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March 31st, 2016 Movie – Megalodon

megalodon

Another day, another shark movie involving a megalodon. I will need to double check this but I think I have at least another 3 or 4 movies where a megalodon is the “villain”. Now I do love a good killer shark movie, or a bad one for that matter, but sometimes, I think that making the killer animal a giant, prehistoric shark is a bit of a cop out. Honestly, it seems like it’s done just to up the “wow” factor and try to make the movie more exciting. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Today’s movie, simply called Megalodon, kind of splits the middle in those categories.

The plot: Following a news story about Nexecon’s new oil rig, reporter Christen Giddings and her cameraman, Jake Thompson, have been invited by Peter Brazier, Nexecon’s CEO, to tour and do a story on Colossus and possibly help alleviate the concerns held by some scientists and environmentalists. After getting a tour of the surface tower from the rig’s manager, David Collen, they rejoin Peter for dinner and meet the rest of the crew; Rig Medic/Safety Officer Mitchell Parks, Chief Engineer R.P. McGinnis, Lead Sub Pilot Amanda “Maz” Zablenko, and Dive Chief Ross Elliot. The next morning, Christen and Jake join Peter, David, and Mitchell as they descend down the elevator towards the sea floor and Christen suffers a brief panic attack but wants to continue the descent. Reaching the ocean floor, the drill is started and Christen questions Peter as to why she was brought there and he tells her that he wants her story to be able to clear his name from what environmentalists are saying about his rig. Later that night, Christen and Jake feel the rig tremble and go outside to find Peter talking with Mitchell and R.P. discussing the issue. Heading down in the elevator, Peter speaks with Ross, who is in one of the subs, and asks what the problem is. Ross tells them there is a blocked suction line so he is doing a squeeze test to find the blockage and remove the section of the line. Later, the tube is brought into a hazmat area and Mitchell and David cut into it to see what the blockage was. When the tube moves, David and Mitchell relax when they see a cod fall out of the opened tube but as David goes to grab it, he is attacked by another fish inside the tube. Mitchell cuts the head off the attacking fish and then goes to treat David, who is going into shock from the injury. Later, Christen and Peter are in the dining room when they are joined by Mitchell and Ross. After telling them how David is doing, Ross tells them that the fish was thought to have been extinct for millions of years, and it was only a juvenile as the full grown fish was 8 feet long. Sometime later, the rig begins having problems with the drill as it keeps hitting pockets of air. Christen, Jake, Peter, Mitchell, and R.P. ride the elevator down while Ross and Maz are in the mini-subs on the ocean floor. Suddenly, the drill head breaks through and falls into a giant cavern and Maz gets sucked into the hole. Suddenly, a horde of the prehistoric fish begin swimming out of the hole and Ross powers down his sub so he can find Maz when it is clear while the others head back to the surface. Back on the rig, Mitchell and Peter check on David but his condition is getting worse due to an infection from the bite. They decide to send him back to the mainland but an approaching storm has the helicopter grounded so they are forced to send him in one of the drop-boats. Back in the cavern, Maz makes contact with Ross and begins to explore the underwater cavern. After alerting the rig that he made contact, Ross heads down to check on Maz and after a brief exploration of the cavern, they head back to the surface. Later that night, an alert is sounded on the rig and everyone meets topside, where Peter tells them that there are some instabilities, possibly due to the cavern’s opening, and some methane fires in the waters but they are away from the rig. Ross, Mitchell, R.P., Christen, and Jake head down in the elevator while Maz and Grady Harper use the mini-subs to see what is going on. Peter is checking the sonar on the rig and sees a large object moving towards them. Ross tells Maz and Grady to shut down and let the object swim past them but they are shocked to see that the object is a megalodon. Grady panics and tries to make a run for it but the shark senses the movement and attacks the mini-sub and kills him. After the shark swims away, Ross tells Maz to stay put while they head back to the surface and he will get in the other sub and help her surface. As they are ascending, the rig is struck by the megalodon, due the the vibrations from the generators attracting it’s attention. Mitchell tells Peter to shut off the rigs power and the megalodon starts to swim away. When R.P. uses the elevator’s auxiliary power to bring the elevator to the surface, the megalodon attacks the elevator, with the impact causing R.P. to injure his leg. unable to surface due to some damage along the shaft, they are forced to blow the anchors and float to the surface, where Peter will pick them up in a helicopter. When the elevator surfaces, they are close to the rig but Maz, who had surfaced in the sub, pushes them to an ice flow so they can be rescued. As the helicopter prepares to rescue them, Maz starts heading back to the rig when she is attacked and killed by the megalodon. As the helicopter starts to land on the ice flow, the megalodon is attracted to the lights and begins breaking through the ice to get to it, and ends up eating R.P. before the others are rescued. The helicopter attempts to land on the rig but the storm causes it to crash on the landing pad, killing the pilot and Jake. Coming up with a plan to kill the megalodon, Ross decides to use the last mini-sub to harpoon the shark and then overload the fuel tanks to cause an explosion and kill it. Mitchell turns on the generators, which lures the shark to the rig, and then Ross gets it’s attention and has it chase after him. Ross manages to harpoon the shark but as it heads back to the rig, he detonates the sub, killing himself as well as the shark. 3 months later, Christen is sailing off the coast of France and writing a letter to Peter while thinking about the events on the Colossus, unaware that another megalodon is swimming underneath the boat.

