Tuesday, July 28, 2015

3-HEADED SHARK ATTACK

3-Headed Shark Attack, the sequel to 2012's 2-Headed Shark Attack, was the top half of a SyFy channel double-feature on Monday, July 20. The second half of the bill was Zombie Shark, which I’ll review soon. Today is all about the three-headed people eater that had me cackling with delight.

I was not a fan of 2-Headed Shark Attack. You can read my February 2012 review of it here. However, I was eager to watch this sequel for two reasons: the casting of Danny Trejo, who I think I’d watch in just about anything, and a trailer which, though it spoiled some scenes, showed a much-improved killing machine.

3-Headed Shark Attack takes place at and around a floating research facility built in the Great Pacific garbage patch, which is a real thing. Let me clarify that.

The garbage patch is a real thing. To quote Wikipedia...

The Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris particles in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135°W to 155°W and 35°N and 42°N. The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.

The patch is characterized by exceptionally high relative concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite its enormous size and density (four particles per cubic meter), the patch is not visible from satellite photography, nor is it necessarily detectable to casual boaters or divers in the area, as it consists primarily of a small increase in suspended, often microscopic particles in the upper water column.  

So the garbage patch is a real thing, though not as visual as seen in the film. The mostly submerged research facility is probably not a real thing. Still a great setting for a monster movie.

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The title star of the movie makes its first appearance within five minutes of the start of the film. It attacks a secluded beach party with predictably bloody results. While the shark can’t stay out of the water for long, it can squirm its way on land for short periods of time.

The 2-headed shark never looked good to me. The 3-headed shark has a less comical appearance. It doesn’t look real per se, but it does look convincing. That’s all I ask from CGI.

Maggie [Karrueche Tran] arrives at the research facility to start her internship. She’s greeted by Professor Laura Thomas [Jena Sims] and Dr. Nelson [Jaason Simmons]. They are joined by students from an environmental organization. Among these students is Greg [Brad Mills], who used to date Maggie. All give good performances. Most of the cast members, even those in more minor roles, do the same. However, it must be said that Danny Trejo as a fishing boat skipper and wrestler Rob Van Dam as Stanley dominate every scene they are in. Deservedly so.

Some of the facility scientists are studying the enormous number of mutations being created by the patch’s toxicity. We only see a few of these creatures, but they are cool in a frightening way. I wish the movie had spent more time with them, but, alas, a certain tri-headed shark demanded more screen time.

The shark attacks the facility. The shark wins. The survivors make for the surface and try to escape the beast. You know how it goes.  Not everyone lives. What I found impressive, though, both in these scenes and in a scene on a party ship, was how many characters act in heroic manner, often at the cost of their own lives, to help other characters. When the deaths come, as, in this kind of movie, they must, I was moved. The deaths were not simply additions to the body count. They meant something.

Here’s where I heap kudos on director Christopher Ray and writers Jacob Cooney and Bill Hanstock. That kind of great character stuff doesn’t happen by chance. It’s in the script and the director gets it from the actors.

Something cool: the 3-headed shark mutates further in the movie’s final quarter. What first struck me as silly turned out to be very believable (in the universe of this movie) and an effective way to pump up the excitement and the horror.

The giant mutant shark’s diet consists of garbage and people. This is not a healthy diet and plays into the creature’s demise. Though that demise was something I’d seen before in an earlier SyFy film, it still worked for me. The first person to post the name of that earlier movie in the comments section gets a no-prize.

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3-Headed Shark Attack was one of the highlights of Sharknado Week on the SyFy Channel. I’ve got the DVD on order and will definitely watch it again this summer. I recommend it to you as well.

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The bloggy thing won’t resume its usual daily schedule for a while, but I’ll post new content as often as possible. Next up with either be Ant-Man or Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

See you then.     
           
© 2015 Tony Isabella

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SHARKTOPUS VS. WHALEWOLF

Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf, the third movie in the Sharktopus series, debuted Sunday, July 19 on the SyFy Channel. When I review a film, I usually rely on the Internet Movie Database and Wikipedia to get my cast and crew facts right. Alas, for this movie, the former is less than complete and the latter is non-existent. I will press on as best I can.

Having survived Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda, our title star has made the shores off the Dominican Republic his new feeding grounds. At the same time, a mad scientist is injecting a washed up ballplayer with the DNA of a killer whale and a wolf. Standing against these forces of not-nature are an alcoholic boat captain, his first mate and his police officer ex-girlfriend.

