. One of them separates themselves from the throng and is shown in their own shot. They start talking about how there’s no such thing as monsters, or they’ve all been killed and everyone is safe, or something. They’ll have a green-screen behind them so you know you’re about to get a special effect, and without fail that person gets eaten. I feel like I’ve seen that exact scene in 20 movies – at least in this one there’s a good chance they’re mocking the convention.

The climactic beach party is a masterpiece of low-budget filmmaking. They’ve got maybe 100 extras, and they try their very hardest to make it look like a huge event, with overhead shots, weirdly precise spacing, and so on. Someone makes a shark out of sand on the beach, and guess where the real sand shark decides to make his appearance? People start running in panic, as Nemec makes his way through the crowd, trying to get everybody to keep dancing…if sharks were coming out of the sand, I’d have to assume after a few seconds of panic, everyone would run in the same direction – away from the sea and the sand. But no! People are still running towards the water minutes after the initial attack, perhaps again to make it look like a bigger event.

Add on the final battle between humans and sand sharks and you’ve got yourself a movie! I absolutely loved this. It doesn’t take itself seriously for one second, and Corin Nemec is funny as hell (his last scene with the Deputy is a highlight). The Mayor is marvellously odd, played by a chap called Edgar Allan Poe IV – presumably not a direct descendant, as the famous Poe never had children (he’s played Poe in several films and TV shows down the years, too). The mystery of the previous party is never revealed, Brooke Hogan makes references to Roger Corman and “Dinoshark”, and it fulfils three of the four rules of shark movies.

There’s never a dull moment, which makes me ponder the fairly bad reviews it’s received. I think too many people are expecting a “serious” movie when it comes to stuff like this, with good reason, so when one comes along which gleefully ignores the rulebook, I think some find it difficult to get their head round. But if you love monster movies and are in a good mood, this funny, stupid film will win you over.

Rating: thumbs up

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2 thoughts on “Sand Sharks (2011)

  1. Pingback: Mansquito (2005) |

  2. Pingback: Sea Beast (2008) (aka Troglodyte) |

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