This Post Has Teeth – a Look Back on Our Best & Worst Shark Movies ūü¶ą

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Late last night (of course) I got inspired to look back on the shark movies Jill and I have reviewed for the blog. It was a lot of fun so I thought, in honour of undoubtedly the best movie of the year opening this weekend, I would revisit them properly in a post.

That movie, to be clear, is The Meg and I’ll be there on Friday clutching my popcorn with the biggest grin on my stupid face. I’ll also be wishing Meghan Lightle was with me because this is a movie ripped straight from our minds, frankly.

Anyway, to the sharks. It’s hard to sort these into order of preference because there’s love in my heart for each of them, no matter how ridiculous.

Planet of the Sharks – 1.5/5

The planet is now mostly ocean and it’s full of angry mutant sharks. It’s a very bad scene, man. Survivors are living on makeshift rigs in the middle of open water just trying to dodge a bloody fate and while it’s far from ideal, some self-made tribes are getting on just fine.

Help might just be at hand when a bunch of plucky scientists rock up but at what cost really? AT WHAT COST?!

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Spears for Fears

Ghost Shark – 3/5

A favourite of mine, Ghost Shark is the tale of a wronged Great White who exacts glorious, witty revenge on the small beach town that let her* down. This might sound familiar but, wait – Ghost Shark is special because she has the power to manifest in any body of water – with hilarious consequences.

An absolute highlight. *I like to think of her as ‘she’.

Sharknado – 2.5/5

I’ve never ventured beyond the first Sharknado but this was a lot of fun to rip apart. Plus, apparently I have a thing for Ian Ziering, who knew?

You probably don’t need me to give you a synopsis on this one, given that it’s one of the most well-known modern shark B-movies but there’s a hurricane heading towards LA and the tornado at the centre of it is spitting out killer sharks. Luckily, sex pot Fin Shepard (geddit) is on hand to save the world and look damn fine while doing it.

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Hey bae (I think this might be from Sharknado 2 but oh well)

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark – 3.5/5

Sometimes there’s only one way to deal with a problem and that’s to build an identical steel version of that problem – and have both versions fight it out to the death. Throw in a kick-arse central character and you’ve got yourself quite the treat.

I’m not even being insincere when I say this one was pretty okay.

3-Headed Shark Attack – Priceless

What’s better than a shark movie starring Jason Statham? That’s right, a 3-headed shark movie starring DANNY FREAKIN’ TREJO, King of my Heart.

This film has a lot to say about the environmental impact of all that plastic in the ocean and I appreciate it honestly because you don’t always get a message from your straight-to-DVD titles. Triple the heads = triple the fun.

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The announcement of the new Bond received mixed reviews

12 Days of Terror – 3/5

A shark (or two) terrorises the beach one hazy summer while the Jersey Shore tourist board turns a blind eye to the carnage because tourism, yo.

Hot lifeguard Alex isn’t about to let this slide though – and if all this sounds familiar it’s because 12DOT is based on the TRUE STORY that also inspired the Rolls Royce of Shark movies, Jaws. So not bad for a TV movie and it might also be thanks to salty sea dog, Captain (John Rhys-Davies).

~

I’m quite sure there will be many more shark movies in our future but until now, enjoy these gems.

What, you’re not already on your way to pick up all these titles now? What’re you waiting for? ūü¶ąūü¶ąūü¶ą

Cult of Chucky (Film) Review

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I feel like this week’s choice is definitely an authentic nod to the sort of crappy films we enjoy, and one of the¬†reasons Jill and I started the collab in the first place. Sure, quality has undulated over the years but there have¬†been times we’ve cursed ourselves by not going harder on films you can tear apart.

This is definitely one of them – and yet, I love them with all my heart. Ever since Bride of Chucky introduced Jennifer Tilly as Chucky’s love interest, Tiffany I’ve been in. This comedy/horror sequel seemed to take itself even less seriously that the first handful of Child’s Play films and got all the better for it (imho).

Bride had the terrible twosome channel Sid & Nancy and although Chucky didn’t always appreciate his lady, we bloody¬†did. Seed of Chucky followed and a sympathetic yet creepy child was born of their love and the¬†quality of the films shifted again (down, down, down).¬†Curse I can’t really remember honestly, other than it was clunkily meta.

Cult of Chucky (Child’s Play 7) strips it back a little (but not much) and places Nica of Curse in a medium security institution, where she is still trying to live with the guilt of killing literally everyone she came in contact with in the last instalment.

Except, did she? She’s been lead to believe a certain killer ginger is all in her head and a manifestation of a severe mental disorder but we all know different, right?

*Spoilers*

Cult of Chucky (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

Chucky returns to terrorize his human victim, Nica. Meanwhile, the killer doll has some scores to settle with his old enemies, with the help of his former wife.

Thrilled to be back

My Review

First off, how fun is this? Chucky films forever! Whether or not it is any good really will come down to your opinion on these films and your threshold for the ridiculous. If you love gore, terrible one liners and a loose narrative then, baby, this is the one for you.

Nica (Fiona Dourif) has just been released from maximum security to a lower level institute under the watchful eye of Doctor Foley (Michael Therriault). She is being rewarded with a little more freedom now she’s playing along and admitting that Chucky is all in her head.

On her first day, she makes a strong impression on fellow resident Malcolm (Adam Hurtig), who has multiple personalities (and is about as cliched as you can imagine). She isn’t welcomed quite so warmly by the others, as her notoriety has followed her to her new home.

Meanwhile, Andy (Alex Vincent), the terrorised kid turned man of the original CP films, has worked out a unique and satisfying way to ensure Chucky/the serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) can’t hurt anyone anymore. What could go wrong? (Spoiler alert: literally everything).¬†

Soooo, Nica is undergoing more therapy and playing the long game when Dr. Foley brings a vintage Good Guy doll to a group session (wise idea). ‘Good’ Chucky is immediately adopted by a patient who has lost her child which is spooky enough on its own merit. It all gets even more confusing when Tiffany Valentine crops up in human form with her own Good Guy doll and suddenly there are two GGDs in the hospital.

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“Stop copying my hair style, Chucky, you loser.”

Tiff, FYI is at the facility to announce that Nica’s niece Alice has passed away (Ms. Valentine had guardianship of Alice and for the life of me I can’t remember how this came to pass or why). This news leaves Nica devastated, as she’s already living with the guilt of ‘killing’ Alice’s mother, her sister and now she has nobody left. The doll by the way has been left to Nica by Alice. Uh oh.¬†

Anyway, two GGDs = two Chuckies (Chucki?) because, believe it or not, somewhere along the line it has become possible for more than one Chucky to be possessed at any one time with the soul of everybody’s favourite serial killer.

Andy might have the original Chucky‚Äôs head stored in a secret safe but it doesn’t even matter anymore – because the Cult is growing, there are Chuckies all over the shop and we’re all doomed. DOOMED I TELL YOU!

Things soon start to go to pot and this convinces Nica that she isn’t crazy and that  Chucky might be real after all. And nobody fucking believes her.

