Dinoshark (2010)

DinosharkReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Eric Balfour, Iva Hasperger, Aaron Diaz, Humberto Busto, Roger Corman

Directed by Kevin O’Neill

I wish I could tell you I thought Dinoshark was a glorious piece of cinematic cheese or even a great addition to the world of nature gone amok movies, but the honest truth is that having watched Shark Attack, Shark Attack 2, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, Shark Attack in the Mediterranean, Spring Break Shark Attack, Malibu Shark Attack, Shark Hunter, Shark Zone, Shark Swarm, Sharks in Venice, Raging Sharks, Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy, Megalodon, Red Water, Blue Demon, and 12 Days of Terror, as well as other recent Roger Corman-produced creature features as Dinocroc (from the same director) and Supergator, I found Dinoshark to be more of the same – better than some, worse than others.

If you’re not someone who spends much time watching b-movies of this sort, then I suspect Dinoshark will seem novel. I, however, have wasted far too many hours of my life watching Syfy original movies, and as cheesy and breezy as Dinoshark frequently is, nothing about this prehistoric carcharodon stood out from the pack.

I think a part of the problem is that we see too much of this dinoshark. They only appeared to have 6-8 different creature animatics and a rubbery monster head that is recycled over and over so frequently that it begins losing the desired effect. What should have been an epic moment of the dinoshark eating a crocodile is marred by the split second effect being exceptionally chintzy even by Syfy standards. That’s the weird thing about Dinoshark; a lot of the computer effects don’t look to suffer from being cheap so much as the digital work appears rushed. Sometimes the digital dinoshark looks convincing and other times the effect looks worse than something you could cook up on your own laptop.

I swear this dinoshark is so acrobatic, flipping in and out of the water, maybe they should have called it Dinodolphin instead?

The plot, as if it really matters, has a baby dinoshark swim away from a broken chunk of Arctic glacier. Three years later, the now fully grown and voraciously hungry prehistoric shark that looks more like an aquatic stegosaurus than a typical shark arrives in the waters off the coast of tourist hot spot Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and proceeds to munch on completely random swimmers, boaters, surfers, jet skiers, and so on.

Trace (Balfour) has returned to Puerto Vallarta just in time for an old friend to get eaten. He’ll be one of the first to see the dinoshark in action, but who will believe him that a 150-million-year-old shark is eating locals and tourists? Certainly not his stubborn old friend and rival, now head of the harbor patrol. Croatian water polo coach and midriff-baring enthusiast Carol does believe him, as does Roger Corman, the super producer appearing briefly as a marine biologist who has been tracking sightings of this prehistoric shark for the past three years.

It must be said that Dinoshark boasts some of the worst acting ever seen in a Syfy original movie, and that is saying something. The best of the worst is the boyfriend of a bratty debutante; a blank expression remains on his face as he watches his girlfriend get devoured and remains on his face even as he gets pulled in to his death. I’m guessing for much of the cast English was not their first language, and considering many of their performances, acting may not be their first profession either. Eric Balfour (“24”, Horsemen) comes across like Sir Laurence Olivier compared to everyone else. I love Roger Corman but the man is not an actor.

The second half picks up once the film becomes more focused on trying to stop the monster and not just a series of completely random dinoshark attacks every few minutes that quickly begin feeling repetitive. That should have been the title: Completely Random Dinoshark Attack. Certainly describes about two thirds of the film.

But when the third act arrives and our heroes are trying to stop the dinoshark from crashing the big water polo match or racing after it on jet skis armed with hand grenades as it plucks hapless parasailers out of the sky, Dinoshark finally hits its stride and fully delivers on the fun I was hoping there would be more of during the first act.

Call me jaded – I am. There is some cheesy bad movie fun to be had here, just not nearly as much as I was anticipating. Maybe it’s my fault for going into Dinoshark with any expectations at all. If you’re not a regular watcher of schlocky shark flicks, then you’ll probably have a good time laughing at this silly offering in which half the cast sound like they were voiced over by George Lopez. I’ll stick with Shark Attack 3: Megalodon and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, thank you very much.

Call me when Sharktopus arrives.

2 1/2 out of 5

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  • Vanvance1

    I don’t think Sci-Fi cares about their scripts at all. I’ve also read that production times and budgets are minimal at best.

    It’s unlikely we’ll get even good schlock when there’s no time or budget for pick up shots.

  • Terminal

    I recorded this on my DVR and am looking forward to it. I’m not surprised there isn’t much flexibility with the Dinoshark. The movie is obviously very low in budget. I intend to see it as soon as possible either way.

  • Gus Bjork

    If it moved a little faster it could have been comic gold. There was absolutely no tension in any scene, no build up, no suspense, nothing. They might as well as titled it Dinoshark: I Remember Rita. And that main actress was horrible! Hokey Smokes! Although the scene were she was looking up dinosaur sharks on her laptop only to suddendly stand up and take off her shirt for no apparent reason was hilarous.

    Do you need to put a spoiler warning on something like this? Just in case, I guess this should serve as one.

    Okay that scene where the guy pushes his girlfriend in the water and she says, basically, “I’m going to get you for this.” Then the monster bites her in half and her top half swims up and reaches out her hand and the guy gets pulled in when he grabs her. Was that supposed to be her getting revenge or just the stupid circumstance?

  • YandereSama

    Pretty much agree with everything you said, except the part about showing this thing too much. This is Syfy. They’re going to show it a lot. Just wished they slapped more attack scenes in the beginning. The first 70 minutes moved so slowly, it wasn’t until afterwards that the film became mildly entertaining.

    Still, some of the digital effects animation for the Dinoshark looked close to the quality of those CGI Discovery Channel dinosaur specials. The guy who animated the shark is on Deviant Art. He said there were like 200 digital effects shots in the film. I think most of these special effects are animated on a laptop somewhere.

    Still, there are some good moments with the Dinoshark. The one shot where they slow it down as it’s coming up to grab someone at the very beginning was good. However, when it was flopping around towards the end of the film to eat the hero and that one boy I wished it would have eaten, it wasn’t nearly as convincing.

    A better Syfy effort, but this is not saying much at all.

    “Why are you screaming, I haven’t even cut you yet. . .”