The best thing about this movie may be Casper Van Dien’s portrayal of Captain Ray. Van Dien plays the drunken seaman for both laughs and tragedy. The viewer can feel bad for the way this brave, good-looking man has screwed up his life. My tolerance for funny drunks is pretty much zero because I’ve seen too many bad things come from real-life alcoholism. I used to love Dudley Moore in Arthur. Now I can’t watch that movie. If Van Dien’s character was nothing but a clown, I might not have been able to finish watching Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf. It was still rough sledding.

While watching the movie, I got the feeling director Kevin O'Neill and whoever wrote the screenplay were all “We created Whalewolf and now our job is done.” For the first three quarters of this movie, it was little bits of character and a thin plot and lots of bloody victims. It seems like there was a new victim every five minutes or so. Like the body count was on a schedule.

Director O’Neill, co-founder of Visual Effects Studio Flat Earth Productions, Inc., has an impressive resume. He supervised special effects on over sixty movie and TV productions and, counting this movie, has directed six features. The others were Dinocroc (2004) and Dinoshark (2010), both of which I enjoyed; Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012) and Dracano (2013), which I own but haven’t watched yet; and last year’s Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda, which is my least favorite of the Sharktopus movies.

Reviewing this movie seems to require one of my lists of its good, bad and ugly points. But, first...

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The good...Van Dien. I have under-appreciated this actor in some of my past reviews, but he’s terrific as the flawed hero of this film.

The ugly...Sharktopus got a slight redesign that made his face look like something out of a Pixar movie. He actually seems to smile on occasion. He’s also kind of a malicious dick.

The good...voodoo. Captain Ray goes Sharktopus hunting because of a debt he owes a voodoo priest. When Ray manages to bring him part of a tentacle, the voodoo priest uses it to control the creature. At the end of the movie, the priest’s sister uses voodoo magic to create a new Sharktopus. I like the addition of this supernatural element. They should run with it in the next movie.

The best...The scene where Captain Ray tries to describe Sharktopus to the voodoo priest. The priest draws a sketch of the monster and shows it to Ray. In amazement, Ray asks the priest how he knew what the creature looked like. The priest rolls his eyes and asks Ray if he ever heard of the Internet.

The bad...Catherine Oxenberg as the horny mad scientist trying to create the perfect human. She speaks with a terrible Belgian accent and comes off like Zsa Zsa Gabor if Gabor was a Nazi. I would grit my teeth whenever Oxenberg spoke. Nails on a chalkboard would be a symphony in comparison.

The bad...Oxenberg’s assistant nurse is a “Naughty Nurse” stereotype. Think a Bill Ward drawing when the artist was having a bad day.

The not-so-good...Oxenberg treats Whalewolf like a big dog. Though I rolled my eyes at that stuff, I did laugh at the creature peeing in her laboratory. I hated myself for that.

The good...while the body count feels more like a body count quota, the movie does allow us to get to know some victims. In most cases, they aren’t pleasant people. I’m down with movies that kill reality show producers, directors and cast members. These movies are doing God’s work.

The tragic...One of the victims is an aging actress who had gone to the voodoo priest to be made young again. She tries so hard that I felt bad when Sharktopus ate her. What a dick.

The good...Akari Endo as Ray’s ex-girlfriend. Her character was a nice mix of tough and vulnerable.

The good...Kudos also to the actor who played Ray’s first mate. He gave good sidekick.

The “I don’t know how I feel about it”...Sharktopus chases Captain Ray through a mall. Some slapstick humor made me smile, but random chomping of shoppers made me yawn.
 
The bad...the various battles between Sharktopus and Whalewolf are boring. We’ve seen it all before. Nothing new there. Compare these fight scenes to the ones in Mega-Shark vs. Kolossus, which I felt were much more interesting and original.

The good...The movie picked up steam in its last quarter. The final confrontation between the creatures...and between the creatures and the heroes...is kind of exciting. The death of Sharktopus is cool. The death of Whalewolf is anti-climatic.

The missed opportunity...Mario Arturo Hernández was interesting as the ballplayer who becomes Whalewolf, but it would have been more interesting if he changed back and forth. The character came off as just another delusional macho creep when he could and should have been a tragic figure. Give us a monster to root for.

The question...Some characters are bitten by the Whalewolf and not killed. What happens to them at the next full moon?

