Monday, August 5, 2013

Horror Marathon: Shark Week Edition

This Sunday marked the beginning of a beloved annual Discovery Channel tradition: Shark Week. I myself am not necessarily a shark enthusiast, but I would have loved to check some of it out... if Comcast, slimy bastards that they are, had not taken away the few remaining cable channels that I actually gave a damn about. I'm not entirely sure I still have enough channels for it to qualify as cable, but they still keep charging me for it every month like clockwork. (If there's any justice in the world, someone from Comcast will read this and do something to sway my increasingly plummeting opinion of their service, which I am eager to drop completely.)

So instead, I'll have to make do with whatever content Discovery puts on their website. I also took it upon myself to have a bit of a shark marathon over the weekend, to get in the mood. Creature features are not my forte in the genre, they either have to be really good, or really funny to keep my interest. Out of the four films I chose, I had only seen JAWS once before. All things considered, it didn't turn out too bad. I came out with one great film, one surprisingly decent film, and two that I feel dumber for having watched.

JAWS (1975)

Starring Richard Dreyfuss as: The Shark Nerd. I don't think I need to walk you through this one, I'm sure most of the people reading this have seen it, or are at least familiar enough with the plot. If you haven't seen it, I'm not going to chastise you; I only watched it for the first time within the last couple years, myself. It's okay, I understand. But it is held in high regard for a reason, so when the mood strikes you, I wouldn't hesitate. The clever dialogue and excellent characters are worth it. If you're already a JAWS fan, you absolutely must watch this 30 Second Bunnies version. It's a riot.


Come on, I thought. It can't be as bad as I'd heard. Samuel L. Jackson is in it. That has to help, right? Friends, I was wrong. It can be that bad. I judge movies like this based on how early I have my "bullshit" moment. As in, "Oh COME ON! That's BULLSHIT!" It came surprisingly early. I would also suggest that comparing this to JAWS shows the precise benefits of practical versus computer generated effects. It was like JAWS and JURASSIC PARK had a baby with some key genes missing. Oh, and that baby is super religious, by the way. I'm not super excited about the two men with serious leg wounds surviving while all the ladies perished, either.

BAIT (2012)

I think this film has gotten a worse rap than it deserves from some viewers, considering the fact that it's rated lower than DEEP BLUE SEA on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. It's actually not that bad, and I would recommend watching it without reading any reviews first. It doesn't even come close to JAWS, and it suffers from the same issue DEEP BLUE SEA did, combining influences from both JAWS and- I assume- THE MIST, but it held my attention. Some of the slow-motion action shots are ridiculous, and I had my doubts about the physics of a couple of scenes, but it was pretty suspenseful. I think it helped that there was an actual natural disaster threatening the characters in addition to the sharks. I hope more people give this a chance.


My curiosity at seeing Jaleel White was not worth the IQ points I lost watching this in combination with DEEP BLUE SEA within the same 48 hours. I knew it would be bad, but I didn't think it would be this bad. In my notes, I literally wrote "I really wish I wasn't watching this right now." I don't know how many more ways I can recommend that you not watch this movie.

I'm going to go have MEGASHARK VS. CROCOSAURUS scrubbed from my memory, but Happy Shark Week 2013, and remember: Don't watch MEGASHARK VS. CROCOSAURUS. Seriously.

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