Sometimes a movie is so bad that it seems to make the whole world take notice. There’s Manos: Hands of Fate, Plan Nine From Outer Space, uhm, some other awful movies. And then The Asylum came along and decided to make Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus. People either love or hate The Asylum and their shameless rip-offs. Personally, I love them although I know exactly what to expect from them–lots of sweaty over-acting and CGI that wouldn’t cut the mustard in a General’s car insurance ad. I guess that I’d be pissed if I picked up Transmorphers instead of Transformers or The Terminators instead of Terminator.
A particular love of mine is killer-animal movies. You know this if you read my reviews of every single Jaws sequel. Or Bug. I would stop what I was doing whenevr Orka or Frogs came on AMC. So I was super excited for Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus. And the results left me not so much angry, just disappointed.
The hero of the movie is Debbie Gibson, erm. Emma MacNeill, a science woman who likes to steal experimental submarines.
Her job seems to be to drive around and look vacant. While driving around the Arctic and observing stock footage of hammerhead sharks, Emma and her comic-relief navigator come across a pod of whales killing themselves against an iceberg. At the same time, a helicopter drops a sonar transmitter into the water and then crashes into the glacier. This frees the mega shark and the giant octopus from their icy prisons. They instantly rampage across the ocean. This is why mega sharks and giant octopi get such bad reputations.
Mega shark somehow jumps tens of thousands of feet into the air to eat a commercial airliner.
Meanwhile, giant octopus attacks a misspelled oil rig off of the coast of Japan.
The octopus just looks so weary, it makes me a little sad.
Anyway, Emma is fired from her sciencing job for grand theft sub. She teams up with her old professor, an intermittenly Irish man, to investigate a mysterious tooth found in a whale carcass. The pair of them are joined by Dr. Seiji Shimada, a scientist trying to figure out what destroyed the drilling platform. I’m guessing the platform killed itself out of shame for being named “Kobayshi,” which isn’t a Japanese word. The three are kidnapped by Lorenzo Lamas, who’s on the hunt for the killers of his, I mean, he’s an oily Army jerk. Together, the three do loads of science shit together.
I love/hate movie science. Most of their experiments consist of mixing colored liquids together and seeing what happens, which is hilarious. That’s totally what happens in a lab! It simultaneously cracks me up and, as a big-time science geek, makes me angry. It’s why I’ll probably never see Avatar, despite my sudden Terra Nova-based fan-geekery of Stephen Lang. You mean to tell me that aliens on a distant planet evolved to be somewhat mammalian with basically the same body plan as humans? And we can communicate with them? Pfft, we can’t even communicate with ants, chimpanzees, or dolphins and they’re intelligent and evolved on the same planet as us. *Grumbles*
Anysciencerantway, Emma awkwardly kisses Dr. Shimada, despite the fact that her professor is still in the room. They then go and have awkward sex in a supply closet. Their post-coitus cuddling gives them the idea to lure the mega shark and giant octopus to shallow waters using pheromones.
And, surprisingly, this is when the movie becomes a clusterfuck. Because there’s very little shark or octopus shenanigans and the rest of the movie consists of them in a submarine. Debbie Gibson looks concerned, Lorenzo Lamas looks embarrassed and scowls, and there’s a weird breakdown by the sub’s pilot who suddenly pulls a gun on the captain of the sub.
For me, that’s the main problem with this movie. I can deal with the weird music, the bad science, the fact that it flashbacks to things that happened minutes ago, and how it occasionally switches to black and white for no reason. But, if you’re going to call your movie Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus, there had better be lots of damn mega shark and giant octopus shenanigans. There just isn’t enough cephalapod action. Damnit, octopi are really smart in real life. There are videos of them escaping their tanks in laboratories. So octopus should be wreaking way more havoc than he did. Paint the ocean red with their carnage. But don’t give me terrible character actors locked in a sub. The second crime of Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus is its recycling of shots over and over and over again.
See this picture?
Get used to it, because you will see this every time the shark attacks.
Am I saying this movie isn’t worth it? NO! I am not saying this at all. While the performances are pretty awful, this is a fan, campy movie. Honestly, I think that Debbie Gibson’s performance isn’t terrible. It’s painfully earnest, which I honestly prefer sometimes to the wink and smile of people who are too cool for school. I’m not too cool for anything so, there you go. There are moments that will make you laugh and scream “WHAT!?” It’s definitely more fun to watch it with a friend. My roommate’s favorite part in this movie is when mega shark eats a battle ship and a submarine and an airplane and the Golden Gate Bridge in the span of about five minutes. My favorite part is when a guy looks out an airplane window and, in the best line read ever in all of theaterdom, shouts out “Holy shit!” as mega shark defies gravity and eats an airplane. This guy’s eyes get all googly and his neck juts out, he’s definitely not smizing.
So, while far from perfect, Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus is a perfect way to waste an hour and a half.