Yes, I’ve been watching a lot of bad movies lately, mostly because there aren’t a lot of good movies I haven’t seen on Amazon Prime. This one, Planet of the Sharks, produced by the ever-awful Asylum, looked painfully bad so we sat down to see how terrible it could be.
And wow, terrible is an understatement. But I guess you’ll have to look below the fold to see how utterly craptastic this thing actually is, and why I really don’t understand why these mockbusters are never very good.
In the unspecified future, the ice caps have melted, submerging all of the land and leaving what’s left of humanity living on floating barge cities, trying to survive. One settlement might have the answer, the last remaining rocket that they can send into the atmosphere to reduce global warming, if only they can survive long enough to launch once the sharks go on a rampage and start killing everyone.
Okay, the concept isn’t bad. I can see a decent movie being made based on that idea. But the implementation is just horrible. The acting, the effects, the writing, every single aspect of this movie is utter garbage. And yes, I know it was made to attract people because of the Planet of the Apes movies, but come on, you don’t have to produce complete trash!
First, the effects. I know that these are made for under $2 million each, so they have very little money to spend on VFX, but come on. I’ve seen kids uploading videos to YouTube that look better than this. They could have made it look better using construction paper cutouts. Of course, they had to make their infamous jumping sharks, that can almost fly, because these things were taking the most ludicrous leaps out of the water.
Next, the acting, or complete lack thereof. Nobody in this thing could act their way out of a wet paper bag. Again, I know they’re not hiring seasoned actors on that budget, but have any of these people ever acted in anything other than a high school play before? It doesn’t look like it. They make Tommy Wiseau look like an Oscar contender.
The writing made no sense, it seemed to be whatever the director wanted to do at the moment, continuity be damned. Half way through the movie, they come up with this cockamamie plan to kill off the marauding sharks by setting off an under water volcano. Of course, this is set just off New York City so they could use the Statue of Liberty in their Planet of the Apes-esque montages, where there are no volcanoes. So anyhow, they set off the volcano, which supposedly kills the sharks, but then the director realizes without the sharks, they have no movie, so a couple of minutes later, they all magically come back. It’s just dumb.
And that’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be. I can forgive less than stellar acting, I can forgive bad effects, but the terrible writing is something I just can’t stomach. I’m not expecting an award-winning screenplay, but it seems like they’re just not trying at all. They don’t care. It feels like they were writing the script as they went and it’s the crappiest script they can crank out to make the crappiest movie they can make to rake in a couple of bucks from either gullible people who thought this was Planet of the Apes, or people like me who have a high tolerance for pain. And I’m not paying for it, even though I’m sure Asylum made a couple of pennies because I sat through it.
I just have no respect for people who don’t even try. And I know that Asylum can do better if they try. Some of their movies are awful, like this one, but some are decent. I’m sure that comes down to the individual directors and I’m looking at some of the things director Mark Atkins has done and, yeah, it’s all pretty much crap. Maybe I ought to just stop watching his movies. I might stop being so disappointed.