It’s 2019, Sharkenado won’t be a thing for 4 more years, but of course The Asylum existed before that series became the face of the mockbuster titan, and made other monster flicks with “Mega” in the name, like Mega Piranha or Mega Python Vs Gatoroid (there’s no Mega Python, not by The Asylum anyway), both never culminating in their own series. Some very small mercies, but i’ll take them.
One of the “MEGA” non-brand movies to prove more successful was Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus, because sharks are more popular, at the end of the day.
The titular monsters emerges from their prehistoric prisons of ice, due to global warming (or an illegally used sonar, maybe both, it’s not clear, who cares), but they’re polite enough to attack two different points in different parts of the world, until the plot forces two marine biologists to help the american Navy (and its sets of impossibly large submarine interiors) into getting rid of both the mega shark and the octopus, impervious – to no one’s surprise – to any army weapons.
With the help of love and genre clichès, they realize the only way to solve this predicament is to make the monster fight and let me finish their unresolved, million years old brawl….
There is an art to make even shlock like this, and even if there isn’t, there is experience, for cinema wasn’t built on ideals, but business, how to work out what to make, work around the budget, and produce something for a specific audience. At times, i wished the Asylum actually learned more from his spiritual forefathers, or managed to channel more the spirit of Corman… or just ask him to produce more of their movies, because even now he manages to make more watchable shlock than 90 % of the competition, who stops caring after the title and juvenile concept.
No one expects much from a movie called Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus, but it’s reasonable to expect some fuckin entertaiment, and even on that the movie manages to give you less despite expecting nothing out of it. Bad CG monsters are to be expected, not so much the random stock footage from nature documentaries, the archive footage of an Iowa class battleship attacking the Mega Shark via the power of fairly crappy ADD riddled editing, and a boring ass love story written by a 10 year old, but nothing of this is new or shocking in any way.
The problem is that, even in the typical “so bad it’s good” approach, this movie isn’t enjoyable, it’s just the textbook example of a boring D-list monster movie, one when you check the watch and somehow there’s still half hour (if not more) left before it ends, if you don’t fall victim to narcoleptic sleep, thanks to a crappy direction, and a love story sub-plot that is given too much screentime. Not that watching the CG monsters duke it out is much better, because it’s not even that outlandish or insane to be particularly fun or hypnotizing in how absurd this should sound.
But after decades of movies of like this, gigantic jumping shark and giant tentacle monsters are as banal as the grass growing on lone meadows, and since the movie’s brand of bad isn’t even worthy of notice, it’s nearly useless even as review fodder.
Just watch the trailer or a compilation of the monsters attacking each other, it’s better than sitting down and trying to watch the actual movie all the way through, so inept and sad is Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus.
And sad is the keyword, even as an “easy target”, it’s too damn easy. 😦