Monday, September 16, 2013
no Sharknado . Ghost Shark was too consciously aware of how
wild and wacky it was and, before long, the movie’s main attraction for me
was guessing where Ghostie Jaws would appear next. But I’m getting
ahead of myself.
Ghost Shark has a brilliant premise. This shark gets tortured and
killed by an unsavory couple trying to win a fishing contest. Its
corpse drifts into a spooky cave where its spirit is unleashed to
prey anywhere there’s water. Of course, water is everywhere, even
inside you. Is that a bad burrito rumbling in your stomach or is
it Ghostie Jaws?
The story is by Eric Forsberg and director Geoff Furst with Paul A.
Birkett writing the screenplay. One doesn’t want to think about a
movie like this too carefully, but, I kept asking questions which
were never answered. The shark gets revenge on its killers and on
the captain of the ship they chartered within the first 15 minutes
of the movie. What does it want after that?
Digression. The movie needed a ghostbuster who could have explained
that the shark was angry and lost, incapable of understanding its
new existence and striking out randomly on account of it couldn’t
find the peace of the grave or some such. Just some sort of quick
pseudo-explanation would have suited me fine.
The ghost shark special effects are decent, but nothing we haven’t
seen in other Syfy movies. I applaud the return of the half-eaten
human stumbling around on its lower half until it falls bloodily to
the ground - that was the highpoint of Basilisk: The Serpent King
 - but it loses something when the victims are members of the
least scary street gang in the history of movies.
Something that baffled me was the scene where the ghost shark shows
up in the bathtub of the heroine’s kid sister and doesn’t eat her.
He nibbles a little bit, but she survives the attack. Later, when
it has a shot at the heroine in the spooky cave, it passes through
her with no effect. Maybe the sisters use nasty-tasting body wash
Ghost Shark misses a major bet once we learn the crazy lighthouse
keeper played by Richard Moll murdered his wife and placed her body
in the spooky cave. He then claimed that she drowned in the cave
when the tide came in. How could you miss having Mrs. Lighthouse
Keeper show up to get in on the mayhem?
Finally, for some stupid reason, Syfy posted Twitter tweets on the
screen during the film. The channel tried way too hard to make the
premiere an event, desperate to repeat the amazing success that it
had with Sharknado. That annoyed the crap out of me and it wasn’t
Ghost Shark was already goofy fun. It didn’t score any points for
its mediocre acting, but it followed through on its insane premise
in an entertaining manner. That was good enough for me. It’s not
a movie I’d watch again, but I have no regrets about spending two
hours with it.
Writing this review left me parched. Hey, is that a blue glow in
my pop? What new flavor is Pepsi trying now?
I first saw Ice Road Terror (2011) on the Syfy Channel a few years
back. For some reason, I ended up requesting a copy of the movie
from my library and figured - what the heck - I’d give it a repeat
viewing. It held up the second time around.
The man-crunching monster is a dinosaur about the size of a truck.
When diamond miners open a new shaft in their operation, it takes
that to mean “come on and eat all the folks you can” and commences
to do just that. Not a bad looking creature, lots of blood, lots
of body parts...it’s Saturday night in Syfy Town.
Two ice road truckers are making a last run of the season to bring
the miners more boom-boom stuff. Riding with them is a government
inspector. They get to the camp in time to rescue two survivors of
the monster’s buffet. If you watch this movie, don’t get attached
to those survivors or the trucks.
Our three heroes make their way to the only truck stop for hundreds
of miles. It’s run by an older couple that’s so cantankerous and cute
you will take them to immediately. If I were writing this movie,
I would’ve surprised viewers by letting them be the ones who kill
the monster and survive. Their deaths are predictable, as is the
death of one of the heroes. Points off for that.
Still, Ice Road Terror isn’t a bad little creature feature. It’s
got some decent characterization and suspense. The blood and gore
isn’t excessive, but it’s not absent either. It’s not a movie I’d
plan to watch a third time, but I could see myself coming across it
while channel surfing and watching it for a bit.
One more. When I decided to review Invasion Roswell , all I
could remember about the movie was how utterly forgettable it was.
I had to go to the Internet Movie Database to refresh my memory of
the film. Which is a shame because the basic premise of the movie
wasn’t a bad one.
Here’s the rough plot. When the alien spacecraft landed in Roswell
in the 1950s, the government created a team of special soldiers to
battle extraterrestrials. The years fly by, the aliens don’t come
back, the soldiers get older, the unit is retired. That’s when the
aliens come back and catch mankind off guard.
Invasion Roswell borrows a great deal from Independence Day because
that’s how movies like Invasion Roswell roll. Most of the acting
is terrible, though Denise Crosby and Greg Evigan bring some game
to the proceedings. The special effects are very far from special;
we’ve seen them all many times before. If this movie shows up on
the Syfy Channel again, give it a pass.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more movie madness. After all, all of
those Hansel and Gretel movies aren’t going to review themselves.
To say nothing of Robo Croc.
© 2013 Tony Isabella
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