Happy New Year everyone. I hope everybody had a fun night with friends and family. As I finally seem to be getting over the bout of Vertigo that hit me at the end of the year, I am finally able to get back to watching and reviewing some movies and, as is usually the case, I find myself starting the year with movies that I bought/received over the Christmas holidays. Back in July during the annual Sharknado week on Syfy, this is one of the movies that I was most interested in watching. The Asylum’s shark movies are always some of my favorites every year so let’s see have some fun with today’s movie, 5-Headed Shark Attack.
The plot: In the waters off of Palomino Island, Puerto Rico, a photographer is taking pictures of some models on his boat while his friend/pilot is fooling around inside with another girl. When one of the girls notices blood in the water, they see a giant, 4-headed shark circling the boat and as everyone stands on the edge of the boat to watch it, the shark suddenly rushes towards the boat before leaping onto the boat to kill them. The San Juan Police Department are called in about the attack and Captain Sterling and Angie Black investigate the boat only to find the photographer’s camera on the blood covered deck, with pictures of the shark on it’s memory card. They take the camera to the local aquarium to see Dr. Angie Yost, a marine biologist working there with her 4 students/assistants (Cait, Lindsay, Ram, and Sean). When the police tell her of the shark attack, Angie is skeptical at first until they show her the picture, which piqued her interest. When aquarium owner Thaddeus Marshall learns that there were multiple sightings of the shark, he tells the police that it has to be some sort of hoax and convinces Angie to go along with his thoughts. Once the police leave, he organizes a trip and blackmails Angie and her assistants to help him find and capture the shark, threatening their jobs if they don’t help him. Angie and her assistants reluctantly agree and they head out to search for the shark but they find no sign of any marine life at first. When the shark appears and begins circling the boat, they can only catch glimpses of it at first until it grabs Sean and drags him into the water and kills him. They head back to port and report what happened to the police, then Angie chastises Thaddeus for his part in getting Sean killed but Thaddeus refuses to back down on his desire to capture the shark and convinces Angie and the others to go along with him. As the police offer a reward for the shark’s death, Angie takes Thaddeus and the others to see Red, an old acquaintance and former partner of hers and enlists him to help them capture the shark. Meanwhile, the shark attacks a fishing boat, sinking it to get to the crew, and then attacks some divers researching a nearby coral reef. When a tour boat sees the shark killing a humpback whale, they radio in the incident and then head back to port with the shark chasing after them. Red hears the mayday over the radio and heads towards the boat with plans to use a spear gun to tag it with a sonar tracker, then argues with Angie when she wants to turn back, saying he can’t let the shark stay out there and keep killing people. The tour boat manages to make it to port and the people get to safety but the shark kills a police officer before heading towards Red’s ship. The shark swims underneath the ship and begins circling it before swimming out of the water to attack it. Red manages to shoot the shark with the tracker but it still manages to grab Lindsay and drag her into the water and kill her. When they get back to the aquarium, Ram yells at Thaddeus, blaming him for Lindsay’s death. Meanwhile, the shark mutates, growing a head out of it’s tail fin, and attacks a surfing competition. Trying to come up with a plan, Angie decides to try and use recorded dolphin sounds to manipulate the shark into a position to where they can kill it. Red and Juan agree with the plan but say they have a limited amount of explosives they can use, overruling Thaddeus plea to try and capture it alive. Red and Juan each pilot a boat out into the bay, with plans to lure it into an inlet so they can kill it. Sterling and Black set up sonar sensors on the outskirts of the inlet so they can keep tabs on the shark while Red and the others head into the inlet and prepare to attack it with depth charges. The shark attacks Sterling’s boat, killing Black when she falls into the water, then cripples Sterling’s boat and causing it to drift. Sterling radios Red about what happened and Red tells him to use the dolphin sounds to lure it to his position. Sterling uses some depth charges to attract the shark’s attention and as it swims towards him, he activates the speakers, causing the shark to head to Red’s position. Red and the others get ready to kill the shark, putting the explosives inside some milk jugs filled with blood to lure the shark into swallowing them but as it swims towards them, it knocks the tracker loose, causing Angie to lose sight of it on her tablet. Red has Cait help Ram with the chum line and keep an eye on the fish finder and they eventually catch sight of it on the sonar circling them. The shark attacks one of the milk jugs and knocks it loose, where it is swallowed by another shark and when it explodes, they think they kill it only to be shocked when the fin reemerges. The shark cripples their boat and they radio Sterling for help, who calls in a helicopter to help them. The shark attacks the boat and knocks Cait into the water and Ram jumps into the water to help her. They manage to swim back to the boat and Thaddeus drives the shark away by throwing a harpoon into it but he gets tangled up in the rope and dragged into the water, where the shark kills him. Red arms Angie, Cait, and Ram and they fire at the shark to try and keep it at bay long enough for them to be rescued. When the helicopter arrives, it starts descending to rescue them but the shark leaps out of the water, grabs the helicopter, and drags it down into the water. When the shark ends up pinned by the helicopter wreckage, they think it might have been killed but it soon gets free and begins circling the boat again. Red has Ram start chumming to lure the shark towards them and he takes to last of his depth charges and attaches them to a large boat hook, then leaps onto the shark when it passes by them. Red stabs the hook into the shark and is carried away from the boat and Angie and the others watch as the shark explodes. Angie, Cait, and Ram fear that Red was killed as well but they soon see him climb back aboard the ship and Angie embraces him as they all laugh at surviving the ordeal.
Normally, if you give me a shark movie from the Asylum, I will love it but unfortunately, this one was a little disappointing. The acting was ok, with Chris Bruno and Nikki Howard doing good jobs in their roles. The story was pretty weak, never really trying to attempt to explain how the shark came to be; just going with the whole “oh look, there is a giant mutant shark somehow swimming in the water here.” The biggest disappointment was the shark design in general. They had a great set-up for how the shark could look at the end of 3-Headed Shark Attack, making it look essentially like a hydra in shark form. They end look for the shark, 4 heads side by side with a 5th head emerging from the tail, honestly looked pretty weak and lazy. The only thing I can figure is that it was easier to make it look this way via special effects but that honestly doesn’t make that much sense. Unfortunately, this might be one of the rare disappointments in the Asylum’s history of shark movies.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5