Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)

Directed By: Jack Perez
Written By: Jack Perez
Starring: Deborah Gibson
  Lorenzo Lamas
  Sean Lawlor
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

The title is better than the film. It smacks of such hilarious, shameless stupidity that you’re automatically endeared to the possibility of the amusing and audacious mayhem the name evokes. Tragically the film is simply boring, and could have been made better by a group of high school geeks with two camcorders, a locker room and a budget of £8.47.

The plot is more amusing than the execution – marine biologist Emma MacNeil (80’s pop artist / actor Deborah Gibson) has hijacked an experimental research submarine to prove sonar dropping in Antarctica is interfering with whale migration. Whilst doing this she witnesses the break-up of an ancient ice-shelf, which instantly releases two massive entities, looking suspiciously like a giant shark and an equally humungous octopus. Only when an oil rig is attacked by the Octopus, for no particular reason, and a whale turns up on a beach having been torn apart by a “massive propeller” do the authorities turn to the, oddly un-incarcerated, sub-stealer for answers. And the answer is simple – a Megalodon and Giant Octopus were frozen in battle millions of years ago and now they’ve been unfrozen and are hell-bent on the destruction of anything near the sea that resembles anything: warships, the Golden Gate Bridge, submarines and even, in an amazingly far-sighted moment from our Mega-Shark, an airliner 15000 foot in the air flying through a storm. This might sound like fun, but it’s not.

The shark / octopus attacks are few and quick, leaving the remainder of the painfully long 85 minute film to flesh out a terribly acted storyline involving a greasy idiotic government agent, some Chinese love interest and an old scientist with a fluctuating accent who hangs around in the background attempting to add gravitas to a mouldy script. They eventually come up with the plan to lure both Octopus and Shark together so they can fight each other to death… something the film’s title told us before we even began watching.

There is an incredibly misplaced arrogance in a director who thinks his audience is too stupid to realise he is using the same animated sequence multiple times, occasionally mirroring it. The CGI is pre-Sliders terrible, with certain shots looking like freshly rendered grey models without texture or lighting added, and it’s monumentally embarrassing rather than amusing. Even the sets are appalling – the same “bridge” room is used for an U.S. attack sub, an aircraft carrier and a Chinese submarine, except with different lighting and staff, and despite this it still looks like a men’s locker room.

As an audience member willing to watch a film called Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, you are not hoping for anything thrilling or intelligent, but for something so ridiculous it’s hilarious; a great film to watch while slightly inebriated with a few friends. Sadly even the “so bad it’s good” expectation is never met, and instead it leaves you bored, frustrated and totally bewildered.

Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus is an atrocious mess. It is diabolical in every sense of the word and so lacking any sense of fun it becomes a depressing and pointless trudge towards disappointment. Do not watch this movie, even at gunpoint. Take the bullet in the face and think yourself lucky. This film deserves no audience.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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