Sharktopus (2011)

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Movies

‘Sharktopus’ is the greatest movie ever made.

I doubt any of my readers expected those lines to open this, or any review on this site. Ever. Yet, here they are, a simple enough proclamation that a SyFy Network creature feature actually accomplishes what it set out to do, learning from past mistakes and experiences, to create a very balanced, interesting little flick. Behind the creative genius that is cult legend Roger Corman, who is also culpable for ‘Dinoshark,’ ‘Dinocroc,’ ‘Supergator,’ and even the legendary ‘Scorpius Gigantus,’ this flick abandons the idea that it’s a SyFy movie, and makes its mark as the new king of the sub-sub-sub genre that is the SyFy original, for one simple reason:

‘Sharktopus’ doesn’t pretend it’s a movie with a plot. It knows what the viewers want to see. There is no true lead actor, no honest to goodness protagonist or team thereof. Instead, the majority of the film is spent focusing on the titular character, the genetically engineered and enhanced super beast that’s half shark, half octopus, and all awesome.

S-11, the code name for ol’ Sharktopus, wasn’t meant to be a wild, aimless killer, though. Rather, much in the same vein as the cinematic version of Doctor Octopus in ‘Spider-Man 2,’ he’s the result of science gone wrong, where the most advanced technology can be undone and the restrictions removed completely. The government thought they could control S-11, that they could use their new part-shark, part-octopus killing machine to their advantage. They, and everyone else, are about to learn otherwise.

Few riddles have been as thoroughly studied and pondered in the history of mankind, but ‘Sharktopus’ dares to answer this eternal question: if you were a genetically engineered freak of nature killing machine, set free from your leash for the first time ever, where would you go? The Answer? Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta, to be exact. See, even Sharktopii have that deep down urge to escape, to try to meet an attractive member of the opposite sex for a fling, to forget it all, if even just for a week, while soaking up plenty of sun and tequila. But, sadly, this journey of self discovery takes a dramatic turn when our hero, the tentacled wonder, discovers that, no matter how bronzed he gets, no matter how good he is at volleyball, or how much he can drink, he has no chances with the ladies, because there is no such thing as a female Sharktopus. Doesn’t the carnage that will surely ensue suddenly make so much more sense?

In ‘Sharktopus,’ the documentary of this event, we get to see the people who lost their lives to this epic force be forever memorialized in a pool of blood, guts, and awesome. Our ink-shooting friend doesn’t discriminate, as he’s an equal opportunity eviscerater, as plenty of beach bunnies, jet skiers, boaters, reporters, and secret government operatives are about to find out. Bungee jumpers can’t ruin his quiet, scenic vistas, as they’re the perfect sport snack. Not even sharks have a chance. This ultimate predator doesn’t share the same limitations as its genetic originators, as even above water and on land, he’s an unstoppable murder machine, bred to kill, kill, kill. It’s somewhat depressing, really, to think that even on vacation, ol’ Sharktopus can’t even take a day away from the work that he’s so good at.

Of course, humans have to try to spoil the fun, and that’s where the fun ends. Every actor involved is wooden and emotionless, acting with the same amount of finesse as one of those cardboard life sized stand-ups (nice work, Eric Roberts). They take away precious screen time from the being this film is about, under the premise that they’ll further a plot of some sort. Who are they kidding? Thankfully, director Declan O’Brien was wise enough to not give us much more than a minute without some sort of image of the eponymous sea creature, even if he made the mistake of allowing the puny humans to have actual character names and dialogue.

‘Sharktopus’ dares to stare convention in the face and eat it. If only more films were so brave. It doesn’t quite register a perfect 10.0, but it most certainly obliterates the competition. The old codger voters for the Golden Globes failed to recognize the sheer genius on display here, but they were also so blind and senile that they gave ‘Alice in Wonderland’ a Best Film nomination! That says it all. Snub or no snub, though, we can all agree that there is nothing more terrifying than a creature equipped with eight tentacles, yes, eight blade-like appendages, spikes, razor sharp teeth, the ability to hunt on land and sea, and a lack or remorse unmatched in modern cinema.

In true Roger Corman style, this is a great example of the shlock creature feature genre. It may not be for everyone, but I thought it totally kicked ass. Check out the trailer below, and by all means download this amazing piece of modern cinema.

IMDB: Here | Download (AVI): Here

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