A week ago, the boyfriend and I celebrated one year of putting up with each other’s shenanigans and living to tell the tale. We both set out to buy presents for one another that would not only put our affections into material form but also show we try to think of each other’s interests and are aware of what can make the other happy. For him, I purchased the second in a series of Lovecraft graphic novels and a poster of Sean Connery as James Bond, leaning on his Aston Martin. For me, he purchased a box set of Cary Grant films, a box of chocolates, and finally, something that truly spoke to my heart: Jurassic Shark. The following is a review of this brilliant film. If one shark film review isn’t enough for you, see here for the boyfriend’s review of the other shark monster flick we watched recently, Bait.
As wikipedia will tell you, Jurassic Shark is a “Canadian independent action horror” film, and while all of those descriptive words are brilliantly apt, I have never seen such a Canadian film and I am counting Men with Brooms in this. I had no idea going in that I was about to watch my people be torn apart by a Megalodon, yet the moment the two pieces of shark bait at the beginning began to speak, I had a great joy in hearing what could only be Canadians delivering some of the best/worst dialogue I’ve ever heard in my life. One girl said “spaz” about a million times and the other kept saying “Like, I don’t get it” about the beach on the abandoned island being deserted. It was great.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This film was awful. It was probably one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. And yet…I’ll try and explain piece by piece why I want to share it with everyone and anyone who will listen.
Let’s start with the plot. On an island in a lake (?), there is some questionable science going on (?) wherein they are drilling into the earth for oil (?). While doing so, they released the horror that is a megalodon (something we know for sure, since it proceeds to eat everything on/in/around/above the island). Nowhere seems to be safe: the shallows? Nope. The beach? Nope. In a boat? Oh shut up, do you even know what kind of film you’re watching?
The film opens with two “teen” blonds standing on a beach and being smug about how there is no one else there. Well done, you found a secluded place in Canada, ladies. Super hard. They proceed to go on for roughly a lifetime about how everyone else are idiots for not being where they are. They also strip down to bikinis in a way that is somehow boring. How. Talent? Probably! They chatter away about the beach being empty for roughly five minutes before one of them finally gets into the water–the one who kept saying “spaz”, which I believe is karma? Not P.C., ya twit.
She gets her friend in using some more brilliant verbal gymnastics (something along the lines of “chicken?”) and before we know it, the two are splashing each other happily in water up to their waists, not knowing that in moment’s time, a shark that is estimated to have been 79 to 82 ft long is going to sneak up on them. This means that this shark is apparently a lean, mean, tube of a beast since it is 82 ft long and probably 2 ft high.
I love this.
Enter the two rivaling groups, the “art thieves” (?) and the “sexy” (?) “teens” (?). I’m not going to lie, during the points where they were explaining what they were, I was just thinking “Who is going to get eaten first?” so wasn’t completely able to follow what I am sure was brilliant, nuanced dialogue .
First, the “art thieves”. Don’t know why they were stealing art, just knew they were because every other damn word out of the lead thief’s mouth (and I will get to complaining about her later) was “we need that painting”. They also spoke of a rendezvous, but that might have just been Canadian bilingual laws rearing their ugly heads, who knows. In any case, they were going to…you know what, I don’t know! For some reason, they had this painting in a boat and were rowing across a lake to hide on the island (?) until they had their rendezvous with the buyer of the painting.
Megalodon was not having this, however. He (or she, who knows) knocks them out of the boat and eats one, the painting falling to the bottom of the lake (that’s why you should avoid heavy framing) to become the plot point for the rest of the film. The story of Jurassic Shark from this point on is the saga of the attempts of several idiots to get the painting back even though there is a shark-tube-monster-thing out in the water.
When it came to characterization, the thieves were probably the worst, and this is in comparison to the “sexy” “teens” of the film who we
couldn’t remember the names of so called them “black bikini”, “curly tits” and “the other one”. The lead thief was what I can only assume was the writer’s attempt at a ‘strong female character’, while meanwhile, she was some bitch with a gun who kept saying ” we need that painting” over and over like a broken record. I get it, you are ruthless, but one of your men–whoops, two, sorry–has been eaten by this shark. Calling the remaining ones cowards is not going to help. It’s a megalodon in between them and the painting, not a spider or something.
The other thieves were a bunch of guys who had varying personalities. By “varying”, I mean there was a dumb one, a heart of gold one, a left-hand man, and a mass of muscles. They just followed along with anything Top Bitch said, really, and were non-characters overall, unless one counts mass of muscles’ ‘roid rage moments. They didn’t move the plot ahead, they were just shark bait, much like the blonds at the start.
Then, there was the “sexy” “teens”, both terms ridiculously relative. Apparently, they are on spring break, and black bikini has decided she wants to spend her last few days doing research on the mysterious science going on on the island (oh yeah, it’s not just all sharks and art thieves!). She brings with her curly tits (so called for the fact that her hair is curly and her breasts are always very, very visible) and the other one (she didn’t make a real impact, clearly), the bitchy rich chicks who pay for the research as an excuse to get a tan. Oh, and Kyle, the guy who clearly has a thing for her but she doesn’t realize this until it is too late.
You might guess what happens next. The “teens” are menaced, they end up running into the menaced thieves, and the film devolves into a parade of attempts to get the painting/shark meals. Curly tits comes into her own at one point by saying to Top Bitch “You’re chum, bitch” (showing a surprising amount of knowledge about shark feeding, really, given that up until this point, she had basically been giggling and fluffing her hair up), ‘Roid Rage has an amazing death that is surprisingly not shark induced, and the film manages to jump the shark by…well, featuring a jumping shark.
Jurassic Shark was all I had hoped for in the short amount of time there was between my seeing the cover and putting it into my dvd player. It had a shark, it had amazingly ridiculous deaths, and it had little-to-no real development of anything besides the over all plot of “oh my god SHARK”. I don’t need a conservation message, I don’t need a “we’ve played God one too many times” message, I just need a big ol’ shark eating people for no real reason and I’m happy as a clam. Or rather, happy as a megalodon in a lake somewhere in Canada.