Anyone who does start to buy into the Chucky theory is mysteriously slaughtered so they can’t back Nica up. Plus they‚Äôre all nuts, right?

Doctor Foley is acting like a complete douchebag too which is literally the last thing a girl needs while she’s running for her life from a killer doll but there it is. Men and their sense of entitlement is always priority. One of the Chuckies actually comes through as Nica’s saviour a couple of times but then only so he can enlist her into his cult herself.

Eventually she succumbs to Chucky’s goading and fucks up Foley forever when she realises he’s been sexually abusing her during their hypnosis sessions. He’s a fucking rapist and way worse than Chucky could ever be if you ask me – so good riddance to scum. I celebrated the intensity of his death scene and I hope you will too.

At this point if it were me, I’d be sorely tempted to just team up with Chucky and Tiffany, no questions asked. Living the good and holy life hasn’t exactly been paying off for our heroine.

Look, this is a messy one and since we end up with three Chuckies it gets a little bit confused at times. The gist is that the original Chucky found a voodoo spell on the internet (obvs) that allows him to be inside all the dolls at once, and why stop at doll’s eh? Chucky’s always looking for a human vehicle – wonder where this is heading?

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“Wanna play?”

Let’s just say that the climax might be unsurprising but it’s utterly bonkers and satisfying – and left wide open for another thrilling instalment.

Fucking hell yes.

My Thoughts

There’s not really any way to review a film like this, is there? It is exactly what you’d expect and it’s great.

I get the impression that the team must have so much fun making these films and that Brad Dourif just loves voicing Chucky.

Jennifer Tilly is also an absolute dream and my only criticism of her is that she’s not in this nearly enough. Plus, I was hoping for more than a glimpse of Tiffany the doll, who’s the coolest.

This film is not going to change your life or even remain with you for particularly long but it will hopefully keep you sniggering for a little while, and god knows we all need a sigh these days.

My Rating

3.5/5. All in good fun, if not good taste.

What did Jill think of Chucky’s return? Would she commit this one or join him in his shenanigans? Find out here.

Alternative Horror

Putzel (70)

mother! was terrifying not least because it featured the worst social situation imaginable: the unannounced guest. As Mother longed for the quiet cocoon of her life to go back to normal, stranger upon stranger appeared at her door, ate her food and ran riot through the picture perfect order.

This got me to thinking about the things that give me daily anxiety and how they could be used in a horror setting.

  • Tights – a B-movie in the vein of Rubber but with ravenous plus-size hosiery
  • Mansplaining: the movie – a slasher but the antagonist just wants to explain at great length why Lady Ghostbusters was pointless to his female victims
  • Doctor Doctor – you have seven days to get past reception and make an appointment or… you die (sorry)
  • Drink? – a home invasion but it’s that friend you keep bumping into and suggesting a drink to every three months, in your home

You? ūüéÉūüéÉūüéÉ

Attack of the 50 ft. Woman (Film) Review

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of massive, pissed off women and dismissive would-be murdering man-babies, y’all!

I’m cracking straight on with this one as I have a lot of thoughts and quite a bit of love for the main character, Nancy¬†Fowler Archer from this quirky fifties classic. I had the poster on my wall for years as an early twenty-something and now I can say I’ve actually seen the film too (Look, I had better things to do then)!

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

IMDB Synopsis:

When an abused socialite grows to giant size because of an alien encounter and an aborted murder attempt, she goes after her cheating husband with revenge on her mind.

My Review

Nancy Fowler Archer (Allison Hayes) is a socialite with the one of the worst husbands in cinematic history. She may be filthy rich and hot as hell but Harry Archer (William Hudson) has his eye on a new (and younger) prize, Miss Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers).

Harry’s already had Nancy committed to an institution once and lives to send her back there so he can carry on with Honey and¬†keep his grubby, lazy mitts on his wife’s¬†cash. It’s the oldest story in the book and a pile of bullshit, but still for some reason¬†Nancy loves her husband. If you’re here for empowerment, particularly in the first half of this remarkably short feature,¬†remember this is a 1950’s film.

One night after a party, I’m thinking works do because I believe Honey is an employee at wherever Harry works (clich√© alert!)¬†but who knows really? All I do know is that Nancy leaves early and bumps into a satellite/gigantic bald man in the desert who¬†tries to make a grab for the enormous diamond hanging around her neck with his monster hand.

She gets away but is¬†quite shaken when she arrives back¬†at the party looking for her husband. Harry, predictably, is nowhere to be found (although we all know he’s deeply ensconced¬†in Honey’s cleavage) and the cops don’t believe Nancy given that she’s got form. They’re actual dicks about it, actually.

Later, at home, the couple argue about Honey but Nancy concedes that she still loves her man. She also tells him about the giant and he pretends to believe her so he can get her off his back. Harry is a prize wanker but Honey is pretty much the mastermind behind all his dastardly plans. His Lady Macbeth, if you will. Girl Power in this scenario is non-existent I’m afraid, so this movie is ripe for a contemporary remake (I haven’t seen it yet but I don’t know how feminist Daryl Hannah’s version is).

Ugh, men

Anyway, Nancy gets fucked off with people not believing her story about the giant so she drags Harry into the desert, and lo and behold they bump into the big fella again. This time when he makes a grab for Nancy, Harry leaves her for dead, the cowardly little shit. That’s going to come back and bite you in the arse, mate, seriously.

I’ll avoid going at this scene by scene but from here Nancy begins to undergo some dramatic change, for she isn’t dead at all, quite the opposite in fact. Also, I don’t really understand the giant’s motivation, though it does point to diamonds that power his satellite/spaceship. Obviously.

I must do a little shout-out to probably the only decent male in this film, Nancy’s man-servant Jess Stout (Ken Terrell) who gets into a scuffle with Harry when he comes home without his wife. It’s the greatest man on man fight since Women in Love (1969) and Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) (not really). But he seems to be about the only person looking out for the vulnerable Nancy and I like that.

Ugh, fucking men, again

Something I really do not like is the fact that the doctors and police looking after Nancy decide she needs to be drugged and fucking chained up at all times, just because what, she’s crazy? I mean, for fuck’s sake, she might be fifty foot but are elephant syringes really necessary?

Maybe chain up Honey the femme fatale who’s hellbent on MURDERING Nancy? She’s the true liability. Anyway, that attempt fails when it is revealed that Mrs Archer is larger than life and once she wakes up, she’s fucking fuming and it’s about time, frankly.

“I’ve got to hand it to you, Harry, you really are a dickhead.”

I’m going to leave this here as Nancy takes on the world as a newly anointed giantess, taking down power lines and climbing the Empire State building whilst swatting away Apache helicopters. Kidding. I wish.

It’s not quite as dramatic as all that and the ending is bitter sweet.¬†I had hoped Nancy would realise her power as the Queen of the World and sashay as far away from her dead-beat husband as her skyscraper length legs could carry her but it’s not like that. It’s not like that at all.

So, while men are awful, at least we can admit that everyone here is the pits, everyone besides the butler, our¬†heroine and the giant, who seems all too pure for this world. This film is fine and fun but it’s not very deep, it’s not very empowering really when it comes down to it. Sure, it’s fun when horrible people get squished but at what cost? WHAT COST?