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Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf had its moments, but it wasn’t a triumph of B movie magic. It’s worth watching once, but it’s not going to be something I go out of my way to see again. Let’s hope the next
Sharktopus movie recaptures some the goofy wonderment of the first movie. That would be a very good thing.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my review of 3-Headed Shark Attack. See you then.
            
© 2015 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BLACK LIGHTNING 2015


Taking a line from Ghostbusters, The Beat’s Jeff Trexler described it as “Dogs and cats, living together!” He was talking about Black Lightning Volume 1, a collection of my first Black Lightning series that will be published by DC Comics next April.

I’ve known about the collection for a while, but didn’t feel right about announcing or discussing it. I figured that was something DC should do. To quote The Quiet Man, another favorite movie of mine, “The proprieties at all times.”

Then I started getting e-mails and phone calls from people who had seen Amazon and various websites that sell directly to libraries offering the book for pre-order. I get librarians spotting the book as they consider what to order for their libraries, but who looks for stuff like this book on Amazon, especially a book that, given the many issues between DC and myself, they could not possibly be expecting to find? Heck, I don’t even do that and I have as healthy an ego as the next comics creator.

With so many people asking me questions, I felt I should make some sort of statement on my Facebook page. My first post was just the basic stuff:

I wasn't going to say anything about this until DC announced it, but, since it's now available for pre-order on Amazon and library sites...and a link to Amazon.

That was followed by:

You can probably guess that I have known about the trade paperback collection of my first Black Lightning run for a while now. I wasn't going to comment on it until DC announced it and only comment on it now - albeit briefly - because it's already available for pre-ordering. Who says I can't keep a secret?

These two posts led to hundreds of likes, dozens of comments and a number of interview requests. I turned down the interview requests because I didn’t feel there was much to report at the present time. Which led to lots of speculation, including a few posts from yours truly as I got caught up in the excitement.  I knew I would have to make a more formal statement.

With apologies to Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio if I am betraying any confidences, here’s what I can tell you...

Geoff Johns reached out to me on June 2, asking if he could phone me. I like Geoff and his writing, so I said sure and told him when would be a good time.

Geoff wanted to talk about Black Lightning and my dissatisfaction with my decades-unpleasant relationship with DC Comics. Just as I always have, Geoff sees a lot of potential in my finest creation. It’s a potential the previous DC management clearly never saw. We talked about what it would take to make things right between me and DC so that Geoff could, in good conscience, consider developing the character in this bigger-than-1976-or-even-1995 new comics world.

That conversation will remain private for now. Let’s just call it a good start. It was the first time in two decades a DC executive didn’t speak to me like I was a child or insane.

One of my major disappointments was that DC had never reprinted my Black Lightning work. Indeed, the former management took pains to insure it wouldn’t be reprinted. When I realized DC was planning no celebration of Lightning’s 25th anniversary, I asked if they would lease me reprint rights to publish a collection of my stories. The then-management of the company laughed in my face.

Within a short time, Geoff and Dan DiDio were talking to me about reprinting my Black Lightning work. DC had the right to publish the collections whether I approved or not, but Geoff and Dan brought me into the loop. They wanted to do books I liked.

Initially, I only wanted this first volume to include just my own 1970s Black Lightning stories. If I had held to that position, they would have honored my wishes. However, Dan asked me to consider the fans, like himself, who would want a complete volume of that first Black Lightning run. He made a good case. I withdrew my objection.

I haven’t spoken to or communicated with Geoff or Dan since shortly before Comic-Con. I haven’t communicated with them since because I knew they would be busy with the aftermath of that stellar event. If you were at Comic-Con or followed the news coverage of it, you know DC had a lot going on there.

As of my last conversation with them, my understanding is that the book will contain Black Lightning #1-11 from the first series. It will also include the Denny O’Neil/Mike Nasser story scheduled for issue #12. That story was included in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade and also published in an issue of World’s Finest. I’m okay with the inclusion of the non-Isabella stories in Black Lightning Volume One because I appreciate a fan’s desire to have the entire run in one book and also because I don’t want to deny Denny O’Neil, Trevor Von Eeden and Mike Nasser whatever royalties they’ll receive from the reprinting of those stories. 

The fact that this is Black Lightning Volume One shows there is a desire on everyone’s part to do a Black Lightning Volume Two with my 1990's series. Certainly, good sales on this first book will be a determining factor re: the second book. I’m heartened by how many fans and librarians have already posted their intentions to buy the first volume.

