action, horror, movie, movie review

August 7th, 2017 Movie – Shark Island (a.k.a. Shark Assault or Shark Week)

shark island

Ahh, the case of the movie that can’t make up it’s mind as to what to call itself. When I first saw this movie listed on TV, it was titled Shark Assault. Sounded cool but I didn’t get the chance to see it then. So I went to look up information online and discover that it is listed as Shark Week on IMDB. Ok, not the first time that I have come across a movie with different titles so I wasn’t to put off. Then I tried to find a copy on Amazon and learn that the movie has yet another title when it was released on DVD. So lets see if all the title changes make any difference on how today’s movie turns out as I watch Shark Island, or whatever the hell it’s called.

The plot: A bound and beaten man is standing at the edge of a pool and screaming out at his captor, a man named Tiburon. When Tiburon appears, he briefly speaks with the man before showing him the key and throwing it into the pool, saying the man has 15 seconds to get it. The man dives into the pool and manages to unlock his chains but when he surfaces, Tiburon says it is too late, as a cage door that separates the pool from a second pool opens and a shark swims into the pool and kills the man. Some time later, 7 people (Holt, Cal, Reagan, Layla, Pete, Francine, and Franke) are kidnapped from various cities of California. The group are bound and hooded, then made to stand in front of the pool before the hoods are removed. Tiburon and his companion, Elena, come forward to address the group but as they begin speaking, an 8th man starts saying he doesn’t deserve to die like this and Tiburon’s henchman proceed to push him into the pool, where a pack of baby sharks proceeds to kill him. Tiburon then explains to the seven people that they are going to play a game, and if they make it from one side of the island to the other, they will live but along the way, they will face more species of sharks that they must kill in order to advance to the next area. Tiburon then tells them that the exit gate in the pool is locked and one of the pups has the key around it’s neck, before having his henchmen push the group into the pool. The group start batting away at the pups to keep from being bitten while Cal manages to swim down and find the pup with the key and unlock the gate, allowing them to all escape the pool. Finding themselves in an underground cavern, the group crawl to shore and rest for the night. Meanwhile, Tiburon heads inside his house and tells Elena to leave, threatening to feed her to the sharks if she doesn’t, but she refuses and sits down on a couch to watch Tiburon’s revenge against the group unfold. In the morning, the group leave the cavern and make their way through the water to a small beach, where Cal discovers that the key unlocks their restraints. As they try to figure out their next step, Holt says that he has people coming to rescue him due to the implant in his shoulder but Pete, who says he is an EMT, notices the wound in Holt’s shoulder and when he checks it, says there is nothing there. Moving further inland, they find a box containing food, water, and a first aid kit. As they sit and eat, they figure out the connection they all have to Tiburon, as they were all involved somehow in the death of his son. As they continue walking along a trail, Tiburon triggers an eruption which causes them to fall into an underground cavern containing a 3 foot pool of water. Tiburon speaks to them, taunting them about the exit and informing them of the shark that they will now be facing, a hammerhead. Cal has everyone link their shackles up into a noose so they can lasso the shark in an attempt to drown it but before they do, Pete is attacked and killed by the hammerhead. They lasso the shark and start dragging it backwards, effectively drowning the shark. When the door opens, they make their way back outside and rest on the beach, with Franke going to look for some food. When he comes back with a knife he found, some of the group question if he is working with Tiburon but he swears he isn’t. Frankie uses the knife to cut some branches down to use as spears as they all try to figure out what they can do to kill the sharks. Holt heads back down into the cave to grab some of the hammerhead’s teeth to help arm their makeshift spears, then the group tries to get some ret. After a few hours, Tiburon speaks to them over the PA and tells them to head down the path to a new cave to face their next shark. When they get in the cave, they see the shark moving around in the water and Cal borrows the knife from Franke and climbs an outcropping above the shark, then jumps into the water to attack it. Francine, carrying some wire, follows after him and jumps in but she ends up being killed by the shark while the others attempt to throw their spears to kill it. Finally, Cal emerges from the water, having killed the shark, and they make their way out of the cave. As they keep walking along they find the remains of a boat but there is nothing in there to help them. Reaching the beach, Cal has Holt stop, as he is about to step on a mine, and they find the beach is mined. Cal goes first to point out a safe path but when Holt steps on a mine, Cal has the others go ahead of him, and then he grabs Holt and they all run as the mines start going off. Cal manages to grab one of the mines before it is triggered and plans to use it to kill the next shark. When the reach a cavern, Tiburon informs them that they will be facing a tiger shark. Cal comes up with a plan to feed the shark the mine and has Franke and Holt link arms with him to lean over the water but they aren’t long enough. Layla goes to help them and holds the mine out but ends up falling into the water. As she clutches onto a low hanging stalactite, the others try to convince her to swim towards the exit but she yells at them to leave, then triggers the mine, which explodes and kills both her and the shark when it attacks her. Leaving the cavern, Franke finds a harpoon that they can use on the next shark but Holt is starting to give up hope of leaving. Heading out into the water to reach the next part of the island, they are attacked by a bull shark, and Franke and Holt are killed before they reach the shore. Cal and Reagan find a raft and Holt tells them to use it to reach the finish line but tells them that they have to face a great white. Cal goes into the water to distract the shark and manages to injure it but when he gets back onto the raft, the shark rams the raft and flips it over, then kills Cal. Reagan manages to make it to shore but is attacked by Elena, who wants to kill her in case Tiburon tries to replace her with Reagan. Reagan fights back and manages to kill Elena by tricking her into stepping on a land mine and blowing herself up. Grabbing the harpoon, Reagan faces Tiburon and demands to know where they are and he tells her they are in international waters 100 miles off the coast of key west. Tiburon tells her she won and can choose any boat she wants to escape but Reagan says that Tiburon isn’t leaving the island, then stabs him with the harpoon. Tiburon falls into the water, where the great white proceeds to grab the body, and Reagan walks off to get a boat and leave the island.

Not quite what I was expecting but it didn’t completely suck either. The acting was ok for the most part, with Joshua Michael Allen (Cal), Erin Coker (Reagan), Patrick Bergin (Tiburon), and Yancy Butler (Elena) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was pretty interesting, with the idea of a drug lord planning an elaborate revenge on the people he felt responsible for his son’s death, being a good draw for the audience. One thing I didn’t care for was some of the confusion regarding the names; as they had names pop up after they were captured but a couple of people were called something else, mainly Holt and Pete. The special effects regarding the sharks weren’t that bad but you could tell they were fake a number of times, and not necessarily in a fun, enjoyable kind of way. An average shark movie that can serve as a break before getting to more serious, or ridiculous, shark movie fare.

Rating: 2 out of 5