action, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

August 11th, 2019 Movie – Zombie Shark

zombie shark

A sad way to start the day as I watch the last shark movie in the Shark Bait set. Well, let me rephrase that. This is the last shark movie that I did not already review. See, this set also included Swamp Shark, but since that movie got it’s own DVD release several years ago, it has already been reviewed on my site. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie. Now this movie had debuted 4 years ago during Sharknado Week, but I missed it. In fact, I somehow managed to miss it every time Syfy aired it for the next two years. Last year I finally got a chance to watch Zombie Shark and…..the wait was not exactly worth it. Let’s see if a little bit of time, and keeping my expectations a little more even, will make it more enjoyable this time.

The plot: A woman is sitting on her kayak in the ocean, while her two friends are packing up their gear and heading back to their car, when she hears the sound of gunfire coming from a nearby abandoned base out on the water. Suddenly, a shark fin breaks the surface heading right for her but before it reaches her, a second shark attacks and kills it, then kills her. Elsewhere, Amber Steele is working at a bar with her friend Bridgette when Amber’s younger sister Sophie, who is also working there, is harassed by a drunk and when Amber goes to intercede, a fight breaks out until Bridgette quickly stops it by offering the bar free shots. Later that night, Amber’s boyfriend Jenner shows up and tells her he got a deal on an island getaway for 4 and Amber invites Sophie and Bridgette to come with them. Back on the island, Dr. Palmer is speaking with Roger and Maxwell Cage about trying to recapture the test subject that escaped from the base the day before, and both men say they will do their best on their respective tasks. The next morning, Jenner is loading up some gear in his boat, not hearing a weather report about an approaching storm, when he receives a call from Amber and Sophie’s parents, warning him to take care of their girls. The group head off for the island and are eventually greeted by Lester, the property manager, who tells them what there is to do on the island, as well as some history about the island and the abandoned base on the island’s edge. Bridgette decides to head to the beach and sees a crowd gathering by a dead shark that washed up on the beach so she quickly heads to get the others. As they stare at the shark, Jenner decides to take a picture of his head next to the shark’s mouth when the sheriff, who was working on crowd control, yells at him to get away from the shark. Suddenly, the shark comes back to life and lunges at Jenner and manages to eat him before it swims back into the sea, then killing the sheriff when the sheriff tries to shoot it. Amber, Sophie, and Bridgette head to the boat to try and leave only to realize that Jenner had the keys. AS more sharks begin feeding on the sheriff’s body, one of them attacks the boat, sending the girls drifting from the marina. Amber tries to call for help on the boat’s radio, accidentally getting on the military frequency being used at the abandoned base, and when Cage hears about the shark attack, he tells Amber that they will be there soon. Amber, Sophie, and Bridgette manage to get back onto the dock and head to the bar and, after telling Lester what happened, he finds a radio for them to use to try and call for help. Amber manages to make contact with Dr. Palmer, who asks them about the shark before telling them she is sending professionals to deal with it. When they hear people screaming for help, Amber and Sophie, armed with some shotguns that Lester had on hand, head out to try and save them. They fire at a shark that is approaching some people on inner tubes but it has no effect on the shark. Suddenly, they see a large shark with harpoon sticking in it’s back swimming past the dock, just as another shark slams into the dock. Amber and Sophie try to get back onto dry land when the dock is struck again, knocking Amber into the water. As she tries to climb back on, a shark starts swimming towards her but it is blown up by Cage, who had fired a bazooka at it. After pulling her up to safety, As Amber and Sophie try to get some answers from Cage about what is happening, he hears the sounds of combat coming on the radio from the rest of his