In what is effectively an unofficial remake of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, a military experiment causes the collapse of an ice bank, freeing a prehistoric shark and a giant octopus to resume their 18 million year old battle. Debbie Gibson plays McNeil, a marine biologist who drinks whiskey from a brown paper bag, and tries to convince the world to take her seriously. When the fighting moves to California the authorities turn to her for help.
I wouldn’t recommend this film (currently showing on SyFy) to anyone. The problem isn’t that the acting is woeful or that the script is dire (though they are), it’s that the entire film is painfully dull. And to make a dull film featuring a mega shark and a giant octopus is quite an achievement. Perez’s previous film, Monster Island, was equally bad, but it was at least entertaining. It featured a giant dancing mantis, for example, something from which many films would benefit.
There are two scenes in this one that everyone talks about: where the shark leaps out of the ocean to bite a plane, and where it takes a chunk out of the Golden Gate Bridge. Those scenes are admittedly awesome, but they are also unbelievably short, barely seconds long. If you’ve seen the trailer, or even the posters, watching the actual film adds little to the experience. This film needed more stupidity (though one scene where the scientists experiment in a lab with variously coloured liquids made me chuckle), and fewer recycled shots.
One day, this may well be remade, and that remake may well be one of the greatest movies of all time, but in the meantime, if you’re in the mood for so bad it’s good, watch something like S.S. Doomtrooper instead.
Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus, Jack Perez (dir.), USA, 85 mins.