“I’VE GOT THE POWER.”

I’d also have liked more carnage from Nancy the giant. Like, fun destruction that wasn’t so solely concentrated on vengeance. I mean, get the fuckers, yes but give us more,girl!¬†Also, I know I keep banging on about feminism and empowerment but I do think, for a film made in 1958, that this is taking a stab at that, even if it does fall short.

My Rating

3/5. Less piss weak man action and more smashing shit up would have been better.

What does my Queen Jillian think? Would she murder this one dead, or go on a mad rampage with it (in the good way)? Find out here. ‚̧

Oh to be a giantess just for one day

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Film) Review

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A Christmas B-movie? Where do I sign? Surely the only thing better than that would be a Christmas Shark Movie?

I’m going to spare you the preamble this time around, just to say this was on Jill’s movie bucket list and I own it (for some reason) on DVD. To the movie!

*Spoilers ahead*

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Director: Nicholas Webster
Stars: John Call, Leonard Hicks, Vincent Beck

IMDB Synopsis:

The Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

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Just your average Friday night

My Review

Where to start with this one? I’m not sure what I just watched. The most notable thing I can mention is that one of the Martian children, Girmar (Girl Martian, you see?) is played by Pia Zadora who played Beatnik Chick in John Water’s Hairspray¬†(1988). Which is cool.

So. We first meet the Martians, parents Momar (Leila Martin) and Kimar (Hicks) who are worried about their Martian children. They have been doing what all good children do if they can get away with it and that’s rinsing too much TV. In this case it’s Earth TV and is therefore much more dangerous and progressive.¬†Through this exercise it seems Girmar and Bomar (Chris Month)¬†have been learning all about Santa (Call) via a¬†channel called KID-TV.

Concerned about the low moods of their offspring, Momar and Kimar visit ancient sage Chochem (Carl Don – think Yoda but more shit), who tells them that the children of Mars are becoming distracted. There’s a bit about how Martian youths are brought up to not have individual thoughts but I wasn’t really taking it in. I do agree though, freedom of expression should be kept from children until the very last minute.

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Death by really shit robot

Anywho, Chochem says he’s seen this coming for a long time (dude is, like, 800 years old) and advises that the only way to deal with this issue is to let the kids have some fun. Wooooooo. The leaders decide they need to get their own Santa Claus figure to spread some cheer round Mars. Later, they cut out the middle man and resolve to kidnap the real Santa and bring him to their manor¬†to entertain the children.

A plan is concocted that makes no sense¬†whatsoever¬†but two bratty children are kidnapped to lure out the real Santa (?) who they get their hands on relatively easily. Security is slack around the North Pole apparently. Santa himself is deeply annoying and deserves to be smothered along with the children, so it’s quite refreshing when one of the Martians, Voldar (Beck) decides to try and kill them all. (This is motivated by him being staunchly against the Santa plan and wanting to keep the Mars traditions alive and well). Voldar is identified as evil by his nefarious¬†facial hair.

On Santa’s arrival, he is required to build a toy factory with the kids who have also been snatched from Earth ūüĆŹ (no child labour laws on Mars, apparently) but it ends up being sabotaged by Evil ‘Tache and his henchmen, Stobo (Al Nesor) and Shim (Josip Elic).

In the excitement, Kimar’s assistant, Dropo (Bill McCutcheon) dresses like Santa and also gets kidnapped (they think he’s the real deal). Lots of ¬†hostage situations litter this plot-line, I think Martians have a lot of issues to work through.

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Cheer up you little shits

Anyway, there’s an escape from the cave in which Dropo’s being held, the Earth kids get pally with the Martian kids, the Earth kids get homesick, Santa and Dropo save Christmas on Mars and then… well, will¬†Santa ever get back to business on good old Earth, or does he risk disappointing the children of the world? You’ll see.

My Thoughts

God, this is some schmaltzy shit. It’s kitsch as fuck which is really the only thing it has going for it. You won’t give a damn about any of the characters, except maybe Mrs. Claus (Doris Rich) who isn’t supposed to be but is the comic relief for me. Momar is sweet and earnest as well, and genuinely gives a damn.

Voldar is probably the hottest Martian on the planet, which isn’t really saying much. The whole thing is instantly forgettable without much to say, other than that we should be greatful for what we have as some people don’t have as much. Which isn’t a bad Christmas message to be fair.

I think I watched this a long time ago and remembered it being a lot more enjoyable. It has its moments of darkness but overall it’s a very American film with a hard candy shell and not an awful lot going on in the centre.¬†Does anyone want my DVD?

My Rating

2/5. Pretty bad. Watch Home Alone again instead.

What did Jill think of her pick? Was it just bonkers enough to keep her interested or is she plotting to have it kidnapped like literally every other character in this movie? Find out here. 

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STFU Santa

Happy Birthday and a Half: The Great Blog Collab

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A change from the norm this week but still very much on brand, don’t you worry.

It’s Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab‘s 18¬†month anniversary¬†(phew) this week and since it’s kind of a big deal to us (and hopefully a few of you), we decided we shouldn’t let the occasion pass without sticking a celebratory pin in it.

So this week we both¬†present to you a little glance back at our top 5 favourite movies from our blogs, a couple of absolute turkeys (I feel we may overlap here) and a handful of honorary mentions because some films are just noteworthy¬†in ways that don’t translate into ratings, you feel me?

A special thank you to Jill for thinking this one out logistically, and catching the anniversary. I’ve been feeling fried for the last few weeks and feel as though I’ve brought almost nothing to the table in terms of our collab, hence another Free for All theme this month.

I’m starting to feel brighter and more inspired than ever though, and am excited for this post and our future reviews.

To my Top 5! (5 of 10)

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American Mary (2012)

I loved this movie¬†so much when I first saw it and although I haven’t revisited it since, I think of it often. At¬†the time of reviewing it, I accepted that it was¬†imperfect even though I didn’t hesitate to slap a 5/5 rating on it. The ending is disappointing, though I’m not sure Mary could have just walked off to a normal life after everything she’d seen and done, even if I wanted it for her.

I find the body modification community fascinating and wonder how close to the bone this really is. In terms of taking back control and self-expression, it’s a wonderful tale and although you could argue that, in her pursuit of vengeance, our girl becomes just as bad as the perpetrator of the crime that changes her forever, it’s a fantasy and I’m with her all the way.¬†I love the power Mary wields and the ways¬†in which she empowers her clients.¬†Female-centric horror written and directed by women? More please. Ps. Katharine Isabelle, ILY!

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The Wolfpack (2015)

This documentary, that follows the bizarre lives of The Angulo Brothers; Bhagavan, Govinda, Jagadisa, Mukunda, Narayana and Krisna,¬†is¬†so special I feel it’s left a lasting impression on my heart. Funnily enough it came up in conversation with a friend earlier this week and our talk made me want to see it again. (BTW, I’ll reveal more soon but I have a very special project coming up and I think you’ll love it).

