Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus
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Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus

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There is often some guilty pleasure to be found in watching bad movies, many of which are unintentionally hilarious, but there are few pleasures to be found in Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus.

There is often some guilty pleasure to be found in watching bad movies, many of which are unintentionally hilarious, but there are few pleasures to be found in Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. This is the first theatrically released film from production company The Asylum, which specialises in releasing a number of cheap, low budget knock offs of well-known movies straight to DVD. Amongst their titles are such works as Paranormal Entity, The Day The Earth Stopped, Death Racers, 2012 Doomsday, Supercroc, etc. As far as bad movies go, this C-grade shocker is right up there with the likes of trashy films like Ed Wood’s dire Plan 9 From Outer Space, Robot Monster and even Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus proves to be so bad that it has to be seen to be disbelieved.

The two prehistoric creatures referenced in the title have been frozen beneath the Arctic ice for millions of years. But a mishap with a sonic device during a scientific exploration accidentally sets them free and the two creatures begin to terrorise both the American west coast and the Gulf of Japan. Oil rigs are destroyed, the Golden Gate Bridge comes crashing down, and in one risible sequence, the giant shark leaps out of the ocean and drags a jet airline down to a watery grave. A team of scientists race against time to find a way to trap and destroy the two creatures.

Leading the team is marine biologist Emma MacNeil (played by former ‘80s pop star Deborah Gibson, of Electric Youth fame) and her mentor Dr Lamar (Sean Lawlor). Assisting the team is Baxter, a shadowy government scientist played by faded ‘90s action star Lorenzo Lamas ( The Bold And The Beautiful), whose films largely disappeared straight on to video or DVD.

The performances of the low rent cast are uniformly wooden. Gibson seems to be taking her role far too seriously, and she spends a lot of time gazing earnestly into multicoloured test tubes. Lamas seems more attuned to the preposterous nature of the material.

Despite its ambitious concept, which reads like some of those cheap Japanese monster flicks, this is truly C-grade film making on a Z grade budget. The limitations of its budget are painfully obvious during the shoddy CGI special effects sequences.

Unfortunately, not enough screen time is given over to the suggested showdown between the two creatures, which is done largely using re-edited stock footage. For the most part these action sequences are quite dull. Both the direction and script from writer/director Jack Perez (using the pseudonym Ace Hannah) is clumsy and clichéd. The sets are cheap-looking, the dialogue corny and delivered woodenly, and the characters are little more than cardboard cut-outs.

Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus has all the makings of a potential midnight cult classic, especially as Melbourne’s Nova Cinemas are screening it as part of their late night Cult Cravings program.