So there are some good things and some bad things about this movie. The acting was decent though there were times when the shark was attacking/killing people that Al Sapienza (Ross) was a little too overdramatic. The plot was fairly basic and used a good hypothetical situation to explain how the giant shark appeared. The special effects were pretty good for a B-movie but I think they might have relied too much on the CGI at times. I did like the shark itself but it was only there for a short time as most of the movie seemed like set-up. Is it worth the watch? I can’t speak for everyone but it will at least keep you invested enough for the 90 minutes that it is on.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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March 30th, 2016 Movie – Mega Shark Vs Kolossus

mega shark vs kolossus

This past July was a fun week for fans of shark based Sci-fi movies. Aside from the latest Sharknado movie, there were also five other new shark movies to debut that week. Today’s movie was one of those movies that came out and as soon as I heard about it, I was incredibly excited. Finding a trailer for it online, and finding out I could pre-order it, just made me that much more anxious to watch it. While I am a little sad that this is the last of these movies to watch for the time being, at least until the latest one comes out, I am still going to enjoy watching Mega Shark Vs Kolossus.

The plot: One year after the last attack by a mega shark, the US Navy, under command of Admiral Titus Jackson, is off the coast of Brazil to test some of their equipment designed to combat the megalodon when they come across a Russian trawler. After discovering that they were mining Red Mercury, the trawler is ordered back to port to face charges and they begin hauling up their drill, unaware that they are bringing up a megalodon’s egg sac with them. As the trawler is leaving, it accidentally causes the Navy’s equipment to malfunction and when they reboot, the discover a 30 foot baby megalodon has appeared. Ignoring the sonic barriers they were testing, the megalodon destroys the trawler and the Unicorn squad, using their specially designed mini-subs, engage the shark. The megalodon withstands their attack, sending one of the subs flying into the Christ the Redeemer statue and damaging the second sub, which tries to use it’s self destruct to kill the shark but fails. Meanwhile, in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine, a Russian special forces unit led by Benedict and Moira meets with an arms dealer named Ivan, who has found a hidden bunker. Inside, Ivan shows Benedict a container of Red Mercury that he is selling them but he unknowingly activates a giant robot that was built during the cold war. When they become aware of the robot, Ivan makes a run for it but is killed by the robot while Moira, who is revealed to be a CIA agent, is forced to kill Benedict and then calls in about the robot. During a briefing about the megalodon, where they witness the megalodon attacking a relief ship and then a fighter plane that tried attacking it, Dr. Alison Gray argues they should try to capture the shark but Dr. John Bullock argues against that and Jackson tells the group that the extinction of the megalodon species is their only goal and has Bullock accompany him. Alison leaves the meeting but receives a call from Joshua Dane, who has her brought to meet him and says he wants to try and get her plan to work. Meanwhile, Moira is suspended following the events in Ukraine but seeing the file on Kolossus on her superior’s desk, she goes to see Spencer, the man who wrote the report, and convinces him to help her try to stop the robot. Off the coast of Gibraltar, Jackson has the fleet preparing to attack the megalodon when Alison, with Joshua on board his specially designed ship, contacts him and lets him know she has a working EMF generator that she can use to guide the shark away from civilian waters but Jackson refuse to listen and announces that any civilian casualties will be overlooked in the quest to kill the megalodon. The megalodon appears and Jackson has his fleet open fire but the megalodon destroys one ship and sends a torpedo flying into the wing of the plane carrying Moira and Spencer, causing them to crash. When Moira comes too, she finds herself on Joshua’s ship