This. This right here is the reason that I bought the Shark Bait box set. When I first heard about this movie, my initial thoughts were an excited “This movie might be on par with Santa Slay for best campy Christmas movie ever.” When it debuted on Syfy during last year’s Sharknado Week, it easily became one of my favorite entries for that year. So let’s have some early Holiday cheer as I watch today’s movie, Santa Jaws.
The plot: Cody is working on his “Santa Jaws” comic that he is making with his friend Steve and discussing it with Steve and Clark, who are excited for an upcoming Christmas party at the comic book shop. Cody heads home as his uncle Mike and his new wife Georgia arrive and as the rest of the family greeting them, Cody’s mom Caroline grounds him for posting an “offensive cartoon” concerning the talks of school uniforms on social media. That night, Cody finds a Christmas present from his grandfather, Papa Joe, on his desk. Upon opening it, he sees it contains an antique, ornate fountain pen, which Cody uses to redraw a sketch of Santa Jaws in his notebook. As Cody goes to sleep, he is unaware of a strange glow appearing in the nearby cove, and Sanra Jaws, a shark with a Santa’s hat and Christmas lights on it’s dorsal fin, begins swimming around. The next morning, Papa Joe wakes up Cody to go on their annual Christmas Eve fishing trip and as Cody reluctantly walks to the truck, he is distracted by his new neighbor, Jena, and trips over some decorations. As Cody and Papa Joe are fishing, Papa Joe tries talking to Cody about what is bothering him and Cody admits how he seems to constantly embarrass himself when he tries talking to Jena. Papa Joe comforts Cody, who starts to feel better, but when Papa Joe goes to retrieve his thermos that Cody accidentally dropped into the water, he is killed by Santa Jaws. Cody runs home and tells his family what happened but none of them believe him and his mother grounds him for another week, taking his phone away from him. As his family heads off to prepare for the annual Christmas Dinner, Cody heads to the comic shop to tell Steve and Clark what he saw, but they think he just imagined it. When Cody asks Clark where the Santa Jaws comic is, he tells them that he gave it to Jena and Cody heads off to get it back, convincing Steve to come with him. Meanwhile, after helping preparing for the dinner, Mike and Georgia head off to the harbor so they can be part of the parade of boats but as Mike works on untangling some Christmas lights that had gotten snared in his prop, Santa Jaws attacks Mike, dragging him into the water. Georgia hears the splash and calls out for Mike, only to see Santa Jaws swimming away so she runs off to get help. Georgia makes it back to the restaurant and tells everyone about Mike being gone and Josh, Cody’s brother, says that Cody was telling the truth but Caroline and Peter, Cody’s father, tell him he’s wrong and have him take Georgia back to the house while they go looking for Mike. Meanwhile, Cody and Steve arrive at Jena’s house and ask her for the comic back and she tells them she left it on her father’s boat and they head to the harbor to retrieve it. As she gives them the comic, they hear the sound of sleigh bells coming across the water and Jena comments that it is like a line from the comic. As they are walking along the docks, they see a man in an elf costume being killed by Santa Jaws. Cody, Steve, and Jena head to the comic store, where they find Josh and Georgia looking for them. After Josh tells Cody about what happened to Mike, Jena says they should just stay out of the water and they will be safe but Cody says that they have to kill Santa Jaws. As they borrow some of the replica weapons from Clark’s display case, Steve notices the pen case and asks Cody about it. When Jena reads the inscription on the case, Cody gets a strange look on his face but is forced to dismiss it as they head out, not realizing that the pen case had fallen out of his bag as he was stuffing items into it. Cody, Jena, Steve, Josh, and Georgia head to the harbor to kill Santa Jaws but it ends up killing Georgia instead. When Jena comments about how Georgia was the only one to injure Santa Jaws, when she stabbed out it’s eye with a candy cane, Cody and Jena realize that the only way to kill Santa Jaws is with Christmas items and they quickly split up to find some appropriate items to use. As Cody and Jena work on fashioning some weapons, Steve and Josh show up with some fireworks and Christmas ornaments they can use to kill Santa Jaws. They finish their weapons and try to kill Santa Jaws but only manage to wound it, and Steve is killed in the process. Meanwhile, Caroline and Peter have their own encounter with Santa Jaws and go looking for Cody and Josh and when they show up at the comic store, Clark tells them that Cody and the others went to the harbor. Back at the harbor, Jena talks with Cody and suggests using the pen against Santa Jaws, as he had used it to bring Santa Jaws to life, but when he goes to look for the pen, he realizes it is missing. They head back to shop and are shocked to find Clark there with a woman, whom he claims is his Russian girlfriend Svetlana. When they ask about the pen, Clark says he put it in back when he was cleaning up and goes to get it, only to duck out the back and attempt to escape as Cody and the others realize that he has been using the pen. They chase after him and confront him about the pen and Clark tries to escape in a boat but Jena jumps after him, knocking them both into the water. They both surface, with Jane clutching the pen, and she tosses it to Cody just as Santa Jaws appears and kills Clark and then Jena. Cody uses the pen to try and deal with Santa Jaws but his attempts to remove it’s teeth and kill it only make it more deadly. Cody and Josh decide to find their parents and when they do, Peter and Caroline still don’t completely believe Cody but when he shows them the comic, they finally agree he was right. They come up with a plan to try and kill Santa Jaws, fashioning a catapult to launch turkeys filled with explosives at it, then having Josh shoot them. When Santa Jaws approaches, they miss on their first two attempts and when the catapult misfires the third turkey, Josh goes to get it and throw it at Santa Jaws, only to be impaled by the horn Cody accidentally gave Santa Jaws. Peter dives into the water and tries to rescue Josh only to be killed by Santa Jaws but as it swims by the turkey, Cody shoots it, seemingly killing Santa Jaws. Cody shows Caroline the pen and says he can draw his family back but as she argues with him about it, Cody drops the pen. Caroline goes down to get it and hands it back to Cody, only for Santa Jaws to leap onto the dock and kill her. Cody quickly draws in the comic that whoever kills Santa Jaws gets a Christmas Wish and he then sets the comic on fire, destroying Santa Jaws. Cody wakes up in his bed on Christmas morning and finds his family all alive, with new memories as to what happened on Christmas Eve. As the family starts opening gifts, Josh heads across the street to Jena’s house and after talking her for a bit, he gets the Santa Jaws comic back from her, then invites her to go to a new ice cream store. Returning to the house, Josh sets the Santa Jaws comic on fire then holds the pen case in his hands, staring at the pen for a minute before closing the case and walking off.
This is still such a fun movie to watch; in fact, this is my third time watching it since I bought the set. The acting was pretty decent, with Reid Miller doing a great job as Cody. I also thought that Courtney Lauren Cummings (Jena), Arthur Marroquin (Josh) and Scott Allen Perry (Clark) were good in their roles. While not completely original, as the concept of someone’s drawings coming to life has been used before (at least I am pretty sure I have seen it before). Regardless, I liked the idea of the kid’s drawing coming to life and starting it’s reign of terror, and while I also liked that his initial attempts to kill Santa Jaws only made him more dangerous, I thought the ending was a little too contrived. Then again, this is more or less a Christmas movie so a nice, holiday magic-themed happy ending does make sense. The special effects were actually a lot better than I was expecting for the most part, with only a couple of times where the shark looked too fake. A really fun movie and something new to suggest as a family movie over the holidays.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5