I would've just as soon called this one Megalodon vs Kraken.
Yeah, I know I've already churned out one blog entry tonight, but I saw these movies listed on Netflix and decided it was too good to pass up. For the next few entries on Coffee With The Cynic's blog, we're going to be having The Asylum Mega Marathon: a sanity-lacking journey through three films by Asylum studios featuring the word "Mega" in the title. I know there's a fourth Asylum film with this word in the title, but unfortunately, it is not on Netflix, so I'll have to skip Mega Piranha, I'm afraid. So let's get it started with Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.
Writer/director Ace Hannah (sounds like a porn star name) brings us the story of Dr. Emma MacNeil (80s pop singer Debbie Gibson), as she discovers frozen in the Alaskan sea a monumental find: a Megalodon, the largest shark in the history of the world, and a Giant Octopus frozen in an iceberg in mid-combat. However, the military is testing illegal sonar equipment and this causes a pod of whales to accidentally crash into the ice, breaking the creatures free. When Emma is fired from her work for stealing a mini-sub for this mission, she enlists in the help of her former professor (Sean Lawlor) and a Japanese marine biologist (Vic Chao), who is investigating recent attacks on oil rigs, to bring these two creatures back into the same water so they can finish what they started all those millions of years ago.
Yes, folks. The shark takes out an airplane. All this absurdity and more.
Okay, obviously you can't take a movie called Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus remotely seriously, otherwise you're setting yourself up for a rough night. When I hit "Play movie" on Netflix for this one, I sat down and thought, "Okay, let's just see how cheesy and hilariously bad this movie really is." But even when I didn't take the film seriously, I was still finding myself disappointed. Sure, the Megalodon (what they keep calling the shark, although Megalodon's never got to be this large) getting the plane or taking a bite out of the Golden Gate Bridge was good for a laugh, as was Asylum's attempt to build character development, but this movie didn't reach into that "So bad it's good" territory for me as it did with so many others. This was no Evil Dead II or Street Fighter, that's for sure.
Debbie Gibson doesn't look half bad in this movie. She's aged well.
I haven't watched any of these direct-to-TV/DVD films in a long time, so I'm kind of brushing off the rust with this review. The acting is about as wooden as you'd expect from most of the characters, sounding like they are reading their lines from the offscreen script or that they just don't give a damn. All of these actors are pretty bad, with Sean Lawlor standing out to me the most, making it sound like he got his acting lessons from The Room's Tommy Wiseau. Lorenzo Lamas was another actor that was bad to me, but not in that cheesy bad way. Lamas was just annoying, with no enjoyment from his crap performance to be had (something the rest of the cast possessed) and I just hated having him onscreen.
You know, for every scene we had that douchebag on screen, we could've had more of this: Kraken vs Megalodon...fighting...I think...
The special effects from Tiny Juggernaut are what you'd expect for a movie like this. I'm torn as to whether I should just shrug off the effects for being as cheese-tastic as they were or lace into them for not being poor and laughably bad enough. Sure, you get some really bad effects shots (like the Megalodon's fin going through the water without creating a wake, for instance), but some of the effect shots aren't terrible. They still aren't good, by any means, but for a movie like this, if you're gonna be cheesy about it, then why not go for broke and have really, REALLY phoned in CGI like I saw in Slushy Man's review of 100,000,000 B.C.? That would've been comedic gold and added to the value of this film. There were also a couple of scenes that reused the same footage over and over again and one scene where the post-production team didn't even bother editing out the green screen from one shot, so the cheese is there, at least.
So I guess the final question is this, "Was Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus really as bad as everyone says it is?" Well, yeah, but it's not nearly as humorous as many seem to think it is. I don't know, for an Asylum production, it really seems like a lot of effort went into this one. Let's hope the sequel, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus has more (un)intentional laughs in it than this one.