Allow me to introduce 'Sharktopus (2010).' This ultra-low-budget creature feature lumbers through a clunky narrative just like its titular monster, a CGI monstrosity fabricated by FX nerds sufficiently disliked by the producers to warrant an on screen credit. The deal is simple: a narcissistic scientist (played by Eric Roberts) has engineered a shark/octopus hybrid for the navy to use as a weapon. However, this "Sharktopus" breaks free from the military's control, and proceeds to wreak havoc on the fun-loving residents of Mexico. (No doubt Mexico was chosen for its lack of minimum-wage laws).
Director Declan O'Brien takes great pleasure in introducing vain, bikini-clad characters whose only purpose is to be devoured or impaled only seconds later. Meanwhile, Eric Roberts sits around on a yacht, looking concerned and occasionally angry, while the story goes on around him. This is a privilege afforded to the only recognisable name in the cast. Fortunately for us, the narcissistic scientist has an attractive daughter (Sara Malakul Lane) who's also the country's leading genetic engineer. She makes very clear her detestation of the handsome playboy/genetic engineer Andy (Kerem Bursin), who likes to stand around with his shirt unbuttoned, and occasionally say something histrionic like "eat this, you bastard!"
By the looks of it, 'Sharktopus' was shot on my Sony TRV-19E handycam. But for all its shoddiness, I can't hate this movie. It knows it's terrible. Producer Roger Corman (once the director of several very impressive low-budget films, such as his 1960s Edgar Allen Poe adaptations) knows how to make a quick buck, and this is the sort of high-concept schtick that can draw a profit from a $3.75 budget. The film plumbs every cliché in the book: there's an obligatory speech about science "going too far," and a free apple to anybody who can guess what Eric Roberts set as his computer access code! For all its unchecked ridiculousness, you can't deny that Declan O'Brien has his tongue firmly in cheek. I just wish it had lolled back into his throat, so I wouldn't have had to spend the last 89 minutes watching 'Sharktopus.'
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