Jack Perez (as Ace Hannah)
Deborah Gibson - Emma MacNeil
Lorenzo Lamas - Allan Baxter
Sean Lawlor - Lamar Sanders
Vic Chao - Dr. Seiji Shimada
Dean Kreyling - US Sub Captain
Genre - Science Fiction/B-Movie
Running Time - 92 Minutes
Score - 1.5 Howls Outta 4
In the history of cinema, we have watched movie characters translate into icons. And these icons have often caused us to debate who win if they would battle each other. Some of these debates have been answered for us.
KING KONG vs. GODZILLA.
FREDDY vs. JASON.
ALIEN vs. PREDATOR.
PARIS HILTON vs. TALENT.
These battles have been long anticipated by fans and the majority of them have met our expectations. Now it's 2009 and there seems to be another battle brewing that has fans salivating:
In this corner, at 1000 feet tall and weighing a shitload of tons...MEGA SHARK!!
In that corner, at 3500 feet tall and weighing a shitload of tons...GIANT OCTOPUS!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages...let's get ready to RRRRRRUUUUUUMMMMMMBBBBBBBLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEE!!!
::A minute later::
Wait, the battle is already done? Well, that was disappointing. Just like the film MEGA SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS is.
Somewhere in Alaska, Emma MacNeil (Deborah Gibson in her finest role since Skating With Celebrities) and some fatass sidekick are in some mini-sub to watch a bunch of humpback whales get it on. Whatever floats her boat, I guess. Anyway, the military [who are usually behind everything in these sci-fi/horror flicks] begin dropping sonar bombs to see if they work or something. Being the geniuses that they are, they forgot that these bombs would scare animal life and destroy glaciers. Oh yeah - they also forgot they would release the thousand years old Mega Shark and Giant Octopus, who were trapped underwater in ice in mid-battle.
MacNeil, witnessing it all, complains about what the military has done, but the Man [a.k.a. the Government] just dismiss her 80s pop star ass. But when a dead whale shows up on the beach with a giant tooth stuck in it, MacNeil decides to steal the tooth and unravel the mystery herself. While MacNeil, her stereotypical Irish mentor (Sean Lawlor), and a Japanese scientist (Vic Chao) investigate, the Mega Shark begins attacking ships and leaping hundreds of feet in the air to attack airplanes [talk about an overachiever!] and the Golden Gate Bridge while Giant Octopus attacks Tokyo [I guess to abuse their seafood loving asses]. Some dude working for the military (Lorenzo Lamas in his finest role since appearing on TMZ the other night) kidnaps the three scientists and uses them to figure out how to stop this menace. After a quickie, MacNeil and Dr. Shimada decide that phermones are needed to attract the two beasts and lead them into battle against each other [I guess that's what you would call what they do to each other for a single minute]. I still think DEBBIE GIBSON VERSUS TIFFANY would have made a much better flick.
MEGA SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS, created by the shameless B-movie company The Asylum, got the attention of many due to a really cheesy trailer promoting the film's release to DVD a few weeks ago. Seriously, the thought of Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas co-starring in a film where a huge shark jumps out of the ocean just to destroy a flying plane and may have to do battle with an equally as huge octopus got a lot of people very interested in this film. We all knew it would be cheesy. We all knew it would probably be so bad that it's good. Unfortunately like most trailers, it's a whole lot better than the actual film it's promoting. It's disappointing because this could have been a really cheesy film that happened to be a lot of fun. Too bad there's not much fun here to be had.
The story...well the story isn't the point to watch this film. But then again, it fails because the film should be about Mega Shark kicking Giant Octopus' ass, yet that barely happens in this film. As a matter of fact, the two stars of the film are hardly in the film at all. The real sub-plot of the film deals with MacNeil's investigation of the two creatures and her attempts to contain them at first and then destroy them when she realizes that they'll do more damage if alive. Because this narrative isn't all that interesting, exciting, or even entertaining for much of it, it just drags the film down. Do I really need to see MacNeil and her friends stare at tubes of colorful liquids in two separate montages? Hell, I was less interested in the film and more interested in whether they would share some Kool-Aid with me. I haven't had some in a while. Pass it on to a brother! Also, the "love story" between MacNeil and Shimada was so quick and forced that it just made me chuckle at how contrived and ridiculous it all was. And don't get me started on the final act where everyone is stuck in a submarine in danger of Mega Shark and Giant Octopus finally confronting each other. It felt like it wouldn't end, with everyone making seriously strange faces and just yelling at each other. Not fun to watch, The Asylum.
The dialogue, while horrendous in every way, did make me laugh every once in a while. Especially the dialogue with that dude in the airplane, who mentions he'll get married in two days or something. What that had to do with anything is beyond me. And Shimada's random philosophical ramblings about nature, love, and whatever came to mind just made me roll my eyes. But that was his character development, so I'll take it.
