5-Headed Shark Attack (2017)

A while ago, I came up with “Indifference Theory” when talking about SyFy Channel original movies. It’s not my most original thought, but quoting myself from years ago saves me having to write something new (and this movie does not deserve that).

SyFy Channel need material cheap enough to allow them to make a profit from selling advertising. They absolutely don’t care what it is or if it’s any good or not, and nor do the advertisers. The director has a set amount of time and money, and knows that if the film’s good, bad or indifferent, it makes no difference to him. People watching it are either like me (hipster scumbag film reviewers) or people who saw the title and thought it would be marginally better than staring at a wall for 2 hours. And thus the Indifference Theory creates another film enjoyed by no-one (not the people who made it, paid for it or watched it) and which will disappear without a trace, save a footnote in a few academic treatises about SyFy’s only real success, Sharknado. I will hopefully have forgotten it in a few days, and this review will drift into the ether, to the delight of no-one.

I missed out on “3-Headed Shark Attack”, which had Danny Trejo and pro wrestling legend Rob Van Dam in it, and there was no 4-headed version, so I’m jumping straight from “2-Headed Shark Attack”. And it seems several of my criticisms of that can be applied to this, but before we get to that let’s discuss the IMDB synopsis.

Shaped like a demented starfish, a monster 5-headed shark terrorizes the open ocean before invading the beaches of Puerto Rico, endangering the once peaceful island paradise.


Shaped like a demented starfish

No it isn’t.

a monster 5-headed shark terrorizes the open ocean

No it doesn’t.

before invading the beaches of Puerto Rico, endangering the once peaceful island paradise.

This movie set in a peaceful island paradise was released in 2017. Also in 2017, Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico, causing $91 billion in damage and leaving the island devastated, devastation it has yet to recover from.

After a surprisingly strong environmental message about plastic in the ocean, we just meet the titular shark, who for the first half of the movie only appears to have four heads. The fifth head is…at the end of its tail. How does that even work? Am I a fool for even worrying about the logic of a movie called “Five Headed Shark Attack”? Anyway, a photographer and his distinctly average-looking models are eaten by the shark, so the Puerto Rican cops go to the local aquarium and ask the director and the head scientist about the creature.

The director sees dollar signs and the scientist sees…science, I guess? So they take the students / interns and go looking for a shark – only one of them dies so they have to get help. That help is Red, the movie’s comic relief / hero, a boat captain who has a romantic history with the scientist, Dr Angie. Like all scientists (and like the stars of 2-Headed Shark Attack) they take no scientific equipment, and use a flimsy tourist boat. Oh god I’m bored of writing about this so you must be bored as hell of reading about it.

There’s a grand total of one funny or clever line in this movie, when the students complain that Red is yet to catch the shark. “That’s why they call it fishing, not catching” is his reply, and it may be old as the hills, but it’s new to me. The rest of the dialogue is abysmal, which might be related to the three credited writers, none of whom have much in the way of previous writing credits. Or director Nico De Leon, for whom this is his only credit of any kind. Who knows.

It’s just so dull. Every bit of “action” is tediously predictable, people continue to act like idiots so the shark has a nice steady supply of food, the shark is a genius, able to avoid sonar by hiding under the boat, and the ending is only interesting in that it doesn’t pan across the ocean floor to a couple of baby five-headed sharks, ready to carry on Mum’s work, just before the credits roll.

Oh yes, one more thing – this is a production of The Asylum, the company that produced cheap and unpleasant movies with titles (but not plots) based on whatever big budget title was due out that year; before stumbling onto worldwide success with “Sharknado”. I dislike them due to their poor health and safety record and rotten treatment of freelance writers, but I can’t be bothered to go into that again. Best just to avoid anything with the Asylum’s logo on it, aside from the Sharknado series, I think.

Not just bad, but boring. Avoid unless your TV is broken and stuck on the SyFy Channel, and you’re trapped on your sofa.

Rating: thumbs down


One thought on “5-Headed Shark Attack (2017)

  1. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. The SyFy Channel |

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