I often wonder what the boys are up to now, yet I can’t bring myself to look as this film has sealed them in time and left them on a high, despite their weird and wacky inner world. I need to live my life knowing that they’re all fine and happy.

If you enjoy something different, positive and heart-warming, then I can’t recommend this¬†enough. (I’ve deliberately told you nothing here so you go in with no information. Trust me, it’s worth it).

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Wetlands (2013)

I had to choose Wetlands for it’s sheer audacity. It feels like a film designed purely to shit stir. So much of it is ripe for a disgusted reaction; that’s exactly what it wants and gets x 1000.¬†It¬†is¬†refreshing that our protagonist is not bound by the usual rules of femininity though, I have to say that. She’s crazy for sex, will try anything once and doesn’t give a flying fuck about being ladylike. It must have been so fun for it’s lead Carla Juri to play this part.

I’ve just bought the book on which the film is based and I hope to pick up soon. I’m curious to see if it’s even more graphic that its movie counterpart. Here’s hoping?

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The One I Love (2014)

I really enjoyed this truly bizarre anti-romance starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass, about a couple working on getting
back that loving feeling, if only their alternate reality selves don’t fuck it up first. Yeah. This is one you have to follow¬†carefully but it’s interesting film-making with great performances and a Make You Think ending, which is kind of bleak when you¬†really consider it.

Part of the reason I love this movie is because I saw it around the same time as Coherence (2013) which is another alternative¬†reality movie (on a smaller budget) that really messes with your mind. Don’t expect the ending to be spelt out for you in either¬†film, both leave you genuinely wondering what the fuck has happened and how.

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Advantageous (2015)

This film is one of the saddest I’ve seen in recent years with such a powerful message. Passing comment on sexism and ageism, it¬†paints a stark picture of the future, where women of a ‘certain age’ are no longer useful unless they’re willing to sell their¬†eggs (in this era, healthy eggs are like gold dust, see).

Our heroine, Gwen feels forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to give her daughter Jules the very best shot at a future¬†and it’s more dramatic than you can possibly imagine, with consequences that will change both their lives forever. The film is¬†fantastic, with excellent acting and if it doesn’t send you hurtling into the arms of your loved ones by the credits, then I¬†don’t know what will.

Pop on over to Jill‘s to check out her contribution to our Top Ten favourite movies (we each picked five). I agree with each of the ones she’s chosen.

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Shelley Duvall & Sissy Spacek in 3 Women (I don’t know why they’re smiling, you won’t be)

Now to my Worst!

A look back at some right turkeys:

Monkey’s Paw (2013)
Without question (and I know Jill will mention it too), our worst film to date. It’s a re-imagining of W.W. Jacobs’ infamous supernatural short story and believe me, spend your time re-reading that five times instead.

This movie is painful to watch, with appalling acting and shit effects. In fact, you’ll be so miserable it’ll have you longing for a paw of your own to wish the pain away. Don’t bother, please. We’ve taken the hit so you don’t have to.

3 Women (1977)
This film is odd as fuck, I won’t lie and it feels like it’s ten years long.All I really took from Robert Altman‘s 3 Women¬†is that Shelley Duvallshould have stayed in the seventies as the aesthetic suits her so well, and vagina mosaics are timeless.

Down to You (2000)
Teen wank but of the worst kind. And here was me thinking I would never meet a highschool/college movie I didn’t like. WRONG!

Sharknado (2013)
This is abysmal but I mention it because I was expecting the best kind of bad. Not so, it’s just terrible. So many much better disaster/shark movies out there to enjoy, and we’ve watched a lot of them…Try Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014), 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015) or 12 Days of Terror (2004). Alternatively, just watch Deep Blue Sea again (it’s so terribly great).

Honorary Mentions

Some of these movies just deserve a nod, for the reasons listed below.

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“Come on in, the water’s fine.”

Killer Mermaid (2014)

This gets a nod¬†because it’s hysterical in every way. Film wise it’s horrible but oddly only when it ventures into Buffy territory. Could have been excellent, instead it’s good bad gone mad. I will always watch a mermaid movie if it’s offered to me IDGAF!

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax (2014)

It’s a shame in some respects that Lizzie Borden didn’t take an ax to the only copy of this film, thus rendering it extinct.¬†However, we’ve not been that lucky. I’ve included Lizzie because Ricci plays her with such relish but in the end, apart from a¬†little bit of face hacking, this tumbles into a courtroom drama and gets rather dull. Shame, as I love the Lizzie Borden story!

The Hellraiser Films – Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) and Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

I love love love love love deliciously horrid Julia from the first two Hellraiser movies (played by Clare Higgins). Unfortch, the lack of evil step mum in the subsequent instalments render them not as good. Even if, in Bloodline, we get new Cenobytes, a scenario set during the French Revolution and Pinhead in Space.

Having said that, there are about 69 other Hellraiser movies in the series, so I’m sure we’re not done yet.

———-

So there we have it, 18 months of appalling, bad, horrifying, great, classy, trashy, unbelievable and downright bonkers movies! And many more to come I’m certain of it.

The Collab has opened my eyes to all the wonders of bad cinema, made me expect more from the things I watch (for real though there’s bad bad and bad great, and never forget it). It has allowed me to embrace the one thing I love the very most: cinema. And even more than that, it brought me something I didn’t know I¬†needed (but clearly did): a great friend with similar cinematic tastes.

Happy Birthday and a Half Blog Collab, and to you my blog wife! *raises cocktail glass in manner of Gatsby*

Don’t forget to swing over to wifey’s for her view on our anniversary.

Don't worry, Christina, normal blog service will resume next week...
Don’t worry, Christina, normal blog service will resume next week…

Ghost Shark (Film) Review

“Frank, that doesn’t even make sense!” ~ Sheriff Martin to Mayor Stahl, which pretty much sums up this film

Don’t let that put you off though.

This is the last instalment in our Shark Month and I’m part¬†sad, part relieved. These damn movies are all starting to blend into one. Next month’s theme is still being decided¬†but whatever happens¬†it will be very, very different.

Until then, let’s focus on this made-for-the Sy Fy¬†Channel special which, for want of a better way to describe it, is bonkers. Seriously, seriously cray balls.

Let’s also take a moment to say see ya later sharks, it’s been real.

*Beware spoilers*

Ghost Shark (2013)

Director: Griff Furst
Stars: Amy Brassette, Sloan Coe, Lucky Johnson, Dave Davis, Jaren Mitchell

IMDB Synopsis: When rednecks on a fishing trip kill a great white shark, its spirit comes back for revenge, and soon turns its sights on the town of Smallport.

My Review:

Oh god. Oh my actual god. Well, at least the synopsis is a bit different, although every time I think of it, I think of¬†1990’s Ghost Dad. An interesting little tidbit there for you, if not particularly savoury. I’m sure Ghost Shark is the lesser of the two evils.

We begin with some arsehole fishermen (on the whole are fishermen really this dislikable? They’ve been portrayed very badly in every one of these movies). I say fishermen but there is a female present. Through every fault of their own, this heinous¬†pair (against the wishes of the captain of the boat) manage to torture and kill a great white shark, simply for doing what great white sharks do.