and after rejoining Spencer and meeting Joshua, they learn that the Russians are searching for the creator of the Kolossus, a scientist named Sergie Abramov. Remembering something that Abramov had once said, Spencer figures out where he might be hiding and Joshua loans them an Osprey helicopter to try and find the scientist. Meanwhile, Jackson uses a dead whale laced with C-4 to try and kill the megalodon but the megalodon tosses the whale onto the aircraft carrier that was towing it, causing the carrier to be destroyed. As Jackson, Bullock, and Lt. Commander Elisha Parker are on the nearby beach looking at the dead bodies when they are approached by Alison and Joshua, but Jackson refuses to consider capturing the shark. Meanwhile, Moira and Spenser arrive at what was once Abramov’s family farm and find Abramov in the diner where the farmhouse once stood. They try to convince him to help and he starts to tell them how to stop it when they are attacked by some Soviet soldiers. Moira manages to kill the soldiers but Abramov was shot and gives Spenser a pocket watch with a picture of his daughter inside, saying that Anya will show them the way, before he dies. As the Kolossus approaches, Moira and Spenser manage to get away just before the robot unleashes a detonation that destroys the small town. Back at sea, in an attempt to avoid any more deaths, Alison agrees to help Jackson kill the shark and uses her EMF generator to contain the shark inside a kill zone in the middle of the fleet but when the generator short circuits, the shark retaliates and destroys two ships. Jackson has Bullock and another sailor accompany him to the computer room, where he succombs to madness and shoots the sailor, then gives the sailor’s gun to Bullock and tells him to guard the door. Jackson locks everyone out of the computer system except himself, then orders a nuclear missile to be launched against the megalodon, then kills himself to ensure that nobody can stop the missile. Parker warns Joshua and Alison about what happened and Joshua comes up with an idea but he needs more time, so Alison grabs a miniature lure and uses it to draw the shark away, giving him the extra time. Joshua remotely reboots the computers onboard the Navy’s ship, causing it to recognize Parker as the commanding officer and she is able to self destruct the missiles. Meanwhile, Alison leads the megalodon into an inlet and has the Navy fire at the inlet walls, trapping the shark inside while she is rescued at the last minute by Moira and Spenser. Back on Joshua’s ship, Spenser is unable to find any lead on Anya but when they notice the watch causing some disturbance with a radio, Joshua examines it and they learn that the watch is really a compass that points towards Red Mercury. Using the compass, they find the lab where Abramov first invented Red Mercury, but it happens to be submerged in the inlet that the megalodon is trapped in. Needing a way to distract the megalodon, Moira uses the Osprey to lure the Kolossus into the inlet to fight the giant shark and they manage to take Joshua’s mini-sub into the lab. Inside, they find the control device and manage to get back to Joshua’s ship, where they are able to stop the Kolossus. However, Joshua has Alison, Moira, and Spenser taken captive and they learn that he had planned on taking control of the megalodon and with the Kolossus under his control, he can do just that. With both creatures under his control, Joshua issues an ultimatum to the world, causing the German, Russian, Ukraine, and US military to attack him but he uses the megalodon and Kolossus to easily destroy the attacking planes. When the US uses a satellite based laser on him, Joshua has Kolossus throw the megalodon into space to destroy the satellite. However, when the megalodon falls back into the ocean, the impact shakes loose the control implant and it attacks the Kolossus, knocking it out of Joshua’s control. Alison, Moira, and Spenser manage to escape and jump off the ship just as the Kolossus destroys the ship and kills Joshua. The megalodon and the Kolossus continue fighting and the Kolossus ends up grabbing the megalodon and self destructing, blowing up both creatures. Witnessing the explosion, Alison, Moira, and Spenser leave the area while somewhere in the Aegean Sea, another megalodon is shown to be emerging from it’s egg sac.

