Tonight is going to be a long night, and an even longer day tomorrow. See, Dragoncon is tomorrow and I am already getting excited to have some fun. Of course, it is only fitting that on the eve of Dragoncon, I find myself watching a sci-fi B-movie. Now I bought this movie years ago because I was going through a shark movie buying phase. Honestly, you can never have enough shark movies so what is one more movie to add to the pile. Now I had never heard of Blue Demon before I picked it up, I just bought it on a whim. The question remains, was it worth the cost?
The plot: Late one night, 4 college girls break into a government complex on the beach in order to force the girl pledging the sorority to take a challenge. The pledge gets into the water and starts swimming out to the buoy but she says that something is in the water and quickly climbs up onto the buoy platform. As the sorority girls debate on leaving her, the military police show up and two of the girls try to escape in a nearby boat but as they push it out into the water and start to get in, one of the girls is suddenly dragged underwater. She surfaces close to the buoy and the pledge tries to help her up but as the girl is repeatedly dragged underwater, the pledge ends up pulling up her severed arm, causing her to start screaming. The next day, Dr. Marla and Dr. Nathan Collins, head researchers for the Blue Demon project, are called into Lawrence Van Allen’s, their boss, office, where he tells them that their project is being terminated due to the girl’s death. As Marla and Nathan argue about how that wasn’t possible, it is revealed that the sharks had chewed a hole in the wire net around their enclosure and that the electric fence had been turned off due to budget shortfalls. He then says that if they had brought him something he could bring to the Oversight Committee, they wouldn’t be in this predicament. Marla contacts Avery, their computer technician, and has him drive out to the pier with a chunk of meat to show Van Allen what they have accomplished with the project. As Lawrence watches, the 6 sharks, Red Dog, Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo, and Zeppo, move towards the meat but at a command from Marla, Avery activates the system that causes them to avoid it. Van Allen is impressed and asks if it can be made to have them target something instead of avoid it and Nathan says it’s possible but Marla argues against it. When Red Dog ignores the command and grabs the meat, Marla admits that for some reason, it is 50/50 with Red Dog and they haven’t figured out why. Van Allen tells them their is a budget review in 90 days and they need something concrete or else they will be unemployed. As they leave, Nathan receives a package from a courier, containing the divorce papers from Marla’s attorney and he signs them and hands them back to Marla. Nathan tells her that he wants the wedding ring back, as it was a family heirloom, and Marla tries taking it off but when she can’t, she leaves the room. Marla heads to the pier, where she comments to the sharks swimming nearby, and uses some soap to get the ring off but it ends up slipping off her hand and rolling onto the dock. When Marla goes to pick it up, she slips on the soap and ends up falling on the deck, knocking herself out in the process, then falls into the water. Nathan and Avery are talking when they notice Marla’s body in the water and they rush out to the dock, where Avery begins shooting at the shark that is approaching her. Avery misses and Nathan quickly heads to the computer and successfully turns the shark around, then they quickly grab Marla and drag her back onto the dock. 6 weeks later, three workers, Edd, Jimmy, and Katie, head out to repair the hole in the shark fence as part of their general maintenance. Meanwhile, Van Allen hosts a meeting where General Remora is introduced and informs everyone that he has taken command of the project. Remora explains that a terrorist organization has gotten a hold of a Soviet suitcase nuke and that they apparently plan on smuggling it into the country by sea. Van Allen then explains the purpose of Blue Demon and moves to show the assembled crowd their genetically altered sharks but when he opens the curtain, the sharks are nowhere to be seen. Marla, Nathan, Avery, and Van Allen head out to the dock and discover that the gate is open and they are unable to get the sharks to respond to their commands. Nathan pulls up the sonar and sees two blips on the far end of the lagoon and Avery says mentions the maintenance workers so Nathan tries contacting them but gets no response. Nathan and Avery and finally get a hold of Katie, who tries to warn Ed and Jimmy but they ignore her and dive into the water, where they end up being killed by the sharks. Nathan and Avery return to the lab and check the systems to find nothing wrong but they can’t explain why they aren’t able to regain control of the sharks. As the sharks head towards populated areas, Nathan wants to call the Coast Guard to warn people on the lake but Remora, who had entered the lab, stops him from making the call, as he doesn’t want people to learn that the military was involved in the sharks. Nathan disregards Remora and leaves the lab, starting to call the Coast Guard but Remora has his men arrest Nathan and charges him with a terrorist attack. When Van Allen asks what proof he has, Remora tells him that he pulled the logs and Nathan’s codes were the last ones used to open the gate. Out on the lake, a father and daughter are fishing on the lake when the daughter catches a large bass. As the father goes to take a picture, one of the shark leaps out of the water and almost lands on the dock. The daughter drops the fish and tells her dad about the shark, as he didn’t see it, but as he tells her to pick her fish back up so he can take the picture, he ends up falling off the dock and into the lake. The daughter and another fisherman rush to help him out as the sharks swim towards him and the daughter is able to save him by throwing her fish back into the lake away from her father, causing the sharks to chase after it. Back at the lab, Marla leaves the lab, telling Avery that she is going to the ladies room, and sneaks