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Posted: June 17, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Marine biology gone bad

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Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

As everyone knows prehistoric sharks and octopi were mortal enemies. Well, I didn’t know that, but thanks to "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" I do now.

In this horrible movie, a Megalodon (prehistoric) shark and a giant octopus were frozen — mid-combat — during the Ice Age, but when the Alaskan glacier they were entombed in melted, the two miraculously revived and began running amok around the world once more.

Thus begins the plot of what may just be the worst movie I have ever seen, though to be fair, I had a good idea of what I was getting myself into before I put this straight-to-DVD new release on my Netflix queue. I first realized this little gem existed when I saw a much-hyped clip online, and from that moment on I knew I had to see it. A shark chomping the Golden Gate Bridge in half, an octopus toppling an oil rig off the coast of Japan and Debbie Gibson of "Electric Youth" fame — how could you go wrong? In the first 15 minutes of the movie this mega shark goes all Air Jaws and jumps into the air and literally eats a Boeing 747 full of people. I had high hopes that this movie would be so bad that it would become good, but I could not have been more wrong.

So the plot of this disaster film is fairly simple, and with decent computer generated special effects it could have been a good movie, but the effects resemble something from the early 90s. We see massive military ships and then we get an undersea glance of mega shark and see that the ship looks like small child in comparison to the massive beastly Megalodon. Giant octopus is often shown up close — with its mean mug on — one beady eye glistening in the darkness of the sea.

So Debbie Gibson (who wants to be called Deborah because she is a serious actress, but I just can’t do it since I used to wear her perfume and still have "Lost in Your Eyes" on my iPod) is a scientist — no laughing — whose specialty is whales. She’s also a bit of a maverick who takes the submersible without permission and answers to no one but the sea. After being fired for doing the above-mentioned by some marine science center in California, she hooks up with a former professor played by Sean Lawlor (who is Irish but whose accent sounds like someone faking an Irish brogue) and tries to figure out a way to save the world from these mega monsters.

Along the way they have help from Vic Chao who plays a Japanese doctor who falls in love with Gibson. The three figure out a way to draw the two monsters together using pheromones and in the process we get to see a lot of close up shots of their faces, grinning madly and looking quite mischievous, and several scenes of them mixing things in beakers. It’s like an episode of "Bill Nye the Science Guy" being acted out by the residents of crazy town.

Then we get the Oscar-worthy performance by the always magnificent Lorenzo Lamas, who just curses a lot and yells at people. For some reason he is listed as one of the film’s stars — and I use both terms "film" and "stars" very, very loosely.

So since Mega and Giant are sworn enemies the scientists get the two together using pheromones for what I am sure will be the fight of the decade. I was ready for some blood or guts — some sort of primeval scream as the two duke it out — but the battle is quite anti-climatic. Giant octopus wraps mega shark in some sort of deadly embrace and they sink to the bottom of the ocean. Leaving things wide open for a sequel, which I pray never comes.

I have watched a lot of bad movies, many of which have been so horrible that they’ve become favorites of mine for just that reason, but this movie is just bad. If you want to torture yourself, go ahead and rent it, but I would suggest just watching the trailer online — the less one sees of Lorenzo Lamas the better.

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