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Ghost Shark

Ghost Shark

Ghost Shark
2013
Written by Eric Forsberg and Griff Furst
Screenplay by Paul A. Birkett
Directed by Griff Furst

Great, another fun toy banned because of some dumb kid…

G-G-G-G-G-G-Ghost Shark???! Yes, it’s true, a murdered shark returns to life via magic, become a spectral terror that haunts all bodies of water, from the ocean to your cup of coffee. Ghost Shark can manifest anywhere there is wet stuff about, allowing for an array of amazing and ridiculous kill scenes. Slip-n-slides, fire hydrants, the rain, and water coolers all become home for the Ghost Shark.

Ghost Shark

Finally a legitimate time to use KFC’s terrible “I ate the bones” slogan complete with a bucket!


Though Ghost Shark was made independently of Sharknado, it premiered soon after, and features many crazy shark antics. Thus, comparisons are inevitable. I liked Ghost Shark slightly better, as I feel the story outside of the crazy shark antics is better. While Sharknado deals with a man trying to protect his family in the midst of chaos, Ghost Shark is a revenge tale where teens deal with a problem the authorities think is too crazy to be real. But we’re in the world of SyFy, baby, and Ghost Sharks are just icing on the cake of carnage.

Ghost Shark features one of the best female leads in a monster movie ever. Mackenzie Rosman’s Ava doesn’t just sit around and get into trouble, she’s actively attempting to solve the problem of the ghost shark that claimed her father’s life, saving her sister, and relegating the male lead to also ran status. Ava gets stuff done. Ava is never in a point where she needs to be “rescued” by the male lead in an attempt to shows that strong women always need a guy around. In fact, Ava actively dismisses Blaise, assigning him to watch over her sister. Blaise fails in so many things that he does do, it’s a wonder he manages to keep Cicely from being eaten (heck, Ghost Shark does eat her…then spits her out!) Ava figures out that there is something supernatural at work, that Finch knows something about Ghost Shark’s secret, that the authority figures in town are dumb as a baby’s bottom, and that if anything is going to get done, it’s going to require her to step up and bust this Ghost Shark! She’s also not victim to some false feminism where she kicks butt, but has to do so in skintight leather or torn outfits. After the initial beach encounter, she ditches the bikini for sensible attire.

Once news came out that Ghost Shark was written and directed by Griff Furst, it became a must watch regardless of the premise. Furst’s films for SyFy (Arachnoquake, Swamp Shark, Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators ) are always inventive and fun, filled with crazy scenarios that unfold in ways you don’t expect, and often taking real world issues as inspiration. While ghost carnivores are not a real world issue any place I am familiar with is deal with at this time, places whitewashing their histories and incompetent authority figures are an actual problem.

Ghost Shark

Reverse Pac-Man!


Ava Reid (Mackenzie Rosman) – Teenage buttkicker Ava Reid is the lone force of sanity in the small town of Smallport, dealing with a parade of incompetent adults and less than capable teenagers. Her father is Ghost Sharked, and Ava has to stop the translucent chomping at all cost! Mackenzie Rosman is best known for her role on 7th Heaven.
Blaise Parker (Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis) – Local dude who is crushing on Ava, despite her apathy to the situation. In normal films, Blaise would become the hero, but in Ghost Shark, he’s delegated to the sidelines and taking orders from Ava, who is too busy saving the day to stop and let Blaise save the day. Dave Davis can be seen in the SyFy flicks Heebie Jeebies and Leprechaun’s Revenge
Cicely Reid (Sloane Coe) – Ava’s sister who shows some of her big sister’s strength but is still young enough Ava tries to keep her out of harm’s way. This is Sloane Coe’s first film.
Finch (Richard Moll) – The drunken light house guy with a dead wife who wanders around town ranting incoherently. Thus he’s not crazy and knows the secret of Ghost Shark! Richard Moll is also in Combat Academy, though he probably does not remember it at all.
Cameron Stahl (Jaren Mitchell) – The son of Smallport mayor Frank Stahl (Lucky Johnson from Arachnoquake), Cameron helps deal with the Ghost Shark situation despite his dad trying to cover it up. Has a jetski. Jaren Mitchell is also in 21 Jump Street
Mick (Shawn C. Phillips) – All groups of friends need a party guy! And Mick is your man. Is not good at getting out of swimming pools quickly. Shawn C. Phillips has been in so many horror films I’m shocked he hasn’t shown up on TarsTarkas.NET yet! So here he is.
Ghost Shark (CGI) – Ghost Shark is a murdered shark back for revenge and then also the fun of eating dozens of random people! There are cool electronic sound as Ghost Shark moves, looking like some sort of Tron Shark. Ghost Shark can materialize in any body of water, even water drops and glasses of water. Ghost Shark!