It’s common for comics creators and comics lovers to speculate on what else might be coming down the road. As I’ve try to stress, the process of reconciliation between DC and myself has just begun. To look at it as a different kind of relationship, we met for lunch, got along well and maybe we’ll do dinner and a movie. We’re not at the holding hands stage.

“The proprieties at all times.”

I have told Geoff what I think DC can and should do. I think there is a sincere desire to make things right. Again, this is something the previous management was unwilling to even consider. I am very pleased Geoff and Dan have reached out to me. I would love to put aside my justified anger at DC Comics past and enjoy more cordial relations with the DC Comics present.

Everything else is speculation at this point. Obviously, I’ve made little secret of my desire to resume writing Black Lightning comic books. My reinvention and updating of the character in the 1990s resulted in what many, including myself, believe was the best work of my career. I would truly relish the opportunity to and challenge of reinventing Jeff Pierce for 2015.

The Shadow War of Hawkman? Yes, I’d love to see that reprinted as well. I think artist Richard Howell and I did outstanding work on that series. I’d love to see it reach a new audience.

As far as I’m concerned, everything is on the table. I’m up to any challenges that come my way. In recent years, I branched out into comic-strip writing. I’m currently pitching “B” movies - monsters, action, horror, science fiction - because that’s become a passion of mine. I’m writing a “memoir of sorts” of my life in comics and plan to follow that with a book of comics-related essays. I wake up every morning, eager to get to work on whatever I’m writing today. This is who I am. This is who I want to be.

If you want to thank Geoff and Dan for reaching out to me, please do so. If you want to ask them for a new Black Lightning series by me and Eddy Newell, please do that. If you want to buy a whole lot of copies of Black Lightning Volume One, who am I to deny you that wise purchasing decision?

I won’t have anything else to say on this stuff for a long while. I’m not going to obsess about it. It will unfold as it will unfold and in the fullness of time. When there’s something to report, I’m sure the news will make its way on to the Internet because that’s what news had a habit of doing.

To those who have requested interviews, I’m sorry to disappoint you for now. You can certainly find ample material from today’s bloggy thing and my recent Facebook postings. When I feel it’s appropriate to be interviewed, I’ll answer your questions as completely and as honestly as I can.

Thanks for your interest. Thanks for your support. I am more than a little overwhelmed by it all. Which is a good thing.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my review of Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf. Because that’s also who I am.
              
© 2015 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

MEGA SHARK VERSUS KOLOSSUS

I love giant monster movies, which is why I’m reviewing all seven of the films that have debuted or are debuting on the SyFy channel this week. I wrote about Roboshark yesterday. Today I’m reviewing Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, which was part of the SyFy double-feature on Saturday, July 18.

Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is the fourth of The Asylum’s “Mega-Shark” movies and by far the best. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus [2009] had three things going for it: the absurdity of the concept, the oft-repeated scene of the shark jumping out of the ocean to chow down on a passenger jet and the just plain fun casting of Debbie Gibson as a scientist.

Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (2010) had Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) as its hero and would have been much better if his character had once asked “Did I do that?” in a whiny voice. Which is so unfair to the talented White who really is a terrific actor.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014) was an improvement over the two movies preceding it. Creating a giant robot shark to do battle with Mega Shark was very Godzilla-like, almost always a good thing as I see it. The film also had the best human drama to date, courtesy of a fine performance by Elisabeth Röhm as Mecha Shark’s pilot and a woman battling her own monsters.

But Mega Shark vs. Kolossus just takes the shark-cake with a great story, interesting human characters, terrific monsters, thrilling  monster action and social commentary. Lifted from the back of the DVD release, here’s the movie’s starting point:

In search of a new energy source, Russia accidentally reawakens the Kolossus - a giant robot doomsday device from the Cold War. At the same time, a new Mega Shark appears, threatening global security. Now the world must figure out how to stop the deadly giants before they destroy everything on land AND sea.

While the unfolding of this story is not without some over-the-top moments, such as when Mega Shark tail-punches a submarine into the Christ the Redeemer statue over Rio de Janeiro, the proceedings are logical by monster movies standards. The “attack on Christianity” might and probably will be considered blasphemous by some, but the use of such a well-known religious icon frames this giant monster return to the Cold War. The destruction of the statue matters. It’s an important symbol and it’s nice to see it treated that way. The Cold war was, of course, a battle of ideologies.

