2-Headed Shark Attack (2012)

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After promising to leave the Asylum alone for a long while, here I am, back again. Surely a film with a title like this can’t be all bad?

The lesson of this film, ladies and gentlemen, is only go to a properly accredited place of learning. When you go to Hollywood Party University, they do stuff like hire fishing cruise boats as their technical nerve centres, and only have one radio on board, which can be rendered completely useless by bending the aerial a bit. This message can, I hope, save lives.

This film was aiming for multiple entrants for the “Denise Richards Award” – for being a very unlikely scientist. Charlie O’Connell, goofy brother of Jerry, is the teacher of a large group of models of both genders; and Carmen Electra is a doctor who happens to spend most of her screentime sunbathing to a cheesy musical accompaniment. The basic gist of the film is, this school-boat (which has a huge sign on it that says “Fishing Trips”) is off to…nope, not sure. They’re going for it, though, as they’re “hundreds of miles” from the shore when the boat breaks down, thanks to a shark getting caught in their engine and thrashing about. Their radio breaks, they have no emergency beacon or other method of calling for help, so they find a nearby atoll, apparently deserted, and some of the students go to shore to try and find help or metal to patch up the boat. A few stay on the boat, but these groups change pretty regularly throughout the film.

You don’t really need to know much more about the plot. A two-headed shark attacks a boat full of hotties, and that’s it. But if I had to guess, I’d say the Asylum thought the title would do all their work for them, and didn’t bother hiring any good actors or writing a decent script or anything like that. So I will try and crack the tough nut that is this film.

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Charlie O’Connell, Carmen Electra and Brooke Hogan are the three named actors in this one. Brooke Hogan is “famous” solely for being Hulk Hogan’s daughter; O’Connell for being Jerry’s brother; and I’m stumped as to why Carmen Electra is famous at all. Is there anyone out there who will watch a film just because she’s in it? Her scene which looks lifted straight from a bikini modelling shoot is absolutely ludicrous. All the students are model-beautiful, aside from one slightly geeky kid, of course.

For this apparently multiple-day excursion, they’ve brought nothing but bikinis. No food or water, and the boat is clearly nowhere near big enough to hold sleeping quarters for the 20-25 people on board. There is absolutely no way that having all those students on board wouldn’t involve a huge number of safety measures, certainly more than the none they had. When Charlie says that to activate their emergency beacon they’d have to scuttle the ship, I nearly threw something at the screen.

I’m not close to finishing listing the number of stupid things in this movie. Sleazy male student manages to talk two women, from a cold start, into a water-bound threesome – this is in the movie solely so we can see topless girls kissing and then getting eaten. I feel really sorry for the two of them, the actresses I mean.

Welding! The boat captain takes her underwater welding kit to fix the boat and is eaten; later in the movie, Brooke Hogan, despite having no experience of either diving or welding underwater, finds another kit and manages to patch the boat up – oh, that excursion to find scrap metal to fix the boat was pointless.

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The atoll! Aerial shots show a completely wooded island, but things are a little different when they actually set foot on it. There are multiple buildings, someone has left a gun lying around, and the jetty is made of concrete and has signs on it, indicating they just filmed in some run-down dock and couldn’t be even slightly bothered to dress the set to make it look like a real atoll. Oh, and there are perfectly maintained paths, a few of which have handrails. If you’re not going to even try to maintain your own fiction, why not do something fun with it?

Towards the end, the atoll starts to collapse into the sea for no reason – lucky all that seismic activity doesn’t interest anyone on the shore enough to come and, I don’t know, rescue them? – so our heroes are plunged into the water regularly. We’ve established that being in the water is bad, but they just sit there treading water for ages, despite a perfectly serviceable beach ten feet behind them. Do you all want to die?

Talking more about this film is just annoying me now. The Asylum have once again shown that, the odd fluke aside, they really don’t care about making stuff which is good or entertaining or logically consistent or anything other than cheap, with a stupid enough name to encourage a few idiots like me to spend money on them. This film is thick with the scent of “ah, this’ll do. Who cares?”

Rating: thumbs down

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UNSUNG HERO – Gerald Webb.  Just look at that credit list, and the tons of Asylum films he’s been in. That is a man who is prepared to WORK. Since 2010’s “Titanic 2”, it looks like he’s appeared in virtually every Asylum film, so Mr. Webb, we here at the ISCFC salute you.

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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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