Thursday, July 5, 2018

reel big fish.

With the big screen adaptation of The Meg finally surfacing and Twin 2 Embeth being totally obsessed with Shark movies I reckoned it was time to re-view (and re-review) a few big fish classics.

Baw Hied.

Oh and this one obviously.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
Dir: David Worth.
Cast: Sir John of Barrowman, Jenny McShane, Ryan Cutrona, Plamen Zahov, a load of Bulgarians and a bloody big shark.

"Why do I let you convince me to do these things?"

"Cause you're my bitch."

In the trendy (for the 1980s that is) summer vacation resort of Playa Del Rey in Mexico (or is it Saltcoats?, I can never be sure), Big Tam - a sneaky lobster potter (which I assume is a wee bit like Harry Potter but smellier) - has discovered an unusually large shark tooth stuck into a fibre optic cable whilst out, um, potting for lobsters I guess.

Bizarrely tho' the man is shown catching a clawed Maine lobsters and as everyone knows lobsters caught off the coast of Mexico are from the Palinuridae family (and often known as rock lobsters) and do not have claws.

It's shit like this that really winds me up.

Anyway back to the plot where a slightly disturbed by his find Tam decides to come clean (as opposed to coming all over a wee boys stomach) about hisllegal lobster potting to the uber-hunky local beach patrol guy (but obviously not a lobster expert) Ben Demoverachairandletthemhaveit (star of the Movie Game, Doctor Who and Torchwood and the reason we're here, Barrowman) and seek his fish style expertise to identify it.

After much frowning and gritting of (his perfect) teeth - plus quick a lot of buttock clenching one imagines - Ben admits defeat , deciding to post a picture of the tooth on a marine biologist dating/message board in the hope that someone may have an idea of what it is.

Apart from being a tooth obviously.

"So you like sharks too? Well get your webcam on and your kit off!"

Almost immediately (well it is a short movie) he's PM-ed by sexy blonde Paleontologist Cataline 'Cat' Stone (Ex-Lovejoy and Deadwood actor McShane from the original Shark Attack movie which begs the question what juicy gossip does the producer of this series have on her and more importantly is he willing to share?) who is pretty sure that the tooth belongs to either a Carcharodon Megalodon - a long thought extinct species of shark thought to grow up to 60 ft. in length - or one of The Bee Gees.

Most likely Barry.

Booking a plane ticket to the resort she arrives -  alongside a couple of underwater cameramen - the next day and immediately begins work on the tooth, soon confirming ithat yup it is indeed from a Megalodon.

Hopping aboard The Barrowman Love Boat the group soon find the prehistoric beast and one of the cameramen (whom we shall call George) manages to attach a mini-transponder to it in order to track its movements.
Because science.

Ben is quite understandably a wee bit freaked out by a giant prehistoric killing machine roaming the oceans in the lead up to the resorts opening day but Cat reassures him that it'll probably just swim off when it gets bored as giant prehistoric killing machines very rarely attack beaches.

And Ben, fancying himself a nice bit of lady-love (which is quite possibly the most far-fetched thing in the film) accepts her hypothesis without question.

Barrowman of steel, woman of Kleenex.

Surprisingly Cat seems to be correct as the shark seems quite content to lazily swim around until that is it encounters a guy playing frisbee with his dog on the beach and as we all know, Megalodon's fucking hate frisbees.

From there on in it's a feeding frenzy on the by now bloodied beach as the shark munches its way thru a dozen or so underpaid (yet scarily overfed) extras whilst Cat and Ben valiantly attempt to stop it.

All this shark-based carnage is too much for poor Cat who within seconds transforms from an eco-friendly fish lover to a screaming shark hating mentalist vowing to kill the creature with anything that comes to hand.

Unfortunately the nearest thing she has is a shotgun that's in the by now submerged bit of Ben's boat.

Wading thru' the flooded area below decks the shark suddenly smashes thru' the hull making her drop the gun, luckily Ben is on hand to distract the megalodon by waving his cock at it before beating the poor fish around the head with his mighty manhood.

Tho' in the excitement I may have mistaken the baseball bat he's holding for a penis.

It's happened before.

Dazed and confused the fish stays still long enough for Cat to shoot it in the face and the group jump around celebrating the cold-blooded murder of an endangered species.

This is YOUR fault Trump.

All this congratulatory back-slapping (and arse touching) is rudely interrupted - tho' not alas by the gasman - when an even bigger shark appears eating the camera guy whole.

