Sharks in Venice (Review)

Sharks in Venice

aka Shark in Venice

Directed by Danny Lerner
Written by Danny Lerner and Les Weldon

Sharks in Venice (or Shark in Venice, as the film’s name changes versus the DVD box and the title screen) sounds like it should be one of the best shark films ever. The idea is so obvious and yet so not obvious that no one came up with it. It should be an instant win. But… Someone didn’t tell Nu Image films, who instead of making an awesome film decided to just add some sharks to a mediocre treasure hunt film. The sharks serve so little purpose in the film if they were removed entirely no one would notice. It is one of the greatest shames of the made for SciFi Channel genre. And that is a genre with a lot of shames.

We got the least talented Baldwin brother running around Venice with Scarlett Johansson’s sister while someone who is not related to famous people menaces them and there are sharks who may be related to Jaws, but only on their mother’s side. And Stephen Baldwin dives for a lost treasure.

David Franks (Stephen Baldwin) – David Franks is a diver who teaches a diving class in college. That doesn’t involve actual diving. After his father becomes shark food, David Franks gets involved in a hunt for an ancient treasure and mob bosses and sharks. Just a normal day in Italy.
Laura (Vanessa Johansson) – David’s girlfriend who comes to Venice with him and tries to keep him from doing dumb things. But she didn’t figure on the mob kidnapping her! Also an amazing sharpshooter who brutally guns down mob enforcers. Don’t make this chick mad at you!
Vito Clemenza (Giacomo Gonnella) – The crime boss who spends his family’s money looking for lost treasure. And on importing sharks to release in the water to guard the treasure. Because sharks are cheaper than some hired goons, I guess.
Lt. Sofia Totti (Hilda van der Meulen) – Italian police officer who is on the take. But has a change of heart because the script says so.
Sharks (CGI and Stock Footage) – They are sharks! And they are in Venice! And it should be cool, but it totally isn’t. WAAAAHHHH!!!!!!

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Basilisk: The Serpent King (Review)

Basilisk: The Serpent King

Directed by Stephen Furst

SciFi Channel churns out more original films than an original film churner-outer (Okay, I couldn’t think of a funny reference!) and many of them are just below average dreck that gave SciFi Channel a reputation of awfulness. But sometimes they aren’t bad and are actually fun. Thus, Basilisk: The Serpent King is one of those fun films, because otherwise I would be talking about how this isn’t a fun film and was terrible, now wouldn’t I? See, you are a smart audience, that is why I write for you! So Basilisk: The Serpent King manages to be entertaining, with a few good characters and some funny scenes. The best SciFi Channel monster films are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously, have memorial actors, and have a plot that keeps the story moving but lets the monster do most of the killing. We got all of the winning elements here, so read on to see how it wins! Or I will turn you to stone or send Fawkes to peck out your eyes or something. Parselmouth!

Director Stephen Furst has also directed the SciFi Channel original Dragon Storm, but he is best known as Flounder from Animal House and Vir Cotto from Babylon 5.

Dr. Harrison “Harry” McColl (Jeremy London) – TS from Mallrats? You are here again? This time, Jeremy London is Dr. Harry McColl, famous archeologists who is lucky at digging stuff up in the desert, but unlucky as the stuff comes alive and kills people. He’s totally gonna get sued! See Jeremy London still looking like Brendan Fraser in The Terminators.
Rachel Donegal (Wendy Carter) – Professor of religious studies, which is in the archeology department because the school is small, I guess. Rachel Donegal is also the love interest, so good thing she’s single. Wendy Carter returned to the SciFi Channel-verse in Copperhead.
Colonel Douglas (Cleavant Derricks) – Rembrant from Sliders? Awesome! Colonel Douglas is the military officer called on the scene to deal with the Basilisk menace. Unlike most military officers, he usually listens to the scientists who know what is going on! That is why Cleavant Derricks rules. That, and Sliders.
Rudy Herman Skeeters (Griff Furst) – Harry’s grad student and right hand man. Rudy spends much of the film quipping jokes and doing research. Griff Furst is the son of the director.
Hannah Carmilina Turlini Frankman (Yancy Butler) – Hannah Carmilina Turlini Frankman’s full name is a total guess because I didn’t see it spelled out. She and her husband Brock fund McColl’s project because they are planning to steal the artifacts due to one of them being a map to a huge treasure. Yancy Butler is Witchblade, but I knew her from The Ex years before.
Brock (Doug Dearth) – Hannah’s husband and his name is totally not Biff. Don’t call him Biff. Even though he is stiff, as in turned to stone. Then he has a crack up as the Basilisk shatters him. Them’s the breaks!
The Basilisk (CGI) – The Serpent King here is more of a queen, what with being a gravid female. Turns people to stone with eye power and venom power, but also is turned to stone via eclipse power.

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Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (Review)

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon

John Barrowman as Ben Carpenter
Jenny McShane as Cataline Stone
Ryan Cutrona as Chuck Rampart
George Stanchev as Esai
Harry Anichkin (Harry Aneachkin) as Jeff Tolley
Bashar Rahal as Luis Ruiz

“I’m really wired. What do you say, I take you home and eat your pussy?”

With that immortal dialogue, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon became the greatest movie of the Shark Attack franchise. Which is a little like being the fastest snail or the damnest, dirtiest ape. Taking Jaws and super-sizing it, we get a movie that combines two of the standard plotlines for SciFi Channel films: shark attacks and giant prehistoric monsters running amok. This film may be specially tailored for the SciFi Channel, but anywhere else, it leaves a thick, crusty residue behind. The ludicrous plot dares to copy the Jaws story from a universe where Steven Spielberg was replaced by a shaved chimp. Even a shaved chimp couldn’t be low enough to write the final half hour of this alleged film, that could have only been accomplished by a tub of wet cement. The finally where characters leap into the water into the mouth of the giant shark stretches believability for even a SciFi Channel movie. I’m there when prehistoric rhinoceros beetles live underground for centuries with no food. I’m there when cloned sabretooths are bulimic and shaped like walruses. I’m there when Komodos fight Cobras for thirty seconds of a two hour movie. But I can’t follow the logic of the characters at the end of this film.

Megalodon was the biggest shark that ever lived, estimated to get up to 16 meters (53 feet) in length. They are long dead, despite what a few lone nuts would have you believe. They are a perfect villain for a monster movie, but even the biggest screw-ups can ruin a perfect concept. The best part of Shark Attack 3 is enjoying the ride as the plane flies apart all around you, leaving you in perilous danger for your sanity as the movie slams into the Earth at 186,200 miles per second. Only those who are strong can escape without the scarring, both mentally and physically (you will try to gouge out eyes, slit wrists, and stick forks in sockets.) The reward is a large patch on the B-Movie Watcher’s Uniform, a symbol to be worn with pride. Joining the ranks of Troll 2, Cyber Seduction, Turkish Star Wars, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and dozens of other All Star films. Are you man enough to accept the challenge? Or will we be sending the Megalodon to go eat you, in a fury of terrible CGI?

In the meantime, enjoy the terrible animated gifs the encapsulate the abomination of video data files that stands before you, ready for the attack.

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