“Jaws” made us afraid to go in the water. “Sharknado” coaxed studios to crank out no-budget shark thrillers.
The dawn of Syfy’s silly franchise five years ago proved there’s gold in them thar CGI waters. Case in point: the following films which all feature killer sharks in a variety of creative settings.
Suffice to say the movies weren’t mean to grace your local cineplex. Nor did any garner serious awards consideration. Even the Razzies ignored them.
They exist to be discovered on some streaming service or cable outlet … late at night, preferably. Some come courtesy of Syfy, which clearly knows a good (very bad) thing when it sees it. Others actually try to entertain us without the laughs. Bad move.
The formula is consistent. Attractive people run into a shark’s deadly maw. Blood, guts and uncomfortable laughs ensue. At times, that’s precisely what the Content Doctor ordered.
Consider the following 10 shark movies as a respite from more serious fare.
Remember the “land shark” sketch from “Saturday Night Live’s” early days? Here it is in horror movie form.
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: Writer/director Ron Bonk created an IndieGogo campaign to help make his passion project a reality. It only generated 22 percent of the goal, but that didn’t stop Bonk. The mind behind “She Kills” (you’ve been warned…) doesn’t know when to quit.
This Syfy original debuted last August and features a shark that spits acid. They don’t write ’em like this anymore.
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: The film’s official RottenTomatoes.com page doesn’t boast a single review, but apparently 56 percent of site users liked it. That’s better than “Downsizing” (24 percent).
‘Trailer Park Shark’
The title says it all, no? It’s one reason these shark movies multiply like rabbits. It’s like “Snakes on a Plane” without the high expectations.
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: The film reteams “American Pie” alums Thomas Ian Nicholas AND Miss “Sharknado” herself, Tara Reid. ‘Nuff said.
A woman survives a shark attack only to find her personality changed long after the wounds heal. Could it be … Satan?
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: That’s a tough one. The trailer looks like the film you made in college on a lark but never wanted anyone to actually see it. Still, it’s got “exorcist” in the title. So there’s that.
A fisherman and his daughter torture a shark for daring to eat the fish they were about to haul in. The dead shark is reborn via a supernatural underwater cave, seeking vengeance in its new ghostly form.
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: Remember “Night Court’s” Richard Moll? He’s back, playing a lighthouse keeper who may hold the secret to the title character’s fate.
‘Snow Sharks’ AKA ‘Avalanche Sharks’
Just when you thought it was safe to sit on a chair lift …
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: Ghost sharks … again? The film isn’t an all-out spoof or a comedy. They want to scare us … with ghost sharks that stalk skiers. Good luck.
A team investigating global warming discovers a rare breed of shark that would terrify Al Gore.
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: The film’s opening minutes delivers the kind of mind-dead thrills you want in such fare. The acting won’t make you roll your eyes or wish for the sweet relief of death. It’s a slow slug from there, alas.
‘Three Headed Shark Attack’
What’s better than a 2-Headed Shark? This sequel has the answers. Except here’s a quick excerpt from the HorrorNews.net review: “Do not watch this movie. Ever. Review over.”
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: Mr Machete himself, Danny Trejo, joins the illustrious franchise and he’s armed to the teeth.
‘Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf’
You know it’s a Syfy joint based on the creative title alone. And it’s a sequel, following on the heels of “Sharktopus” and “Sharktopus vs. Pterodcuda.”
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: Unlike the aforementioned films, this shark-fest features several recognizable stars. Think Casper Van Diem of the mighty “Starship Troopers” and “Dynasty” alum Catherine Oxenberg.
‘Planet of the Sharks’
Global warming rears its ugly head, again, turning our beautiful planet into “Waterworld” … sans Kevin Costner. Sharks rule the planet in this cheap-o thriller, led by an alpha shark eager to be the Caesar of this new realm. The cast isn’t above dressing like extras from Costner’s infamous bomb, though.
Why It’s Shark-Riffic: The plot to save the day, and the world, is ludicrous even by shark movie standards. It involves a rocket, a volcano and more!
Dolph Lundgren is one of the biggest stars to grace a quickie shark flick, and if you read any of the reviews it’s a decision he instantly regretted. He plays an exotic animal dealer who deposits a shark in, yes, a lake, and then must deal with the repercussions later. The same is true for the poor saps swimming in said lake.
Why It’s Shark Riffic: It takes guts, no pun intended, to make a dull, dreary “Jaws” ripoff and actually evoke that classic movie directly. Yes, “Shark Lake” goes there, letting a character scream, “Everybody out of the water!”