By T. Walters
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
Directed by Jack Perez
Starring Deborah Gibson, Lorenzo Lamas, Vic Chao, Sean Lawlor, Stephen Blackehart
Asylum Home Entertainment
Release date: May 26, 2009
A few weeks ago, an absolutely insane movie trailer was unleashed upon the world. A trailer that, among other things, featured a GIANT shark eating a passenger plane and a GIANT octopus doing some other crazy shit that no one could even comprehend. The film in question? The Asylumâ€™s Mega Shark VS. Giant Octopus.
With over two million views on YouTube and MTVâ€™s website combined, MSVGO is the Asylumâ€™s most anticipated release to date. Coming from a company that has released such knock-offs as Transmorphers and The Da Vinci Treasure, this mockbuster-making group of â€œfilmmakersâ€ has clearly begun to take pride in their reputation as the go-to guys when you want a movie that is â€œso bad itâ€™s good.â€
But is the film worth all of the hype? Is the relatively small internet buzz behind this like a mini Snakes on a Plane? Yes and no. Let me break it down…
I donâ€™t know how else to explain my feelings for the downright misuse of the word â€œactorsâ€ that was unceremoniously used to describe the people in front of the cameras while this movie was filming, so let me give you an abridged version of what I believe to be the dialogue that the director managed to gurgle from his drooling mouth to three of the stars of the movie before shooting a specific scene:
(Setting: â€œlaboratoryâ€ â€“ Beakers, test tubes, and other science-themed shit sits out on tables as our three main characters don lab coats. Anyone with a half-functioning brainstem can see that they are in a lab with chemicals and other such things.)
Director: Okay guys, for this scene, you are going to dump this liquid [that is clearly just colored water] into that liquid [again, colored water], and pretend to be disappointed when you donâ€™t get a reaction from mixing said colored waters [besides making a different colored water]. Weâ€™ll shoot fourteen different variations of this scene and put them together in a montage that shows you failing multiple times to give the members of our audience ample time to realize that no, you are not succeeding in the science-based task that you were assigned.
Yes, itâ€™s that bad.
I also noticed that every single member of the army (American AND Japanese) carries around an automatic rifle and wears Oakley sunglasses (even when inside of a dark submarine). Oh, and apparently every member of the Japanese Navy speaks perfect English. Who knew?
In the opening of the movie, Deborah Gibsonâ€™s character is piloting a small submarine in some area with ice and shit (â€œto the Northâ€ as they later say) as a government-sanctioned helicopter flies overhead. Turns out the government is trying out some sort of weird illegal sonar device, and Gibsonâ€™s sub is in the middle of it all. But thatâ€™s not the point. While the helicopter is flying overhead, we hear the pilot talking to someone at his home base about what he is about to do. I shit you not, these are the words that come out of his mouth:
Pilot: You know that if anyone finds out about this, the government will deny it ever existed, right?
First of all, WHO SAYS THAT? EVER? You are on a super-secret mission, you moron. Of course the government would deny it. Even if it wasnâ€™t secret, theyâ€™d probably deny it, because thatâ€™s what governments do. They deny things!
Second, why would they include this dialogue in this specific movie? Fuck a plot, just give me giant monsters fighting and shit. After the title, the script basically writes itself (or so I would think).
Oh, and I think the script given to Lorenzo Lamas (who plays the â€œtough as nailsâ€ government dude) just said:
“Hey, Lorenzo. All we need you to do is look angry, say â€œshitâ€ a lot, and spew some racist comments to the Japanese guy over there. Okay? Your cookie basket is in the mail.”
As for the rest of the dialogue, itâ€™s campy, stupid, and gets on your nerves really easily. Go figure.
I was hesitant about using the â€œspecial effectsâ€ header for this section, because the effects used in this movie arenâ€™t exactly extraordinary. I canâ€™t say that I expected the effects to be top-notch, but it seems like I could have made more realistic monsters myself using a lump of clay and a degree in stop-motion animation.
I also noticed that The Asylum cut corners wherever possible. During one scene, the shark attacks a Naval battleship of some sort, and the animation of the sharkâ€™s fin coming out of the water as it approaches the ship was used, re-used, and used again in between shots of the shipâ€™s commander gasping and widening his eyes. Iâ€™m not one to nit-pick low budget movies, but they used the SAME FUCKING SHOT THREE TIMES IN A TEN SECOND PERIOD. What they least they could have done was kept the shark fin coming out of the water and pasted the ship closer to it so it at least LOOKED like the shark was swimming towards it.
But my favorite rehash of an already used clip happens near the end, when the two beasts have their inevitable final fight. I donâ€™t want to spoil it, but let me just say that giant octopi do NOT have instant limb regenerating power as MSVGO would have you believe. I donâ€™t study giant octopi or anything, or claim to be knowledgeable on the subject but COME ON.
If you are a fan of The Asylumâ€™s past releases, or appreciate the films of director hacks such as Uwe Boll, Mega Shark VS. Giant Octopus is right up your alley. Otherwise, itâ€™s just a campy, low-budget film starring a washed up 80â€™s teen pop idol, and directed by a dude named Jack Perez who wants to be called Ace Hannah for some strange reason (heâ€™s probably a huge tool). Other than that, A+!