Thursday, February 01, 2007

7 Dollar Popcorn Presents The 7 Dollar Popcorn FILMuary Extravaganza: 28 Days of Movie Mayhem Day 1: Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy

When you are doing an event like 7 Dollar Popcorn Presents The 7 Dollar Popcorn FILMuary Extravaganza: 28 Days of Movie Mayhem, you have to be sure of a couple of things. First off, make sure your blog is called 7 Dollar Popcorn. Check. Next, you've got to kick it of with a bang.

So, it is without further ado that we kick things off with the Sci Fi Original Picture, Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy. A movie with the tagline "When he began fusing human and shark DNA, his colleagues laughed at him. Now his creation is taking his revenge, and they aren't laughing anymore. " Pretty fucking sweet, right? A movie staring The Initiation's Hunter Tylo, not to mention Jeffery Combs (who was in that one movie. You know...that one. The one I made my ex-girlfriend watch only a couple weeks before she broke up with me. True Story. Mostly.), pretty fucking sweet, right?. A movie with this guy


Pretty fucking sweet, right? Hell yeah. A movie with the label "Sci Fi Original", and all the mental associations that go with it. They can't all be Dog Soldiers and they can't all be Chupacabra. So, it is that I set out to begin my project. I stayed up late to watch this, and to try to get away with my first technicality. See, TECHNICALLY, I only watched half of this in February. I started watching it in January, but watched the last half in February. So, it counts dammit!

I really hoped that this would be a movie more in the vein of Jaws or Open Water. Something where people are on the water, surrounded by hammerheads. Something I could use to tie in to Final Girl's Animals Run Amok Week, because I'm shameless like that and will take any extra/inadvertent traffic I can get. And, the opening scene, would make you think that this is what it will be. However, immediately afterwards, we're in a lab with some sort of were-shark thing. And some scientists. And they're doing science stuff.

Jeffery Combs (well, his character really, Dr King) has created some sort of half shark half man thing. He's trying to breed it, but rather than fuck, the thing just wants to kill. See, he's hoping to usher in a new age of man, or something.

Regardless, he's discovered something about using stem cells and decides to invite his former coworkers to the island he's been doing his science on. He wants to show off his "discovery". Hunter Tylo (well, her character) used to date Dr King's son, who died five years ago. And now, she has King's old job. King says that sharks don't get sick, they don't get cancer (not true, they do, it's just rare), and that he found a way to mutate stem cells. So, he spliced his cancerous son's cells with that of a shark. Which naturally resulted in the half shark freakshow. Which he now plans to turn on his former coworkers as punishment for "stealing his research and forcing him into exile".

So, at this point, there are six people running around an island, being chased by this shark thing, and to top it all off, King has guards all over the island who are supposed to try to kill them to. Talk about being fucked! Luckily, the shark doesn't care who is really who, and he kills a couple of King's men.

If it came down to it, and you were being chased through the jungle by a landshark ("Flowers") and you were wearing heels, wouldn't it be easier to just go barefoot? Speaking of being chased through the jungle, the plants are somewhat carnivorous due to some of Dr King's prior experiments. Nice little twist, huh?

Naturally, the group of six is separated into two groups, and 2 of them are dead. The main group finds King's lab where they learn that he's trying to breed the landshark ("Plumber ma'am"). They also learn that it may be vulnerable to nitrogen.

They escape the lab and head towards the helipad, since there ought to be a radio there. And they need some tunes! Ok, not really, they're still hoping that someone will help them. They reunite with the boss and now it's 1 group of four. Then, one of the girls gets eaten and we're down to three. The boss, the ex-fiance, and the head of IT (who is, naturally, a great marksman and an expert at throwing knives).

King wants the thing returned to the lab, and Krause gets killed trying to retrieve him. Meanwhile, it's a race to the helipad for our heroes. The shark may be resting, the guards are still trying to hunt them down. And by now, our heroes are all excellent shots. The guards don't seem to be able to hit the broadside of a barn. They probably needed help making sure the guns were pointed in the right direction.

The 3 of them go all Rambo and storm the helipad, securing a helicopter. Unfortunately, the one guard who can manage to aim before firing hit the gas tank and blowing up the copter before it leaves the ground. The guards manage to take Amelia (Tylo) and Whitney (Roberts) back to the lab for King. King wants to get his son laid something fierce. He want to create the next phase in human evolution. So, hopefully, "Paul" will remember Amelia and want to get it on. But first, King feeds Whitney to him.

Luckily, here comes Tom with a spear gun, and a flare gun, and a gun gun, and a fertilizer gun. And naturally, like all monsters, the shark eventually turns on his creator, killing him. And Tom fills him with fertilizer, and he explodes. Nitrogen, remember? And they destroy the lab in one of the most anti-climactic and unexciting endings EVER.

Anything with the shark underwater is obviously, and painfully, CGI. He looks better as a man in a shark suit. Which is for close ups, or in land. You know, when he's more like a land shark ("I'm only a harmless dolphin..."). The shark suit is only seen in quick glimpses, which is too bad, it doesn't look that bad.

Jeffrey Combs is surprisingly good in his role as the doctor out for revenge. And Velizar Binev is great as King's assistant Dr. Krause. They have a good chemistry together. The others are all pretty average. Not bad, no one just phoned it in or anything. No one was terrible. The story itself is pretty generic mad scientist/monster man fare.

It's too cheesy to take serious, but everyone seems to have taken it too serious to be cheesy. So, what could have been a fun movie turned out pretty average, which, by Sci Fi Channel standards is practically a home run. I don't know, just a little more over the top and it could have been really enjoyable. I give it 5 sheds labeled "shark control" out of 10.


Unknown said...

I couldn't help but laugh and laugh at this, because of the landshark references.

You win.

Unknown said...

I still love that skit! It's hilarious!