Thursday, 14 April 2011

SHARKTOPUS (2010) Eric Roberts


The title alone, should keep the 'sophisticates' away, and until someone has the guts to adapt my script for (the 'thankfuly unfilmable') SHARKS IN SPACE, then SHARKTOPUS must surely rank as one of the fruitiest titles ever conceived. All the worse, for starring Eric Roberts (yep, the Oscar-nominated TALENTED member of the 'Roberts clan') Will 'Paulie' from THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE treat this movie with the contempt it (surely) deserves? Well, as luck would have it (the ever professional) Roberts steals the show, and plays it straight (and saves it from becoming the lame 'mugfest' it should have been)


Pic opens to mucho 'Baywatch' wannabes in Mexico (?) maxed, relaxed, chilling and willing on the beach. Atypical blonde bimbo goes for a swim, and is almost attacked by a huge GWS (and her friend with the worlds quietest scream, doesn't help matter either) But just before our toothy fiend can chomp on her implants, a huge set of tentacles rises from the sea, picking up the shark and killing it. About this point, you're expecting another MEGA SHARK VS GIANT OCTOPUS (aren't we all?) but these tentacles don't belong to a mere Octopus....but a genetically altered (government weapon) known as a SHARKTOPUS

(Oh Dear!)

Viewers that haven't already fainted at this prospect, are then treat to the crumbiest-looking military HQ ever (consisting of two laptops on a few glass tables, and a patently phony looking large screen) We discover that Sharktopus (known as S11) is the brainchild of 'Shady' government researcher Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) who is suitably attired for such top secret shenanigans, in stonewashed jeans, and revolting light-blue shirt (which incidentally, he never changes throughout the course of the movie)

(Eric Roberts and his never-changing shirt)

Sands has his daughter Nicole, work alongside him to test the military capabilities of Sharktopus (replete with 'Uni-Sol' style computerised headgear) and attempt to show (top-brass) Commander Cox how they can program S11 to take out any targets they see fit. Cox, in celebration of such a technological breakthrough, can only glibly remark (quote) "Sands....you crafty S.O.B" as a half-assed congratulation. Sands gives a demonstration, by sending Sharktopus after a local speed boating drug courier, but the creature clashes with the hub of the boat, knocking away it's headpiece, rendering it uncontrollable by Sands, and more importantly...hungry!



We cut to two workers on a lunchbreak at the side of a huge cruise liner. These two 'regular Joes' crack witisms about the subject of suicide. Whilst one is examining the contents of his lunchbox, a huge tentacle grabs the other into the water, and chomps ahoy. The other 'Joe' barely has enough time to mutter "Oh no, not like this" before suffering a similar fate (and yet seems more bothered about dying at the tentacles of a Shark/Octopus hybrid...rather than it's very existence)

(Don't ask!)

Meanwhile Commander Cox is tearing Sands a new asshole over his monumental fuck-up, and demands the Shartopus be captured not killed (regardless of cost) threatening to "Cut off all other funding" before a timely warning of "Fail and that's not ALL I'll cut off" Sands sends his minion Santos (dig that accent) to track down Andy Flynn (legendary badass, and ex colleague of sands) previously sacked for being a "Greedy Bastard"

(Believe it or not...this is the hero)

You'd think with this much 'history' (not to mention, bad blood) with Sands...that Flynn be played by someone a little more mature, than the 20 year old 'Sacha Mitchell' wannabe, that we get? Santos finds Flynn (rather easily) chilling at a poolside with two babes, and both men go through the usual "We need you" and "I'm out of the game" bullshit...untill both develop of case of 'serious-face' when it's announced that S11 has escaped (gasp!)

(Corman secured the finance for the sequel)

We are then introduced to the most improbable 'metal-detector-enthusiast' (replete with silicone breasts and Bikini) searching on a beach. Unbeknown to her, an older gentleman (i.e, a pervert) is watching her bend over to dig up the sands in search of treasure (Note, this geriatric pie-hawker is played by none other than Executive Producer Roger Corman) Finding an ancient gold coin, the bimbette treasure hunter celebrations are cut short, when Sharktopus' tentacles pull her screaming into the water. Corman just stands by and watches (despite her pleas for help) and shrugs his shoulders at such an event, before making of with the coin for himself.....Weirdsville!



