***Warning: May contain spoilers***
SyFy has taken heat since their re-branding and left some geeks feeling the sting of betrayal, believing the network turned their backs on a loyal audience. We are not here to judge SyFy and the merits of their marketing campaign, we are here to talk about what has remained the same. The network’s biggest constant – the SyFy Original Movie.
SyFy produces television movies reminiscent of the creature features we all remember from our childhood. Featuring aliens, natural disasters, ghosts and a bevy of animals not typically seen in nature, SyFy continues this tradition with Sharktopus, which aired Saturday, September 25th.
Sharktopus tells the story of a genetic hybrid . . . you guessed it – half shark, half octopus. Add a little bio-mechanical manipulation and you have the navy’s next secret weapon . . . S-11. What happens when the remote control collar comes off? A killing spree. And there is no better killing ground for a genetically altered sea creature bent on revenge, than the bikini-clad resort landscapes of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. With a description like that, how could you miss this movie?
If the plot is not enough to draw you in, let us talk casting. For the most part, the cast is made up of relatively unknown actors, with Sara Malakul Lane (Belly of the Beast, Tied In Knots) & Kerem Bursin (Killian, Razor Man) taking the lead. Sara Malakul Lane is the leading lady as Nicole Sands , the bio-mechanical engineer on the S-11 project. Kerem Bursin is cast as the carefree and charming shark wrangler, Andy Flynn, brought in to save the day. Another actor adding their talents to Sharktopus, is Ralph Garman (NYPD Blue, 10 Items or Less,Family Guy), portraying Captain Jack. Captain Jack is a Pirate Radio Operator and our cynic, refusing to believe an outlandish creature such as the S-11 could exist. As far as his performance in the movie, I will say it is obvious someone has taken a movement class. To round out the casting, there is no small supply of women on set to look pretty in bathing suits, scream and be eaten by our sea-faring freak of genetics.
Truth be told, the acting is atrocious. If you have ever seen a SyFy Original Movie, you already know this. As for Sharktopus, he is, of course, CGI rendered. The artists had problems maintaining consistency with the size of Sharktopus, but it is to be expected with this caliber of movie. Also CGI-rendered is a large amount of the blood and gore. While the CGI does remove you somewhat from the experience, it does allow for more gruesome kills.
The surprise in Sharktopus is Eric Roberts (The Expendables, Heroes, Crash). Yes, that Eric Roberts. He appears as Mr. Sands, President of the Blue Water Corporation and head of the S-11 project. We get to see him play Mr. Sands as the proud, doting father of Nicole Sands, as well as a shrewd businessman who will do whatever it takes to save the government contract. I do not know who SyFy executives had to bow before to in order to get Eric Roberts to appear in a SyFy Original Movie, but I appreciate their sacrifice. Even if the movie is awesomely bad, Eric Roberts brings the Awesome.
Contributing to the sheer awesome of Sharktopus, is the theme song by the same name. The fun surf punk rock song is performed by The Cheetah Whores, an all-female band from Rochester, NY. The beat is addictive and the lyrics are hilariously tongue-in-cheek. Head over to The Cheetah Whores’ website to hear the theme. Sharktopus is also available on their album Bang Bang Baby, available for purchase on iTunes.
As for the verdict on this SyFy Original Movie, I have to say it is a great way to spend a couple of hours when you have nothing else going on. If you enjoy B-movies and Creature Features, Sharktopus is our modern day film of the genre and you will enjoy it. If, however, you are looking for quality in filmmaking, stay far away from this one. Sharktopus is Awesomely Bad . . . in the very best way possible.
Still cannot make up your mind? Watch the trailer again and decide.