Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (Review)

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Directed by Ace Hannah (who may or may not be Jack Perez)

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus exploded on the internet with a title. Buzz grew, because, what a title! Then production art and a few stills appeared, and finally, a trailer that became a viral hit. So here it is! As the film is from The Asylum, who has become famous in recent years due to their mockbusters (such as Transmorphers, Dragon, and The Terminators) which have a sketchy history, thus people were wondering if they could pull of a film with a title as great as Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. I am happy to say the film is not terrible. It is not boring. It could be better, but it is very good considering. There are plenty of ridiculous scenes, and they make the movie.

Why bother writing a big opening statement when everyone just wants to get to the monster action? So let’s get it on! The rumble in the jung—ocean. The motion in the ocean? Who cares, giant monsters fight each other and destroy things! Rock!

Dr. Emma MacNeil (Deborah Gibson) – Marine biologist, oceanographer, minisub pilot, and dedicated researcher who discovers the truth about a giant shark attacking things. And also about a giant octopus. If you don’t know who Debbie Gibson is, you are either way younger than me, or way older.
Dr. Lamar Sanders (Sean Lawlor) – Is Irish, but not named O’Sanders. Dr. Emma MacNeil’s mentor, and also a brilliant researcher in the field of Kool Aid mixing.
Dr. Seiji Shimada (Vic Chao) – Dr. Shimada is a Japanese scientist who is the one who uncovers the giant octopus attacks on his home country, along with working with overseas colleagues to find out two monsters are on the loose. He also gets to be Debbie Gibson’s lover, smashing Asian male stereotypes upside the head. Vic Chao has an amusing IMDB page and was on American Gladiators. He spends most of the film channeling George Takei.
Allan Baxter (Lorenzo Lamas) – Allan Baxter is a jerk and an equal opportunity racist. He works for the government, so you pay his salary. He heads the government’s task force to destroy the monsters. Lorenzo Lamas does a good job playing a complete jackoff.
Mega Shark (CGI) – Mega Shark is a Megalodon who is frozen in ice while battling his mortal enemy, giant octopus. Mega shark likes to eat bridges, jump out of the ocean and bite airliners, snack on submarines, and especially to destroy battleships.
Giant Octopus (CGI) – A giant octopus who was also trapped in ice. The giant tentacled monster heads towards Japan (no surprise), destroys oil rigs, looks at people, swats jets, and toys around with submarines. Fights his mortal enemy mega shark to the death.

Let’s all go to the Alaskan coast, where Debbie Gibson is chillin’ in a minisub with stock footage of sea life all around her. She is chasing CGI whales, and finds a big pod of them, except, trouble arrives. It takes the form of secret illegal sonar the navy is also testing, which causes the whales to go whale crazy and start ramming ice shelves. Debbie Gibson is ticked off! Never tick off a Marine Biologist, I should know, I work with them was technically one for a few years. The ice ramming somehow kills the helicopter pilot (he is the worst movie helicopter pilot yet!) and reveals a frozen mega shark and giant octopus, who are then broken free and begin to swim off!

We have our title characters!

The giant octopus gets right to work and rips apart an oil rig in Japan! Who wouldn’t have guessed the giant tentacled monster heads to Japan? Back in the US of A, there is a dead whale on the shore. Debbie is there and getting yelled at by her boss for stealing the minisub and damaging it. She notices giant teeth marks on the dead whale, but is ignored. Since she knows she is gonna get fired in the morning, she sneaks a sample of giant tooth off of the body.

One day, Hentai will come for you, too!

In Japan, a survivor of the oil rig attack is trapped in prison, while the world is told everyone died in an accident. Dr. Shimada comes to ask him questions about what happened. Over the ocean, an airliner is flying in a storm, things are bad enough when a dude looks out the window and sees a freaking Mega Shark jumping up at the plane! It bites it and soon the plane and the shark are falling back into the ocean. This is motherfrakking hilarious as hell!

Down in Half Moon Bay (south of San Francisco) Debbie Gibson meets with her teacher, Professor Lamar Sanders, who is an Irish guy. They analyze the tooth using lots of Kool-Aid flavors in beakers and microscopes and a computer readout that makes noise to tell you it is working. Their shocking discovery? “A Tooth!” Duh. Scientists…

It is Megalodon! Yes, that Megalodon! So let’s go to SFO (except not SFO) where Dr. Seiji Shimada has flown in to meet Dr. Sanders and Debbie Gibson. Seiji sees the tooth, but tells them the damage in the Japanese attacks aren’t shark-compatible. He shows drawings of a giant octopus. Then a mystery vcd arrives for Debbie Gibson. It is a video of the minisub camera, and we see footage of a mega shark and a giant octopus! The proof is in the pudding. Or the video. Whatever.

Mega Shark vs Battleship! A7! E3! B2! You sunk my battleship, sharky! Federal agents grab Debbie Gibson, Seiji Shimada, and Dr. Sanders. They are brought in to meet Lorenzo Lamas. No one likes him, he is a snotty racist and they just act sarcastic. Lorenzo Lamas shows a chart of the monster attacks, then he is shown the video of both the monsters. Lamas has to figure out how to fight both of them, but the scientists want the creatures contained and captured, not killed. Lamas begrudgingly agrees, for now.

