Friday, September 25, 2015


Raiders of the Lost Shark [2014] is, above all else, infectiously fun. I was either giggling or smiling throughout most of it, which made the whole “good movie/bad movie” thing moot for me. The low-budget film entertained me and that’s all I ever ask of any movie  I see. Here’s the somewhat exaggerated back-cover come on:

Four friends set out by boat for an idyllic vacation on a private, remote island. But unknown to them, a weaponized shark has escaped from a top secret military lab nearby, a shark that was genetically engineered with hate in its blood, and programmed to hunt any human within range. Now, these friends must band together to battle an all new brand of predator who will stop at nothing to remain at the top of the food chain.

Remember how I said this was a low-budget movie? It’s so low-budget that there are actually only three friends who set out on the boat. That’s one less sandwich multiplied by however many lunches the cast had during the shooting of the movie.

Raiders stars a bunch of actors you never heard of, but I loved how they embraced the silliness of this movie. As the grizzled sea dog  Captain Stuben, Scott McClelland had me on the floor when he tells his college student passengers that a shark took his hand. When one  young woman points out he has two hands, McClelland just stares at the hand like it was something unearthly. There is a great deal of humor in this film, some of it corny and some of it just cray-cray enough to work. The cast of characters includes a professor haunted by the death of her shark-eaten sister, a ruthless businesswoman, a mad scientist, lazy security guards, a lunatic sheriff and his suffering deputy, as well as the victims of both sexes and with a refreshing variety of body types.

Raiders was directed by Scott Patrick and written by Brett Kelly, David A. Lloyd and Trevor Payer. Brett Kelly Entertainment turned to Indiegogo for the necessary funds to complete the shark puppet used in the movie. Hooked by the title of the movie, I donated to the cause. For my contribution, I got “special thanks” recognition in the end credits.

Raiders has another comics connection as well. Comics artist-writer Janet Hetherington is one of the associate producers of this movie. Her secret cinema life also includes credits as an actress, writer and producer.

If you’re in the right frame of mind when you watch Raiders of the Lost Shark, as I clearly was, then you’ll probably get a kick out of it. As I did. If you’re not in that frame of mind, you won’t get that kick out of it.

I’m glad I rolled the dice on this one.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

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