Illeana Douglas gives an absolutely outstanding performance as Dr. Alison Gray. Her character doesn’t want to destroy Mega-Shark, but is sensible enough to recognize when such preservation is no longer an option. Though Douglas is quite glamorous in real life, the good Doctor Gray doesn’t look like your typical monster movie heroine. That’s another plug for me.

Amy Rider is kick-ass government operative Moira King. While this character isn’t at all unusual, Rider plays her with gusto that’s fun to watch.

Brody Hutzler delivers a surprising performance as the billionaire industrialist who wants to save the world. More on his character in our brief SPOILERS section.

Kudos also to Edward DeRuiter as a low-level analyst who’s a lot smarter than his superiors realize and to Tara Price as a tougher-than-nails Lieutenant Commander serving under a mentally unstable admiral. Price could and should be the star of some future monster movie. She’s that...ah...commanding on the screen.

The Mega-Shark in this movie is the latest mega-shark to threaten mankind. There’s a nice bit of dialogue that describes the effects of mega-shark appearances on the economy. But it’s also said at one point in the film that a mega-shark appears when the world needs it to appear. That puts the creature into “Godzilla force of nature” territory, which can be an entertaining place to be.

The design for Kolossus is wonderful. It looks like something you would expect from a Cold War sleeper device. It looks old, but its power is terrifying. Though its encounter with Mega-Shark comes in the fourth quarter of the movie, it’s an exciting monster battle, the best in the Mega-Shark series to date.

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When I told you Hutzler delivered a surprising performance, I was thinking of how his Joshua Dane character comes across initially as kind of a tree-hugging Tony Stark willing to use his vast wealth to preserve our planet. When he gains control of both monsters, Dane reveals himself as a megalomaniac who wants to destroy the world to “save” and then rule it, not unlike Batman’s Ra's al Ghul. It’s a credit to Hutzler that I didn’t see this coming. The actor goes a little over-the-top with in this manic phrase of his character, but the shock value of the transformation stays with you.

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Mega Shark vs. Kolossus has a thrilling and satisfying conclusion. I’m eager for the next “Mega Shark” movie and hope The Asylum can top this one while cementing the creature’s growing stature as the studio’s own king of the monsters. I’m also hoping we see more of Douglas and Rider in future creature features. Big props to director Chris Olen Ray and writer Edward DeRuiter for crafting such a fine film.

Mega Shark vs. Kolossus is a B-movie classic. If you didn’t catch its SyFy channel premiere, I recommend you keep watch for reruns or spring for the DVD. It’s a keeper.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my review of Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf. See you then.
                 
© 2015 Tony Isabella

Monday, July 20, 2015

TONY'S TIPS #117

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...I review Batman Earth One, Just So Happens and Lumberjanes.

ROBOSHARK

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! will make its debut on Wednesday, July 22, on the SyFy Channel. To celebrate the arrival of this new cultural phenomenon, the channel is airing seven new movies in eight days. Though three of the movies will have already aired by the time you read this bloggy thing, here is the schedule:

Saturday, July 18:

Roboshark (7 pm)
Mega Shark Versus Kolossus (9 pm)

Sunday, July 19:

Sharktopus Versus Whale Wolf (9 pm)

Monday, July 20:

3-Headed Shark Attack (7 pm)
Zombie Shark (9 pm)
         
Wednesday, July 22:

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (9 pm)

Saturday, July 25:

Lavalantula (9 pm)

Because I’m a fiend for such movies, I’ll be watching every one of them and reviewing them here. First up is Roboshark.

A roboshark is what you get when a great white shark gulps down an alien probe launched from a distant starship. In seconds, the shark is transformed into a high-tech killing machine...though there will eventually be a question as to whether or not that was the intent of the unseen aliens.

The transformation scene happens almost immediately. The roboshark bumps into the propeller of a nuclear submarine. The roboshark and the sub regroup. While the sub tries to fire its torpedoes at what it believes - with cause - is an attacking enemy, the shark chews its way into the sub and destroys it.

The above all happens within minutes. Though Roboshark is an uneven film, there are several times when it rockets from scene to scene. The fast-action pace does drag on occasion, usually when the movie is belaboring some business meant to be hilarious. When Roboshark is on point, it’s hilarious. When it drags, it leaves marks on the carpet like an incontinent dog.

Roboshark has a good pedigree. Director and co-writer Jeffery Lando has directed and/or produced over a dozen “B” movie thrillers while writing six of them. Co-writer Philip Roth has close to a hundred producer credits, 25 writer credits and 19 director credits. They have considerable experience with this kind of thriller.