One more Asylum movie that is a lot of fun to watch. The acting was pretty decent, with Brody Hutzler (Joshua) doing a good job as the rich guy turned villain and Ernest Thomas (Jackson) playing the obsessed Admiral driven mad very well. The story was pretty interesting, and actually seemed to use the real life tensions with Russia that were occurring to help with the plot of the movie. Just like the last movie, the shark looked great, a lot better than some of the earlier movies and I really liked the design for Kolossus, reminding me a little bit of the titans from Attack On Titan. The special effects were what you would expect for this type of movie but they definitely weren’t on the cheap side of things. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more fighting between the two monsters but all in all, this was a fun movie and one of the better entries in the series.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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March 29th, 2016 Movie – Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark

mega shark vs mecha shark

You know you have made it as a giant monster when you end up facing a mechanical doppelganger of yourself. I mean, Godzilla faced three different Mechagodzillas, King Kong faced Mecha-Kong. And now we have Mecha Shark, the latest opponent for The Asylum’s favorite giant shark film series. I honestly don’t remember how I heard about this movie but as soon as I did, I immediately went on Amazon and picked it up. So let’s see just how good of an opponent the mechanical version is in today’s movie, Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark.

The plot: A tugboat is towing a large iceberg into the port of Alexandria, Egypt when the heat causes the iceberg to break apart, releasing a megalodon that was trapped inside. The megalodon attacks the tugboat and sends it flying into the air, where it decapitates the Sphinx when it lands, and all sea and air travel shuts down across the globe as word spreads about this new threat. Feeling the impact of the lack of trade, the UN convenes a special meeting to discuss how to combat this latest creature. Meanwhile, Jack Turner and Rosie Gray are testing the Mark 1, a prototype submarine that is designed to look like a shark. As Rosie pilots the sub with the help of their AI, Nero, she comes under attack by a pair of giant squid but she is able to fend them off. They cut their test short when they receive a message that the UN’s giant shark submarine, the Mark 2, is ready. They meet with Admiral Engleberg, who shows them the completed sub and says it is ready to ship out. Rosie is ready to go but Jack expresses concerns as the sub has not been tested and Nero has not been installed yet. When the megalodon is spotted off the coast of Australia, Engleberg receives a call from Emma MacNeil, who tells him that based off fossil records, the megalodon will probably stay in the area for a while. Reaching the are where the megalodon was last seen, Rosie gets in the Mark 2 and, accompanied by the USS Virginia, goes after the giant shark. Rosie tags the megalodon with a GPS beacon and the Virginia fires two torpedoes at it, but while one torpedo hits the shark, the other is batted away and ends up destroying the Virginia instead. Rosie tries attacking the shark but is unable to pilot the Mark 2 and aim the weapons at the same time and the megalodon is able to strike the mechanical shark and then swim away. Rosie brings the Mark 2 back to the surface and Engleberg starts to berate her for the loss of the Virginia but Jack steps in, arguing that they need to install Nero to help coordinate Rosie’s efforts and Engleberg reluctantly agrees. As Jack installs Nero into the Mark 2, the megalodon continues it’s rampage, attacking an oil rig and causing the pipes to start leaking oil into the ocean. Once Jack is finished, Rosie pilots the sub to chase after the megalodon but when it swims into an oil cloud, Rosie is forced to use the Mark 2 to cap the damaged pipes to prevent more oil from leaking out into the ocean. When a 747 flies into the area, the megalodon leaps out of the water to try and snag the plane but the Mark 2 leaps out of the water to collide with the megalodon, saving the plane and sending the megalodon crashing back into the water. As Rosie continues the fight, she notices that the GPS beacon has fallen off the megalodon and she fires a torpedo at the shark but it bats it away, sending the projectile into a ship in the support fleet. Shaken by what happened, Rosie continues attacking the megalodon, following it into a trench but when she fires a torpedo, she misses and causes a landslide, which knocks her unconscious and traps the Mark 2 in the debris. The aircraft carrier USS James Stewart arrives in the area to help out when it comes under attack by the megalodon. Back in the trench, Nero comes up with an idea on how to free the Mark 2 and manages to successfully free the sub and begins floating back to the surface. Meanwhile, Jack learns that the James Stewart was testing high frequency emitters and he tells them to turn them off as that is what was attracting the shark. When the emitters are turned off, the megalodon stops it’s attack but ends up destroying the aircraft carrier after attacking one of it’s fighter planes and crashing down onto the ship. When the Mark 2 surfaces, Jack and Engleberg head down to check on Rosie and with no available pilots left, Jack agrees to let Nero take control of the ship on it’s own and continue the pursuit of the megalodon. When Rosie comes too, she receives word that Emma wants to see her so she flies out to her research lab in New Zealand. Meanwhile, Nero pilots the Mark 2 after the megalodon but is unable to find it amidst the debris from the carrier. The megalodon attacks the Mark 2 and knocks it offline before it swims away. Rosie meets with Emma, who tells her that the megalodon is heading towards Sydney, Australia, which was once a breeding ground for the megalodons. Meanwhile, the megalodon has reached Sydney and is attacking ships in te harbor. The Mark 2 arrives to continue fighting but the megalodon ends up knocking it out of the water and into the Sydney Opera House. With all of the Mark2’s systems offline, Jack heads out to inspect the damage and meets up with Rosie, who had arrived in Sydney and was trying to find a missing girl who had ran off from her mother. The Mark 2 goes haywire and ends up unleashing an amphibious mode to begin moving through the city. As Rosie and Jack are trying to get the missing girl back to her mother, Emma calls Rosie and tells them to try and lure the mecha shark back to the sea and let the megalodon destroy it. Rosie comes up with an idea and leaps into the mechanical shark’s mouth, and makes her way to the pulse generator and turns it on so that it will lure the megalodon to the Mark 2. Meanwhile, Engleberg’s ship, the Charles Davis, is using depth charges to try and kill the megalodon but the megalodon destroys the ship and eats Engleberg. Jack lures the Mark 2 back towards the ocean but some jets begin attacking the mechanical shark, causing Rosie to fall into the Mark 2’s chum pit. When the Mark 2 is blown back into the ocean, Jack uses the Mark 1 to head inside the shark and makes his way to the control room. Once there, he helps Nero regain control of the damaged sub, and saves Rosie’s life before he leaves the severely damage sub. Rosie begins swimming for surface, briefly getting snagged on a piece of metal and then she and Jack take cover on shore as the megalodon, attracted by the pulse generator, bites down on a torpedo and explodes. Glad that they are both alive, Jack shows Rosie a flash drive that contains a copy of Nero and says they can work on it later after they explain what happened to the Australian authorities.

