Sharktopus (2010)

Syfy original movies are always an unintentionally hilarious treat and the aptly titled Sharktopus is no exception. With a name like that you just know you’re in for something special. What is a sharktopus, you ask? Why, it’s a genetically engineered half shark, half octopus, of course. And what does a thirty foot, eight-tentacled, dorsal-finned sea monster like to do most? If you guessed eat bikini babes and make me laugh and yawn at the same time, you are a winner.

The story: Sharktopus begins at the beach with a ballsy reference to Jaws: a bikini-clad hussy trots into the surf and goes for a swim on a sunny afternoon. The combination of her leaving a friend behind on the beach and the ensuing vertical underwater camera angles combine both the famous opening sequence of Spielberg’s action-horror masterpiece and the death of little Alex Kintner. It struck me as terribly unwise to so blatantly compare this shit show with one of the greatest movies of all time, but I got a nice little surprise when the dorsal fin headed toward bikini babe #1 was not, in fact, Sharktopus. As she paddles away in terror, the pursuing ordinary shark is neatly devoured by the real monster. It was a playful, intelligent wink, and far craftier than I would have expected, even though it would be impossible for Sharktopus to one-up Jaws (or any movie, for that matter) the way its titular monster just cannibalized its prey.

Somewhere, Ed Wood is smiling.

Of course even that meager bit of promise is short-lived. After blowing its wad by showing a full-on money shot of the entire beast in the first five minutes (and displaying the patented Syfy “look what my kid did with his computer” CG effects), Sharktopus cuts to a crew member’s garage state-of-the-art research laboratory where (a hopefully drunk and well paid) Eric Roberts and his impossibly gorgeous scientist daughter are demonstrating how the creature is controlled. But alas their prized creation gets too close to a speedboat and breaks its biofeedback thingy. When the blinking red light on the giant dog collar goes out, we know Sharktopus is off the chain. Or something.

Sharktopus heads to Mexico (ostensibly because that’s where the producers wanted to vacation for a few weeks), precisely where Andy Flynn, an ex-military former employee of Sharktopus’s engineers, just happens to be whooping it up. Flynn, all of 25 and already “retired”, is the only man in the world who knows the local waters and has the experience (from the Iraq war, mind you, where deep-sea diving skills were crucial) necessary to capture the frenzied fish.

We're gonna need a bigger budget.

From there it’s scene after scene of random, unconnected extras finding ever more ludicrous ways of placing themselves in the path of Sharktopus’s jaws and tentacles: be it fishing, jet skiing, rope swinging or bungee jumping. Not that it matters because about halfway through the movie, Sharktopus hauls itself out of the water and starts walking around, eating cars and such. The final half hour is spent watching Flynn and science babe chase this giant shark/octopus/spider thing through a Mexican resort. At least that’s where it seemed to be going before I hit myself in the head with a brick.

Biggest letdown: If your expectations are less than none, you can’t be let down. So I think I’ll use this space to ask a question of Syfy: what the fuck you guys? Your rabidly devoted target audience gets off on special effects, gore and explosions. Give us SOMETHING. Even with the horrendous dialogue and utter lack of direction, some believable effects might make this garbage halfway watchable. On second thought, when you consider the fake-boobed M.I.T. marine biologist who has to ask what chumming is, maybe not.

Just wait 'til I learn to FLY.

Why you should watch: The official Sharktopus drinking game! Any time Andy and his incomprehensible sidekick, Santos, reminisce about “the old days” (when they would have been about twelve), or any time Nicole delivers expert sharktopological analysis (“I know octopi like big rocks!”), or any time Sharktopus hops around on land like a sentinel from The Matrix, take a shot. You will drink, you will laugh, you will die of alcohol poisoning.

Memorable Moment: Here’s a fine example of what we’re dealing with: crack reporter Stacy Everheart is trying to convince beach bum Pez to give her the scoop on his Skarktopus sighting. He’s too afraid to say anything and flatly refuses. But his fearful resolve melts and greed takes over when the smirking news babe counts off a whopping half-dozen twenty peso notes. That’s like nine bucks, yo.

Choice quote: “What is that?” “Ink!” “Oh god, no.”

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10 Responses to “Sharktopus (2010)”

  1. Bob McClure Says:

    Haha…no way, Sharktopus! Hahaha….that’s awesome. Is it anything close to Piranha 3D?!?! In case you’re interested in the REAL sharktopus…look no further than…MALAYSIA!!

    The Underwater Times: http://www.underwatertimes.com/news.php?article_id=73210864950

    • i would pay extra for mutant fish. haven’t seen P3D yet but i’m looking forward to it. speaking of 3D, come on back around noon on saturday and i’ll have a little extradimensional fun on tap.

  2. while i’m not so interested in alcohol poisoning or watching the main character eat cars, i love the name. i could say it over and over and over again. sharktopus, sharktopus, sharktopus.

  3. […] gem, which will hopefully find enough financing to earn its place on my shelf of shame next to Sharktopus. (For the record, Sasquatch would totally crush Yeti in a fight, unless the fight takes place in […]

  4. […] Sharktopus – Play the official drinking game at your own risk. […]

  5. […] McClure’s blend makes for the finest of Bloody Mary experiences, perfect for this most terrifying of months. Might I suggest combining with the Official Sharktopus Drinking Game? […]

  6. […] stinkers to lighten the mood (though it’s hard to imagine anything topping the mighty Sharktopus in that regard). My hope is that everyone who reads this (both of you) will come away with a few […]

  7. […] a year I like to pick something awful and make fun of it. Two years ago I did Sharktopus and it was MIGHTY. Last year it was this big budget train wreck. For 2012 I went back for another […]

  8. […] was so horrible I couldn’t get past the first ten minutes, and I made it all the way through Sharktopus. It’s a shame vaguely similar backdrops and proximate release dates make it seem like Black […]

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