Flynn is reunited with Sands (replete with the expected 'love-hate' bullshit putdowns between each other) Seems that the proclaimed "Greedy Bastard" Flynn, has always been a bit of a government-whore, putting dollars before sense, and after agreeing a fee of $300,000 to bring Sharktopus back (alive) he sets sail, bringing along Nicole and Santos.

(Bone-Drunks-N-Whore-Many)

Enter brattish (yet spunky) news reporter, Stacy Everheart and her long-suffering cameraman Bones, arriving at Mexico, looking for a career-breaking news-story and hiring the services of crusty(ish) old seadog PEZ (Blake Lindsay) who has witnessed sightings of Sharktopus, to assist them.

(Ship-shapely assistant Stephie)

With all the major characters introduced we are left with brief scenes of (soon-to-be) victims, in the shape of a bickering yuppie couple, getting a nasty surprise visit from Sharktopus whilst bungee-jumping....and Pirate-Radio host Captain Jack and his shapely assistant, Stephie (who both scoff at reports of Sharktopus' sightings)

('Fish Fingers and Ships')

Sands spends the mid-section of the movie sat on his luxury yacht demanding 'More Scotch', whilst Nicole and Flynn argue about her fathers motives behind the S11. Everheart is dropped by her network bosses, and therefore vows to capture footage of the Sharktopus' to save her career. So now, we the (desperate) viewer are left with a multitude of complex characters, each one determined to fulfil their goals

(Pathetic)

Flynn has his plans of using tranquilizing darts (and not to mention two un-named assistants) chewed up and shat out by S11 (who also causes our hero one of the worst cases of leg wound FX ever) whilst (a seemingly unbothered) Santos applies bandages with all the medical care of 'Fred West' to the gaping gash.



Flynn, Santos and Nicole come to the rescue of Everheart but sadly not in time to save Pez (although he lives on in our hearts, that's for sure) Flynn now realising that he's been a 'yes-man' for too long, decides that bringing back Sharktopus alive is no longer an option. And sensing a news-scoop, a grateful Everheart and Bones tag along with our bunch of motley heroes to film the creatures destruction.



More people are killed at the beaches (a trio of jet skiers and a yuppie couple on a yacht) Sadly, movie fans....Captain Jack also buys the farm (although thankfully not shapely assistant, Stephie) During these tense moments Flynn finds the time to apply his 'ladies-man' shit on Nicole (who's steely reserve is slowly melting to the studly charms of our leading man)

(Poor Santos)

Things get uber-personal, when poor Santos (and his non-acting and terrible accent) are eaten by Sharkopus (I guess Flynn and Nicole have to make their own cocktails now?) And even Flynn takes time from beaver-hunting and wisecracking to swear revenge on the tentacled terror. Although bullets (and shouting "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!") won't deter Sharktopus in the slightest. We're suddenly in split-screen-city, culminating in Flynn telling Sands to stick his money up his hairy arsehole!

(Worse than pathetic)

The Sharktopus (clearly sick of all the underwater munching) takes to the land and starts killing the shit out of many a Mexican land-lubber and tourist in a series of poor CGI'ed MDK's. Flynn arrives to shoot the shit out of the creature, but is halted by Sands, now clearly insane (not to mention drunk) enough to even sacrifice his own daughter to retrieve the 'Dorsel-Finned-Death-Machine' But in a sudden eleventh-hour conversion, Sands soon proves to be softie, and 'buys the farm' protecting Nicole from S11...but not before whispering some secret (rather last minute) hints on how to defeat the beast to his daughter

(Alas poor Eric, I knew him well)

Clearly not too unaffected by her fathers demise (and the only REAL actor gone from the movie) Nicole explains to Flynn that they can tag S11 with an interface dart, and that she can blow it up from the safety of her laptop (WTF?) During such shenanigans, Everheart dies for her 'art' at the jaws of Sharktopus, but not before Flynn tags it...and Nicole saves the day by blowing the fucker to kingdom come. Leaving happy 'shit-eating' grins allround for the surviving cast.