While it was still entertaining, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with this movie. The acting was pretty good among the three main leads of Christopher Judge (Jack), Elisabeth Rohm (Rosie), and Matt Lagan (Engleberg) but Debbie Gibson’s continuously calling in with “helpful ideas” could have been cut to one, maybe two scenes at most, and honestly wasn’t really necessary. The plot was actually pretty good and did make sense (Yeh, that sounds weird to me too), but there were some story lines that they either needed to flesh out more or just leave out. For instance, when Rosie was unconscious, you see a dream sequence where it is revealed that she had a daughter with Jack and their child died, which led to her beginning to drink and after she wakes up, she ends up pouring out a bottle of gin that she brought but nothing was ever really said regarding it. As for the special effects, they did a pretty solid job on them, with some being surprisingly good and some being the normal bad jobs that make these movies fun to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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March 28th, 2016 Movie – Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus

mega shark vs crocosaurus

You just can’t keep a good idea for a shark movie down. After the cult success of Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, The Asylum decided to make a sequel. However, while there would be some references to the original movie, none of the original stars would make an appearance so a new cast was needed as well as a new monster to fight. Now I was excited to hear about a new movie but there was one thing that had me concerned. Exactly how good would “Urkel” (Jaleel White) be starring in Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus?

The plot: At an illegal diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a tremor occurs in the cave, unleashing a giant crocodile that proceeds to kill most of the people at the mine. Meanwhile, the USS Gibson is out in the Atlantic Ocean when they pick up a strange signal in the water. Lt. Terry McCormick, a shark expert doing research on the ship, believes it might be the megalodon but the ship’s captain dismisses him. Terry gets the hydrophonic sphere that he is working on and wants to try and repel the shark but before he can use them, the megalodon attacks the ship. Terry goes looking for his fiance but finds her dead and realizing that the ship is going to be sunk, he quickly dons a wet-suit and is the only person to survive the wreckage. Back in the Congo, an Enlishman named Nigel Putnam is hired by a woman named Legatt to deal with the creature that chased off the workers at the coal mine owned by the company she represents. When they arrive at the site, they find the place deserted when Legatt is suddenly killed by the crocodile. Putnam ducks inside a small cave but when the crocodile chases after him, he uses his tranquilizer sticks on the crocodile as it swallows him whole, knocking out the crocodile, allowing him to climb out of it’s mouth. Putnam calls his friend Jean, who owns a cargo ship, and arranges to have the crocodile transported out of the country. In Los Angeles, Terry is being questioned about the events of the USS Gibson when the interrogation is interrupted by Agent Hutchinson from the N.O.A.A. (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), who wants Terry to help find and kill the megalodon. Terry agrees as he believes it was his fault that the megalodon attacked the ship. Meanwhile, Putnam is onboard the ship carrying the crocodile, as well as the eggs he found, when they suddenly come under attack by the megalodon. Putnam is forced to jump off the ship as the crocodile wakes up and escapes from the ship. Terry is taken to the USS Lexington and meets Admiral Calvin, who explains that this is an elite team that is assembled for the sole purpose of hunting down the megalodon and Terry agrees to help find it. Meanwhile, Putnam ends up washing ashore on a nearby island and is picked up by Agent Hutchinson, who questions him about the shark but when she learns about the crocodile, she brings him back to the Lexington. On board the Lexington, the crew have been tracking both the shark and the crocodile and Calvin sends Putnam to retrieve some newly discovered eggs, sending Terry and Hutchinson along as well. Reaching the site, Terry works on his sonic equipment while Putnam and Hutchinson go looking for the eggs. Seeing that the eggs go all along the coastline, Hutchinson calls in a missile strike to destroy them all and the three head back to the helicopter. Suddenly, the megalodon appears and begins eating the eggs, causing the crocodile to emerge from it’s hiding place. The missiles destroy the eggs but the two creatures get away, with the crocodile heading towards Miami. Trying to come up with a way to steer the creature away from major cities, Terry convinces Admiral Calvin to use the nearby nuclear power plant to create an arc flash, which drives the crocodile back into the ocean. After the megalodon destroys a sub and two helicopters that were transporting more eggs, Putnam comes up with an idea to lure the creatures into the Panama Canal and trap them in the locks, telling Hutchinson to search the wreckage of his ship to find some more eggs. The eggs work as a lure and both creatures reach the canal and begin fighting but their battle ends up destroying the locks and flooding the canal. Now loose in the Pacific Ocean, they discover that the crocodile has laid some more eggs, some of which have hatched and begin attacking Santa Monica. Meanwhile, a nuclear sub is following the megalodon and tries to attack it but the megalodon ends up swallowing the sub, making it an even bigger threat. Meanwhile, the mother crocodile has reached Hawaii and as Terry, Putnam, and Hutchinson follow it in a helicopter but the crocodile’s rampage ends up knocking the helicopter out of the sky. Hutchinson is unconscious after the crash and Terry and Putnam are forced to continue on their own. Seeing the megalodon and crocodile fighting, and the baby crocodiles being drawn to the cries of their parent, Terry decides to use his device to lure the creatures towards an active volcano area and trigger an eruption to kill them. Grabbing a nearby boat, they head out into the water and Terry manages to get his device to work, luring the creatures into the area. As the two monsters continue to fight, the two men head back to shore, catching sight of Hutchinson flying a repaired helicopter towards them. Terry triggers an explosion which sets off the volcano and the lava engulfs all of the creatures, kiling them all and the megalodon and the giant crocodile’s charred bodies fall into the volcano, still locked in combat. Hutchinson reports to the Lexington that the creatures are destroyed as she flies back to the ship with Terry and Putnam. Some time later, Putnam returns to the island he washed up on and meets up with Jean, who had also survived. He tells Jean about a giant lizard in Japan and asks if he wants to come along and Jean agrees, provided that there are no more boats.

Look, if it is an Asylum movie, I am going to like it and this is no exception. The acting was pretty decent for the most part but Jaleel White (Terry) was kind of all over the place emotionally, which he was supposed to as he was more or less in shock over the death of his fiance. The story was pretty good and there were a fair number of references to the original movie, such as a Japanese poster for the movie outside a mall and the name of the ship being the Gibson (referencing Debbie Gibson). The special effects were as cheesy bad as you could hope to expect, with some of the same clips seen over and over, primarily the two creatures fighting, in order to add some length to the fight scenes. If you want some good cheesy fun, then this is definitely worth watching.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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March 27th, 2016 Movie – Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus

mega shark vs giant octopus

While they have been around for a while, I think this right here is what got everyone’s attention focused on The Asylum. All it took was a trailer showing a plane jumping out of the ocean and taking down a plane and the thing went viral. That’s pretty much what happened with me because as soon as I saw the trailer I immediately went looking for the movie. Not once have I regretted it as Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus has quickly become one of my go to movies when I need a laugh.

