Friday, 15 April 2011

SHARK IN VENICE (2007) Stephen Baldwin

Rounding off my (slightly disappointing) SHARK WEEK, I regret not being able to locate my missing SHARK ATTACK 3 disc (to complete the trilogy) Rest assured, when I find it, I'll stick up a review. Here's the next best thing, in terms of cheesy NU IMAGE shark action...

Stephen Baldwin is a funny kind of guy. The one time Hollywood golden Boy/Hellraiser.....turned reformed God loving maestro of all things B-movie. Like him or loathe him, he's usually earns his wage, regardless of the material at hand. Judging by his performance in SHARK IN VENICE, I'm guessing he was paid about $26?

(Nah...too easy)

We open in Venice (filmed on a back lot in Bulgaria, actually) as two underwater divers search the waters for the lost 'Medici Treasure'. Their every move is being watched on a computer screen by Mafioso boss Vito Clemenza, shouting out the orders behind a bad pair of shades (and looking like a cross between a stunted 'Al Lettieri' and Cat Stevens, circa 1971) His over the top 'Shaduppayaface' accent is the icing on the cake. Before the two divers can unearth the treasure, they receive fatal invitations to a great White Sharks 'wordhole' (leaving out the back doors, as sharkshit) as a screaming Clemenza shouts more profanities at his other goons.

("It's great to here at the Copacabana, folks!")

Cut to the Oceanographic Institute, San Francisco, where we witness Dr David Franks (Stephen Baldwin) giving the most monosymbolic lecture ever to some ('Dangerous Minds' cast reject) students about the perils of diving in Shark infested waters (no shit Sherlock) David is called out of class by the 'Dean', who informs our portly hero (dressed more like an extra from Kid Creole And The Coconuts, than a lecturer) that his father has gone missing in Venice, but that remains of some divers have been found in nearby waters that require identification. David, together with girlfriend Laura, drop everything (including 'acting lessons') and head to the "City of Water" to check it out.

(A suitably intense and enthused Stephen Baldwin)

Once in Venice, our hero and heroine are met by Venetian Police Lt. Sofia Totti, a hardnosed straight-taking (improbably glamorous blonde) Cop, who takes them to the morgue to identify the remains. With all the pent-up aggression of a recent coma patient (the already bored looking) David announces that these are "Not Propeller accidents...but Shark Attacks" but regardless of his highly improbable findings, neither of the chewed up cadavers are his father anyhow. So David seeks permission from Police Captain Bonasera, to search the waters were the other two hapless corpses were found.

(Shoes fixed whilst you wait)

Returning to his fathers hotel room, David finds it ransacked, but remembering that his father liked to hide stuff outback, finds a suitcase chained to the outside window in a (presumably) waterproof suitcase. Inside said case, is a diary,with details pertaining to the Medici Knights (that resilts in a much more exciting clip than this movie) as we witness medevil knights slaughtering throughout the crusades (circa 1271 AD) before burying the loot under the city of Venice (and then killing those that buried it...not the cleverest idea, to be honest)

(After a while, Moses threw his old business-cards in the lake)

With all the get-up-and-go of a third world crack addict (and a similar vacant disposition) David boards a boat, and together with colleague Peitro, go for an afternoon dive through the floating city. At this point, all reality goes walkabout, as it transpires that despite wearing nothing more than standard breathing apparatus, both divers can communicate to each other (and also to Laura and Sofia on the boat above) One minute into the water and Peitro is soon sharkshit, leaving David to locate the Secret Treasure Of The Medici (which is so shrouded in mystery, it's signposted on a misspelled tablet of stone)

(Raiders Of The Lost Revenue)

Fleeing the shark, David comes to a underground tunnel, in which he finds a couple of 'Indiana Jones' style man-traps..leading up to the magnificent treasure. David makes a mental note of where the tunnel is (which, given his general lack of interest throughout, must have been some strain?) and heads back through the water...only to be met by the same hungry shark, who proceeds to bite our hefty heroes leg off.

(Heather Mills gave it everything she got)

I know what you're thinking (other than my blog is shit)'re thinking 'How can the hero have his leg bitten off? Trust me, it would probably be a blessing if the movie ended here (34 minutes in) But I at least expected long scenes of David being fitted with a prosthetic leg, and spending years in recovery from such a fatal injury....But no sir-fucking-ree......David wakes in a hospital without any wounds whatsoever, and the leg chomping incident is never brought up again (WTF?)

(Old Mother Goose...I fucker her!)

David is questioned in hospital by Captain Bonasera, and promises to leave Venice the next day, and not to meddle in the waters anymore. Checking out of the hospital, both David and Laura are approached by Rossi, a henchman for Clemenza, who invites them to have dinner with his boss (and given that our hero is unlikely to have ever met a meal he didn't like) David accepts. Clemenza offers David $20 million to retrieve the treasure for hm, but (with the free meal inside his ample guts) our hero declines the offer, leaving a pissed of Mafia boss.

(Diarrhoea-blowbacks are never a pretty site)

Meanwhile (probably due to the film-makers cocaine comedown) we are treat to a completely unrelated scene of a nearby couple standing near the waters, The guy is chomped upon by the fakest looking CGI effect, I've ever had the misfortune to witness. And you'd better lap it up, as most of the other shark attacks are either briefly glimpsed substandard National Geographic out-takes, or scenes from other NU IMAGE sharkfests.

(Cry me a little biatch!)

