Fantastic Fest 2010: Sharktopus
[It should be noted that this is a review of the screener that the SyFy network sent me prior to its screening last night as part of Fantastic Fest and their presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to producer Roger Corman]
Eric Roberts' character heads a bio genetics lab that has successfully crossed the DNA of a shark and an octopus, creating the genetic hybrid... wait for it... SHARKTOPUS!!! This project, S 11, has been funded by the military and when the film opens they are running S 11 through its final testing stage. Everyone is a little over ambitious about proving the project is successful and they lose control of the creature. It then begins a murderous descent along the Pacific coast into the resort areas of Mexico and starts picking off tourists. Because it can.
Eric Roberts gets the plum role in the film. He sits on a massive yacht. He gets drunk on scotch. He mouths off to his military backers. I imagine that other than sitting on a massive yacht this is just like your average day in the life of Eric Roberts. Oh, and watch for the cameo by producer Roger Corman.
Sharktopus is that kind of movie where the Mariachi music cue almost certainly means that on screen carnage is imminent. Either the S 11 is drawn to the sight of scintillating flesh or he simply isn't a music lover but he cannot determine who is playing the Vihuela or Guitarrón so he'll keep killing anyone in his path until the music dies. Maybe he just hates resorts.
Get to the kills! Get to the kills! Without giving the great ones away I will ensure that there will be some that probably got cheers and boisterous laughs out of the audience. If you are on the end of a rope or a tether you're simply bait for Sharktopus. You are the worm on the proverbial hook, shark bait. Other than that the kills are quite comical and are so easy to do that you can pull them off at home. But make sure you're at home first before trying this, lest you try this in public and everyone around you thinks you're mad or being attacked by bees. Ready? Here we go. Stand up. Raise your arms in the air. Then spin around a couple times and yell 'waugh'. That's it. To add a little variety stand at the edge of you bed. Follow steps one through three then add a fourth step where you bend at the waste and fall back onto your bed. You've just been pulled off a boat my friend! Computer software will take care of the rest.
Director Declan O'Brien has already turned out three monster type flicks for SyFy since 2008, one of those with Roberts, so he's pretty established in the SyFy pattern of filmmaking- cheap thrills on a meager budget. I especially like the part when gun for hire, Andy Flynn, is found living it up in Mexico. The first shot we see of him holding his breath underwater at a resort pool and when he surfaces he is wearing a Sombrero! Mike LacLean has a couple screenplays under his belt but has a long way to go before he can deliver anything of any significance. The story is standard, the dialogue is at points laughed at and borders on absurdity. The effects are modest. But let's get to the point here. This is a SyFy weekend movie production playing in front of a very learned, discriminating and knowledgable audience. This was meant to be low brow gap in your weekend filler entertainment. Move along.