The plot: Off the Alaskan coast, oceanographer Emma MacNeil takes an experimental submarine with out permission and along with her friend, Vince, they use it to observe the various marine life including a school of hammerhead sharks and a pod of humpback whales. Unknown to them, a helicopter is overhead and drops a sonar device, causing the whales to freak out and begin smashing into the bottom of the glacier. As the glacier starts to break apart, pieces of it manage to hit the helicopter, causing it to explode. Meanwhile, Emma notices the device just before the pod scatters as the glacier breaks apart, and Emma momentarily glimpses two giant creatures before they swim away. Later that night, an oil rig off the coast of Japan is attacked and destroyed by a giant octopus. The next day, Emma goes to investigate the carcass of a dead whale that washed up on the beach at Point Dume, California. Noticing something in one of the wounds, Emma tries to retrieve it but her boss tells her to stop, writing off the whale’s death as a propeller injury and sending Emma home, saying she will be facing a review panel for stealing the sub. Knowing she will be fired in the morning, Emma goes back to the carcass that night and manages to retrieve the object she saw. In Tokyo, the survivor of the oil rig is questioned by Dr. Seiji Shimada, who has the man describe what he saw. Meanwhile, a plane is flying over the ocean when a giant shark leaps out of the water and attacks the plane, dragging it down into the ocean. After being fired form her job the next day, Emma goes to see her old professor, Lamar Sanders, and shows him the object, which he determines is the tooth from a megalodon. As they are discussing the possibility of such a shark existing, Lamar receives a call from Dr. Shimada and Lamar and Emma go to meet him at the airport. When Shimada sees the tooth, he says that a megalodon doesn’t match the description of what attacked the oil rig, showing Emma and Lamar what the survivor drew. When Lamar answers a knock at the door, he finds an envelope addressed to Emma, which contains a DVD. Realizing that it is the camera footage from the mini-sub, Emma and the others watch to video and see the footage showing the megalodon as well as a giant octopus that were frozen in the ice. Meanwhile, a Navy destroyer spots the megalodon and attempts to destroy it but the shark is unharmed and destroys the ship instead. The next day, Emma, Lamar, and Shimada are arrested and taken to a military base, where the base commander, Allan Baxter, who wants there help in dealing with the meance as the creatures have been attacking ships and ocean structures all over the ocean. While working on a way to capture or destroy the creatures, Emma and Shimada find themselves attracted to one another and end up having sex in a supply closet. Talking afterwards, Emma realizes that they can use pheromones to lure the creatures into a trap and capture them. Shimada heads back to Japan to use the pheromones on the octopus while Emma and Lamar plan to lure the megalodon into San Francisco Bay in order to trap it. Using a mini-sub, Emma and Lamar head into the bay to place the pheromone lure but the sub’s robotic arm jams and with the megalodon approaching fast, they are forced to break off the arm in order to get away. Baxter orders a nearby Navy ship to fire on the megalodon but it has no effect and the shark destroys the ship, then heads towards the Golden Gate Bridge, biting off a section of the bridge before it leaves. Baxter contacts Shimada, who tells them that they had just as little success in dealing with the octopus. Baxter plans on calling in the use of nuclear weapons unless they can come up with a better plan and Emma decides they should lure the creatures into fighting each other. Emma, Lamar, and Baxter board a sub and use it to follow the creatures as they travel north, but they soon find themselves being chased by the megalodon. A group of Seawolf class subs manages to chase off the megalodon but the subs are then destroyed by the giant octopus. Lamar has the submarine head towards a narrow passage through the ice but the sub’s pilot cracks under the pressure and pulls a gun on the captain, forcing him to be subdued and Lamar takes over at the controls. The two giant monsters are finally brought together and begin fighting but when the stop fighting for a second, the megalodon ends up attacking the sub again. Emma, Lamar, and Baxter get into the mini-sub and manage to escape but after destroying the sub, the megalodon turns it’s attention to them. The megalodon is chased away by a Japanese sub that Shimada is traveling in. The giant octopus attacks the Japanese sub and cripples it but is forced to let go when the megalodon resumes it’s attack on the octopus. At the end of their battle, the megalodon had bitten off several of the octopus’ tentacles, causing it to bleed to death but the octopus had managed to wrap it’s remaining tentacles around the shark, causing it to suffacate and both monsters end up sinking to their deaths at the bottom of the ocean. As Emma, Lamar, and Baxter watch the monsters sink out of sight, they are suprised to see another mini-sub containing Shimada approach them and they are all able to leave. Some time later, Emma and Shimada are relaxing on a beach and discussing what the future may hold for them when Lamar approaches them with a file containing infared images of a mysterious life form in the North Sea and the three hurry off towards a new adventure.

No real surprise but of course this movie wound up being panned by critics, earning a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “With shoddy FX, acting and directing. This isn’t so bad it’s good. It’s just so bad it’s terrible.” However, it did have it’s defenders and with the help of the trailer going viral like it did, prompting DVD pre-orders to spike. The movie developed enough of a cult following to spawn three sequels, with Debbie Gibson briefly reprising her role in the third one.

This is an absolutely fantastic movie to watch precisely because it runs the range of being decent to being just so, so bad. The acting was decent at times and sometimes laughably bad. The story was entertaining to say the least but the the changes in viewpoint at times and some of the other scene edits were just terrible. It’s a B-movie so I know the special effects aren’t going to be breathtaking but for what they were, the effects weren’t as bad as I expected them to be. Still, the shark taking out the plane alone makes this movie worth watching and all of the other good/bad things that happen are just icing on the cake.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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March 26th, 2016 Movie – Mega Python Vs Gatoroid

mega python vs gatoroid

Before the whole Sharknado craze, you really didn’t get a lot of media hype about upcoming Syfy channel movies. However, there was a fair amount of hype about today’s movie around the time it premiered. For one reason, there was the story, along with the picture, about a python whose stomach had exploded when it tried to eat an alligator that was all over the internet, which made for a great bit of coincidental press coverage. But you also had two rival 80’s pop princesses duking it out alongside their giant reptile co-stars. Both Tiffany and Debbie Gibson had starred in Asylum movies before but putting them both together really was a good movie and made me anticipate watching Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid that much more.

