|SHARK ATTACK 3: MEGALODON
|Copyright 2002 Nu Image Films
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 23 August 2008
- Ben Carpenter - Women love him for his spontaneous, romantic nature.
- Cat Stone - Is she a marine biologist, paleontologist, or Old Navy fashion model? Why are her teeth visible even when her mouth is closed? Does she have ESP? Why does this character make me ask so many questions?
- Chuck Rampart - His dining room table is flanked by pictures of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and he owns a Mark 44 torpedo. What else would you expect from a man of action like "Chuck Rampart?"
- Esai - Ben's chum.
- Ruiz - Manager of the local resort and Ben's employer (until Ben quits, because Ruiz refuses to close the beaches). Executes a flawless double somersault with a half twist directly into a megalodon's maw.
- Tolley - He is the owner of APEX Communications, and he gets eaten. Do not feel sorry for him; he tried to escape on a Seadoo jet ski. If anyone in this world deserves to get eaten by a prehistoric shark, it is an evil businessman on a jet ski.
- The Baby Megalodon - Ah, they are so cute when they are only fifteen feet in length and weigh just three thousand pounds...
- The Mama Megalodon - By anyone's perspective, this creature was a monster. It swallows people, life rafts, and even sixteen-foot boats whole. If there really are sharks this large prowling around, Japan is going to require a staggering number of chopsticks to consume the same amount of whale as this titanic shark must eat on a daily basis.
|While performing maintenance on an underwater communications cable near the Challenger Deep, a diver runs into a bit of trouble. I mean besides the pressure, freezing cold, and a foreman who is gruffly stressing out about how long the repair operation is taking to complete. The support ship's underwater radar (yup, radar) picks up a large red dot that is rapidly approaching the diver's position. When the red dot arrives, the diver finds out that life is not always fair, especially when the ocean suddenly grows teeth and eats you before you get paid and spend it all on buy-me-drinkee girls.
Ben, on the other hand, is enjoying life. He has it a lot better than a deep water welder who is being eaten by a prehistoric monster. That is because Ben's job is to patrol the beaches for a resort near Colima, Mexico. The worst thing that Ben has to deal with is forty-something male American tourists who insist on wearing bikini swimsuits that are two sizes too small for their hairy derrieres.
Look, when I go to the beach, the last thing I want to see is that, and I mean the old dudes in small bathing suits. The thought that a megalodon might be lurking in the water has never crossed my mind.
So, we have Ben, the happy-go-lucky beach patrol playboy. He takes his patrol boat to a special place offshore, dons his SCUBA gear, and dives in, because Ben loves lobster, and he knows a great place to grab some big, red Pacific lobsters. While collecting his dinner, Ben discovers that the underwater communications cable laid by APEX has a giant bite taken out of it. He finds a shark's tooth embedded in the cable's thick protective covering (obviously it was not thick enough, because the fiber optics are damaged).
Later that night, the inquisitive playboy ponders the tooth as he relaxes after dinner (lobster, in case you were wondering). Unable to find an exact match on "Marine Net - The Shark Lover's Website" he takes a picture of the tooth and posts a message asking if anyone knows what kind of shark it came from. Cat is burning the midnight oil at her job, probably subsisting on frozen burritos and Shasta like any real paleontologist does, and she recognizes the mystery tooth for what it is; she immediately books airfare to Colima.
Now, there are so many things wrong with what just happened that I can barely keep track of them. Ben uses a digital camera that is sitting next to his laptop to capture a quick image of the tooth, and the manner in which that works can only be described as "magic." The way he posts his message to Marine Net was such an anachronism that it gave me a Wildcat BBS flashback, and at no point did he reveal his location. How did Cat know where the tooth was found?
At this point APEX Communications has a serious problem on their hands: megalodons biting their cables for no apparent reason. We get to see the APEX network operations center when one of these unexpected outages occurs. Both of the technicians are kicking back, dreaming of soda, women, and candy bars (they probably only have access to two of those; guess which two) when the lights turn off, emergency red lighting kicks on, and a loud alarm begins to sound. The system does ensure that the on duty staff is alerted when a fault condition occurs, but talk about distracting - the alarm and red lighting persist until the issue is resolved. Another amusing thing is that Tolley yells at his technicians about their ability to solve the problem, even though he knows what caused it: a prehistoric freaking shark bit through the cable! It is not as if typing "CONF T - INT GIG 0/0 - SWITCHPORT MODE TRUNK" is going to fix the darn thing.
Oh, and do you know the reason that the sharks are attacking the cables? They are attracted by the electromagnetic fields from the fiber optics. Alrighty. We had a problem with a mouse chewing off the tips of our fiber optic cables in Iraq. The rodent seemed to like the gel we used to terminate the cables, because some helpful blockhead thought that the gel should have a refreshing orange smell. Whoever you are, Mr. Blockhead, if you are out there and reading this, I am still upset with you. I caught and killed that infernal citrus-loving mouse; I still need to "express my displeasure" upon you.
