Sunday, 27 September 2015



Yet again, yet again, yet another cheap CGI shark movie hits the shelves, and it's now reached the point where they're not even bothering to pretend they're not ripping Jaws at every opportunity. Play the CGI shark movie drinking game, by downing a tequila slammer every time someone drops an unnecessary Jaws reference, and you'll be passing out before you can say "you're gonna need a bigger boat". From "smile, you son of a bitch" to "beaches closed for 24 hours", and actually naming a character Sheriff Martin (after Martin Brody), such sub-Tarantino nerdy movie referencing demonstrates nothing other than the makers have actually seen Jaws several times.

What it emphatically fails to demonstrate, however, is that they've learned anything from watching Jaws several times. Things like acting, directing, character and effects work are all pretty functional and basic: they do the job and no more. If Ghost Shark is really no worse than Shark Attack 3, Shark In Venice, Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, Shark Night and the rest of the template quickies, it's scarcely significantly better, though it is certainly a lot sillier. This time around the shark is killed very quickly, but a mysterious cave brings it back as a translucent glowing blue spectre which can appear in any amount of water: a lavatory (obviously), a car wash, a swimming pool, a bath, a rainstorm...And only the town drunk (Richard Moll), crazed with guilt over the death of his wife, can save the town.

Making the shark into a ghost handily defuses one of the central objections to the last seventy-odd shark-based B-movies: that the shark effects are rubbish and look like they've been pasted in with Letraset transfers. Here it's not even supposed to look like a real shark, so why complain that it doesn't? Still, while it is obviously utter twaddle and no-one's idea of a great movie, it's good-natured and throwaway enough to prevent you getting too cross about, even though they kill off a surprising number of blameless children throughout which is usually a step too far over the bad taste line. The principal teens aren't hateful, events move along speedily enough to stop the movie getting dull, and it's only 84 minutes long which is exactly the right length for this sort of Friday night rental.

Really, the only problem with Ghost Shark is that it is just yet another silly CGI shark movie, and as long as people keep renting them, they'll keep making them, dropping sharks randomly into ever more unlikely scenarios. We've had Dinoshark, Sand Sharks, Sharknado, Two-Headed Shark Attack, Jurassic Shark... how long before Sharks In Space, Sharks In My Wardrobe and Once Upon A Shark In The West? Enough with the sharks, please: the well is long dry and it's really time to try something else.


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