Ghost Shark

Our dad is dead, his cap is red (with blood) Who we gonna call?


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

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Sharknado

Sharknado

Sharknado
2013
Written by Thunder Levin
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante

Sharknado

Helen Hunt, where are you??


Before it even aired on SyFY, Sharknado was making waves. First spotted as a film poster, Sharknado would make periodic social media resurfaces as more and more people saw the poster for the first time. The image of the sharks swirling in the tornado, with the tagline “Enough Said!”, was enough to send everyone’s lips a-talkin’ and smartphones a-tweetin’.

And lo, it came to pass that Sharknado did air on SyFy. An event film, it became a social media sensation, though the ratings failed to live up to the hype. How much was just people thinking they were too good to watch, and how much was the lamented switch to new SyFy movies on Thursday, I cannot say. But saw Sharknado I did, and thus, now we shall all learn about the Sharknado!

Sharknado

Duck Hunt world champion!


Sharknado laughs in the face of your physics and logic, presenting a world where a Mexican hurricane causes massive shark gatherings off the coast of LA, which are then sucked into water spouts and unleashed on the city, but not before random flooding causes sharks to be swimming in the streets, the sewers, back yard pools, and increasingly in higher ground. LA is as prepared for sharkmageddon as it is for being invaded by alien butts, thus no one has evacuated or even leaves the beach as terrible weather comes in.

Through it all, we follow surfing legend Finly “The Fin” Shepard, as he attempts to save his children and ex-wife from the swarms of sharks. Fin wasn’t always there for his family, but he’s there now, and has to mend the wounds while avoiding shark wounds. The journey is also an excuse to explain whey they just don’t hole up at the top of a tall building until the storm passes. Fin is also a guy who can’t leave lots of innocent people to die, so at times he goes and risks his life to save strangers. At one point this literally stops the film as he saves a busload of kids. But it’s nice to see a hero do heroic things and think of others, and not see people as just collateral damage for his conflict.

Sharknado

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!


Sharknado saves the actual sharknado for the end of the film, before that it is just a glorified flooding shark attack movie. But the title does appear (3 of them!) and there is some sharknado destruction and gifable images. But I’m greedy and always demand more more more. While the carnage and death is fine, I can see why some people are disappointed.
Sharknado

Army of Sharkness!


But Sharknado is a wonderland of references and crazy stuff. It also has some odd parallels with Pacific Rim (at least three scenes) though they would be totally independent, as the Asylum version is called Atlantic Rim. Sharknado has references to Wizard of Oz, 90210, Shark Week, Jaws, Crocodile Dundee, and many more. It also features such wonderful shark battles as:

  • pool stick vs shark
  • barstool vs shark
  • oxygen tank vs shark
  • bookshelf vs shark
  • lamp vs shark
  • power lines vs shark
  • exploding swimming pool vs sharks
  • pistols vs shark
  • chainsaw vs shark

Sharknado

I’ll teach you to use that Shark Attack 3 line on my teenage daughter!


I liked it, it wasn’t the best Asylum production, but it was enough to satisfy my SyFy cravings. And what other movie would brave a title like Sharknado?

Fin (Ian Ziering) – Finly “The Fin” Shepard is a surfing legend and also owns the bar. Has an ex-wife and two almost adult children that he never talks about. He’s also a chainsaw legend, if what we see in the film is to be believed. Fin will risk everything to save people, because he’s good like that.
April Wexler (Tara Reid) – Fin’s ex-wife who isn’t that fond of him, though things seem to be getting better by the end of the film.
Claudia (Aubrey Peeples) – Fin’s teenager daughter who is mad at her dad for never being there for her. He makes up for it by being there for her.
Nova (Cassie Scerbo) – Fin’s waitress, who hates sharks, hates her past, even hates her real name. Is sort of crushing on Fin, though seems to transfer all that to Matt by the end of the film, as Matt is actually her age. Nova tells a tale of a boat crash that resulted in everyone dying by shark except her.
George (John Heard) – A retired surfing legend turned barfly at Fin’s bar, because he’s got nothing else going on.
Matt (Chuck Hittinger) – Fin’s son who is in flight school, and comes up with the bombing the sharknado plan. Luckily, being at flight school prepares you for difficult helicopter flying into massive storms.
Sharknado (CGI) – Many sharks, many winds, many teeth. Enough said!

Sharknado

Hey, it’s a SHARK TANK!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 15, 2013 at 1:09 am

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Jersey Shore Shark Attack

Jersey Shore Shark Attack


2012
Written by Michael Ciminera, Richard Gnolfo, Jeffrey Schenck, and Peter Sullivan
Directed by John Shepphird

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
Jersey Shore Shark Attack – The Thinking Man’s Movie!

