A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 157 – Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus – August 4th, 2010

You know you’re watching some quality cinema when there’s a gigantic shark leaping out of the water to chomp on an airplane that’s still in flight. Sure, there was a giant octopus attacking a Japanese oil rig, but let’s face it, giant tentacles attacking an oil rig isn’t anything new or different. Doctor Who did it back in the 70s. But a shark attacking an airplane in mid-air, that’s something special. It certainly outdoes yesterday’s shark. I mean, I like my sharks to show some initiative.

This movie really begins with Deborah Gibson (yes, that Deborah Gibson) and some other guy (we don’t need to care about him) in a sub, doing some underwater whale watching. Things seem pretty calm until some illegal blasting shakes up an iceberg, I think, and the sub almost gets crushed. I don’t think I need to explain what was frozen in that iceberg. If you need some help, look at the title. The octopus and the shark attack a bunch of things, which is where the fantastic shark vs. airplane scene comes in. Emma (Gibson) meets up with her old professor, Lamar, to figure out what’s behind all the destruction. Meanwhile, a Japanese scientist, Seiji Shimada, is investigating attacks in Japanese waters. He shows up in the US and our three intrepid scientists do SCIENCE STUFF (you can tell, cause they have beakers and there’s neon lighting) until the US government grabs them and we meet Allan, played by Lorenzo Lamas, whose character can be summed up as an ignorant dickhead. And so they work on a way to deal with the beasts, eventually settling on getting them to take each other out. The octopus is the natural enemy of the shark, you know, so clearly that will work.

There’s not a hell of a lot of plot here. Shark, octopus, lots of destruction and scenes that are supposed to be inside submarines but are very obviously not. Allan acts like an ass and Emma and Lamar get snarky at him. Military dudes yell and get angry. Emma and Shimada hook up and their hookup provides the inspiration for how to lure the shark and octopus together. Theoretically it also provides some emotional stakes for the movie, since they end up on different submarines being chased by different giant sea creatures. I was totally on board with them hooking up, cheesy as it was. And I’ll give the movie credit for an Asian romantic lead (okay, he’s a scientist too and it’s action, not romance, but still). I’m not saying I really cared about these characters, but I can at least say the movie tried to give them personalities and relationships and backgrounds.

Now, let me be clear: This movie is cheesetastic. If the airplane bit wasn’t enough to convey that, there’s the SCIENCE scenes and all the Japanese military guys speak English. Shimada quotes Julius Caesar. Lamar talks about the shark and the octopus being horny. He uses the word “horny”, really. There are location titles for almost every scene, regardless of whether it’s the same location as the last scene. Everyone does a lot of very expressive acting in reaction to things they didn’t have the money to show us. The movie did have some money, but they seem to have put it all into Gibson, Lamas and the big climactic fight between the two monsters. They sure didn’t spend it on the sets, which are minimal at best and feature many recycled shots. They didn’t spend it on the script either. It would be a compliment to say the dialogue is stilted. We laughed our way through this movie, which is probably for the best.

What this movie succeeds at is being bad. Laughably bad. I still wouldn’t say it measures up to Sharks in Venice (now my ultimate gauge of Shark cheese), but this is not a movie that was made to win Oscars. I can’t honestly say there’s a fine line between bad-bad and awesome-bad. More a big grey area. But this falls closer to the awesome-bad end of the grey than to the other end. It’s the effects shots, and how obviously they blew the budget on them. It’s the complete lack of an attempt at any sort of scientific accuracy. But it’s also that there’s a simple plot and follow-through. There are holes, yes, but it does go from point A to point B to point C and we get some fun action and some cursory plot and character development at each. It’s bad, but it’s good at being bad instead of bad at being good.

August 4, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Eagerly awaiting “Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid”.

    Comment by David | August 5, 2010 | Reply

    • So are we! Debbie Gibson and Tiffany in a movie the same caliber as this one? Fantastic!

      Comment by ajmovies | August 5, 2010 | Reply


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