Luckily, help is at hand in the shape of fisherman Danny Trejo armed with his trademark Machete .
Naturally, something goes badly wrong. The girls end up trapped at the bottom of the ocean, about a hundred and fifty feet under the surface. They have a limited air supply, and there are a couple of massive sharks circling the area.
The resulting film is atmospheric and suspenseful, which it achieves on a limited budget. This was originally intended as a cheap straight-to-video effort. However, presumably due to the success of similar film The Shallows it was given a catchier title and a cinematic release.
Despite being a low-key, straight-to-video looking made-in-Australia cheapie, there are a couple of cast members who may be familiar to International audiences from their appearances on US TV shows. Phoebe Tonkin is a shoplifter, while Julian McMahon ( Charmed ) is there too, forced by a thug into robbing the store managerís safe. Unfortunately, a tidal wave floods the shopping complex - and a handful of man-eating sharks are also swept in.
Admiral Remora (Jeff Fahy - Lost ), a tongue-in-cheek character, is in command of the mission to control the shark.
A bunch of babes are due to play a water-polo match. Will the shark arrive in time to disrupt the event and eat everyone?
Watch out for the creepy old man - it is a cameo by Producer Roger Corman .
A property-developer wants to gentrify the area. Worse, a giant CGI shark with glowing red eyes starts eating anyone dumb enough to go boating.
Predictably, what lets the film down is the low-budget CGI SPFX. However, it is saved to a certain extent by the fact it is a deliberate self-parody.
The cast includes Peta Wilson as the bitchy boss-lady.
The Megalodon itself does not appear until half-way through the film. However, this works in the film's favour. Rather than rely on a dodgy FX monster, the film delivers characters and a storyline.
Environmental scientist (and 1980s teenage pop star) Debbie Gibson discovers that global warming is causing the polar ice cap to melt. Unfortunately an enormous megalodon shark and an equally enormous octopus get defrosted and decide to wreak havoc on every ship on the Earthís oceans.
US Navy Admiral Robert Picardo ( Star Trek: Voyager ) is out for revenge, so he gets put in charge of the hunt. His expert shark-hunter (a character inspired by Denzel Washington in Hunt for Red October) is joined by his rival, an Australian who hunts crocs for a living.
The Russians are trying to recover by converting their power plants to run on red mercury. A salvage team try to retrieve some from Chernobyl, and accidentally reactivate a nuclear-powered giant robot named Kolossus. It was a last-ditch Cold War weapon, programmed to walk around the main cities of Europe and drop nuclear bomblets.
The shark attacks a hospital ship in the Atlantic, then migrates to Sydney harbour in Australia. En route it attacks an oil-rig, and manages to menace a jetliner (at an altitude of several miles). Luckily, scientist Debbie Gibson phones the Admiral to offer an explanation for the shark's aggressive behaviour. She was hanging around in her laboratory, wearing jewelry and evening-wear instead of a lab coat, when she realised that the shark was sexually frustrated and eager to mate. It seems there is no Giant Octopus around to make another Sharktopus , but at least Ms Rohm still has a giant metal shark ...
The characters all go for a swim, out of sight of land. Unfortunately nobody bothered to let the ladder down. The men compete to climb back aboard, but since they have greater body mass than the women their attempts fail. And while the men try to fix the problem, the women prefer to fix the blame. Gradually things get more and more desperate.
This is a great example of a suspenseful drama. The threat of the sharks is ever-present, but rarely seen.
Down on the beaches of beautiful Mexico, hot bikini-babes indulge in seaside pursuits like metal-detecting and bungee-jumping. Roger Corman is a lecherous old man who drools over them. Unfortunately there is a CGI monster, half shark and half octopus, that can get into the shallowest waters ...
Eric Roberts ( Expendables ) is the mad scientist who genetically engineered Sharktopus. He hires a tweenage cabin-boy in a motor-cruiser to hunt and capture the monster. Apparently the kid is an ex-SEAL who served in Iraq or something. He barely looks old enough to shave!
Luckily Kirsty meets DB Sweeney ( Strange Luck, The Event ), who helps her hunt the monster down.
The beach gets closed. But sleazy-yet-likeable Corin Nemec ( Stargate SG-1 ) wants to host a beach party, so he does everything he can to keep the beach open. Eventually (predictably) the party happens - with literally dozens (well, two dozen perhaps) of college spring breakers turning up to get eaten alive.
The CGI SPFX are terrible. But the one-liners are okay, and the characters are quite compelling.
In all fairness, The Shallows starts out pretty well. It is decently shot and paced, with a lot of suspense. The protagonist ( Blake Lively ) goes surfing in a remote bay in Mexico. Unfortunately she ends up getting stalked by a great white shark.
The problem is that suspension of disbelief is stretched beyond credulity. A real taster bite would have taken a massive chunk of muscle tissue out. She might have had the limb actually severed. Apparently Benchley had the right idea when he wrote the first attack scene in Jaws from the victim's POV. She feels something tug at her leg, and then discovers the limb missing. The prosthetic leg idea might have gone some way to making the film seem a bit less unrealistic.
Worse, the Third Act makes Sharknado look like Jaws ! The same is true of this film. The quality may be umpteen generations of computer technology better, but it was completely overused. The trick Spielberg learned from Jaws was don't show too much of the shark. This director seems to have ignored that.
Middle-aged surf bums Ian Ziering (90210) and Jaason Simmons (Baywatch) team up with a Barfly (John Heard - Cat People )and a sexy shotgun-toting waitress. Ziering decides to save his ex-wife ( Tara Reid ) and teenage daughter. Naturally they end up taking on the sharks - using a chainsaw!
Despite its ridiculous premise, this is an entertaining film. It never promises more than it delivers.
Once on the ground, things do not get any better. Rather than use guns, the New Yorkers are encouraged to take on the sharks with gardening implements. While this is foolhardy when the fish are airborne, it makes sense once they get stranded on dry land. Of course, the fish would suffocate without water, so a quicker cleanup would involve a bulldozer to scoop them all up before they start to rot. Sharks are an endangered group of species, BTW, so slaughtering them by the hundred would be highly illegal.
The best sequence has got to be the one from the trailer, where Ziering chainsaws a Great White as it flies past him, almost completely avoiding splattering himself with blood.
However, despite its lack of logic this is quite an enjoyable effort.
makes a return to genre material as ziering's sister,
trekking across NYC to safety in a typically contrived plot.
The CGI is passable, and the dialogue is not all atrocious.
In fact, one might surmise that this had a higher budget that the original,
although the extra money never gets spent on the script.
Ziering teams up with Nova Clarke ( Cassie Scerbo ) and Lucas Stevens (Frankie Muniz - Malcolm in the Middle). They must get from Washington DC to Florida, where Ziering's wife ( Tara Reid ) is hanging out with her mother ( Bo Derek ). There are lots more cameos, usually involving familiar faces getting eaten by flying sharks.
To stop the sharknados, the heroes must reactivate the Space Shuttle and fly into space. Luckily, Ziering's father (David Hasslehoff - Piranha 3-DD ) is a retired NASA astronaut!
Reid and her son visit the MI6 HQ, where they meet the lo-budget version of Q. He has invented a few things that will probably be important to the plot later on.
The US Military send in an experimental new tank. It was apparently built for mountainous regions of Afghanistan, so it can walk across the desert like an armour-plated camel. Now, a normal tank can cross the desert without problems, so something with legs has no real advantage. Worse, this particular prototype turns out to have an issue with overheating. Not something you look for in a vehicle designed to operate in combat in hot environments.