Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, 2009.
Directed by Jack Perez (as Ace Hannah).
Starring Deborah Gibson, Lorenzo Lamas, Vic Chao, Sean Lawlor and Jay Beyers.
When two enormous prehistoric creatures contend for supremacy of the sea, the California coast becomes the setting for a showdown that’s been centuries in the making.
When you give your film a name like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and your premise is that a really big shark and a really big octopus were frozen for millions of years and have now unfrozen so they can finish their fight in our time, you’d think you wouldn’t take it too seriously. I know I wouldn’t.
But The Asylum appear to be taking this film seriously. It’s almost unbelievable to watch. Not one hint of irony about the whole thing, not one slither of self parody, just a big lump of terrible film. And that is just the start of their problems.
It’s not the most professional thing for me to do, but I’m going to compare this film to better films in order to show exactly where they went wrong.
Remember in It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) where the mutated octopus attacks the Golden Gate Bridge? Remember how that was built up to be an amazing spectacle? How they gradually built it up and then showed just how devastating the beast truly was? How we had to sit through the slow destruction of a well known landmark making it all the more effective? Well the producers of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus have either not seen the film or felt like copying it. If it’s the former, then shame on them for not researching previous monster movies. And if it’s the latter, which I suspect, then they did a dreadful job of copying it.
I’ve not seen the “script”, but I imagine that scene looked like this:
EXT. SEA – DAY
The Shark swims towards the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE.
INT. ARMY BASE – DAY
A guy on a radar points at it.
Oh my god! He’s heading for the bridge!
EXT. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
The Shark jumps up and bites the bridge.
INT. ARMY BASE – DAY
They all look sad.
That’s it. An iconic scene from the Ray Harryhausen back catalogue copied poorly and butchered by a bunch of amateur hacks in about 4 shots. This is common with all of the destruction scenes in the film. In one scene, the octopus destroys an oil rig, but you would barely know because it’s skipped over so quickly and badly edited.
Remember how in Freddy vs. Jason (Yu, 2003) where they spent the entire movie building up to the final showdown between the two characters that feature in the title of the film? Remember how they spent a lot of time on that fight so the people got exactly what they paid to see? Well, it seems the Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus team didn’t get that memo on how to build up anticipation.
Our title characters are frozen mid-fight millions of years ago. They then get unfrozen in our time. You’d have thought they’d have come out with their gloves on ready for round 2. But it takes almost the entire movie for the scientists (they must be scientists, they’re wearing lab coats) to work out that in order to defeat them, they should make them fight each other. So instead of building up to a final showdown, we just get various piss poor set pieces of the two giants destroying various things with various bad CG shots that culminate in a terrible fight scene.
The fight scene itself can also be summed up in a short number of shots. I won’t bother scripting it out because I don’t think they did. But it’s over in a couple of moves and all those moves are the same. It’s really bad.
Remember how in Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975) the premise of the film was a giant monster fighting a giant robot version of himself? Remember how that could have appeared really silly but they made up for it by having an interesting and intriguing subplot that built up the main plot to be more credible? Well, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus does a similar thing.
I’m joking. They did nothing of the sort. Because this film is awful.
It has one plot that moves along at the pace of a legless man in a 100 meter dash. It’s so boring and laborious that it’s hard to even write about. The plot isn’t all that engaging and the terrible acting and script do nothing to help it.
But what really grinds my gears is still that the film appears to be taking itself seriously. C’mon! You’re film is called Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. You are not making Ben Hur (1959). You didn’t see the makers of Snakes on a Plane (2006) or Eight Legged Freaks (2002) pulling this kind of brain dead stunt did you? No. Because they knew that they were making a cheeky little monster movie with their tongues placed firmly in their cheeks. These morons appear have their heads stuck up their own arses.
This film is horrible. It’s boring, the story sucks, the action is rubbish, the CGI is horrendous, the acting is atrocious, the soundtrack is lame, the camera work is awful, the editing is terrible, the direction is non-existence and the overall presentation is abysmal. Avoid at all costs.
“Welcome to prime time bitch!” – Freddy Krueger, Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors (Russell, 1987)