“Boo, Motherfucker!”

I can’t really understand why the shark sticks around so long,¬†but this isn’t the first time I will seriously question something in the next 90 minutes. The shark is eventually badly injured (via the medium of kaboom), so drifts off to die in a small cave next to a lighthouse, nothing odd about that.

Oh but wait, the cave begins to glow eerily, showing off some weird neon markings on the wall. What does it mean?

Well it means this isn’t the end of Sharky’s story¬†(let’s not beat around the bush: he¬†manifests¬†as Ghost Shark)¬†and justice is served piping hot on those nasty killers. Sadly, that includes¬†the innocent captain which is a bit of a shitter as he’s a well-known local in¬†the town of Harmony, with two daughters who are understandably concerned when they¬†find his boat bobbing unattended in the middle of the lagoon (?).

If in doubt, stuff your face (my kind of strategy)

From here it feels more like a shark movie (bikinis, teenagers, flying heads) but I’m pleased to report that, apart from the bitchy Queen Bee of the group, who doesn’t survive this introductory scene, the kids are alright. We have; plucky Ava (Mackenzie Rosman), her sister Cicely (Coe), laid-back potential love interest, Blaise (Davis), quite hot Mayor’s son, Cameron (Mitchell) and joker of the pack, Mick (Shawn C. Phillips).

I have to admit that I was bracing myself for a fat joke or ten at the expense of Mick, who’s a big boy but there weren’t any and that was refreshing to me. Look, you have to take decency where you can find it sometimes.

In fact, although this film does not appear on my favourite website, the Bechdel Test Movie List¬†and I forgot to monitor it myself, it’s clear at all times who the hero of this story¬†is, and it’s Ava. Women (some) tend to fare better in horror than in any other genre, and they particularly excel in shark movies *bicep emoji*.

“Look ma, no hands…”

How many more deaths before someone fucking believes the kids when they say there’s a vengeful shark of the loose, tho?! (FYI if there was a big dog in this film you could legitimately pass it off as a Scooby Doo movie).

Honestly, I can’t thrash back and forth all the way through this review because that will be very dull but there’s a pool party at Cameron’s house to commiserate Vicky’s death (so sweet!). It’s okay though, because everyone knows sharks are sea creatures only. LOL! Carnage ensues and we begin to lose some of the core group.

One of the perks, apparently, of being a ghost shark is that you get to pop out of any body of water to wreak horrible revenge, so absolutely nowhere wet is safe. Bath tubs, taps, puddles, buckets of soapy water being sponged onto sports cars by bikini clad cheerleaders, even cups of water from the cooler –¬†*anywhere*.

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…”

Ghost Shark doesn’t even seem mad anymore, he’s just hell bent on killing everybody and I don’t really blame him.¬†Murder never looked so fun and nobody is exempt. Eventually the towns people realise what they have on their hands (duh) and Mayor Stahl (Johnson) who’s very shouty, goes out on a boat with Sheriff Martin (Murphy). He has A. Plan but you can guess how well that turns out.

Meanwhile, Ava and Blaise meet an eccentric museum curator who’s creepy beyond words but also informative – and they find out about an ancient curse placed on the glowing cave (I think, honestly I tuned out a lot towards the end). They then team up with Sean Connery, a mysterious local fisherman, who’s also a drunk and rumoured to have killed his wife.

“Give us a kiss!”

He tells the kids some more about the cave and they work out what they have to do to destroy Ghost Shark. There’s a big bad showdown at the end and someone wins.

Fin.

Questions:

Will the plan work? Did Sean Connery kill his wife after all? Who will make it and who will end up as chum?

Buckets of talent

My Thoughts:

Uh. Actually, this isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen. I mean, it was almost worth it for the car wash attack¬†alone (the scene itself is so damn gratuitous). In addition to the babes in swimwear, I feel as though the¬†filmmaker did at least try¬†to give this a back story and as mentioned, there was a strong female lead who didn’t have to hook up with the guy to be interesting.

She was steely, spunky and focused, exactly the person you’d want in charge during a ghost shark hunt.¬†Imagine a team of shark hunting women comprised of Ava, Rosie and Nova? You’re welcome Sy-Fy Channel. Jill, perhaps we should write and direct it? (Although they’d only be hunting bad sharks, you understand).

The other characters were okay but not indispensable, Cameron was probably the strongest alongside Ava but I don’t know if that’s just because I fancied him a bit. Besides the bucket bit, my favourite scene was when Blaise finally twigged that as long as they stay away from water, they’ll be okay. Um, YAH.

The effects are horrible which makes them brilliant, the story is beyond stupid but it was entertaining at least.

I feel like this photo needs no caption

My Rating: 3/5. It’s no MS Vs. MS but it was gory af and that pleases me.¬†

Did Jill want to wreak bloody revenge on those who wronged her (aka. the director of this movie)? Or… did she like it? Find out here, if you dare!

Ps. If you see this is and enjoy it, there appears to be a sequel

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark (Film) Review

I’m loving Shark Month so much I’m not even mad at last week’s terrible choice¬†(though I should be). This week is very much in keeping with the creature feature/B-Movie fare both Jill and I love so much – and it’s actually quite compelling.

Without further a do, let’s get down to some fishy business, shall we?

*Spoilers ahead* in case you’re worried about keeping some suspense.

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark (2014)

Director: Emile Edwin Smith
Stars: Christopher Judge, Elisabeth Röhm, Matt Lagan

IMDB Synopsis: A new mega shark threatens to destroy humanity. The government creates an exact robotic copy of the shark, either equal to or greater than the original. Now they must fight to the death while people and whole cities get in the way.

My Review:

A tugboat pulling a giant iceberg into Egypt (?) accidentally unleashes hell on the world when a Megalodon shark escapes from within. (I don’t know either but let’s go with it). I laughed out loud as the aforementioned tugboat was flipped across Egypt by the Megalodon’s tail, knocking off the head of a sphinx as it went.

The unintentional unleashing of this giant prehistoric sharky bastard really fucks with the chi of the world as boats are no longer safe to go about their business without being attacked and honestly, this big boy is pissed at something. I mean, normal sharks don’t attack boats just because they can, right? I guess being trapped that long in a giant ice cube can take its toll.

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“This cannot be good…”

We piece together just how much devastation is taking place through the cleverly stitched global news reports and Meg (let’s call him) is being very naughty. We also learn that global warming is to blame and I like that nod to reality, very much touched upon in¬†3-Headed Shark Attack and Sharknado, though you’d be forgiven for ¬†blinking and missing it. Basically, if we don’t recycle and stop with the over use of hairspray, we’re in for the same fate.

So while Meg crashes about causing chaos, husband and wife wonder team, Rosie (Röhm) and Jack Turner (Judge) are the bad asses selected to take him on. But how prey tell does one go about doing something like that? Why, build an exact replica out of steel and have them battle it out, obvs!

