Raiders of the Lost Shark (2014)
Synopsis: Four friends set out by boat for an idyllic vacation on a private, remote island. But unknown to them, a weaponized shark has escaped from a top secret military lab nearby, a shark that was genetically engineered with hate in its blood, and programmed to hunt any human within range. Now, these friends must band together to battle an all new brand of predator who will stop at nothing to remain at the top of the food chain.
Okay, this group of ours consists of 6 people who love all things horror. When we received Raiders of the Lost Shark, it was known from the jump that this movie was going to be mine to review. I have a love for what can really only be classified as “SyFy movies.” It doesn't have to be a SyFy original but anything in that style is a guilty pleasure for me. Movies like Sharktopus, Frankenfish, Piranhaconda, etc... Every one of those movies are almost exactly the same. You have some kind of predator that has been altered in a lab in one way or another; whether that be making it smarter or more deadly, or had it's DNA mixed with another predator (my personal favorite). It inevitably escapes and ends up in some exotic vacation spot, or small town, or even in the amazon. It wreaks havoc on whoever is in the area while simultaneously being hunted down by some big wig corporation or government agency. You meet a wide range of characters and know from the second you meet them who will still be there at the end, and who is gonna die in an uber cheesy and over the top, yet awesome, death. There is a lead man and woman, both survive and end up in love. The drunk/stoner (dead), the slutty friend (dead), the nerd (dead), the entitled rich douche bag (dead), the extreme bad ass (dead), the celebrity main character (dead)... I think I've made my point.
So clearly, this is a movie that was right up my alley and I couldn't wait to pop it on and enjoy the movie that “screams b-movie awesomeness” (according to the back of the case). Unfortunately, the excitement I had going into the movie was left with no reward and left me with an hour and 11 minutes worth of disappointment.
The synopsis I provided in the beginning of this is taken directly from the summary on the back of the DVD, yet somehow none of it is accurate so I'll do a quick run down of the movie. We start off with 2 security guards who are apparently suppose to guard an island. Of course there is no one around so it's a very boring assignment. To keep themselves occupied, one of the guards brings a couple girls with him. One guard stays in the truck with his girl while the other takes a blanket and heads down to the beach with the other girl. Once she sees the water, she obviously wants to go swimming. She runs into the water, convinces the guard to join her. Shark attacks, two people down. The next morning, the two in the car wake up with a hangover and go looking for their friends. They Find their clothes on the beach. The girl goes into the water, she gets pulled down and is gone. The last guard sees her get pulled under so the obvious thing to do is to strip down and run into the water calling for her. Now he's dead too. The next shift of security guards shows up, finds the clothes on the beach and quickly realizes what happened. They call the boss, Jan, affectionately referred to as Dragon Lady, and inform them that the previous two guards went into the water. The boss basically tells them to clean up the mess but also tells them not to go into the water. One of those guards sees a severed arm floating in the water and somehow mistakes it for someone in the water so she tells the other guard to go out and rescue them. That guard strips down and goes swimming out to arm. The whole time she is swimming out, she is talking to the arm like it's a live person. When she gets out there and realizes its just an arm, she literally screams “where is the rest of you?” (I swear, I couldn't make that up). But, since there is now another person in the water, shark shows back up and our victim count has just risen. This whole scene reminded me of the scene in Mom and Dad Save the World when everyone in the army was getting in line to pick up the Light Grenade even though they watched the person before them do it and disappear. The movie sporadically cuts back to scenes on the beach of tourists going into the water and meeting there doom at the hands of this shark. One of the victims was on land and it was at this moment we learn the shark can fly.
One of the cutaway scenes brings us to a college classroom. Atleast they said it was college. It looked like a high school and had a whopping 5 students in class. Here we are introduced to our hero, Professor Reynolds. The class teacher who had previously lost her sister to a shark while they were doing research on the island. During her lesson on the Megladon, she zones off and has a flashback of his sister. Her students catch on to this. After class they have a little meeting trying to figure out why the teacher was acting a bit off. This brings them to discuss the island and they decide on a plan to go there. While this conversation is happening, the teacher is met by the evil boss lady who runs the island. She informs the teacher of the situation and this is where we learn the back story. While doing some underwater mining, excavating, blowing shit up, whatever you want to call it; this shark is released from the depths. It plays out more like the story of the monster from DeepStar Six. A creature that was living under the sea floor and was released by an explosion. They say nothing about a genetically engineered shark programmed to hunt humans as the synopsis describes. Either way, the boss lady enlists the help of the teacher to kill the shark. Meanwhile the three friends (not four) Steven, May, and Kimberly find a “pirate” named Captain Stubbin (he is not happy when he was called Stubbing). While sailing out there, the shark attacks the boat. Captain Stubbin sticks his head over the side to see what caused it the shark bites his head off. The shark than bumps the boat which knocks Kimberly into the water. Someone it knocked her about 50 feet from the boat but that's besides the point. From the boat, May calls Professor Reynolds to ask for help just as Kimberly becomes fish food. The shark bumps the boat again and knock Steven and May into the water. May is still on her cell phone as she falls in the water and than she treads water while asking the professor what to do instead of swimming for shore. Because, why would you try to swim away knowing that a shark that just ate your friend is swimming around you. Lucky for her, the shark chooses to eat Steven instead, giving her time to swim to shore. Professor Reynolds shows up to the island, find May, a few more people die, they blow up the shark, end of story. And as comic relief, there is also the police Sergeant who apparently has cowboy dreams as he talks with a fake southern accent and wants to be called Sheriff. He's also sleeping just about ever second he's in the movie which is why I didn't go over his story in to much detail.
Now for starters, this movie has quite a few of the diving shark attacks. You know, the ones where the shark jumps all the way out of the water and eats his victim as hes diving back into the water. Still not sure how that works when the victims is standing in knee-waist high water but whatever. It takes a lot for a man that will watch a movie about a Barracuda that was cross engineered with a Pteradactyl, to watch a movie and say “yeah cuz that will happen” but between the diving attacks and the flying sharks, I was that guy.
Raiders of the Lost Shark had all the feel and quality of a movie completely made by an underfunded college movie club. The script was full of what I can only assume were jokes that were not received or delivered the way they were intended too. The acting was about what I would expect from a high school drama club. Even the background props were bad. There is one point in the movie where body parts can be seen scattered across the beach. I'm almost positive I could clearly see the manufacturer's stamp on the foot. The summary given by the DVD itself really had nothing to do with the movie at all, neither did the cover art for that matter. While having all the potential to be the kind of “so stupid it's awesome” movie that I love, this one fell way short.
reviewed by Bobby