The actors aren’t familiar faces, but most of them know their way around a CGI monster. However, Alexis Peterman is new to the SyFy style. She plays a 38-year-old wacky weather woman who wants to be a serious newsperson. She’s also the mother of a teenage daughter she can’t control and the wife of a goof of a husband who has a job with the water department of the city of Seattle. Peterman does a good job projecting determination, exhaustion, fear and scruples as the movie demands. I’d like to see her do more films like this one. But better than this one.

Nigel Barber is tiresome as a mad admiral who has vowed to destroy Roboshark. The movie returns to his manic behavior again and again. The humor of the character wears thin quickly.

Vanessa Grasse is cool as the teenage daughter whose social media expertise drives a good chunk of the movie. I think the actress is fairly young, but she makes her character convincing, even in some of the goofiest scenes.

Laura Dale, who was in Lake Placid Versus Anaconda, looks too young to be the bitchy newswoman who tries to steal the Roboshark story from Peterman’s character. She’s playing the same kind of character she played in Lake Placid Versus Anaconda and playing her a little too broadly for this movie. But she has a definite presence and I like her. If I were making monster movies - which is something that I should do some day - I’d cast her in a more winsome role. Maybe someone like Melody of Josie and the Pussycats.

Roboshark swims to Seattle, eating a small seaplane near the shore. It gets into Seattle’s water system, using it to travel from place to place. It emerges in a Starbucks-like coffee shop and Peterman gets a good look at it. No one believes the “wacky weather girl” - there’s a wonderful montage of her in goofy costumes - but a video of the attack goes viral and proves she saw what she saw.

Grasse shows up when Roboshark emerges at a sewage treatment plant. Tagging along with her mom and a cameraman, she uses her mad social media skills to great effect and humor. Like when Roboshark starts following her on Twitter. So much for superior alien intelligence. More on that in the spoilers section.

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Roboshark heads to the mall. It can “swim” through the water system and move on land like a snake. Some “Roboshark on soldiers” action  doesn’t end well for the soldiers.

Billionaire “Bill Glates” arrives at the water department offices. He assumes command because he is more powerful than the president. It’s a belabored plot development. It’s padding for padding’s sake. Whatever jokes the filmmakers thought they could get from it, they miscalculated.

Here’s where Roboshark gets crazy funny. We see people all over the world tweeting about the shark. Dad, shaken by the presence of the crazy admiral who has commandeered his offices, lets Peterman know the creature is heading for the high school. The Scooby trio gets  there before the military and just in time for a swim meet. Ready for the genius crazy?

Daughter sends a tweet to Roboshark asking it to not hurt people and signs it with a crying face emoji. Roboshark doesn’t hurt any of the swimmers or a spectator who fell into the pool. It sends a crying face emoji to the daughter. She actually pets Roboshark and makes friends with it. Then the soldiers show up.

Crying face.

The finale takes the action to the Space Needle, the iconic symbol of Seattle. Apparently, the lonely Roboshark wants to phone home. This is one of literally dozens of movie references in this movie. The SyFy channel itself gets at least three name-checks. Every one of the references screams that the writers were enormously pleased with themselves. They shouldn’t have been. You must learn to kill your darlings, gentlemen.

Admiral Crazy and the Space Needle fall smack dab on Roboshark and poor Laura Dale. The oddly sympathetic creature is shattered into tiny glowing bits. No one seems to care much about Dale’s demise.

The closing scene has a dark-haired woman in sunglasses - perhaps a nod to Not of This Earth - holding a small Chihuahua whose eyes suddenly glow red. I’m amazed we didn’t get a question mark in the middle of the screen. However, if we’re going to talk sequel, let us consider the possibility of Dale’s newswoman character digging her way out of the Space Needle wreckage unharmed and with glowing red eyes.  I think the time is right for Robobitch.

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SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER


Roboshark isn’t a very good movie. It could and should have been so much better. There was some tasty meat to the proceedings, but the film needed a tighter script and more good actors. The ladies - Peterman, Grasse and Dale - do all the heavy lifting with little support from the rest of the cast. If you’re me and you can get enjoyment from even bad monster movies, it’s worth watching. If you’re less charitable than me, you should avoid it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my review of Mega Shark Versus Kolossus. See you then.

© 2015 Tony Isabella