Reviewed 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
Discuss Dinoshark in our forums!