team and he quickly heads off to help them, with Amber and Sophie coming with him. They arrive at a camp site, where they find the remains of some campers and Cage’s team, as well as a severed shark’s head that is still alive. Noticing a large swarm of sharks out in the water, as well as the one with the harpoon in it’s back (which Cage calls Bruce), Cage radios Dr. Palmer and explains the situation. Palmer says that the infection could spread to humans and tells Cage to try and contain the situation while she works on a way to reverse the process. Back at the bar, Bridgette and Lester see a news team out on the dock and they head out to warn them when the reporter gets knocked into the water by a shark. As they try to pull the reporter back onto the dock, Cage, Amber , and Sophie arrive just as a shark approaches the reporter. Cage manages to throw a grenade in the shark’s mouth, causing it to explode but it’s head is blown right onto Bridgette, killing her. Amber, Sophie, Cage, and Lester head back to the bar, where Sophie is able to phone her parents and tell them what is happening. While she is on the phone, Amber explains how she had a falling out with her parents. Lester is unable to get through to the Coast Guard and demands that Cage tells him what happened to the sharks. Cage refuses at first but he eventually tells them that Palmer had been experimenting on sharks to find a way to regenerate dead tissues and organs when Bruce had escaped from it’s containment. When a homeless drunk, who has been infected by the sharks, shows up and attacks Amber, Lester kills him by shooting him in the head. Cage says that they need to get to Palmer and help her make the cure, while Lester says he will get some friend to help deal with the zombies. Back at the base, Roger tells Palmer that he has fixed the beacon and when she tells him that she is considering leaving the project after they clean up the mess they made, Roger tries to convince her to continue her research when he is killed by a shark. Cage contacts Palmer and tells her about the problem and she tells them that Roger had fixed the beacon so they can lure Bruce, and the other sharks, back to the base, where Cage says that he has enough explosives to kill them all. Palmer tells them that she might have developed a cure but she needs an infected brain to test it on. Amber suggests they get the shark’s head they found and they quickly head back to the camp site only to find the head is missing. They spread out to find it and Sophie eventually finds it, but they annoyingly attract the attention of a zombie. After collecting the head, the three head to the base but they are attacked by some sharks, with Cage being wounded in the process before they can make it inside. Once inside, they give Palmer the head, she injects her trial cure into the shark’s brain but when it doesn’t work, she says that they have to stop the infection from spreading. Palmer activates the beacon to draw the sharks towards the base. Out on the beach, Lester and his friends have been fending off the sharks and zombies when they see the sharks all swimming away and heading towards the base. As the sharks enter the enclosure, Amber and the others leave so they can blow up the base but Palmer heads back to get her vaccine, with Sophie accompanying her. Inside the lab, Palmer finds the vaccine but the shark’s head, which had fallen off the table, bites Palmer in the leg so Palmer hands the vaccine to Sophie and tells her to leave her, as she is now infected. Cage blows up the base as Sophie exits and when she tries to jump to safety, she is swallowed whole by Bruce, who had not gone into the enclosure. A hysterical Amber heads out to the water to lure Bruce to her, where she is able to pull the harpoon from his back and begins stabbing him in the head. As Bruce swims back out to sea and turns around to make another attack, Lester arrives and throws a spear gun to Amber, who uses it to finally kill Bruce. As Amber mourns for her sister, she hears something coming from Bruce’s stomach and Cage hands her his knife so she can cut the stomach open. Amber pulls Sophie from Bruce’s stomach but Sophie has become infected and attacks Amber, forcing Amber to kill her. The vaccine falls from Sophie’s hands and Cage quickly picks it up so he can get more of it manufactured, then he and Lester go to comfort Amber, who is cradling Sophie’s head in her lap.