In addition to a wardrobe of tasteful activewear, Cat brings a pair of cameramen with her to Mexico. They are immediately successful in locating the rogue beast from ten million BC. One of the cameramen builds a miniature transponder and camera that is attached to the megalodon. The paleontologist gets to see the prehistoric shark in action, in its native environment (well, except for the underwater fiber optic cable it keeps swimming around). In reality, the shark cam should cause anyone viewing it to become nauseous, because I suspect the jury-rigged gizmo would twirl like a fishing spinner. However, this is a movie, a Nu Image production at that, and it works just fine.
The megalodon has got to be the loudest shark I have ever heard in my life. It constantly grunts! I mean it really grunts.
I have been trying not to obsess over two amazingly bad mistakes the movie commits repeatedly. The first is that almost every time the characters are on a boat that is supposed to be in motion, the close-ups were shot with the boat standing still. Look at Cat or Ben. See their hair? It should be blowing around. Look at the water behind them. Does it look like they are moving? No, it does not. It looks like they are tied up at the pier, with the boat bobbing gently on the waves. I am going to be mean and tell you the second mistake later on.
No, you are going to have to wait. Keep reading.
Cat does not tell Ben the truth about the megalodon. At least, not at first. Once it eats a guy playing frisbee with his dog in the surf, then she spills her guts. Not that knowing what he is up against is any help. The disastrous attempt to head off the shark before it munches a bunch of the resort's guests results in dozens of screaming tourists fleeing the water (and running across the dunes to the hotel, running up the stairs, and dashing into their rooms to barricade the doors). Despite the life preserving mayhem, two more people are eaten by the shark. The female parasail rider really gets it bad. The shark grabs the tether, pulls her down into the water, and then bites her in half right in front of Cat!
Once she sees a terrified woman gobbled up by the megalodon, Cat transforms from an interested paleontologist into an angry shark hunting zealot. Of course, during the battle with the shark the boat is rammed, takes on water, and Cat has to wade through the flooded area below decks when she goes after her shotgun. At first, I thought she was scared the large shark was hiding under the two feet of water (ala "Deep Blue Sea") in the hold, but then I realized she was just worried it might crash through the bulkhead and make her drop the shotgun - which it does. Luckily, Ben distracts the megalodon by hitting it with a baseball bat until Cat can retrieve her firearm and finish it off.
The group is just getting started with the congratulatory back-slapping when mama shark appears, and she is a real behemoth! She swallows Esai and his boat in one giant gulp! The only reason that Ben and Cat escape is that a helicopter shows up out of nowhere and drops a rope ladder.
Pay attention to how often Ben yells the phrase, "Son of a b**ch!" during the battle with the megalodons. He even mutters it under his breath several times. Once he wears, "Son of a b**ch!" down to a nub, Ben goes all minimalist and just yells, "S**t!" over and over.
Somewhere in here we are formally introduced to Chuck Rampart: Man of Action. Chuck might have a bad case of Steve Martin crazy eyes, but he works for APEX and he is a man of action and principles. He discovers that Tolley knew the underwater cables were attracting megalodons out of the Mariana Trench, and that the sharks were killing divers. Chuck confronts Tolley in his office with the proof; he really gives the morally challenged businessman an earful. I was kind of sad that Chuck allowed those two wimpy security guards to pull him away before Tolley received a lethal dose of indignant diver expletives.
How do you kill a fifty ton shark that should be, but most emphatically is not, extinct? If you are Chuck Rampart, you use a mini submersible and a stolen Mark 44 torpedo. That is the plan that the trio (Ben, Chuck, and Cat) hatch to kill the adult megalodon. The only possible hiccup is that the torpedo cannot lock on to a living target. Cat has to shoot the megalodon with a crossbow to attach a transponder so the torpedo can home in on the beacon.
Well, gee, I cannot imagine that will turn out to be a problem...
Getting the transponder attached to Mama Megalodon is a problem, which is compounded by the shark attacking the luxury yacht that Tolley is using to throw a party for all of his rich backers (megalodons hate fiber optics, and those who invest in them). Cat misses the enormous, giant, bigger than a Greyhound bus shark with the crossbow! Then Chuck's backup plan to implant his extra torpedo beacon onto the megalodon is ruined by Tolley tossing a sack of grenades into the water in a futile attempt to depth charge the shark to death. All of the rich investors end up in the water, with the shark. Ruiz, who was also aboard the yacht, does not quite reach the water. He dives right into the shark's open maw. Then the shark goes crazy, swallowing both a life raft and a jet ski!
