Movie Review: A Five Pack of Schlock

Sharktopus on IMDB (Horror, 89 Minutes, 2010)
Mega Python vs. Gatoroid on IMDB (Horror, 90 Minutes, 2011)
Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus on IMDB (Horror, 85 Minutes, 2009)
Dinocroc vs. Supergator on IMDB (Horror, 87 Minutes, 2010)
Mega Piranha in IMDB (Horror, 92 Minutes, 2010)

[This is the eighth through twelfth review for this edition of  my semi-regular “my-wife-and-kids-are-visiting-relatives-so-I’m-watching-loads-of-crappy-movies” film festival.  Since these are all basically the same movie I combined them into one review.]

There’s a weird kind of almost-art that these movies exemplify that simply fascinates me.  It’s like when you see some guy at Walmart that’s “fixed” his headlight by duct-taping a flashlight to his hood.  On some level you can appreciate his cleverness while on every other level you know that son-of-a-bitch is going to fly off as soon as he hit 35mph and shatter somebody’s windshield.  These movies are exactly the same: they’re kind of fun until they cause an accident… in your brain.

Basically you find somebody recognizable but with no visible career.  Here we have Eric Roberts, Tiffany (in two of them), Lorenzo Lamas, David Carradine (in one of his last roles) and Debbie Gibson (also in two of them) .  These names go on the poster (although nobody actually prints posters for movies like these) to sell the movie to the handful of people who are curious about what the hell happened to these people.

The effects are all done on a home computer by consultants that normally work with local furniture salesmen and fly-by-night porn outfits.  The CGI fails to mesh at all well with the poorly shot video.  The lighting is all wrong and nobody maintains proper eye-lines.  Also – universally – scale is thrown out the window.  In one scene the monster is about as big as a person, in the next it’s bigger than a bus.   In “Megashark” Meglodon (which never grew longer than about 50 feet) is shown swallowing a nuclear submarine.

These movies survive completely by understanding their own lack of worth.  They throw caution to the wind and make completely bat-shit-insane decisions.  Then they commit to them whole hog with an abandon that just needs to be respected.  For example Sharktopus just doesn’t sell the idea that somebody created giant shark-octopus hybrid: it has it walk around on the beach on its tentacles.  Mega Piranha’s leap from the water and explode.  Mega-shark jumps out of the ocean and bites a jumbo-jet at cruising altitude.

These movies are bad.  Horribly, terribly bad.  But they’re also fun.  Oddly, painfully, wince-inducingly fun and you’re either kind of person that likes having this kind of fun (and you’ve made Roger Corman an incredibly wealthy man) or you’re not (and probably don’t understand “The Three Stooges” either).

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