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