Rosie is the captain of the Mecha, having proved her chops on a smaller vessel, which is co-piloted by special¬†A.I. “Nero”. “Nero” (voice by Paul Anderson) is basically “K.I.T.T” from Knightrider but flirtier. Jack is un-enthused about Rosie going into the Mecha before it’s been tested fully and without “Nero” to boot but she’s a plucky women who does what she wants so she goes anyway.

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Oops, wrong movie!

Straight away this turns out to be unwise and there’s a bodged attempt to stop Meg. Admiral Ackbar Engleberg¬†(Lagan), who’s in charge of Mecha operations is a bit grumpy when it comes to this failure, as his brother was killed by the Meg. (Somewhere along the line there is a reference to this being the third time the Meg has popped up though I don’t think you need to have seen those movies to follow this one).

So Engleberg has a personal investment in the Meg’s demise and that seems fair – Meg is kind of a dick. Anywhoo, Jack manages to convince him that installing “Nero” into the Mecha is the least they should do and soon “Nero” is wise-cracking with the best of them. Jack is adorable btw as he’s obviously madly in love with his wife and just wants her to be okay. He’s a good egg and also, looks like exactly the kind of person you want on your side in a crisis.

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The Posh & Becks of the Mechanical Shark World

Rosie meanwhile is a remarkable woman who shows emotion several times on the job but pulls herself together and gets on with it, like women do. All the while her high ponytail never messes up. She’s also, and I don’t mind my heroines in any form of attire, remains fully clothed throughout the movie and looks her age which made this character, and therefore the film, stand out to me. The genre is not always kind to the female form as we all know.

Oh yes, so Debbie Gibson’s Doctor Emma Macneil pops up to warn the Admiral that the Megalodon is aggressive (yes, thanks dear). I guess from this cameo that she’s kind of a big deal in the Mega franchise (a little digging shows she was in Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (2009)) but she doesn’t half state the obvious. She does add though that his aggression is down to the fact that he’s looking for a mate and that explains it all.

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“Give me a song and I”ll whistle it.”

During a battle with Meg, Mecha discovers a damaged oil line and Jack lectures Rosie about the environment (good boy) so she uses Mecha to seal the pipe. Rosie tries to take Meg down with a torpedo but he’s horny AND clever, thus flipping it at a ship with his tail fin causing the needless death of hundreds. Bearing in mind he’s already destroyed an oil rig and damaged countless ships, Meg is on a roll.

In the ensuing drama, Mecha is thrown to the bottom of the ocean and Rosie is knocked out. Poor Jack is beside himself but ‚ÄúNero‚ÄĚ has a plan, which works and gets Rosie to the surface. Meanwhile, Meg is free to body slam the USS James Stewart Aircraft Carrier, killing everyone horribly.

Can I take a minute here to praise the excellent work of all the submarine and ship crews? They either bob around in the background like extras from Spaceballs (1987) or are thrown into utter panic mode by an explosion. These actors give their all to their small roles and I love them for it.

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Double your sharky goodness

Rosie is okay (don’t worry guys) but is definitely out of sorts. The one bit of the film that kind of annoyed me was the flashback we get to the couple obviously having lost a child which is touched upon as Jack stirs Rosie back to consciousness. Really? Just so you know the only thing ever driving a woman is a tragedy, usually to do with a child! We must make her more sympathetic after all.

Minor bug bear but really! Anyway, ‚ÄúNero‚ÄĚ says he can pilot the Mecha alone and even though cautious Jack is reluctant, really what choice do they have? I got a bit lost for a while as I was putting my dinner on, but Mecha is go once more.

Oh yes, on recovery Rosie and Doctor Macneil hook up (not like that) and Rosie flies to Auckland where the scientists discuss what’s going on. They think he’s heading back to his birthplace, Australia, the spawning ground for his species. (Wait, does that mean there are loads of lady Megs just kicking it round Sydney Harbour?). Smells like a sequel to me.

In Oz, “Nero” malfunctions and goes rogue, Mecha is now somehow on dry land causing more damage that good (basically, his safety filters are off so he’s programmed to kill Meg without think about his surroundings, you dig?) and it’s all a mess. Oh, and look: a kid’s just got separated from her mother! Someone has to stop and find her! Better ask a woman!

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“When Mummy says don’t run off, maybe don’t run off, Kid!”

Yes, Rosie puts her life on the line to save a snotty brat who doesn’t understand basic instruction and all because a) she’s a woman! b) she lost a child remember! c) she’s a woman in case you also forgot that! (I know I’m overthinking but honestly). Also, Rosie is a damn decent woman (unlike any woman who hasn’t had a child), so she rescues the poppet and also meets up with Jack at the same time.

I won’t go too far into the climax because frankly, you’re already expecting a fight to the death, right? But Rosie has to get back on Mecha to lure Meg away from Sydney Harbour and hopefully be destroyed so everyone can go home and wash the bloody chum from their glossy locks (only Rosie then).

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A Woman’s Work

Questions:

Will the final mission go off without a hitch? Will Rosie live to fight another day or will she break her damned husband’s heart? Did Michael Bay direct the action sequence throughout the streets of Sydney? Will Meg meet his match?

And finally, will Admiral Ackbar finally get his revenge?

My Thoughts:

I was actually into this and almost non-sarcastically. I mean, it’s ridiculous but everyone’s really giving it their all so you can’t be mad. I really enjoyed the central couple, who I actually buy as one and I cared if they made it or not.

It was funny in places and how can you not be impressed by the sheer scale of the Megalodon? (I actually believe in them so this is practically a documentary in my eyes). My only small bug bear is the adding a sad backstory malarkey. I know what they were trying to do but it’s clunky af.

All in all probably my favourite shark-ie so far this month.

My Rating: 3.5/5. Enjoyable actually. More like a real action movie than the rest so far with good leads and not too horrific effects.

Oh yes and… totally passed the Blechdel test!

Did Jill love this monster or was she ready to flip it into next week with the tail fin? You know the drill.

Sharknado (Film) Review

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The question I most want answered, and I’m sure I could find it if only I could be arsed to look, is: were they bloody serious about this?!

I mean, obviously I get that it’s all very tongue-in-cheek but did that come after the original film became a surprise neo-cult classic? Because they all seem very serious and that,¬†I suppose, is¬†a credit to the cast as actors (maybe not in skill but in effort), you know?

This film is a total train-wreck it’s true but is it fun? Is it entertaining? Read on if you wish to know my view on that.¬†Also, I fancy Ian Ziering and that, my friends, is not something I ever¬†expected to hear myself say. Ever ever.

*Spoilers* if you give a shit!

Sharknado (2013)

Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Stars: Ian (Sex Pot) Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassandra Scerbo, Jaaaaaason Simmons

IMDB Synopsis:¬†When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature’s deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace.

My Review: 

They¬†don’t beat around the bush here in Shark Land. There’s a tornado whipping across the country, sucking up sharks in its wake¬†and they’re fleeing it as much as they can¬†but that’s easier said than done I guess.