The plan is that they will lure them to Tokyo Bay or San Francisco Bay. First they must figure out what to use as a lure. This involves the use of many more flavors of Kool-Aid. Try Purplesaurus Rex! Or Sharkleberry Fin! Maybe Soarin’ Strawberry Lemonade, Great Bluedini, or Triple Awesome Grape.

We’ve tried every flavor of Kool-Aid that exists…but none work!

Debbie Gibson and Seiji bond some, then kiss, then they go to take a “walk”. A horizontal walk in a broom closet, if you catch my drift. Score one for the Asian guy! It is a shame the Asian dudes get the girls so rarely in these films that I have to note how it is unusual. Props to Asylum. The smell of love and lust (and Pine-Sol) gives them a clue what to use for bait–pheromones.

Apparently shark/octopus pheromones glow radioactive green! Someone keep me away from a shark in heat!

NFL steroid testing gets serious

They send a jet out as a spotter, flies over the giant octopus, but too low (on Lamas’s orders) and the plane is swatted out of the sky. D’oh! Thanks to pheromones, the giant octopus is headed to Tokyo and Mega Shark is heading to San Francisco Bay. Debbie Gibson will pilot a minisub in the bay to help capture the shark. As she is piloting in the bay, we see the stock diving footage is awfully tropical for SF Bay…

The robot arm of minisub breaks with the pheromones still in the hand, while the Mega Shark is headed there at 500 knots. They rip off the robot arm by banging it on the ocean floor, then run the minisub out of there just as sharky comes in. The navy blasts him with another battleship! It’s the same stock footage, but pretend it ain’t! The blast and blast and blast, and then there is no sign of the target, so Admiral Custer declares it dead. We got 30 minutes to go in the film, Admiral, and now your battleship is CGI instead of stock footage, so you are dead. True, as the mega shark chomps the battleship!

Then, mega shark bites the center out of the Golden Gate Bridge! First the toll increase, and now this! Noooooo!!!

Tokyo has also failed to capture their monster, but we are told this via video conference with Seiji instead of seeing it. Lamas wants to nuke them, but Debbie Gibson comes up with a better idea…have them fight each other! She must have read the movie title. Since the creatures have gone silent, the navy will put pheromone lures all over to try to get them together somewhere to fight that is nowhere near civilization. So Debbie Gibson and Dr. Sanders are on a big sub with Lorenzo Lamas.

Let’s quote some Shakespeare while adding filler before the finale.

The submarine set they are on was the space station set in The Terminators. I think I have been watching too many Asylum films lately.

Mega shark spotted! And chasing them down. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, since the submarine is sharky-snack sized. But…more subs show up and fire torpedoes, knocking mega shark off course. Then the giant octopus arrives, and smashes all five of the newly arrived subs, leaving only the one with the main characters on it still swimming. Too bad they didn’t have the funds to have a longer submarine fight, that would have been cool.

The last sub will try to hide in an ice pack trench thing. Meanwhile, the Japanese sub Typhoon (a very Japanese name…) with Seiji is heading near to help. The captain of the main character’s sub orders the navigator to get them into a trench, but the navigator freaks out and pulls a gun (this is why guns aren’t allowed on submarines) and then another guy pulls a gun on the navigator. The navigator gets punched the frak out, and Dr. Sanders pilots the submarine instead. Besides guns, this submarine also has female crewmembers on it, in case you are keeping track.

Mega shark still chasing them…until giant octopus grabs the mega shark! The title bout begins. Fight, you sea beasts from the deeps! Blood, death, mayhem, gore, that’s what we want! The two struggle for a while until mega shark bites off an arm of giant octopus.

The Japanese submarine Typhoon heads towards the disturbance, but mega shark bites the submarine the main characters are on, so the main characters (but none of the rest of the sub’s crew) head into a minisub conveniently docked on the big submarine. The big sub prepares to fight to the death, and death happens as mega shark bits the submarine in half. Then mega shark chases after the minisub carrying Debbie, Lamas, and Dr. Sander for an after dinner snack…

The Japanese arrive! With torpedoes firing. They blast mega shark off, but the giant octopus grabs the Japanese sub and rattles it. The giant octopus doesn’t rip it in half, so Debbie Gibson flies in to save Seiji.

The two monsters fight each other again for a few minutes….and then both die.

And Seiji is still alive, so he gets saved also. Hooray for Seiji! So now the lovers can be together forever, until the next giant octopus and mega shark show up. Actually, Dr. Sanders just shows up the next day with a folder of something new spotted in the North Sea, so we have potential sequel already! Mega Carp vs Giant Squid! Mega Seahorse vs Giant Horseshoe Crab! Mega Stingray vs Giant Australian TV Host! The sequel potential is endless, just keep with the ridiculous sequences that made the trailer such a hit.

Overall, this is among The Asylum’s best films. It isn’t perfect, and is overshadowed by a few of the more classic SciFi Channel films. Although Transmorphers is better, overall Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus was pretty fun considering how little the budget must have been. Some extra funding would have pushed it over the top into an instant classic, but a sub-classic film is still better than most of what shows up on video store shelves. I would love to see what The Asylum could do with $3 million. I think if a sequel/similar film is produced, it will get a bit more budget and a bit more over the top to make it the special kind of film we all love. Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is worth checking out, so don’t hesitate. I just always want more, because I am greedy.

Rated 8/10 (Mega Eel vs, Giant Pelican, Eye of Mordo–Octopus, Deus ex DVDR, Control babe, Sound dude, Japanese crewman, Score!)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!