Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)

Why would you even hesitate to obtain this film and fire it up? I’m rooting for the octopus. Aren’t they supposed to have human brains and eyeballs, or something?

This is not some sleazy movie that just uses “vs.” in the title, like “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Here we get the whole “versus.” Note to self: check out “Monkey versus Robot” (1999).

Not a movie about some megashark, but a movie about Mega Shark.

My daughter slathered on a tube of artificial tan before flying to Maui. While she was snorkling there, a playful guide stuck a little octopus on her arm. When she pulled it free, its suckers took away small circles of the fake tan with them. Such is the power of the octopus!

High point of the film, Mega Shark leaps into low clouds to eat a 707. Such is the hunger of the Mega Shark for wing-ed fowl! Do not try this at Marine World. And as the star of the movie said in an interview, “You want to keep it as realistic as possible.”

Lesson of the movie: don’t trust a script by a writer/director named Ace. Question of the movie: why does Jake Perez use the aka Ace Hannah?

A thing that you can learn about cinematography in this movie: watch the scene where the actors stand next to a beached whale that has been chomped up by Mega Shark, or Meggie as I like to call him. Or her. Yeah, the carcass looks like foam rubber kind of tore up, but holy cow, it’s the size of a whale! Now go to bloopers and watch as the actors stand by the whale and a member of the film crew accidentally peeks over from behind the model and you see that it’s situated in the foreground right next to the camera, while the actors are all off down the beach pretending to look up at it. Perspective. Cool.

Most annoying aspect of the movie: the little “Half Moon Bay, California” titles that appear, immediately followed by shots of Malibu and Long Beach. The southern and northern California coasts do not resemble each other. And why not take three steps to the left so that the Queen Mary isn’t visible in the background?

Also, I forgot that bad, low-budget movies often have long, long,… loooonnngggg stretches where nothing happens. Definition of a low-budget movie: everybody takes turns looking in the microscope and gasping, but you don’t ever get to see what they’re looking at.

Whatever else, you can tell that everyone in this movie is just glad to be there. You can see it onscreen, and they say so in the “Making of” short, only it’s hard to hear them because of the traffic in the street they’re standing by while being filmed. My personal favorite moment comes in that short, when Lorenzo Lamas tells us how he likes to die at the end of a movie because that completes the character’s arc, and that he’s about to go in and shoot that death sequence. And then he doesn’t die in the movie. Ace must have changed the script. Lamas appears fresh from “30,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “18 Fingers of Death.” Guy has a thing for strange numbers.

Most fascinating feature of this feature-length feature: Deborah Gibson’s acting. Listen, I am not here to rag on Deborah Gibson or anyone else about MSVGO. I rented it, didn’t I? “Deborah Gibson is a creative force in the entertainment industry who does it all! She has single handedly transcended music and entertainment trends and fads. Deborah stands poised at the top, embarking on the second phase of her hugely successful pop career.” So there. Anyway, the thing is, she acts every moment that she is up on the screen. She’s an acting fool! Her face careers through more different expressions, sometimes relating to the current action, sometimes not, than there may be names with which to identify them. Never mind the movie, it was fun just catching a quick expression on Deborah’s face and trying to figure out what it was in the seconds before it was replaced by another.

Oh, wait. I just realized why Ace pretends that the actors are all up in the San Francisco area. It’s because Meggie has to eat the Golden Gate Bridge! All monsters have to.

Although this might be the first movie wherein the monster is lured to the bridge on purpose – unbeknownst to the Bay-Area residents, many of whom are commuting across the bridge when Meggie, after a minute or two of Jaws-ripoff music, bites it in two.

This film should be on the short list for treatment by the Mystery Science Theater successors, if it hasn’t been done by them already.

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2 Responses

  1. FANTASTIC review. Thank god I clicked over to see what you had to say. If only you were here in Philadelphia, you could attend “Mega Bad Movie Night” at a museum here called the Academy of Natural Sciences: http://www.ansp.org/adult-programs/mega-bad-movie-night.php . I myself haven’t gone because I’m afraid they might take themselves too seriously, but it could be your thing. You seem like a very serious type of guy.

  2. […] is back. Miggie is a favorite around here after he or she ate a 707 and the Golden Gate Bridge in Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. In that movie, Miggie might have been supposed to have perished in the end, at the tentacles of […]

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