Super Shark (2011)
Directed by Fred Olen Ray
They say you can never make a shark movie without it automatically drawing comparisons to Jaws. Watching Super Shark made me realize b-moviemakers can no longer make an over-the-top giant shark flick these days without it drawing automatic comparisons to The Asylum’s outrageous Mega Shark movies.
If you’ve seen Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus or Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus,or Mega Piranha or what is ostensibly The Asylum’s “mega whale” movie, 2012: Moby Dick, then there really isn’t anything here you haven’t already seen in any of those movies. So much of Fred Olen Ray’s Super Shark feels like a knock-off an Asylum movie. Take a few moments to contemplate that last sentence.
Man, who knew The Asylum was such a trendsetter?
Let me give you a prime example. When the super shark bites a fighter jet out of the sky, Sarah Lieving – who also starred in Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus and plays roughly the same character in both films – declares, "It flies!". No, not really. It leapt out of the water and nabbed a jet in its jaws just like I’ve seen done in about all of the previously mentioned mega movies. Now if the shark did fly, that really would have been super.
The super shark can even walk onshore - sort of. After seeing a giant prehistoric whale in 2012: Moby Dick inexplicably waltz onto land, disappear behind a hill, and then dive-bomb Naval officers from a high cliff behind them, watching this shark waddling a short ways onto the beach to randomly chomp people just doesn’t excite my b-movie funny bone.
I harp so much on the been there/done that aspect because - let’s be completely honest for a moment here – this b-movie subgenre is more or less built on a mentality of “top this” money shots. Nobody watches a movie like Super Shark expecting engrossing storylines, rich characters, or sharp dialogue. It would be awesome if these movies were firing on all those cylinders, but in the meantime, if you’re going to make a movie in the vein of the Mega Shark movies, you kind of have to take it to the next level. Until the brief climactic scuffle between the super shark and a tank that walks about on four robotic legs like the G.I. Joe manufactured hybrid of a Sherman tank and an AT-AT, the movie offers little more than a series of repetitive girl in a swimsuit or a guy in shorts getting gobbled on the beach when the shark pops up out of the surf scenes that lack the energy, enthusiasm, and WTF giddiness of last week’s Asylum release, 2-Headed Shark Attack.
I’m afraid Super Shark is about three years and a week late to the monster shark movie party to get excited about.
“Duke of Hazzard” John Schneider heads an oil company whose rig gets toppled by the shark and whose illegal activities may be responsible for setting off the shark’s killing spree. Sarah Lieving is an investigating agent suspicious of Schneider’s practices. A trio of lifeguards engages in a romantic triangle. Jimmie (“Good Times”) Walker has a small role as a bikini contest DJ named “Dynamite Stevens”. The super shark eats people and smashes some stuff. The military sends in a walking tank to fight the walking shark. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand... Yeah, that about sums it up.
A few months back when the hysterical music video trailer set to the blacksploitation-style Super Shark theme song by Harvey Scales hit the web, I had a bad feeling it gave away the best parts of the movie, and I was right. If you watch that trailer/music video, you’ve seen just about all Super Shark has to offer.
2 out of 5