(Ka-Fucking-Boom!)

SHARKTOPUS does exactly what it says on the box. It delivers low-brow thrills, lousy CGI and instils a genuine fear for the mental health of Eric Roberts. It zips along at a steady pace, leaving no clich├ęs left unturned in it's quest to produce a movie almost as campy as it's title. The creature roars, but at least no 'National Geographic Shark Footage' was harmed during the making of this movie. It's probably a lot more fluid than MEGASHARK VS GIANT OCTOPUS and contains a few trademark 'Corman' quirks (looking forward to his upcoming PIRANHACONDA later this year) and whilst not reaching the giddy-lows of SHARK ATTACK 3, is miles ahead of dross like MEGASHARK IN MALIBU (which even I refused to review!!!!) Fans of cheery SYFY 'originals' will not be disappointed by this sporadically amusing hybrid horror.



Memorable Quotes:


Santos: "He'sagreedybastardnodoubtbutheknow'sthewatersbetterthananyone"

Andy Flynn: "Excuse me everyone...There's a killer shark octopus hybrid heading this way...so please leave the marina in a kindly fashion?"

5 comments:

  1. I really only liked this movie because of the OH NO! NOT LIKE THIS! scene. The rest was pretty meh.

    Go to netflix instant watch and check out: MST3K: DEVIL FISH...it's the italian sharktopus. The commentary is PRICELESS!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to sound terribly old codger-ish...but what is NETFLIX?
    I keep reading about yourself and others using it. Is it some official movie streaming site. Do you get to keep the movies? Is it a watch once set-up? Do you pay money for NETFLIX?

    I ask because i usually buy DVDS (although i've just started buying blu-rays...35 discs in, but still no player) But i've got about 5000 bought dvds (and about another 700 for my market stall) Having the original disc, enables me to take whatever stillshots i want, for my reviews (there's tons of films i have on VHS that i'd love to review....but i can't get the accompanying stills i want for them)

    Like i said, i'm a bit behind in the times (in fact the time i've spent writing this...i could have googled what netflix actually is)

    ReplyDelete
  3. No no, you're not Old Codger-ish, Netflix is actually uniquely American, though you may have a similar service in the UK. It's a mail-order service that works like the old video store, where we pick movies online, and they send us our choices, and when we send those ones back, they send us the next ones we've picked. It's been invaluable for me, as I haven't had the money in recent years to buy all the titles I've wanted to review and add to my collection. Watch Instantly is another service they offer, where one can stream available movies online, which is even better. What I love about that service is all I have to do is pause the film, hit "Print Screen" on my keyboard, and paste the image into paintshop. I pay about $15 a month for both services combined. As far as the VHS flicks go, I have a USB interface with accompanying software that allows me to hook my VCR into my computer. I think the whole thing was like $15 American, and I bought it at Amazon. Sutekh over at Explosive Action might know of some even better programs, because he's always reviewing VHS flicks and capturing screenshots of them.

    As far as Sharktopus goes, I've heard a lot of great things, so I'll have to check it out soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the info.
    As far as NETFLIX goes, we have something similar in the UK called LOVEFILM (but there's many a scare story about them taking ages to send new discs out, in order to membership to the next month...thus increasing fees) It's just as cheap to pick up movies second hand in the UK (with shops like CASH CONVERTORS, CASH GENERATORS, CEX or the many charity shops) or 'Thrift Stores' (as you might call them in the US)

    I used to have a DVD recorder to convert my VHS over to, but it broke a while back (and i've not bothered buying another)

    If you dig bad movies...you'll love SHARKTOPUS

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, yeah Netflix is extremely efficient. It's pretty much as fast as the post office can send them. In fact, they've hurt the in-store rental industry to the point that it's bankrupt here in the States, and have effected the DVD buying market and at home ON-Demand market so much that those companies have used their clout in the industry to give themselves a 30-day head start, meaning it takes a month before new releases are on Netflix. The problem is they don't offer out of print titles, so that's where the thrift store is superior.

    The USB device is a much cheaper option than the DVD recorder. I have a really old computer (almost six years), and it still works like a charm. It's something to consider.

    All right, I'll have to check Sharktopus out.

    ReplyDelete