TOP FIVE MEGA SHARKS

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Why are we so obsessed with sharks? Is it because we fear them? Because they are the top predator of a domain that we will never master?  As the oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface should they be considered the dominate species of planet earth?  Or is our relationship much more complex? Is it because we respect and even love them? Samoans have even worshipped them as Gods. That’s saying a lot ‘cus Somoans just don’t take shit for just anyone.

I think the real answer is simple: it’s because they’re fucking cool! And by the looks of it, cheap and easy to animate. That’s why we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to shark movies. So with that in mind I’m going to look at my Top 5 Mega Sharks. I need to point out that I’m going to be looking at the sharks themselves, not the films they feature in. The quality (or lack thereof) won’t factor into my rankings. So for that reason Jaws doesn’t make my list (it doesn’t even come close), nor Sharknado as it’s more than one shark.

 

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) -  Directed by Joseph Sargent.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) – Directed by Joseph Sargent.

Having his entire family killed off by the evil Brody family, Jaws the 4th takes to the waters to get revenge, and this time it’s personal. Seriously, that’s the actual tagline. Jaws the 4th is better than his forefathers for one reason: he gets the job done. It’s the shark that manages to kill Martin Brody (aka Roy Scheider). Granted it was an off-screen death that took place before the events of the film and its involvement in the killing is only alluded to. It was originally scripted to be on on-screen death but Roy Scheider had enough self-respect not to return to Amity for one final time. Jaws the 4th doesn’t stop there; it also kills Sean Brody (Martin’s youngest son) before going after the rest of the Brodies.

The most remarkable thing about Jaws the 4th isn’t the fact that it can roar like a lion, it’s that it was able to surmise that the Brody family was relocating to the Bahamas; then follow their plane there. How on earth did Jaws the 4th work out they were moving? Did it overhear a conversation, or does it possess extra-sensory perception? We may never know. Jaws the 4th is clearly the mightiest of all the Jaws’ (let’s just ignore the fact that it gets killed by a middle aged woman).

 

Sharktopus (2010) - Directed by Declan O'Brien.

Sharktopus (2010) – Directed by Declan O’Brien.

Roger Corman has built a career on shamelessly exploiting trends. Nothing is off limits whether it is world events, War of the Satellites; literature, House of Usher; or big budget Hollywood films, Carnosaurs. For the most part his titles are lurid, draped with sex and violence, but lately he’s taken a different approach. Instead of going for the lowest common denominator, he’s offering up irony. It started off innocently enough with Dinocroc, then Supergator, then DinoShark, the Dinocroc vs. Supergator, but things really began to take off with Sharktopus. It’s a title so fucking silly it dares you to watch it to see if it can live up to its own absurdity. Its success has defied logic (and taste) and has spawned a non-stop flow of imitations.

So how does Sharktopus rank as a shark? It’s okay but nothing spectacular. Sharktopus ranks higher than Jaws the 4th because in the first scene it kills a shark which we’re led to believe is Jaws (the 5th, no doubt). Other than Sharktopus has all your ‘stock standard kills’ you’d expect from a movie like this.

 

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) -  Directed by David Worth.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) – Directed by David Worth.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is to made-for-tv shark attack movies, what Jaws is to good movies. It was the first of its kind. It showed everyone what a little imagination, less money and fewer CGI skills can accomplish.

If you’ve been on the internet, no doubt you’ve seen at least one of these two clips. The first one involves John Barrowman (years before he became Captain Jack Harkness) seducing the love interest of the film. Barrowman – clearly bored of his dire dialogue – ad-libbed the following line “How about I take you home and eat out your pussy”. Hilarious!

The second one involves Megalodon popping up out of the water and swallowing a man on a jet ski in one gulp. It’s obvious to anyone who watches it, that the Megalodon is just a regular shark popping up out of the water in slow motion, and that the man on the jet ski has been awkwardly shrunk down to create the shot.

The use of stock footage might also explain why Megalodon doesn’t keep a consistent proportion. Screw it, I’ve decided that it has nothing to do with the stock footage and it’s just one of his shark-superpowers.

 

Super Shark (2011) - Directed by Fred Olen Ray.

Super Shark (2011) – Directed by Fred Olen Ray.

While being the least well known Shark on this list, it’s my personal favourite.  It’s such an odd and fun combination of beach party, shark attack and blaxploitation movie, all in one. Super Shark is like Shaft if he was trapped inside a shark’s body. This is due largely to ultra-funky theme song by Harvey Scales. How can’t you love a song that has lyrics like this “A Whale of a Killer, He Makes Jaws Look Like Flipper – Super Shark!”.

What makes Super Shark really stand out is that it has a kung-fu fight (of sorts) with a mechanized army tank with legs, and of course all of this takes place on land, but what else have we come to expect. The film itself is extremely fun, and it’s worth checking out.

 

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (Video 2009) - Directed by Jack Perez.

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (Video 2009) – Directed by Jack Perez.

With only two movies under its fins, Mega Shark has created an unparalleled amount of destruction.   It’s ripped a Boeing 717 out of the sky, snacked on the golden gate bridge, and totalled parts of Miami and the entire Panama Canal. It’s taken on everything the navy can throw at it, plus it killed a Giant Octopus and a Crocosaurus.

There isn’t a lot more to say than that. Mega Sharks’ body of work speaks for itself.  Mega Shark will be returning one last time when it faces Mecha Shark.

 

 

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