Dinoshark (UK DVD)

DinosharkStarring Eric Balfour, Iva Hasperger, Aarón Díaz

Directed by Kevin O’Neill

Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Following up on the recent UK market release of the Roger Corman-produced Sharktopus, Anchor Bay bring us another giant sea-monster offering from the stables of said prolific producer. Here comes the prehistoric Dinoshark!

Rapidly thawed from a block of ice fallen from a glacier, this heavily armoured, T-Rex-headed monstrosity almost immediately sets about chowing down on every tasty human morsel in the vicinity of – you guessed it – a Mexican resort. Eric Balfour sleep-walks his way into the lead role of skipper Trace who, upon returning to his home town of Puerto Vallarta, finds himself just in time for his best friends to find themselves in the jaws of the titular beast. Alongside his remaining associate, he sets out to do battle with the creature and settle the score.

As dull as dishwater, Dinoshark is a prime example of the worst type of “quick buck” giant CGI monster flicks currently being churned out by Corman and Co. Completely bereft of the type of knowing humour, self-aware ridiculousness and cool-ass monster that Sharktopus flaunted so openly, Dinoshark is instead a tedious, criminally boring nightmare to sit through.

Director Kevin O’Neill’s direction is lifeless and workmanlike; the visuals are bland, haphazard and uninspiring, leaving even the naturally impressive landscapes feeling flat and drab; the score is so hilariously inappropriate for most of the flick that you would almost believe it was pulled from a CD entitled Stock Scores for Cheap Movies, and the less said about the CGI creature the better. A pretty boring design overall, the monster completely fails to succeed as that all-important hook into watching Corman’s current run of giant monster movies in the first place. The poor implementation of the creature in just about every shot that it features, even when taking the form of an animatronic head, leaves the kill scenes feeling distinctly dissatisfying and thus robs the flick of just about any worth it had in the first place.

The entire cast is almost unintelligibly horrible, managing to elevate themselves to a phoning-it-in level when they’re really, really trying. Balfour in particular seems literally on autopilot the entire time, avoiding the scenery-chewing ham that made Eric Roberts’ turn in the aforementioned Sharktopus actually rather endearing. Rather, it’s quite obvious that someone had a phone bill to pay and just couldn’t wait to get this shit over and done with. Part of the blame for that does need to go to the script, though, which takes itself far too seriously for what it is. Only a single grenade-chucking moment at the climax begins to hint at the sort of semi-reckless attitude needed to pull this story off. Attempts are drama are grating at best, and so inept it’s laugh-inducing at worst. Some of the most horrible dialogue dubbing this side of a 70s Italian horror flick doesn’t help matters, either.

In a nutshell: even if you’re a monster fan and have enjoyed the current run of these flicks so far, please just stay away from Dinoshark. There is absolutely nothing interesting, fulfilling, exciting, or even approaching entertaining to be found here. As by-the-numbers, tedious and sheer monotonous as they come there’s simply no sense of worth or fun inspired by this drivel. You’re more likely to decide that gouging your own eyes out and stabbing your eardrums with rusty needles would be preferable to experiencing this once you reach the halfway mark. Heaven help us if the sequel threatened in the final moments ever makes it to the screen.

Mercifully, Anchor Bay’s DVD is completely bereft of special features meaning Dinoshark can spend less time in your player and more time doing something more suitable. Which is just about anything that doesn’t mean it’s actually being watched.


0 out of 5

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Gareth Jones

Copywriter and critic sporting a lifelong obsession with all things horror. A little bit sane.

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  • housemaster

    I have to agree – this was the most awful movie. Eric Balfour just didn’t seem to even be there. The rest of the cast were boring & I didn’t care if they got eaten or not. The shark itself was woeful. I sat through the entire film waiting for it to get better. It didn’t. It just got more turgid. Avoid.

  • MouthForWar

    Not a good movie by any means, but I found it just as fun as Sharktopus… maybe even more so.

  • Foywonder

    And to think there are people out there that have accused me of being too harsh on Syfy original movies.

    • Pestilence

      Normally I can give them somewhat of a pass if they’re at least goofy or “out there” enough to be even a little entertaining. This one… just… no.