A sail boat in the thick of the storm, containing a crew of nefarious fishermen who are actually catching and cutting off shark fins to sell for shark fin soup (one of the most barbaric things ever) is perfectly placed for the most ironic shark revenge of all time. These men all deserve to die horribly so from the get go you’ll be licking your lips in anticipation of heads rolling and limbs being¬†chomped.¬†You won’t be disappointed at all, my friends.

I have to say here that the ‘head to head’ between the boss¬†seaman *giggle* and his Asian business partner is so camp, with both characters stereotypical as all fuck so we’re off to a good start I think.

Cut to Californiaaaaaaa and Ian ‘90210’ Ziering’s Fin Shepard (LOL) is just a good man trying to make a buck. He owns a bar and looks good on the beach. Like rrrreallllly good guys, time has been kind¬†to the former Steve Sanders. Perhaps not having to stand next to Luke Perry helps?

Ziering has also recently graduated from the Christian Slater Academy for Furrow-browed Actors, presumably with flying colours. Honestly, watch him, they’re both cut from the same cloth. And I for one, am 100 emoji about it.

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This can’t be good

Fin is the brooding¬†type¬†which makes him irresistible (to me) and you just know there’s more to him than meets the eye. Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough what that is but for now, whilst frolicking in the sea with his mate, Baz Hogan (Simmons), shit kicks off. The sharks are actually racing inland in their droves and this does not bode well for the California beach bunnies romping there.

A decent amount of carnage ensues and yet again, people, when someone starts yelling from the water and looks super distressed, maybe take note? It might just save a leg or two.¬†After the initial attacks, Fin and friends¬†don’t seem too¬†bothered, heading to back to the bar Fin owns on the pier to get on with their lives.

He’s got a leg off

The bar is pretty archaic in¬†nature. Bar wench Nova (Scerbo) works in a bikini and has to physically fight off bar regular George (Heard) more than once when he grabs her arse. I would break his knuckles but she laughs it off. It’s all in good fun, isn’t it, all this cheeky everyday sexism and harmless physical harassment? God bless George.

Nova throws herself at Fin behind the bar during their shift and he callously rejects her before revealing he has a wife. An estranged wife but a wife nonetheless. The aforementioned ball ‘n’ chain¬†is April Wexler (Reid) who hates Fin right now because he’s so damned attractive presumably.

Fin’s worried about the storm and all the flooding going down around them and wants to get April and their daughter Claudia (Aubrey Peebles) the fuck outta Dodge. April however has a new boyfriend and is pretty sure he can protect them (she obviously can’t protect herself, what is this the 21st century?).

Back to the bar and if it¬†was up to me,¬†I would have left all the men behind when the first sharks start flying through the windows (tornado, remember?) and the bar and pier started to collapse. But our¬†rag-tag team decide to stick together: Fin, Baz, Nova and Handsy George jump in the car and head to April’s. She lives on a hill they figure, so less flooding.

It’s a stressful trip to April’s and I’d be lying if I said everyone makes it. One of the gang will not live to slap another woman’s bottom against her will ever again¬†*hint*. Nova gets hold of a shotgun (well this is America, you get them from vending machines there, no?) and is more than happy to blow the fuck out of every shark she sees. She really really hates them so much so that you’d think she has a tragic shark-themed back story.

I quite enjoy Nova, it has to be said even though her mooning over Fin gets tired really soon. Even if I understand it only too well, babe.

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Cheer up love, it might never… oh. Nevermind.

April is deeply unimpressed when Fin arrives and she’s obviously not one for girl power as she calls Nova a stripper right off the bat. Unfortunately, April’s house is not the fortress of watertight safety they were expecting and things go pear-shaped quickly. On the plus side, April’s foppish boyfriend Collin (Christopher Wolfe) becomes chum, thus paving the way for a possible reunion between Fin and April? I’m not sure if she deserves him yet tbh!

Sharks are notoriously bad at helping with removals

So the gang grows¬†as they decide their only option is to go and find Fin and April’s son Matt (Charles Hittinger) who’s in flight school. Riiiiight. Things escalate, people get bitten, our team finds a pet store full of weapons (?) and decide to build a bomb to fly into the heart of the tornado, as you do, thus killing the storm and the sharks.

Nova begins¬†to bond with Matt, who is way closer to¬†her in age and it’s kind of creepy. She confides in him the real reason she hates sharks so much and it’s HILARIOUS. I mean, the funniest, most improbable tale EVERRRR. Wouldn’t it be terrible, after all Nova’s been through and on the cusp of a new relationship with her crush’s son to boot, if she didn’t make it?

Hmmmmmm. I’ll wrap up here but will tell you this. Fin has definitely seen one or two Evil Dead movies because his chainsaw work is wonderful. He gets intimate with a very large Great White and does his best to protect his family while he’s at it.

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You’ve got red on you, Nova

Questions: 

Can Fin win back the love of his family, who resent him for being an absent father? Will April ever acknowledge that her new boyfriend has been killed, a moment of silence if you will for Collin? Who will make it? Who won’t?

Will you care?

My Thoughts: 

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You did not get this in Jaws

Jesus H. Christ on a bike. This is godawful. I got bored half way through which I wasn’t expecting and I just didn’t care, I’m sorry Fin – I love you but no. I can’t really believe they’ve made three further films in this series – honestly, I was tired of sharks crashing through windows after maybe the second time, so I don’t know how they’ve kept it fresh. Perhaps they haven’t, I don’t know if I’ll even make the sequels.

The effects aren’t quite as bad as expected but maybe that’s because I’ve seen Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015) which makes this look like a Michael Mann movie. Though I did want to see more animatronics √†¬†la¬†Bruce the Shark¬†as the CGI makes it feel¬†so empty and soulless.

Apart from the beautiful Fin, the rest of the cast are pretty forgettable. Nova probably shows the most promise but I can’t tell if that’s just because she carries a weapon and isn’t afraid to muck in. Tara Reid I imagine gets a bit harder in the following films (judging by the images I’ve seen – spoiler!) but in this she just looks worried the whole time.

If you’re interested my new favourite website is unclear as to whether this film passes the Bechdel Test. I tried to follow myself but got distracted and I’m guessing probs not.

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*Heart eyes emoji*

My Rating: 2.5/5. Poor. So bad it’s just bad with nothing really endearing about it. Although Fin does look very good in plaid.

Did this make Jill want to swirl around like a whirling dervish, or would she rather go swimming with the sharks, where this drivel belongs? Find out here.

12 Days of Terror (Film) Review

Jill and I batted around the idea of doing political movies this month but after the last couple of weeks the UK has had and all the bullshit currently wafting around on Jill’s side of the pond, I think we made the right choice to back away from that for a while.

Instead, we’re doing Shark Month in honour of the USA’s wonderful Shark Week. We don’t have it here and frankly, it’s a travesty.¬†Bonus is,¬†I can pretend Nigel Farage is the one being terrorised and it makes me feel better.

Jill picked this week and I was all ready to mock the shit out of this overly dramatic TV movie. In the end I actually became rather engrossed.

Call it the handsome and earnest leading man, call it the hilarity of most of the cast members being all too eager to jump into the water even though there’s a goddamn shark in there!

