Friday, 29 July 2016

Shark Lake (2015)

“Features sharks and a lake.”

But mostly a lake. Admittedly the box art for this is honest in that this film features star Dolph Lundgren and (not very good CGI) shark action in roughly equal amounts, but the screen time afforded both is far outweighed by some dull soap opera antics, those “crowd-pleasing” time wasting standbys of a little girl, a dog, and an old lady who seems to have trapped the spirit of the family cat on her mobile.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We open on a shack belonging to Clint Grey (Dolph). Clint has been illegally keeping rare and exotic reptiles, amphibians and fish. The entire might of the local police force perform a raid, and the two of them end up chasing Clint as he makes his getaway.
In his van.
That has a shark in the back of it.
At least I think so. The van crashes into the lake. Clint gets arrested, and Clint’s three year old daughter gets adopted by soon-to-be “fiercely protective single mom” (thanks imdb) and police officer Meredith Hernandez (Sara Lane).
Five years pass.

Clint gets out of jail and returns to his remarkably clean and tidy-looking shack where the town’s local gang boss wants to have a word with him. “My money or my shark,” says the boss, which would have made a much better title for this film, or possibly for a TV show that will sadly never be. 
Meanwhile, something is eating people who stray into about three feet of water in the 200 square miles of the local lake, presumably by something that’s not just jolly good at hearing old people arguing, but can flatten itself to sneak up on you.
A bear gets blamed. We see the bear for a split second. It looks appropriately miffed to be in this film. Meredith meets a young chap called Peter (Michael Aaron Milligan) in a bar. Peter has glasses and a PhD that obviously isn’t in drama and he mumbles something about sharks. He’s bloody good, though, because he can tell not just the sex of a shark from a small polaroid photo but also whether or not it’s pregnant AND WITH HOW MANY BABY SHARKS.

Meredith and Peter engage in flirtation so mild and lacking in charisma that it’s like watching two blocks of wood trying to mate. 
Meanwhile a slimy shark hunter with a fake British accent turns up claiming to be from that well-known BBC TV series Fish Hunt. He interviews a few local lovelies before tackling the shark and getting everything wrong.
There are more deaths. Every now and then we catch a glimpse of CGI sharkiness. Every now and then we catch a glimpse of Dolph Lundgren. Shark and Dolph and Meredith and Peter meet for a climax of optically enhanced proportions (which isn’t saying much). 

SHARK LAKE really isn’t very good. Nobody seems terribly interested or good at what they’ve been assigned to do, especially the director, who does everything by the numbers, and the actors, who you think would welcome the opportunity to overact in something as ludicrous as this. Instead it’s as if Dolph has dosed everyone with quaaludes in order to make his own reasonable performance the standout (which it is, by the way).
Soda Pictures’ DVD offers you a trailer as extra. There’s an ‘options’ button on the menu but sadly these don’t include ‘eject the disc and go and watch something else’. But then, you can probably work that one out for yourself. 

SHARK LAKE is coming out on DVD from Soda Pictures on Monday 1st August

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