So I gave it another shot and I have to say, I am honestly on the fence regarding this movie. There were some aspects of it that I liked and some that I didn’t. The acting was decent, with Jason London (Cage) and Roger J. Timber (Lester) doing good jobs in their roles. I also thought that Sloane Coe (Sophie) did a good job but I was a little disappointed with Cassie Steele (Amber). It might be more due to the writing than her actual performance because her character just seemed to be overly whiny at times. The story itself was pretty decent, playing a little bit off of the plot from Deep Blue Sea, and adding a nice zombie twist to it. I do wish they actually showed more of the whole zombie aspect, because this was mainly just a normal shark movie for the most part, with only a few times where the shark’s didn’t die showcasing the zombie aspect. I will say that Lester made for some great comedic scenes, especially in the battle on the beach where he stabbed a shark through the mouth with a machete, causing the machete to stick out of it’s head, only for the shark to swim off and use it’s new machete to sever one guys arm, and later stab Cage in the leg. The special effects were about what you would expect for this type of movie, but they did add to the humor in a lot of the scenes. One thing I didn’t care for was the camera work during several of the underwater scenes. I don’t know if it was intentional but they made the water look soo murky that the sharks didn’t look very clear. So there are a couple of faults but it can still be an enjoyable movie on the whole.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

July 14th, 2019 Movie – Ghost Shark

ghost shark

Well it has been a while since I have done this but I got some new movies in the other day so let’s get to reviewing them. So months ago, I saw a collection of movies called the Shark Bait collection and I immediately pre-ordered a copy of it. The reason for this is two fold: 1) It contains 6 movies that have not received a US release on DVD and 2)┬áIt was cheap (less than $12 for 7 movies). Now I honestly would have bought it just to get those 6 movies but the fact that it was so cheap was a nice bonus. Anyways, I now have several shark movies, and one alligator movie, to enjoy so let’s get things started with our first entry, Ghost Shark. Now I first heard about this movie on a horror movie website I used to frequent and eagerly awaited it when it debuted on Syfy. Unfortunately, I missed it’s debut so I decided to try and buy it on DVD only to find that every copy I saw was not playable in the US (I really need to get an all-region DVD/Blu-Ray player). I would eventually manage to watch it but that did not solve my problem of getting a copy on DVD, which is why this set was such a godsend in that regard.

