Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011)


Finally, a film which makes me nostalgic for The Asylum.

I don’t think this film deserves a proper review. It’s absolutely pitiful, like a few morons trying to copy the work of the late, great Don Dohler. So, what I’m going to do is break down the ways this film fails as a film – it takes a wrong turn with its characters, or the basic structure, or something like that. That review might at least be interesting in a way me telling you about a damned snow shark would not be.

A group of scientists die initially, then we get the opening credits – “Snow Shark – Ancient Snow Beast”. Why have “snow” in there twice? Anyway, how these things go is, the next group of people we see should be the stars of the film, on their way to town or waking up hungover or something. However, we just meet another group of people who die. Then there’s a town meeting which is absolutely packed with the director’s friends and family, not a pro actor among them…the people who I suppose you’d think of as the film’s stars don’t really come into it until about the halfway point, which is a stupid waste of the first half. I’m a know-nothing idiot and I could have told them that was a terrible way to organise their movie (maybe editor Mark Polonia, no-budget movie royalty, was ill that day, or perhaps he hated the director).

Another complete group of people die! This may be due to the funding of the film, like if you and your bros ponied up a few hundred bucks, you got your own death scene. Hope you’re pleased with how your money was spent, guys!

There’s a grand total of one good line in this film. A group of policemen call over their sheriff to inspect a body, and one person says “he’s not going to like this”. The reply is “of course he’s not going to like it, his son got eaten by a fuckin’ shark”. Well delivered, nice belly laugh from me.

We see the Mayor at home and at his office, and in both locations he has a “World’s Greatest Mayor” mug. Was he bought two identical mugs or does he just carry it round with him? Thanks to my lovely wife for pointing that one out. We also see a bar, which looks like a real bar, only made entirely out of plywood. There’s a brief glimpse out of the door and it looks like garage doors outside, so maybe it’s been built by someone in a garage extension? Anyway, it’s so blatantly obvious that they really ought to have said something about it, and maybe spent a line telling us why this bar uses plastic glasses too.

At this point, we have two groups of people going after the Snow Shark. Some local vigilantes and some scientists – the scientists also have the stupidest “hunter” ever with them, who is just unpleasant to everyone. Like he saw Han Solo once when he was drunk and remembers nothing. Who’ll get to the Snow Shark first?

Well, it’s more a matter of who’ll get killed off first. The shark is never in the slightest bit of danger, and when one is killed by a heroic sacrifice at the end, that is immediately undercut by the camera then showing a bunch more sharks on their way to devour the small town. Ho hum.

There’s a small matter of how rotten and misogynistic this film is. Women are the butt of jokes or abuse throughout, and the one who does stand up for herself (one of the scientists) gets eaten just before the end. I hope these reviews are part of the end of this terrible trend in genre films, that is actively stopping half the potential audience from getting involved. Well, not that they’d want to get involved with this piece of garbage anyway. That’s another way this film seems broken – having a potential couple survive to the end helps with the dramatic tension, gives the hero or heroine even greater obstacles to overcome, but just having a large group of people who get eaten, fairly quickly, leaves you with no tension of any kind.

So, a completely pointless experience, one I should have turned off after 20 minutes. The people who made this should feel ashamed – even if you’ve got no money, there’s no excuse to do something as bad as this. Notice I didn’t even point out how dumb having a shark that can move through the earth is? That problem doesn’t even crack this film’s top ten for stupidity.

Better special effects than in the movie

Better special effects than in the movie

PS. This film’s music is maybe the worst music ever. Not even good library music, but the worst generic sub-keyboard-demo-track level. Another example of the people who made this film being cloth-eared idiots.

Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast on IMDB
Buy Snow Shark [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)

The shark film reviews are back! For those of you who’ve been reading this site for a while, you may remember my early reviews for “Swamp Shark” and “Dinoshark“, and I’ve been promising to get back into the swing of things. Here we are!

