Tuesday, November 28, 2006


This was a staggeringly wonderful movie. Or I guess it would have been, IF I HAD ACTUALLY GOTTEN TO SEE ANY RAGING SHARKS.

Let me start at the beginning. This deliciously unfortunate film was directed by Danny Lerner and released -- undoubtedly straight to video -- in 2005. I want to be honest with you, ladies. There are a lot of things to like about this film. To wit:

>> It stars Corin Nemec, all grown up. He looks great, despite an overt attempt to put us off. There is no other explanation for that limp, lifeless Peter Strauss hair and his character's decision to wear colors that make him look as sickly and greenish as a side of beef that's been soaking in a puddle too long. Only a really superior bone structure can stand up to this sort of abuse. And lucky for us, his acting is still a cut above.

>> Nemec stars opposite an actor named Binky Van Bilderbeek. 'Nuff said?

>> I love the fact that the whole story starts when the collision of two alien space freighters knocks a piece off their interstellar diesel generator, and causes the Sharks in the Bermuda Triangle to go batshit insane. The moviemakers just show you the accident...and forget all about it.

>> There is nothing more delicious than the idea that an alien diesel generator, leaking some kind of radioactive Tang crystals, makes all the Sharks in the area unite against all the humans. WE ARE ALREADY UNITED AGAINST YOU. GET THE IDEA? Oh, forget it, I could post it in every blog entry and they'd still NEVER LISTEN.

>> I also have to like the idea that the Sharks are, however unwittingly, in league with the aliens. It's a nice change from all this take-me-to-your-leader stuff. But here, too, they completely drop the ball. Once in a while a Shark puts the munch on someone, rather unexpectedly. Once in a while, the landscum get all in a lather about it. And then...they kind of forget about it again.

>> There is a potentially satisfying things-going-from-bad-to-worse storyline. I, personally, would like to see this many disasters happen to a human-made snooper station arrogantly built on territory they can never inhabit. I should say, territory they can never inhabit it until we finish turning them all into Tuna.

>> This film manages in a number of ways to be a lamer version of Deep Blue Sea. They tell the story of the Shark-related destruction of an undersea research station, and they manage to make it boring for a Fish to watch. The Sharks have little to do with the station's collapse, for one thing. Turns out the thing was never built to code, and they've missed three inspection dates. (Um...building codes for an undersea research station?) There's a government inspector striding around making dire comments about the future of the lab, which should have been laughable. But they managed to make this goofiness detract from the anxiety of knowing the Sharks have chewed through an important supply cable.

>> They even neglect to use any of the Stupid Shark Tricks from its parent film, like the backward swimming or the systematic flooding of the station, any of which would have made the movie drastically better.

>> Over and over the female lead points to a computer screen to make us look at the Raging Sharks. Every time she tells us about them, the wrongness deepens. We always see the same rather soothing film clip of a group of cartoon Sharks swimming along at a brisk, but by no means menacing, pace. OK, so the rage is where? They look like they're all going out for a sandwich.

>> Then she tells us that these are ALL SPECIES OF SHARKS schooling together unnaturally...COOPERATING. And she points out the same film clip on the same screen. Which is when we notice that the Sharks are all identical in size, shape and color. Could they not afford the extra expenditure to have the artist put a Dogfish next to a Wobbegong? (Of course, ALL Sharks ALWAYS cooperate, but they'll never figure THAT out.)

>> Next, we hear THEY'RE NOT BEHAVING LIKE ANY SHARKS WE'VE EVER SEEN. And she shows us the clip again. And we note that they're pretty much all swimming in one direction, peacefully, which you can see Sharks doing any day of the week. Hello? The whole movie goes on like this.

>> When the Sharks do kill someone, we really don't get to see enough. I feel sort of split down the middle about this. It cuts down on the anti-Shark propaganda out there, but still, I want to see some GUTS HIT THE WATER!

>> I need hardly point out that the cartoon Sharks are transparent. I would rather see a Shark film featuring vicious hand puppets than one with slow-moving, transparent frikkin' cartoons.

>> It filled me with this crazy delight when the building inspector whipped out a machine gun and started peppering the researchers with bullets. This is the same painful question we faced watching Creature From The Haunted Sea: where was he carrying the damn thing? He entered the research station wearing a wetsuit. He didn't even have a duffel bag.

>> It was fun watching the male and female leads re-enact the "I'll drown, and you'll revive me" scene from The Abyss. They managed to rob it of all dramatic tension. Incredible! Any operative worth her salt should feel a rush of triumph when a human drowns, and unconsciously crane her neck to see if she can spot the drowner's ka slithering away through the water like a frisky Eel...

There were just so many things wrong with this one. And so many of the wrongnesses were rather likeable. I did like this movie, but for all the wrong reasons. I hope you will, too.


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