Whatever it was,¬†let’s get down to business.¬†*Spoilers* as usual, though this is a shark movie so you can guess a lot of it.

12 Days of Terror (2004)

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Colin Egglesfield, Mark Dexter, Jenna Harrison, John Rhys-Davies

IMDB Synopsis:¬†For 12 days in July, 1916, a shark patrolled the waterways of northern New Jersey. This docudrama is based on Richard Fernicola’s account of those days.

My Review:

It’s 1916 and there’s this new craze called sun¬†bathing sweeping the nation. People are flocking to the New Jersey shore to cure their polio in the sunshine and to not think about the World War raging across the ocean. The Jersey Shore in this scenario is very different to the shore we know and love today (or so the film would have us believe). Though, I’d have paid good money for a cameo from Snooki.

Our hero is Alex (Egglesfield) and let’s no beat around the bush, having to watch him wrestle sharks for the next hour or so is not going to feel like a chore. He’s a good egg this one, life guarding like a boss on the beach outside a posh hotel and mentoring other less experienced life guards on his watch.

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Worth pretend drowning for

He receives a visit from his best friend Stanley (Dexter)¬†and his fiance Alice (Harrison), who we later learn used to be Alex’s¬†girl (oooooooh!). Alex¬†tells¬†Stanley he’s totally cool with them getting married (riiiight) and even helps Alice make a decision on the kind of cake they’ll be having on the big day.¬†Like I said, kind of a hero.

Unfortunately, this is the first day of terror and a dandy called Charles (David Jeffery) becomes our first victim. It’s at this point I have to say, Charles, your dog is barking violently at something in the water, perhaps at least approach it with caution? Always listen to the animals, dude! As he runs into obvious trouble further out, Alex dives in to rescue him without a single thought for his own personal safety. Charles has a huge chunk missing from his leg and sadly does not make it to see day 2.

Alex is adamant that this was a shark attack (I mean, duh) but some ‘experts’ swoop in and imply that it could of been a torpedo. Ummmm… a torpedo with teeth? Alex doesn’t buy this¬†one bit and suggests that perhaps they close the fucking beach until they know the score? But alas he is but a lowly Tom Cruise impersonator¬†lifeguard and he’s poo-pooed.

Again, he’s not happy but what can he do but stay vigilant? The Mayor (Patrick Lyster) isn’t keen on losing out on the tourism and the President of the U S of A is due to visit any day now¬†so the show¬†must go on. They speak to yet more experts who state that it would be highly unlikely for the shark to come back (haven’t they seen Jaws?).

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Salty

Come to think of it, Alex is our Roy Schneider, running around crazed and trying to cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to save lives. He’s also mates with a salty old sea dog called Captain (see what he did there?). Captain is John Rhy-Davies who was Gimli in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and I quite fancy him.

Since this is 12 days of horribleness,¬†you can guess that the shark does indeed come back and this time it’s personal as he bites off¬†Alex’s mates’ legs (both of them, no messing). Alex once again is first to the scene and it doesn’t end well for his friend, I think his name was¬†Danny?

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He’s got some legs off

After this attack, the authorities half-heartedly concede that there might a problem and place some big steel fencing around the beaches to make it safer for swimmers. Alex has lost all his enthusiasm for the job since Danny’s death and quits, has a fight with Stanley (who tries to stop him¬†doing anything rash. Oops TOO LATE!). He takes a job with Captain as his first mate, which sounds legit. Captain seems to fish a bit and just hang about on the docks but this time he’s been contracted to fit the fencing.

While they’re fitting the steel posts in¬†the water, one of Cap’s¬†crew gets spooked and shoots at the water, claiming he can see a shark.¬†Alex and another crew member are in the water at this time and I have to say that absolutely nobody seems that arsed about shark attacks.¬†And yeah, I get that rivers aren’t the usual stomping ground of great white sharks but when Captain sees a formidable shadow streaking through the water towards the creek and goes suitably mental, nobody else reacts accordingly.

You would not have to tell me twice to stay the fuck out of the water, let me assure you. Anyway, Captain is in his little row boat shouting at children to get the fuck onto dry land¬†but he’s only one man and can’t get to them all. So a small group are splish splashing about when our shark rocks up.

A hysterical mother shouts to them from the river bank and they do nothing because they can’t hear her! Kids, eh? They pay the price for not reading her body language so there’s a lesson here.

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GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WATER!

When Stanley hears that a kid he knows¬†is in the creek he gets rather heroic. I can’t work out at this stage if the kid is¬†his (I don’t think so)¬†but whatever, it’s enough to get Stanley¬†moving. Several local men leap into the creek but¬†don’t find the kid. I’m not going to outline each and every death for you, don’t worry but tragedy strikes round about here and makes Alex even fucking angrier that before.

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5 cents you say? BARGAIN!

Meanwhile, I’ve missed out a part where Cap seems to have caught a shark but there’s still another shark out there (I think this happened, I have an image of it), so there must be multiple sharks out there. Alex isn’t pleased that his mate is making money out of tragedy but this is how Cap rolls and I think we all just¬†have to accept that.

Also sniffing around is a strange dude called Michael Schleisser (Jamie Bartlett) who works with dangerous animals. He doesn’t really have much going on apart from a deep fascination for the shark and attempts to go out on Cap’s tiny boat to see if he can catch it.¬†As one does. He’s really dislikable and has an air of the guy who captured King Kong to me. He’s definitely not that into¬†animal welfare and in it for himself.

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“Oooooh he’s a biggun!”

Alex and Cap tell Schleisser¬†his plan, to somehow ensnare the shark in a net and get dragged along by it until it tires itself to death, is rubbish but he’s having none of it. The shark must hear them talking and get fucked off as he jumps out of the water and tries to bite Captain.

There’s a final Jaws-esque show down between shark and human men, and I’m going to let you see how that turns out.

Questions:

What becomes of pretty Alex? Does Schleisser rightly so get eaten by our big fishy friend? Will Alice and Stanley make it down the aisle after all this drama is over, or will a place open up by Alice’s side?

And what of the shark, whose only real crime is being a shark and going with its animal instincts?

My Thoughts:

Way more thrilling and entertaining than expected. It’s cheesy of course but the period setting lends it some class. It’s very reminiscent of¬†a certain Spielberg directed shark movie¬†but that’s because the film is based on the true-events that also inspired Jaws so you can’t blame it for that.

Shots beneath the surface of the sea are very Jaws-y and tense though this film¬†lacks the horror element that made Jaws so amazing. You do actually care for some of the victims which helps and I have to say the fact you don’t see the shark for a good while helps the build up.

Some of those characters are so dumb though and none of the female characters really get a look in. Alice is a very 2D, decorative prop (and I say prop because she’s only there to add a subtle tension between the two best friends). It’s like one big fisherman’s club up in this joint. Also, when an experienced fisherman/lifeguard tells you to stay on dry land, STAY ON DRY LAND!

My Rating: 3/5. A TV movie that feels like a TV movie but like, a goodish one.

Did Jill circle this movie with interest or was it nothing but chum to her? Find out here.