Produced by the legendary Roger Corman — and featuring a super-fun cameo of him — Sharktopus is directed by Declan O'Brien, probably best known for Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead.
I enjoyed Sharktopus. It was a "good Rogering" as they say in Britain (and the Corman boudoir). I was satisfied, anyway.
= = =
I first heard about the movie from a favorite morning show comedian, Ralph Garman (he walks the showbiz beat on K-ROQ's Kevin & Bean), when he was campaigning most assiduously and ardently for a role in this SyFy Channel original production. On the title alone, he said he just had to be in it. Of course he got the part, and of course it is awesome. Garman plays a boat-bound pirate radio jock with a super-sexy, super-stupid, string bikini clad sidekick Stephanie (an Oscar for Shandi Finnessey! And two Golden Globes!). Don't quote me on this, but I swear Garman's Captain Jack is an homage to the doomed DJ / Miss Salmon scene in Corman's 1980 classic, Humanoids From The Deep.
I didn't catch this on its premiere airing in September of last year, so I don't know if the Blu-ray has more T&A, but there is plenty o' boobs and butts here. The movie begins with the inevitable and obviously irresistible Jaws homage, showing the Sharktopus POV as he follows a particularly tasty swimmer and gobbles her up. Cut to the exposition-spouting scientists in the lab, explaining what the genetically-engineered people-eater is, why, and how he got on the loose in the Mexican coast.
It goes like this — as explained by geeky-but-smart babe scientist-girl with a stripper-name, Nicole Sands (played by Sara Malakul Lane, who broadcasts her brainy brilliance by wearing super-sized specs) — the U.S. military has been fooling with Mother Nature via genetic engineering in hopes of creating a weapon to help them win the war against drug smugglers sailing in from south of the border. The creature was on an electronic tether via remote control, but guess what? The remote broke and nobody knows how to get up and change the channel. Sharktopus is on the loose! Who could have seen this coming? Batten down the hatches and set your phasers on stunned — the fun is just beginning!
Eric Roberts is all kinds of awesome as Nicole's way too hands-on dad, Nathan (also a scientist… I think… but don't really care) and the rest of the cast is rounded out by some hilariously bad/good stock characters like the meddlesome, ball-busting investigative reporter-lady (Liv Boughn), her eye-rolling, yet trusty cameraman (Héctor Jiménez), and the drunken, washed up barfly who used to be somebody (or maybe he never was anybody… can't find this actor's name or credit. Perchance I dreamed this part), and holds the one and only key to defeating the evil Sharktopus.
Sharktopus is all CGI, all the time, and he is a baaaaad beaut! He also varies in size from Volkswagen to Hindenburg, and even becomes a land-shark at one point (minus the John Belushi connection) .The death scenes are guiltily satisfying in their cheesy gratuity, and schlocky panache. Blood-red cherries on top.
If I may paraphrase from my favorite line of dialogue from the flick, "Damn yoooouuuu, Sharktopus producers!" the DVD takes the skinny dip approach on extras (yeah, even the Blu-ray). Although some might think the director's commentary would only be a gunshot followed by a thud anyway, I would've loved to have heard a party-style drunken rundown from Roberts, Garmin, and O'Brien (Conan, that is). Ah, well. Here's hoping, for the 25th Anniversary Edition.
= = =