Daily Schlock Vol. 1: Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus! Odds are, you’ve at least seen the trailer for it on YouTube, or MySpace, or somesuch, seeing as how it’s had a gajillion views already. But the real question is, does it all live up to what you saw? The answer awaits you! 

If you wish to know the plot of the film, here it is: a supposedly extinct MEGA shark fights a GIANT octopus, and silly little humans kind of get in the way. Yeah, the title pretty much says it all. But to be a little more in depth, a couple oceanographers have “borrowed” an experimental submarine from their bosses to study the migration patterns of whales on the coast of Alaska. At the same time, a military helicopter is dropping a series of experimental sonar transmitters in the area, which causes the whales to go insane and start ramming into a nearby glacier, the helicopter crashes into the same glacier, the glacier busts open, and our giant monsters are unleashed on the world! The majority of the movie is then a mixture of giant monsters chasing each other, giant monsters treating human weaponry as playthings, and humans trying to figure out how the hell to stop them.

If the plot sounds cheesy, that’s because it IS. This is a film that oozes so much cheese it could possibly give you a heart attack. The thing is, many would consider it a “bad” movie, but those people are being fooled. This is actually a really well made movie. I say this; because every scene in the movie is crafted in the manner they wanted it. This movie was intended to be like this, and if you open yourself up to the fun of it all, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. The second you see that giant shark jump out of the water and bite a plane in MID FLIGHT, you know it’s going to be a ride. Especially since the plane being bitten is within the first 20 minutes of the film.

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus harkens back to the olden days of drive in b-monster movies that were everywhere in the ‘60s. Even to the extent of a “sex scene” within the film. I use the term in quotes because… well, you don’t actually see anything. They actually cut completely around the sex and really any type of nudity. You see a little making out, the couple drops off screen, it cuts, and they’re standing and almost fully clothed already. This seemingly small thing really hammered in the notion that this film is from a different time to me. If you ignore some of the more extreme cussing in it(which isn’t much), you could probably take it back in time and sell the film fairly easily without raising suspicions. This is also one of those few movies where its small budget probably helped more than hurt it. Not having time for endless reshoots, and having CG that doesn’t look purely lifelike just adds to the experience. Having said that though, the CG shark and octopus were really much better than I ever imagined. Nothing near the quality of a big budget flick, and everything CG typically had that “slightly off” look, but in several scenes it actually looked borderline natural.

The acting is mostly surprisingly good. The actors are obviously hamming it up a bit, but it’s believable. They don’t take it quite far enough that you think they’re about to wink at you to let you know they’re in on the joke. Debbie Gibson and Vic Chao are incredibly likable, and Lorenzo Lamas is incredibly great at provoking a bit of hatred.

The fact of the matter is, you probably already know if you’re going to like this movie or not, purely from the trailer. For the most part, it is exactly as the trailer portrays. It’s over-the-top, it’s goofy, it’s cheesy, but it is quite glorious. But also, if you go into it with an open mind, the quality of it might actually surprise you and change your opinion from “so bad it’s good,” to “good.”

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