A SyFy shark attack movie that has bite and legs. And no, not legs on the shark, that a different SyFy shark attack movie (or three). Jersey Shore Shark Attack has legs because people talk about it. Deservedly so. For Jersey Shore Shark Attack is more than just the run of the mill SyFy flick, it’s also a parody of a recognizable reality tv show brand. The Jersey Shore in the title is more than just a reference to the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks, it’s because all the main characters are based on real people from MTV’s Jersey Shore. We got a Snooki, a Situation, a J-WOW, and the rest of the crew that you have to think about for a minute to remember.

Not only is this a parody of Jersey Shore, they improve on the formula. The actors portraying the characters are much more real than the “real” people we see on the reality shows. They have hopes, dreams, and goals in life beyond getting drunk and laid. Mostly.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
Ecco the Dolphin was a chump!

If anything, I hope Jersey Shore Shark Attack is the beginning of a new subgenre of SyFy flicks, the injecting of actors playing versions of more famous people. Who wouldn’t want to see a killer koala flick where they ravaged the Kardashians? Giant sloths very slowly menacing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? 19 Kids and Count Dracula? Teen Moms vs. Mothman? John and Kate Plus 8 Legged Freaks?

Jersey Shore Shark Attack works because it’s fun. It’s fun to see people play exaggerated versions of other people, it’s fun to see people chomped by giant monsters, and it’s fun in that the film has fun. The bodies pile high, people get chomped left and right off of boats. There is even a class warfare element, the villains and their real estate plot are straight out of The Goonies! The odd mishmash of everything seems like it wouldn’t work, like the gimmick would get old. But the gimmick is there for the flavor, you could insert your regular SyFy stock characters (hot babe scientist, jaded lifeguard with a scarred past, Sheriff that the mayor won’t listen to) and this would still be a passable flick. But it is elevated to greatness thanks to the Shore. The Jersey Shore.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
It’s me on a typical Tuesday at 11 am!

Jersey Shore Shark Attack even stylizes itself as a fun flick, from the title cards for the main characters to all the soundtrack songs being all about partying (most songs have “party” in the lyrics somewhere, so much so that Andrew WK should probably sue…) It’s hilarious. There is even some dumb “Shore” acronyms like “ASS = alcohol sun sex” or “Backdoor Nooki”. Each scene in the film has it’s own title.

The general tone of the Jersey Shore is copied, as characters bicker among themselves. While at a dock they see a derelict boat, and then argue about which particular guy named Vinny the boat belongs to. The character BJ is constantly saying randomly ridiculous things and being seconds away from being shark bait at any moment, forever making you think they might start taking out the main cast.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
This shark was obviously Wile E. Coyote in a previous life!

Beyond the reality show ripping, there’s also the class warfare element as the working class Jersey Shore folks are in a heated territorial dispute with the rich 1% preps from the yacht club, whose stepfathers are the very ones in charge of the construction projects to “modernize” the shore and are attracting the sharks. The Complication’s father is also working class, but with authority, as a police officer. The business owner/developer Dolan (played by William Atherton, well known as villain Walter Peck in Ghostbusters) oozes sleaze and entitlement, while the Mayor Patrick Palantine (Paul Sorvino, who often plays mob characters) has his fingers in all of the pies. Heck, the mayor is even named after the evil Emperor from Star Wars! The entitled class elders are clearly villains with no hope of redemption. But…and this is an amazing but…their children, the very people that our Jersey Shore crew has direct confrontation and rivalries with, become friends with the heroes in the end. Lead by the example of The Complication and his friends to risk their lives to save both Nooki and the rich children (as TC says, because it’s the right thing to do) grants them friends for life among the upper class. Together, both rich and poor blow away albino sharks to save Jersey. The passion, the good character, and the heroism of the Jersey Shore crew make them respected heroes both because of and in spite of their origins. It’s the American dream.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
I’d take a Jersey Shore Red Dawn remake over the actual Red Dawn remake any day of the week.

You can even argue the sharks are ghost white because they represent the old rich white males that populate most of the upper class. Their deaths both by the working class and the children of the old rich white males is a shedding of the previous norms. Joey Fatone’s quick appearance both as a Jersey native who returns only to be devoured, because he didn’t return to improve the community, he returned because he had been devoured by the music industry and he was reduced to doing concerts in Jersey. His intentions were not pure, and he had to go. Ergo, the sanitized Jersey Shore representatives as characters are also better than their actual representatives in reality programming. Both because it’s easier to be of pure ideals when you are a fictitious character, but because the story demands that there be characters of pure heart and intention leading the charge. The Shore cannot be saved by those who care about themselves first.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
Justin Timberlake actually acknowledged the rest of ‘N Sync???!?!