Oddly forgetting his missing (possibly dead) father, the treasure, and his (non-existent) leg amputation, David spends his last day in Venice with Laura looking round the shops and markets, like tourists. No sooner has David wasted (I'm guessing) €2 on a bright orange scarf for his intended, than a bunch of bad guys kick the shit out of him, and kidnap Laura. David only takes a punch and a kick, but it's more than enough to leave our 'Luxurious lecturer' crying like a baby, although visibly conscious, whilst the love of his life is dragged off in front of his weeping eyes.

(David approximately 38 seconds after his girlfriends abduction)

An alarmingly Stoic David is questioned at the police station by Lt. Sofia, and is given a police escort to his hotel. Strangely enough, the unfazed David falls asleep (despite his girlfriend being abducted) and is paid a visit from two Abseiling/Rappelling hit men from another building (NOTE: same footage that TODAY YOU DIE 'borrowed' from THE ORDER) David attempts to fight off his attackers but (and as usual) gets his ass kicked, so is just content to flee, pulling a variety of oddball faces (as if Norman Wisdom remade The Marathon Man) whilst running like fuck, away from the action.


The following chase is the highlight of the movie (just like the chase in SHOTGUN) because of the cack-addled manner in which it's shot and choreographed. First off, Baldwin has (in most cases) a 'running-double', and secondly because we get a shot of Baldwin hiding in the shadows, that's later looped and re-used about 4 or 5 times more, throughout the movie. Baldwin flees more motorcycles and hit men in this movie, than actual sharks. Culminating in a half tasty punch up in a work shop, with our rotund hero actually winning a fucking fight, and threatening a goon with a buzzsaw for information on Laura's whereabouts.

(What you mean, Pauly Shore stole 'BIO-DOME'?)

A tipped off David finds a boat, sees Lauras orange scarf (despite the fact, she clearly dropped it before being abducted in the market square) and is promptly knocked the fuck out (and just as he'd actually won the previous fucking fight?) and sent to Clemenzas underwater liar. Our hirsute mafia boss explains that he's planted the sharks in these waters to stop people searching for the treasure, thus safeguarding it for himself. He also threatens to kill Laura, unless our heavy hero retrieves the treasure (should have took the $2m in the first place, dickhead!) And it transpires that Police Lt. Sofia Totti is in cahoots with the bad guys (fucking bitch!)

(Meat the wife)

So, together with henchmen Rossi and Carter, David once again returns to the site of the treasure (Carter 0 Shark 1) Finding the treasure, Rossi has his orders to kill our Obese oceanographer...butduring a punch up is accidentally killed by one of the many man-traps in the underground cave (a rusty gatehouse through the windpipe) David swims back to Clemenzas hide out, the blonde Police Lieutenant turns out to be pulling a double DOUBLE bluff on the Mafia boss, and actually is a honest cop, and a Venietian swat team join the party for a spot of 'John Woo' style heroic bloodshed (During which both Clemenza and David tussle in the water)

(The lucky ones left the set early)

After much shooting, and fisticuffs, Clemenza is eaten by his own creature (in a briefly glimpsed montage of shark footage) David is reunited with Laura, Lt, Sophia is commended for bravery and Captain Bonasera looks 'nice' in a bullet-proof vest. Despite remaining tight lipped about the treasure to the police, David smugly places a centuries old valuable necklace round Lauras neck (about 6 feet away from the police investigation) before our hero proposes to a shit-grinning heroine, who glibly remarks "Let's not have the honeymoon in Venice" (Ha-Fucking-Ha indeed!)

SHARK IN VENICE (sadly) sees NU IMAGE suffer the same problems they had with SHARK ATTACK (1999) by marketing a 'Shark' movie, with little shark action.....In realitym the movie is just some Romanian Crime flick with the occasional dorsal fin. However, it's all the better for having Stephen Baldwin as the lead (as opposed to the dire Casper Van Dien) Baldwin looks seriously stoned throughout the course of the movie, delivering his lines with a laughable stoicism. His (slight) weight problem, coupled with some skintight (badly fitting) sweaters doesn't help matters (it's probably not a great idea for the male hero to have bigger tits than the heroine?) And his delivery of insipid dialogue, coupled with his chipmunk features on a face that always looks like it's about to sneeze, make his performance funnier than it has any right to be. But hey, at least he's a Man Of God (cause I'm sick to fucking death of atheists) The films many faults aside, SHARK IN VENICE is a 'bad-movie' fans dream (albeit, not enough shark action, and too much borrowed footage)

(Watershit Down)

Whilst better than SHARK ATTACK, and a must for bad movie fans, the movie could/should have more shark action (and relevency) I find it hard to believe that NU IMAGE were still making stuff like this in 2007, and even more baffled that WARNER BROS released this movie on DVD in the UK?


Lt. Sofia Totti: "It's impossible...this is not happening"

Vito Clemenza: "You're going to be in Heaven in a moment, but first I'm going to put you through Hell!"

(Does my Bum/Tum/Chin/Girth/Tits/etc, look big in this?)


  1. This looks like a lot of fun, but it's disappointing that you couldn't find your Shark Attack III disc, because it's the best of the bunch. Still, gotta love Stephen Baldwin.

  2. I love SHARK ATTACK 3, and could probably review it without the disc. I just like to watch each movie just before i review it, and like to take my own screen shots. For a movie thats usually around 50p-£1 to buy (new) it's been suspiciously unavailable in shops this week (when i've neede it)

    I'll have to have another SHARK WEEK in the future, i've still got more to review (plus they keep makig these kind of movies every other weekend, anyhow)

  3. Great Review! Shark In Venice was a hilarious movie. Stephen Baldwin was at his best!