You see in the excitement Cat had forgotten to mention that the tooth had come from a baby Megalodon.

As it goes in for the - badly CGI-ed - kill  Ben and Cat manage to escape in a handy helicopter shows up out of nowhere and drops a rope ladder ala the Adam West Batman movie.


"You're a lobster Harry!"

Meanwhile back at the company responsible for all the underwater cabling, the grey-maned, pop-eyed trouble shooter Chuck Rampart (Cutrona from The Last Boyscout and your mum's bed) has discovered that the company boss Hector Badman (Zahov from the classic Denyat na vladetelite) was aware of the Megalodon's existence as well as the fact that the species is attracted to the ultrasonic sound made by the cables.

Which kinda begs the question as to how someone can know so much about an up till then presumed extinct species but not about what lobsters life locally?

Threatening to go to the press (or at the very least tell Hector's mum) Chuck is unceremoniously throw out into the street.

"Ah never touched yer weans!"

Meanwhile back at his tastefully decorated bachelor pad (way too tastefully decorated for a straight guy) Ben and Cat are busy planning how to kill the shark but the only scheme that they can think of involves a mini submersible and a stolen torpedo.

And would you believe that Chuck has both in his garage?

Unfortunately the torpedo that Chuck has is programmed not to target anything living (so the formica hell cast of this movie should be worried) but Cat has an idea, it seems that she was the school crossbow champion so she offers to fire a (nother) transponder at the shark for the torpedo to hone in on.

But it's a race against time as the shark has decided it's quite peckish and what better place to feed than the exact spot that Hector has decided to hold a cheese and wine party on his luxury yacht.

Bikini clad, topless, bottomless; all humans are the same to this bad boy (or girl) as the mighty Meg decides to eat it's way thru' most of the movies (remaining) cast members.....

Suit in mah mooth!

David Worth, director of such highly regarded classics as Shark Attack 2, Kickboxer and three episodes of the Air America tv series (plus a fair bit of straight to video erotica under the name Sven Conrad) probably had no idea of what a cult classic he'd create when he signed up to make this movie - if he had he'd have probably put a wee bit more effort into it - but the casting of the then (fairly) unknown and fresh-faced - as well as bare arsed - John Barrowman changed all that when the Glasgow born bon viveur went stellar after his portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness in the Doctor Who.

Younger readers may find it shocking to realise that there was a time when only a select few even knew of Barrowman's existence, let alone his first forays into Bulgarian-backed beast movies.

These days everyone (and their gran) owns a copy of this film and the stars famous (add-libbed) line regarding the scoffing of cats has become a timeless classic up there with other great film quotes that I should really mention but frankly can't be arsed to.

Laugh nnnnnooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww!!!!

As for the rest of the cast; Jenny McShane is blonde, buxom and doesn't mind getting her kit off (all the qualities of a Marine Paleontologist methinks) whilst Ryan Cutrona's portrayal of Chuck is all angry stares and stary eyes, coming across for all the world like an angrier less pervy Jimmy Savile filmed in the wrong screen ratio.

A living breathing cliche made flesh he spouts lines straight from the George Kennedy book of brutish banter whilst managing to pull of the tightest, most nipple revealing polo shirt ever known to man.

His whole character - and the films writing in general - can be summed up by this exchange he has with horrid Hugo:

Chuck: You knew something dangerous was going on down there and you let them dive anyway!
Hugo: Calm down Chuck... I don't know what your talking about.
Chuck: Bull-fucking-shit!

See what I mean?.

Sheer lazy shorthands-ville (Which, coincidently isn't a real place, I made it up for this review) at its most banal, can you believe it took two people (Scott Devine and William Hooke I'm looking at you) to write that dialogue?

Luckily the pair seemed to drop out of writing after penning the first 3 (!) Shark Attack movies, Devine to focus on producing such quality DVD filer fayre as Jessica Tandy: Theatre Legend to Screen Star and FeardotCom: Visions of Fear whilst Hooke went back to fighting Peter Pan and being a cinematographer for the extras on the Shameless tv show boxsets.

Shit, someone with a career trajectory worse than mine, now that's a first.

Saying that tho' it's easy to slag of the movies low budget and indifferent performances (and if truth be told it is kinda fun to do that) but where else would you find a big CGI shark eating a tuxedo-ed man on a jet ski in one gulp?

Or the Barrowman naked 'n' straight for pay?

Go know you want to.

If you haven't already that is.

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