The second just amazingly bad thing about "Shark Attack 3: Megalodon" is overused stock footage of sharks, which confused the heck out of me when I saw one eat a seal out of nowhere. We are even exposed to stock footage of marlin fishing. However, the best part is how they portrayed the adult female megalodon. When the mama shark swallows Esai's boat, what the special effects wizards did was take stock footage of a shark coming out of the water, probably to snap at a hunk of meat on a rope, and they digitally edited in the boat. The same deal applies to Ruiz's plunge into the shark's mouth, the life raft being swallowed, and even Tolley's demise. It looks ridiculous. However, I have to admit that I find the effect endearing.
During the shark's binge feeding rampage, Ben is doing everything he can think of to get the darn torpedo to lock onto the megalodon. I think that Infocom designed the targeting system. Finally, Ben achieves the impossible by killing the marine monster (he does not so much master the Infocom interface as trick it).
You are inside of a minisub. A huge grunting shark swims by the porthole.
I don't see any shark here.
>look out porthole.
You see a huge grunting shark eating well-dressed party guests.
What do you want to kill the shark with?
>kill shark with torpedo
I don't see any torpedo here.
You've got to be kidding!
Your minisub is already carrying the torpedo.
>throw torpedo at shark
I don't see any torpedo here.
>look at controls
The buttons are labeled "Autopilot", "Fire torpedo at minisub", and "Fire torpedo at ship" - in that order.
I don't know the word "wtf?"
What did you do on your summer vacation? I watched a bad movie, and a few other b-movie reviewers did the same. My discovery features a prehistoric shark swallowing people and boats whole, while my compatriots found similar summer themed films. Click on the banner for the supersoaker page.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Megalodons died out due to chronic constipation.
- Life is so good in Colima, Mexico that the lobsters you catch are already cooked.
- Waterslides are the shark version of a toaster.
- The problem with Ford's submarine was not that it exploded, but rather that it imploded.
- Sharks love Kool-Aid.
- Suntan lotion is the bane of SAR professionals.
- Sharks are filled with chili.
- Always require your CCIE employees to undergo random drug testing.
- Infocom designed the fire control system for the Mark 44 torpedo.
- 6 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 7 mins - Are you going to cast off or what?
- 17 mins - You had better be careful or you might choke to death on one of her earrings.
- 21 mins - Which is pretty freaking dangerous!
- 27 mins - Even Rosanne Barr?
- 35 mins - No, it is a prehistoric shark.
- 43 mins - "Tintorera! Tintorera!"
- 52 mins - This scene makes sense once you realize that more people are killed by God every year than by sharks, poisonous tree frogs, and dishwashers combined.
- 63 mins - The only item in that tackle box was a flare gun!
- 89 mins - All of his internal organs are ruptured, and ten feet of his intestines are hanging from his anus, but if you think CPR will help, then be my guest...
- End Credits - This has got to be the most Bulgarian film ever made about a shark at a Mexican resort.
- Tolley: "They said that...um...it seems something bit through the protective covering and damaged some of the fiber optics."
Ben: "That's right; I found a shark tooth in the cable."
Tolley: "I see. I'm hoping this is a random incident. Last month we had to bury fifty miles of cable near Japan, just because a cargo ship snagged it with its anchor. I'd hate to have to do something like that here."
Ben: "No, the shark was probably just curious and took a bite at the cable just to see what it was. You know, sharks are always biting things."
- Ben: "Someone's got to tell the authorities!"
Ruiz: "And let the world know that we have a dinosaur swimming off our beaches?"
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||The shark eats a couple - meaning that there is a lot of grunting (by the shark) and screaming (by the people).
||Cat: "This shark isn't just some rare species. It's supposed to be extinct. Megalodon: ancestor to the great white shark. It can grow in excess of seventy-five feet long..." |
Cat: "...with a ten foot wide bite."
Ben: "You're telling me one of these things is swimming off my coast."
Cat: "No, you have a baby swimming off your coast. It's only fifteen feet long."
Ben: "But it's a damn dinosaur! How did it get here?"
||Chuck: "You knew, and you didn't warn them!" |
Tolley: "Calm down, Chuck. I don't know what you're talking about."
Chuck: "Bulls**t! It's all right here: the diving accidents. Seven men dead, including my friend! You knew something was dangerous down there, and you let them dive anyway!"
Tolley: "They knew it was risky. There were things that weren't accounted for out there."
Chuck: "Bull-f***ing s**t! You knew something was happening, AND YOU COVERED IT UP!"
||Ben: "Esai is dead, and so are two other people!" |
Ruiz: "What're you talking about?"
Ben: "Another megalodon showed up and killed them."
Ruiz: "Another one? You said you were going to take care of it."
Ben: "Yeah, well we killed it, but its mother's huge."
Ruiz: "How big?"
Ben: "Larger than a Greyhound bus!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Tell me that is not the worst "giant shark swallows a life raft" scene that you have ever seen. Now tell me that you did not find it entertaining. Perplexing, no?
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