And then there's the whole sub-plot involving Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus - IT NEVER HAPPENS! Well, no more than two minutes maybe and it involves recycled footage that loops. How could anyone mess up something like this? Having the two creatures do damage to large cities while the human cast reacts with shock, fear, and then bravery would have been really cool. It would have been even better if the effects were as cheesy as those in those Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episodes, giving us a true guilty pleasure to enjoy. But out of 90 minutes, maybe 10 of those minutes are devoted to the creatures in the title while the rest involves the humans. What's the point then? It didn't help that the whole situation was treated as a serious thing, instead of being really hammy and over-the-top. It just made the whole disappointment that much worse.
The SFX, if you could call them that, are extremely laughable and more cartoonish than any Pixar film out there. I was laughing at the fact that CGI was needed for the mini-sub, humpback whales, and even a shark and octopus. They couldn't find real creatures and just input them into the scene via computer technology like in those SHARK ATTACK films? And the "fight scene" between Mega Shark and Giant Octopus was pretty lame and the CGI didn't help. But then again, I wasn't expecting a big budget here and it was decent for what it was.
The direction by Jack Perez [or Ace Hannah as he calls himself here, probably to escape the shame of directing this] is pretty mediocre. It's pretty much a point-and-shoot affair with cheesy CGI in the mix. Perez loves these weird and annoying transitions, where the screen will flash white and then in the next frame, it's in black-and-white. I guess it was an aim for style, but it just looked tacky and was pretty distracting. It's not like there are any flashbacks in this film for where that kind of effect would be suitable. The editing is pretty lazy, especially when Gibson presses some buttons with black nail polish, yet the character isn't wearing any. Plus the nail polished hand looked manly anyway, so I just laughed at the sight. It's just not a great directorial flick, but then again, no one is watching this for the technical aspects anyway.
The acting was actually better than I was expecting it to be. Lorenzo Lamas hams it up and has the worst dialogue that's so cliched that it's actually laughable. He's not a great actor by any stretch but he did okay. Vic Chao played the stereotypical Asian scientist who seemed to have read a book of Confucius proverbs before having conservations with people. He had no chemistry with Deborah Gibson, by the way. Sean Lawlor was really Irish and looked and sounded like a poor man's Sean Connery. Quite honestly, the best actor was Deborah Gibson. She won't win any awards [well maybe a Razzie or two] but at least she was convincing enough that I believed her performance. She's pretty charming, she's honest even when saying really bad dialogue, and she's not bad on the eyes even after all these years. I think she should act in more B-movies. It ain't like she's doing anything else these days, right?
THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE TRYING TO MAKE AS MANY DEBBIE GIBSON JOKES I COULD IN CONTEXT WITH THIS FILM
- The mountains in Alaska reminded me of The Fortress of Solitude. The sad part is that Smallville has better effects than this film.
- Deborah Gibson was fascinated by whales. Nice to see Kirstie Alley and Rosie O'Donnell still getting acting jobs despite Hollywood's body conscious standards.
- After releasing Mega Shark and Giant Octopus, Debbie Gibson had a look of terror on her face. I'm not sure if it was because of the potential destruction of the two creatures, or because she realized she's starring in a film called MEGA SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS. "Only In My Dreams" [and probably hers] would this 80s singer be in a better movie.
- Debbie has a way of seducing security guards into letting her do illegal things behind their backs. What I can say? Once she smiles at you and you get lost in her eyes, you just can't shake...her love!
- The Mega Shark jumped out of the ocean and took down a flying plane full of passengers. Even after all these years, The Sharks and The Jets are still in conflict. This is so 1960!
- Dr. Shimada seemed to have a thing for Debbie. Looks like she put a "Foolish Beat" in that young man's heart.
- It took MacNeil and Shimada to have sex in order to realize that pheromones will lure Mega Shark and Giant Octopus into their trap. This proves the Catholic Church wrong about premarital sex being completely bad. It also proves Debbie's taste in Asian cuisine is totally "Out of the Blue".
- Mega Shark destroyed The Golden Gate Bridge. First earthquakes, then Magneto, and now this? I won't be going to California anytime soon...
- Debbie Gibson uttered the words "fuck" and "shit" in this film. I never thought I'd hear those kind of words come out of her sweet mouth, but then again she's full of that "Electric Youth".
THE FINAL HOWL
I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but I was expecting more out of MEGA SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS. Like maybe an actual decent fight between the two monsters? Hell, when you can't even live up to the title, we've got ourselves a problem. Still, it could have been a lot worse and the acting was decent for the film and the dialogue was laughable. And I have to give points for the awesome Mega Shark, who stole the show with his destroying planes, ships, and bridges. Stick with the trailer or find clips of Mega Shark destroying shit. The rest you can avoid if you don't want to be disappointed.
MORE REVIEWS FOR THIS FILM:
Freddy In Space - MS vs. GO Review
Final Girl - MS vs. GO Review
Bargain Bin Review - MS vs. GO Review