The plot: Dr. Nikki Riley and her two assistants, Ben and Gia, break into a house and begin stealing all of the pythons inside. After managing to escape from the police, they head out to the Florida Everglades to release the snakes into the wild. Some time later, Terry O’Hara, the lead Park Ranger for the Everglades, refuses to issue permits to hunt alligators to the loacl hunters due to a decrease in the gator population. Later that day, Nikki is almost shot by three hunters, who were shooting a python and as she yells at the hunters, the group witness a python attacking a gator. Nikki goes to her lab to get some pheromones to lure the snakes to safety but as she is stopped on the side of the road, a large python approaches her and is about to strike before it is run over by Justin, Terry’s fiance. When Justin tells Terry what happened, she realizes that there are more snakes than the one Zeke and his friends killed and decides to issue special permits for the hunters to kill the snakes, as they are not native to the area and could decimate the ecosystem. The next day, Nikki gathers some people to protest the hunt, begging Terry to call off the hunters but Terry refuses to call it off and sends the hunters out. Unknown to the hunters, the pythons have started growing to an abnormally large size and some of the hunters are killed, including Justin. Grief-stricken over Justin’s death, Terry attacks Nikki, who said that Terry was responsible for the people’s deaths, before Nikki is escorted away from the ranger station. Trying to come up with a way to kill all of the snakes, Terry believes that they need a bigger gator, so Angie, one of her deputy rangers, takes Terry to see her grandson, who gives them some boxes of steroids including an experimental drug that neutralizes the inhibitors for muscle growth. Terry and Angie proceed to inject the drugs into some dead chickens, which they then start feeding to the gators. Unknown to them, Nikki, believing that Terry would do something to harm the snakes she is trying to protect, had Ben and Gia place cameras in the everglades and they record Terry feeding the chickens to the alligators. The drugs work as the alligators do begin to grow in size, but when some of the pythons begin eating the eggs laid by the alligators, they start growing as well. Some time later, Terry meets Dr. Diego Ortiz, who Angie had called in to help with the snakes, and he points out that the alligators and snakes are getting bigger. When Diego witnesses a giant alligator being killed by a giant python, he tries to warn Terry but she is more interested in the upcoming charity fundraiser for the Everglades and dismisses Diego. Meanwhile, Nikki, Ben, and Gia are in the Everglades and come across the skeleton of a large python when they are attacked by a giant alligator, which kills Gia. Nikki and Ben are chased into the swamp by a second alligator and Ben is killed but Diego manages to save Nikki. Trying to make sense of what happened, Nikki realizes that Terry had somehow increased the size of the gators and asks Diego to take her to her lab so she can get the proof. As Nikki gets the recording and prepares to crash Terry’s fundraiser, Diego heads back to the Everglades and blows up a gator nest that he had found but finds over a thousand more eggs in a nearby quarry. Diego calls Terry and tells her to cancel the fundraiser and call in the National Guard but she refuses to listen and proceeds with the event. After giving her speech, Terry confronts Nikki, who threatens to show everyone the recording, and the two begin fighting, knocking over several tables and eventually ending up in the swamp. Diego sees a large number of alligators and pythons heading towards the fundraiser and warns the people but they end up getting attacked, in spite of their efforts to kill the animals. Terry and Nikki stop fighting and head back to the party, where Diego and Angie are the only people left, and they all escape in Diego’s SUV. The group head towards Miami to try and warn people about the giant animals but they are too late as the city is already under attack and Angie winds up being killed. Deciding to work together to destroy the creatures, they grab a cropduster and head back to Nikki’s lab, where they load the plane with the pheromones to use as a lure for the animals while Nikki heads to the quarry to set up some dynamite to blow up the eggs and the animals when they arrive. Diego and Terry get the pheromones to start spraying and the animals start to follow them but as they try to lead them away from a nuclear power plant, a snake lashes out at the plane and causes them to crash. Diego’s foot is pinned in the wreckage and he convinces Terry to grab the pheromones and continue leading the animals out of the city and into the quarry. Meanwhile, Nikki is setting the charges but the eggs start to hatch and when she tries to leave the cave, she finds her way blocked by the mother gator. Terry had grabbed a car and continued leading the animals to the quarry and manages to save Nikki by blowing up the car as the gator tries to bite it. Realizing all of the adult animals are being drawn to the quarry by the cries from the baby gators, the two women are forced to hide in the storage container containing the explosives. Diego managed to free himself from the wreckage and after being picked up by a rescue helicopter, he has them fly out to the quarry. Hearing the helicopter, Terry and Nikki climb onto the roof of the container and start climbing the rescue ladder but Terry is killed by one of the alligators. Safely inside the helicopter, Nikki sets off the charges and kills all of the animals but the concussion from the blast causes her to fall out of the helicopter and land in the swamp. Wading back to the shore, she pushes away pieces of the giant animals when the severed head of a snake suddenly snaps it jaws and ends up biting her in half. One year later, Diego is giving a speech for the dedication ceremony of the O’Hara-Riley Estuary, named in honor of Terry and Nikki.

Definitely a “so bad, it is down right funny” movie that is worth watching. The acting was decent for the most part but there were times where both Debbie Gibson and Tiffany would be screaming for no real reason. The plot was kind of interesting, essentially taking what is happening in real life regarding pythons having been introduced into the Everglades and breeding and then kicking that up several notches. The special effects were not exactly the best and there were a few times where it looked like some of the scenes involving the alligators were taken from some older Asylum movies (primarily Supercroc and Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus) but I would have to re-watch those to say for certain. One really funny thing in the movie was the number of subtle references to Debbie Gibson and Tiffany’s pop career, such as people wearing t-shirts from their old records or both women referencing the other singer’s song. A lot of fun to watch and sure to make you laugh, whether from the bad effects or the interactions between Tiffany and Debbie Gibson.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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March 25th, 2016 Movie – Mega Piranha

mega piranha

I am going to enjoy the next couple of movies because they are all from one of my favorite studios, The Asylum. Today’s movie is one of their famous “mockbusters”, this one being a mockbuster for Piranha 3D. There are a number of reasons why I enjoy this movie, not the least of which being the reaction from some of my friends when they watched it. So let’s just go ahead and get right into today’s movie, Mega Piranha.

