Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Mega Shark v Giant Octopus

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Mega Shark v Giant Octopus

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“You can love the Sea, but it won’t love you back.”

Jarv’s Rating: 2 Changs out of 4

2 changs out of 4 copy

There are some films out there that I want to love. I’m predisposed to think that they are epic, even when every fibre of my being knows that they are actually terrible. This is one of those.

This should be a film that does exactly what it says on the front cover, and look at that cover! However, as is so often the case with aquatic films, it doesn’t. It should be a big, brash and brazen B-Movie, and it isn’t. What it is, is a typically cack handed attempt by those cretins at Asylum to make an A-movie.

The premise of the film is remarkably stupid. A navy test cracks a bit of the arctic releasing our 2 antagonists who then run riot before being led to fight each other. There’s a bit of a fuck up where the shark trashes San Francisco, and the octopus does corn hole an oil rig for no apparent reason, but really, it should be superficial monster fun.

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However, at the end of the day, it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong there are laughs to be had with it (as there fucking well should be, what with it being about a Giant Shark and a Mega Octopus fighting) but overall the film struggles to rise above the mediocre, and it’s all self inflicted. I imagine it’s budgetary based, but I’ve got a solution for that that they should have used.

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They start so well what with avoiding the mistake of setting the whole film around 2 dimensional characters with little underwater action. They cast utterly hopeless actors in the main roles, and gave them plenty of diabolical dialogue to munch on. It was going so well for a while, until they made a howling mistake. I’ve briefly alluded to it, but for some reason best known to the producers they insisted on using shady CGI for the shark and the octopus.

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If you are going to spend cash on effects, which is fair enough, then for the love of god make sure you have enough cash for the effects. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say. But this film really suffers from them using the same sequences about 6 times. I love b-movies, I think they’re great and I also love shitty effects. It is entirely appropriate for a film about a big FUCKING shark and an even bigger FUCKING octopus that fight for no real reason to feature crap plastic/ foam tentacles, a shark that looks dismal, crappy model work, and useless matte paintings. It all adds to the fun and the charm of the film.

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When you go the CGI route, which sadly is where most productions seem to be going, then I personally believe that you lose a lot of the heart of the film. A prime example is Alien 3. The Alien may be slicker than in the previous films, but is it as effective? Do you remember it at all? This is a film that I truly believe would benefit from being less professional and a lot more shoddy. It would, I believe be far more fun to watch different sequences of underwater carnage and laugh at the incompetence than to watch the same sequence multiple times. That’s probably just me though.

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Gibson wonders if she should have done split beaver in Playboy.

Anyhow, is there anything good to be said about it? Well, yes. For a while, I have to say that it is fun. Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas (no surprise in his case) clearly understand that they’re in a B-movie. (How the fuck did they get Debbie Gibson? Seriously? I know that it’s a long time since her bubblegum pop heyday but are times really this bad?) Talking about which, there is a sex scene that crests previously unscaled heights of incompetence. They don’t even air Debbie’s sweater puppies. I consider this to be a heinous crime. It isn’t as if she hasn’t got form for getting them out at every opportunity. Disgraceful, as gratuitous nudity in a pretty gratuitous sex scene always improves films like this.

Furthermore, there’s no gore in the film. None. Bath toys get destroyed in big eye-catching explosions, but there is no actual gore. What a shame.

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To get the most enjoyment out of this film watch it with beer and watch it with the fast forward button. It isn’t a dead loss, no film that features a flying shark or a giant shark chomp the Golden Gate Bridge ever could be, but it never reaches the heights that it could have with either a lot more or a lot less cash. The lesson is- if you can’t afford CGI don’t use it. Practical effects should always be the way forward for schlocky fun.

Jonah did a far more professional review of this, and read his musings here.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

14 responses to “Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Mega Shark v Giant Octopus”

  1. Jarv says :

    It’s much, much better than Dawson v Squid.

    There is actually a shark v Octopus battle. The pictures I used are almost all from the fight and the same sequence is used at least twice.

    Not to mention that they both seem to die of a heart attack.

    The best bit of the film, by far is the plane attack. It’s got everything, shit acting, flying shark, gross stupidity. It also comes early on. If the rest of the film came up to those standards it would be OK.

  2. ThereWolf says :

    Just the sight of that shark munching on the Golden Gate Bridge should be enough to convince me. But it sounds like those moments are few and far between. Shame.

  3. Jarv says :

    They’re quite frequent- just unfortunately they keep using the same effects. That’s the problem.

    Octopus raping oil rig is hilarious.

  4. Jarv says :

    In all honesty, the trailer contains most of the great bits.

    The CGI isn’t funny Frank. I’ve got a jpeg of the shark coming up to attack the battleship that I didn’t have space to use which illustrates my point perfectly.

    What happens is that you see the big dorsal fin, then you see the boat, then you see the big dorsal fin (except it’s the same size) then there’s some terrible chat on the boat, then you see the big dorsal fin approaching (still the same size) then the boat shoots into the air and misses something that big, then you see the big dorsal fin approaching (still the same size) before it finally cuts to a shot of the shark’s mouth and repeats but with the mouth open instead of the fin.

    The whole film is full of continuity errors. I have genuinely no idea how big either the shark or the octopus are because they keep growing/ shrinking as the mood takes.

    Hilariously, there’s one extra who does his best CSI Miami and he turns up about 7 times playing different parts.

  5. koutchboom says :

    Watch the trailer and nothing else. God this movie was a hole. Can’t believe you even gave it two Changs. It gets a -1 Chang MIN due to stupid useless non sex-sex scene.

    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.
    I hate this movie.

    Sorry I was just trying to be like the movie and show the same FX shot OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER and just when you think its OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER done one more time for good luck.

  6. Jarv says :

    No film where a Shark eats the Golden Gate bridge can get 1 measly chang. I toyed with giving it one and a half and decided to be generous.

    It will be a very rare film indeed that manages 4 changs.

  7. xiphos0311 says :

    This is a true shame. They had all the ingredients to make an epic bad movie and they FAILED.

  8. Bartleby says :

    ahh, yes. I know Jarv’s point well. It’s why I relented and gave the film a C- rather than a D. I actually sort of enjoyed it’s lameness. That “You can love the sea, but it wont love you back” line was great as was Gibson’s line “A dead whale? We better get down there before it explodes.”

  9. Bartleby says :

    also that profile shot of Gibson looks like Hugo Weaving circa Priscilla Queen of the Desert

  10. Bartleby says :

    probably most egregious error of continuity etc, is the opening where Gibson and co. are submerged in artic waters where they run into glaciers and the sea-life footage shows all kinds of tropical fish swimming about, all sea life you would never ever find in arctic waters.

  11. xiphos0311 says :

    “also that profile shot of Gibson looks like Hugo Weaving circa Priscilla Queen of the Desert”

    hahha that’s perfect. I’ve been trying to figure out who she reminded me of in that picture. Great call Jonah!

  12. Jarv says :

    Hehehehe

    I never caption pictures, but I couldn’t resist that one.

  13. lordbronco says :

    Thanks for the heads up-I want to like this movie-but I’ve know been warned…I love the rating system…A total of 4 Changs makes it tough to review. Over at AIBN, our best reviewer is Abominable Snowcone—and he has *never* give 5 out of 5 Fists to anything-except *one* movie-he he, and only just recently. I drop 5 out of 5s way too often-so nobody believes me when I rate anything. good review.

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