(2009) dir. Jack Perez
The YouTube trailer sensation that is/was Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus may be so like two weeks ago or something, but it took Netflix that long to send it to me. The direct-to-video piece of pure garbage and genius is something indeed. Quite amusing. Quite bad.
Starring Deborah Gibson (of teen pop fame) and featuring Lorenzo Lamas…those facts and the title almost manage to say it all. But really, this movie is high concept but so absurd and over-the-top that it’s hilarious. Woken from a frozen battle from pre-history, a megalodon (largest marine predator ever perhaps) and a giant octopus are released into the contemporary oceans and attack everything there is. Large ships, an airplane coming in for a landing, an oil rig, and most notably, the Golden Gate Bridge.
All these digitally executed hijinks are indeed the film’s primary highlights. The rest of the film is amusingly awful with rotten dialogue and some of the worst acting you may ever see. It’s kind of amazing, but Gibson can’t even rise to the material. Her bemused expressions are out-and-out camp and incongruous and hammy. It’s a kind of beauty.
The most hilarious “acting” scene is when the scientists, including Gibson, are in a research lab trying to decide how to capture or kill the two beasts (who don’t seem capable of being injured by man-made weapons). This sequence is a montage, showing their “process” and how hard they are working to solve the problem. However, they are primarily pouring different colored liquids into test-tubes (red, yellow, green, blue), it’s like something out of the 1960’s Batman TV show. It’s absurd.
Of course, that’s the whole reason to watch Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, the absurdity of a giant shark leaping from the water and taking down a passenger plane or sinking its jaws into the Golden Gate Bridge. Or the cornball stuff that is the rest of the film. It’s bad. Very much so. And somewhat ingenious. It’s kind of nice to see big “monster” movies make a comeback, even on (or perhaps especially on) the low-budget world where nonsense is as good as any sense and production qualities be pretty much damned.