The plot: Late one night, Brubaker and his daughter Vicky are attempting to reel in a large fish to win a local competition when a great white shark bites their fish in half before they can reel it in. Brubaker grabs a gun and starts shooting at the shark, knocking out the boat’s captain, Captain Reid, when he tries to stop them, then he and Vicky proceed to fatally wound the shark. As it dies, the shark swims into an underwater cave, where the waters cause the shark to be resurrected as a ghost. The ghost shark then quickly swims out of the cave and kills Brubaker and Vicky, then emerges from a bucket of bait to kill Captain Reid. The next day, Ava Reid, her sister Cicely, and their friends Blaise, Taylor, Cameron, and Mick head out to the beach to have some fun when Ava notices her dad’s boat drifting along the shore. Ava and Cicely swim out to the boat to look for the dad, only to find his bloody hat on board and the video camera that Vicky was using. Meanwhile, one of their friends is attacked by the ghost shark and as she tries to get away on a jet ski, it bites her in half. As the police close down the beach, Chief Martin asks Ava and her friends what they saw but doesn’t believe their description of the shark. Finch, the drunken lighthouse keeper, tells Martin that ghosts are real and the town will be punished for his sins, but Martin dismisses him as well, just as Mayor Stahl arrives and tells Martin what they should do. The next day, Ava and her friends head to the police station and Martin shows them the footage from Vicky’s camera but still won’t believe it was a ghost. That night, Cameron has a pool party at his house when the ghost shark appears in the pool, killing one of the guests as he jumps into the pool, then killing Mick as the guests run out of the pool. Cameron calls Ava the next morning to tell her what happened and when Ava and Blaise get there, they see Cameron being questioned by his father, Mayor Stahl, about what happened. In an attempt to keep things quiet, as he wants to be reelected, Stahl tells Martin to have Cameron taken to the mental hospital for evaluation but when a deputy shows them a phone with video of the ghost shark killing the boy, Cameron uses the opportunity to get away and leaves with Ava and Blaise. As the ghost shark starts killing more people all over town, Finch sees someone entering the cave and when he goes to chase them out, he finds the shark’s body. Ava, Blaise, and Cameron show up at the lighthouse looking for Finch and discover a secret basement in the lighthouse. Finch confronts them, yelling at them about the cave bringing things back to life when he passes out drunk. As Stahl and Martin decide to release the video of the shark attack, and issue an APB for Ava, Blaise, and Cameron, Cicely is attacked by the shark while she is taking a bath but Ava and Blaise are able to save her. As they tend to her wound, Blaise finds a news article online about the death of Finch’s wife and they decide to head to the town museum to see if they can get some more information about the cave. When they get there, the museum curator tells them of a legend concerning the cave, but as he goes to show them a grimoire that contains a spell to appease vengeful spirits, they find the display case empty and the curator says that Finch, who was in their earlier, must have taken it. Cameron, who was outside smoking, passes by Finch as he leaves the museum and as he watches him leave, a distracted Cameron tosses his cigarette into the trash can, accidentally starting a fire. As the sprinkler system activates and begins to flood the museum, the curator and Cameron are both killed by the shark but Ava and Blaise manage to get away. As the call the cops to alert them to the deaths, Cicely pulls up in the Reid’s truck and Ava tells her to go home, then asks Blaise to take her home while she heads to the lighthouse to see Finch. At the police station, the mayor’s aide is killed when he drinks some water and the shark burst forth from his stomach. When Martin tells him about Cameron’s death, Stahl tells him to get a boat so they can hunt down and kill the shark but they both end up getting killed by the shark. Ava shows up at the lighthouse and, not finding Finch inside, heads to the cave, where she finds Finch holding the grimoire as he stands over the shark’s body. Finch discovers the spell they need and says they can trap the spirit in the talisman of the object that killed it and Ava pulls out the crossbow bolt that was lodged in the shark’s eye. They head out onto the beach to try and stop the shark and are joined by Blaise and Cicely, who had tried to save some kids playing in the water and failed. When the shark shows up, Ava stabs it in the head with the bolt and it seems to work but as Finch approaches it, the shark recovers and swims off. Deciding the only way to kill the shark is to try and destroy the cave, Ava and the others want to get some dynamite from a nearby demo site but Finch won’t let them, explaining that he drunkenly killed his wife in the cave and doesn’t want to risk losing her again. Finch locks them in the basement, then rows his boat out to the sheriff’s boat, where he discovers the body of Stahl in the toilet. Meanwhile, Cicely is able to pick the lock and the three head out to the demo site to retrieve the dynamite. When they return and make their way to the cave, they encounter Finch, who had been contacted by his wife’s ghost, and he says he is there to help them. They set the dynamite around the body and make their way outside to light the fuse when it starts to rain, and the shark comes in on the tide to eat the fuse. Ava rushes forward to grab the rest of the fuse so she can relight it, the ghost shark falls down from the rain and kills Finch, then almost kills Blaise and Cicely. As the shark continues to try and kill them, Ava manages to make her way inside the cave and light the fuse, then make her way out of the cave before it explodes. Ava rushes out of the cave, warning Blaise and Cicely as she does, then dives into the water before the explosion hits. As she is swimming to safety, the shark starts heading towards Ava and Blaise and Cicely think it killed her when it disappears but Ava surfaces and calls out to them, and they quickly rush out to her in relief.

This is one of those movies that had a lot going for it on paper, but was kind of let down by it’s own pacing. The acting was ok, with Mackenzie Rosman doing a good job as Ava, but she was definitely overshadowed by Richard Moll, who was really good as Finch. The story was actually pretty entertaining, as the idea of a ghost shark appearing out of any source of water was a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately, the movie kind of plodded along throughout the story, and every time it started to build up some steam, it would cutaway to another scene which, in spite of the fact it was supposed to build up some momentum, simply stopped the momentum in it’s place. The special effects were decent, but could have been better. I mean, I liked the translucent/transparent appearance to the ghost shark, but it was a little annoying that the victim would simply disappear during most of the shark’s attacks. It has some faults, but it is still a good movie and worth a watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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