If you’ve read the title of this film, and thought “so, it’s the cast of Jersey Shore getting eaten by sharks?”, you’d be about 90% right. Thanks to a real, genuine shark attack on the Jersey Shore in 1916, the makers of this film got away with calling the film this…or maybe the parody laws in America are more lax than I thought. But not only do they need sharks, they need a group of people to either get eaten or fight back, and that’s where the first two words of the title come into action.

Rough facsimiles of 6 of the 7 original Jersey Shore cast members are trotted out – the Situation, who if my eyes and ears are to believed is currently on the British version of “Celebrity Big Brother” becomes The Complication, Snooki becomes Nooki, etc. They seem to have at least made an effort to have the men in the cast bear some sort of resemblance to their reality TV counterparts, but the women are an undifferentiated mass of fake tan and tight clothing – Nooki, for example, is the tall, slim and beautiful Melissa Molinaro, whereas the real Snooki is not really any of those things (not that it matters, just saying). Anyway, I don’t need to hold too many details of them in my mind because they all survive SPOILERS

In my Swamp Shark review I proposed a book called “The Laws Of Low-Budget Films With Sharks In Them”, so let’s go through those rules and see how well “Jersey Shore Shark Attack” fares.

Rule 1: ‘there must be a shot where the three heroes are on a speedboat looking ahead with determination’

Okay, there’s four of them this time, and it’s not really a speedboat 😦

Well, we’re batting 1.000 so far.

Rule 2: ‘ there must be a large seafront entertainment event that can’t be cancelled, for some reason’

Respect to him to never changing his name to something less true, I suppose?

You’re not just going to cancel a Joey Fatone concert! That guy from that band…okay, I know he was in N-Sync, has a funny little part and then gets eaten for his troubles. 2 up, 2 down!!

Rule 3: ‘at least one character must behave in a brain-buggeringly stupid way, to drive the plot along’

There’s a hell of a lot of proof for this rule. You’ve got asshole rich out-of-towners who take their yacht out into shark-infested waters; rich businessmen who keep drilling, even though they know the drilling is bad and attracts sharks; but surprisingly, none of our main cast do anything particularly silly.

Rule 4: “sharks be super-powered”

The sharks in this film are actually albino mutant killer sharks, a particularly nasty variety that normally stay in their deep ocean hideout; and while they don’t do anything quite as silly as the sharks from my previous two reviews, sharks just don’t jump out of the water to attack people, much less jump from one bit of water, over some land, grab a former pop star in mid-air then splash down in another bit of water.

So, the four rules are still strong, three films in.

This film has some of the most egregious stunt casting I’ve ever seen. First up, there’s an actual Jersey Shore cast member, Vinny, who stars as a local TV reporter. I presume this is why the 6 heroes, while not geniuses by any stretch, are kind to each other, respectful of the Jersey Shore and make the other Guidos proud – one of his requests before agreeing to be in the film? We also have the aforementioned Joey Fatone, who at least is a good sport; William Atherton, the baddie from “Ghostbusters”, Paul Sorvino and a couple of “Sopranos” cast members.

There’s a plot, of sorts. An evil developer wants to turn the shore into a golf course, so lays some heavy concrete supports to turn the pier into the 18th hole. This attracts the sharks, badabing badaboom, the bad guys get eaten or squashed by a runaway ferris wheel, order is restored.

You know what? This film isn’t all that bad. I mean, it’s still terrible by normal standards – the guy playing Paulie D can either do an impression of Mr. D or act, but not both at the same time, and chooses the former far more than the latter; the sharks look like some 14 year old’s first attempt at CGI; and the ending’s as damp a squib as “Birdemic”…but there’s fun to be had. Most of the time, the cast don’t take things seriously, and the combination of them with some heavyweight actors makes for some good times.

Lay back, relax yourself to a few degrees above a coma, and pop in “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”. It will be okay.

Rating: thumbs up

Jersey Shore Shark Attack on IMDB
Buy Jersey Shore Shark Attack [DVD]