Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.
WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.
Japan Cinema Association presents Shark, a movie as riveting and unique as its title. As the credits wash across the screen in rippling water font, director Zac Reeder reminds to us that, yes, this movie has to do with water. The credits end with an ominous warning that this film is inspired by a true story, meaning that at one time, somewhere, someone was bitten by a shark.
The movie opens with our lead character, a Stellen Skarsgard look-alike man whom we can call Bland Professor. BP is barely reacting to a flat tire that will damningly prevent him from fishing with one of his students. After he informs Student via a phone conversation dripping with odd sexual tension, (male) Student descends to the "river" anyway, which appears to be no more than a man-made hole to collect rainwater and sewer run-off, to do some serious fly fishing.
As Student wades in the water, my heart breaks out in palpitations as a way-too-thick shark fin, white and leaning to one side, cuts through the water. The student is splashed with water, which is supposed to simulate an attack, I guess.
Meanwhile, Bland Professor forces his son, who looks 30 but isn't old enough to drive, to fix the flat tire all the while standing uncomfortably close to him. Son bitterly performs this task, letting us, the intrigued audience, know that him and dad don’t really get along.
Later, in his classroom, Bland Professor lectures boringly on the ocean, as the audio for this film is simultaneously recorded in someone's washing machine.
|The entire budget for the film was spent on a "realistic" |
shark fin, which was later lost and replaced with
this old lawnmower blade.
Bland Professor then descends to the river where his student was killed and deduces that the attack was caused by "a mountain lion…in the water." Many other things are said, and many other things are impossible to decipher.
Some time later, we find ourselves in an institutional-looking room, with two guys sitting, talking, and monitoring things, whose job it seems is to sit around, talk, and monitor things.
A warning siren goes off, and one of them leaves, interrupting their audibly incoherent conversation of:
GUY # 1: Beerrmmmhh...buhh...gates...
GUY # 2: Himmmmmm...berrmennn...feeehh...
GUY # 1: HA HA HA! Farrrmmmm...
Guy # 1 gets in the water outside of the white room to fix a gate, and guess what? Instantly eaten like the last clam at a clam-lover's free all-you-can-eat buffet of clams.
But enough of that scene.
Drunken Man, sitting by the water, sees a shark fin. He quickly runs into a bar and shouts, drunkenly, "I just saw a shark! I swear!" And then he's verbally berated for roughly three hours. Drunk Man leaves to be dumb, drunk, and unbelieved.
Meanwhile, Bland Professor is seriously having a hard time dealing with the death of Student, what with his constant sobbing and pounding of flat surfaces. Later, he hooks up with Town Cop to debate Town Cop's idea that Student was actually killed by a shark, and not a mountain lion. Bland Professor scoffs, insinuating a boy killed in a river was more plausibly attacked by a mountain lion than by a man-eating predator that lives in water.
Also, it should be noted that after Bland Professor realizes that it WAS a shark that killed Student, his knowledge of shark breeds that are capable of traveling up-river becomes immaculately in-depth later when trying to convince other people.
Bland Professor wanders around town, throws stones, and does some serious thinking. He comes across Drunken Man who saw the shark, claiming that the "huge shark" that swam by him must've been "at least ten feet" which is unmiraculously average for a great white. And just when you think you can't take any more excitement, we cut to fat men on water skis.
One of these fat men falls victim to thrashing bubbles and quick stock footage shots of sharks, resulting in just one of the few very bland deaths in the film. In fact, Shark holds the all-time record for having the most uninteresting and unviolent shark attacks ever dedicated to celluloid, and also the worst quality digital video and the worst audio sound scape in existence. Seriously, that douche bag who cried about Britney Spears on Youtube had better equipment than these windowlickers.
Bland Professor grows bitter over his inability to stop these attacks, forcing him to deal with flash backs involving a giant black shadow of a father, telling him that he has to go away. Does this inner conflict of the missing father add to the story in any significant way?
Do you see the correlation?
No. At least I don’t. And even if you had heard of this movie, I’m betting you wouldn’t, either.
The long-lost father subplot is not at all important, or necessary. And don't worry, this will be the only time the filmmakers attempt to give any character any sort of development, for shadow man is never seen again.
|"Say, Hank...you ever think about...joining softball?"|
Another attack takes place on the river. A nearby cop takes aim and shoots at the shark during the day...while another nearby cop in a patrol car reacts to the gunshot with a quick head-turn...at night.
In a terrible ending to reign supreme in the kingdom of all terrible endings, Bland Professor, Town Cop, and Drunken Guy throw a jug of gasoline into the water, wait for the shark to swim past it, and then they shoot it and blow the shark up.
What's funny (in the angering way that these assholes actually have a movie in distribution) is when the gasoline jug is floating on top of the water, it's very clear that the jug is empty, and when the shark blows up, the explosion rockets shark bits at the screen with all the legitimacy of a sequence from The Sims. It's one of the fakest explosions I've ever seen in a film.
Also, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
And I've seen Van Helsing.