The plot: On the Orinoco River in Venezuela, a young couple go for a swim and wind up getting attacked and killed by some large piranha. Some time later, a US Ambassador and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister are traveling down the river by boat when boat is attacked and sunk, with everyone on board being killed. Special Forces operative Jason Fitch receives a call from Secretary of State Bob Grady and is ordered to head down to Venezuela and help Colonel Antonio Diaz’s investigation in order to find out what happened. Meanwhile, Sarah Monroe and her associates, Dr. Eli Gordon and Dr. Brian Higgins, are taking samples from the river and realize that a group of genetically modified piranha that they were working on caused the wreck and that the piranha are continuing to grow. When Fitch arrives in Venezuela, Sarah tries talking to him and telling him what she knows and tells him to try and convince Diaz to help her destroy the fish. Fitch is taken to the military base where he meets Diaz, who is adamant that the boat was destroyed by an explosion and refuses to allow Fitch to investigate. Fitch sneak out of the base and hires a boat to take him where the ambassador was killed, updating Secretary Grady on what was going on along the way. Reaching where he wanted to go, Fitch dives into the river to investigate and comes across a dam, which he is forced to climb over. On the other side of the dam, Fitch is attacked by a school of piranha but manages to get away when he wounds one of them, causing the others to pounce on it in a feeding frenzy. Fitch reaches the shore to catch his breath when a piranha leaps out of the water and attacks him but Fitch manages to kill it. Returning back to the base, Fitch shows Diaz the dead fish, telling him that the giant piranha were responsible for the boat’s destruction, then heads to the lab, where Sarah and the others begin examining the fish. Secretary Grady calls Fitch and tells him to get back to the base as Diaz is up to something, Sarah decides to go with him. When they get there, they learn that Diaz is sending helicopters up the river to try and kill the fish and they warn him that it won’t work but Diaz refuses to listen and goes through with his plan. The next day, Diaz accompanies Fitch to Sarah’s lab and takes Sarah into custody and tells his men to arrest Fitch as well but Fitch manages to escape. Meanwhile, some more of Diaz’s men were searching the river for Eli and Brian, who were checking the make sure all the piranha were killed, when a group of piranha sink a gunboat and kill all the men on board. The next morning, Eli and Brian manage to get away from one soldier when he is killed by piranha but they are soon captured and taken to Diaz’s base. Inside the base, Diaz is torturing Brian and trying to get him to sign papers saying Sarah and the others were members of the CIA conducting illegal experiments but Brian refuses. Diaz orders the three scientists to be taken to a secret facility but Fitch follows them. When there is a disturbance in the town harbor, Fitch manages to rescue the scientists but before they leave, they witness the piranha, grown to even larger size now, attacking people and buildings in the harbor and Brian ends up getting killed. As they make there way up the river, Fitch calls Secretary Grady and tells him to bomb the mouth of the river where it meets the ocean, and Grady arranges to have a battleship go pass the coast and attack on Fitch’s signal. Fitch, Sarah, and Eli make their way to the coast but are chased by Diaz and his men. Reaching the river mouth, Fitch calls in an SOS and the ship begins firing , seemingly killing all of the fish. As Fitch and the others head towards the evac point, They are shocked to see even larger piranha’s suddenly leaping out into the ocean, where they proceed to destroy the battleship and make their way north. Fitch steals one of Diaz’s choppers and after managing to shake Diaz, uses it to fly to the International Super Bunker. Inside the bunker, the Naval commander on board tells them that a nuclear sub is tracking the piranhas and preparing to fire a nuclear torpedo at the giant fish in order to kill them but the piranhas survive the blast and destroy the sub. With the piranhas on a course to reach Florida in an hour, Grady is preparing to call the president and order a nuclear strike off the coast of Florida in order to kill the fish but Fitch manages to convince him to give him another shot at killing the fish, telling him his plan to have the fish kill each other instead. Fitch and Eli go with a team of Navy Seals and they drop into the ocean off the Florida coast, just as the piranha are beginning to attack the Florida Keys. Using special weapons and armor piercing rounds, Fitch and the Seals try to wound the piranhas but their weapons aren’t working so Fitch wants a helicopter to prepare a bomb they can use inside the piranhas’ mouth. However, Colonel Diaz shows up and destroys the helicopter, then lowers a cable down to retrieve Eli and Fitch, unaware who is in the helicopter. When Fitch climbs aboard the helicopter, Eli gets shot during a schuffle but Fitch manages to kill the pilot and, after dropping a life raft and pushing Eli out of the helicopter, punches Diaz and throws a lure onto the helicopter before he jumps out. Attracted by the lure, a piranha leaps out of the water and attacks the helicopter, killing Diaz. Fitch heads back underwater and shoots the helicopter wreckage in the piranha’s mouth, causing an explosion that wounds the giant fish. Attracted by the blood, the other piranha’s begin attacking the injured fish and starting a feeding frenzy. With the fish apparently killing each other off, Fitch, Eli, and the surviving Seals head back to the bunker, where Fitch ends up kissing Sarah as the sun sets.

Simply put, this movie is one of those B-movies that is entertaining to watch because it is so bad. The acting was pretty decent, with Paul Logan and Tiffany both doing a good job as their respective leads. The plot was pretty interesting but there really wasn’t an ending, as they basically had one piranha being killed in the frenzy and let it be assumed that all of the other piranhas would be killed in the frenzy as well. The special effects were about what you would expect, but they made for some funny scenes, such as Fitch’s getting knocked to the ground and having to bicycle kick at the piranha that are leaping out of the water at him, or the times piranhas are jumping out of the water and crashing into buildings, or during the car chase when both Fitch’s and Diaz’s car would change models during the entire chase. Personally, I liked the fact that most of the guns they were using in the underwater scene were Nerf guns that were painted black. Either way, it is a lot of fun to watch because of how ridiculous it is.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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