The Complication / TC / Gino Moretti (Jeremy Luc) – So called because when he’s around, things get complicated. As cool as it is to have a catch phrase about your life also be your nickname, TC proves he’s far more complicated than just a juicehead Guido as he leads his crew to defend Jersey from menacing albino sharks.
Nooki / Nicolina Angelique Santamaria (Melissa Molinaro) – TC’s on-again, off-again girl. She is a lot to handle, but isn’t a degenerate and has a good head on her shoulders, even if it is under too much hair.
Donnie (Joey Russo) – TC’s beer hat wearing, buff bod juicehead Guido buddy. Always ready to party and drink and lift weights and rescue people from sharks.
Paulie Balzac (Daniel Booko) – A non-Italian wannabe who respects the Guido lifestyle, particularly the aspect of saving people from sharks. Also probably a DJ.
J-Moni (Alex Mauriello) – Nooki’s pal who comforts her during her trials with TC. Is often prominently displaying her two ample assets.
BJ (Audi Resendez) – Nooki’s other pal who comforts her during her trials with TC. Often drunk and will randomly say ridiculous and awesome things.
Captain Sallie (Tony Sirico) – Bar owner that everyone at the Shore loves because he’s been there forever and knows all the Shore lore. His bar features free walnuts.
Bradford & Spencer (Grant Harvey and Dylan Vox) – Rich preps from the yacht club who have words and fists with the Shore crew.
Dolan and Mayor Patrick Palantine (William Atherton and Paul Sorvino) – The evil developer and the evil mayor who conspire to continue the destruction of the Shore because they’re evil.
Albino bull sharks (Albino CGI) – Albino bull sharks who cause havoc at Jersey Shore thanks to their bloodlust.
Jersey Shore Shark Attack
Get lost, Megalodon! No one is jumping into your mouth today.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm

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Psycho Shark (Review)

Psycho Shark

aka Jaws in Japan

2009
Directed by John Hijiri
Written by Yasutoshi Murakawa


Psycho Shark is the worst thing to come from Japan since shotacon. Don’t Google that at work. Or ever. And don’t watch Psycho Shark ever, because it frakking sucks. It sucks even at 2.5x speed, and the same amount of things happen, which is nothing. Since large portions of the film is one character watching other characters on video and fast forwarding, perhaps the film is telling us what needs to be done. I answered the call, but I still had to watch Psycho Shark, so the effort was for naught.

That shark sure is psycho! This is the movie where the shark stabs someone in the shower.

Okay, that’s the easy jokes, neither of which are true, so let’s get to the actual review of this plotless piece of shark dung. Originally called Jaws in Japan, the title was changed to Psycho Shark to cash in on the lucrative psycho demographics. Or something. Maybe the distributors thought people would avoid the film because it was Japanese, and took the foreign name out of the title Except the Japanese bikini babes are the main non-shark selling point, so that makes little sense. I’ll give this as much thought as to why they changed the name as the producers of Psycho Shark took in making Psycho Shark a good film: none!

What we have here is a found footage mess masquerading as a shark attack film with lots of attractive Japanese chicks in bikinis. How unique, as it is almost impossible to find Japanese chicks in bikinis anywhere in this day and age of the internet.

Miki (Nonami Takizawa) – The member of the friends duo who isn’t stupid, and enjoys spying on people who are taped. Eat your heart out, reality tv! Miki figures out something is wrong, but then a big bad shark shows up and ruins everything. Except the film, that was already ruined. Nonami Takizawa is a gravure idol and we threw up a gallery to get cheap web traffic. So click on it so I can act all smug and stuff.
Mai (Airi Nakajima) – The member of the duo who isn’t interested in spying on people and is totally interested in dating creepy guys. Also can be a jerk.
Kenji (???) – A creepy guy who works at the hotel and gives out free rooms to hot chicks. This somehow makes him a babe magnet, because women love guys who make minimum wage at a hotel. He’s so creepy he should be in Creepies. Or Creepies 2.
Creepy Girl (???) – She is possibly Miki, but it is dark and I don’t care so I’ll never know who she is. Nor do I care. A framing device that’s not needed. I should call her Appendix Girl.
Psycho Shark (CGI from your old Vic-20) – This giant shark shows up too late and too cheap for me to care about him. And just how is he psycho? Or is he just at a motel where people get killed like in Psycho? The world will never know, because I don’t care enough to ask Mr. Owl the answer to that question. So let’s just go with “Three”, that’s a good answer!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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Sharks in Venice (Review)

Sharks in Venice

aka Shark in Venice

2008
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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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

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Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (Review)

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus


2009
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.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm

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