out to the holding area, where she shoots the guard watching Nathan with a tranquilizer dart. As Nathan asks what she is doing, Marla tells him that the program to control the sharks was actually a shadow program built on top of their system, allowing someone to hijack the program while they were unaware of losing control. When she says that the program was initiated from someone on the inside, Nathan suspects Avery but she tells him Avery wouldn’t risk his job and she believes Van Allen is behind it. Meanwhile, Van Allen discovers that Marla is missing and when he can’t reach the holding cell, he goes there and finds the unconscious guard. Van Allen calls security and orders them to stop both Dr. Collins but they manage to make it off the site. Back on the lake, a teenage couple go swimming in the lake when they spot a shark swimming towards them. As the rush back to the shore, the fisherman that helped save the girl’s father pulls up in a boat and starts shooting at the shark with a spear gun, eventually killing it. Nathan has Marla stop so he can use a pay phone to call the Coast Guard to warn them about the sharks but they don’t believe him and hang up. As he heads back to the car, Marla tells him that she might be able to use her cellphone and laptop, plus a prototype system disk, to track and control the sharks just as they hear about the manhunt that has been put out about them. Back at the lab, Avery is working on rebooting the system when he detects a second signal and Van Allen says it is them and orders him to try and track them. On the road, Marla and Nathan are talking when Marla gets a signal and sees the sharks heading towards the beach. When they get there and see the beach is packed, Nathan tells Marla to keep trying to get the program working while he goes to try and warn people off the beach. As Marla is working, a beach patrol officer approaches the car and asks her to step outside. Meanwhile, Nathan isn’t having much luck but when a surfer is attacked by a shark, the people start to panic. Nathan heads into the water to help get people out of there but as he gets knocked over by a wave, Marla has full signal strength on her computer and uses it to fry the chips in the sharks’ brains, killing them all. Nathan wakes up in the hospital to find Marla standing next to him and when Van Allen shows up asking about the sharks, Nathan tells him that there were only 4 sharks on the beach. Van Allen calls to check the number of shark carcasses recovered and confirms that there were 4 on the beach and 1 by the fisherman. Realizing that they were duped, the three head back to the lab to confront Avery and discover that he has a fake program running to make it look like all 6 sharks were together. When they ask him where the last shark is, Remora shows up, holding a gun on them. When they ask why they are doing this, Avery says the money while Remora says it is to keep the country from getting soft on terrorism and to stop wasting money on social programs like schools and the poor. Remora then explains that he has Red Dog programmed to deliver a bomb so as to keep the war on terror at the fore front of the government’s mind. Marla manages to throw a life preserver around Remora, knocking the gun from his hands, and Avery chooses to run, with Marla and Nathan following after him. Avery tries to escape in a truck but when Nathan chases him out of it, they discover that Avery has built a lab in the back of the truck. The two begin to access his computers and find Red Dog but notice he has something in his mouth. When they detect plutonium, they realize that Remora was the one to buy the Russian nuke, to use on the US and blame terrorists for it. Avery leaves the truck to let the authorities know but Avery hits him in the head with a shovel, then locks the back of the truck and drives off, with Marla still inside. As Nathan chases after them, Marla continues working on the computer and manages to access Red Dogs command files. Nathan manages to force Avery off the road, and after checking to make sure Avery is unconscious, Nathan heads to the back to check on Marla. Marla says she is fine, then rushes back to the computer to cancel Red Dog’s program. Red Dog, which had been heading to the Golden Gate Bridge, turns away and heads back to the facility. Van Allen is keeping watch over Remora in the viewing room when they see Red Dog approaching and Van Allen quickly leaps out of the room and seals the door, leaving Remora to be killed in the blast. Some time later, as the nuclear blast is being labeled as an accident by the press, Marla and Nathan are heading to testify in front of a Senate Commission. Before the enter the building, Nathan asks Marla what she had been trying to tell him earlier and she admits that she didn’t file the divorce papers. Smiling, Nathan holds out the wedding ring and Marla holds out her hand, letting Nathan put it back on her and the two kiss before Van Allen interrupts them and tells them they have to go, and the couple join Van Allen and head inside to give their testimony about what happened.
This was kind of a ridiculous movie that had it’s entertaining moments, but that wasn’t enough to make it a really good movie. The acting was ok among the main 5 characters but all of the minor characters were just terrible. Of the main characters, my favorites were honestly Josh Hammond (Avery) and Jeff Fahey (Remora), who went somewhat overboard with their characters which made them better. The story was interesting, though there was nothing about it that felt original except for the original intent of the Blue Demon project. That was actually somewhat original. The special effects in this movie were actually kind of laughable. The CGI with the sharks was pretty cheap looking while there were a couple of times where the fins/tails that were used for the surface water shots looked like they had fallen flat, making me laugh. Meanwhile, the comedy that the put in this movie did help make it a little less generic but there were times where it killed any sort of serious mood they were going for. It’s a time suck movie when you want to veg with some mindless entertainment, but it’s not worth searching for.
Rating: 2 out of 5