Look at the title! Look at that cover! It gives you the impression this is going to be such a great film, doesn't it? Perhaps it’s an action movie, with a low budget Stallone wannabe standing on an overturned boat, machine-gunning an army of radioactive mutant sharks into oblivion. Or it could be an Ernest Hemingway / Old Man and the Sea meditation on the meaning of existence, with a low-budget Harrison Ford slowing going insane as he makes the long journey home from a month of shark fishing. Or...
Actually, and sadly, SHARK KILLER is none of these. It’s actually a very low budget crime adventure romp with a shark thrown in that happens to have swallowed a diamond that various factions are after.
|Admit it - I've got your interest now, haven't I?|
After an animated title sequence that gives us some important and otherwise very expensive to film backstory, we seem to start about a third of the way through the film JAWS. We’re in Hawaii, where a local mayor has decreed his beach shark free, even though ginger shark hunter (him not the shark, otherwise this movie would be called GINGER SHARK. That one’s out next week. Probably) Chase Walker (Derek Theler) insists there are still beasts out there. Cue pretty girls splashing in the water, cue evil-looking shark fin, cue ginger-meets-shark smackdown in the cheapest, most cut-away-from-any-actual-action technique possible, and everyone is saved!
|Explosions. On land.|
Now we’re in South Africa (??). Chase’s brother Jake (Paul du Toit) is a criminal who has lost ‘the biggest diamond ever ever ever’ by letting it be swallowed by a shark (don’t ask me). The shark has a distinctive fin which is jolly handy because otherwise we wouldn’t have a film. Chase apparently owes him a favour and getting the diamond out of the shark will cover it. One wishes that Jake had removed a favourite teddy from a mountain lion to make him owe this rather peculiar debt, but the reality is sadly less creative.
What Jake doesn’t tell Chase is that evil, scarred other crime boss Nix (Arnold Vosloo) is also after the diamond, when he isn’t messing about in HOSTEL corner or ogling girls in their underwear (them not him) and wearing gasmasks (them again) to load drugs into fish (I think).
There’s a bit of underwater action, during which you can play spot the JAWS rip-off yet again and thrill to an animated shark that swims much too quickly and might just possibly be a glove puppet in some scenes (which means, of course, that they are marvellous). Lots and lots and lots of things happen on dry land (that bit’s specifically to warn you, shark fans) and...oh I’ll let you find out the ending for yourself if you really want to.SHARK KILLER is the kind of thing Roger Corman used to do well (and still sometimes does it has to be said). Sadly, it’s missing the lightness of touch and the sense of breezy pulpiness that this sort of thing needs to work. The actors actually try hard but there’s just no sense of style behind the camera. Still, if it’s a very slow week you might just get a kick out of this. There are no extras.
Image Entertainment are releasing SHARK KILLER on Region 2 DVD on 20th July 2015