Yeah, reviewing the previous Shark Attack movies was just a formality of sorts, more for completition’s sake and to have an excuse to watch them.
This is the Shark Attack movie you knew and (apparently) loved, and it doesn’t need presentation for many internet denizens of a certain age, since it spawned some really legendary, popular memes on an internet where “meme” wasn’t a common term at all, and had clips do the rounds of forums and boards.
But i’m gonna present it anyway, not that it needs much anyway, regardless of his cult status, because it’s a sequel in name only, there’s no connection to the two previous Shark Attack movies as far as plot goes, Jenny McShane (from the first Shark Attack movie) returns, but plays a different character, and we still have David Worth (who directed Shark Attack 2) in the director’s chair, but that’s it.
The movie is about what the subtitle…says it’s about: a megalodon, an ancient type of shark from the “dinosaur days”, here discovered by two researchers, who find a giant shark tooth near the Mexican coast, and after analizing it, they have to conclude that this killing machine from the past isn’t extinct anymore, and it’s ready to chomps his way through whatever it finds on its path.
I feel this is the movie who kicked off the most played trope in these shark movie, the “dinosaur shark/megalodon”, who is freed from some underwater rock formation, trapped in ice and then freed by global warming, or just appears from drilling a certain rock. It’s also easy to see why, it’s just a giant fuckin shark, no need to give him psychokinesis or radioactive powers, it’s a giant dinosaur shark, cheaper than making a tornado of them or something.
The budget seems to be even lower than Shark Attack 2, more in line with the first one with heavy use of stock footage of sharks (and this time of a marlin) that’s clearly way too older and filmed with a completely different lightning in clearer waters on an obviously aged film stock, guess because most of the budget went to the submarine, you know, one of those magical shark movie submarines that are way larger in the inside despite not looking that huge from the outside. And yes, it’s still more believable than ones seen in Asylum productions, i’m gonna point this out again.
While the practical special effects are kinda crappy (the detached shark teeth are by far the better props), the digital effects are so goddamn awful they’re funny, i could describe them, but you probably already seen the gifs it spawned a lot, as the movie became an internet sensation for these effects (and absurd dialogues), so for children old and new, here’s this famous gif to witness.
The other reason for this movie’s legacy is in the cast, with the main protagonist played by John Barrowman, years before he found fame and fortune in tv series like Torchwood and Doctor Who, you gotta start somewhere, as nobody acts in one of these for prestige, so yeah, it’s not surprising he later said he did the film just for the paycheck, everybody else did anyway. Would be surprised if they didn’t.
Shark Attack 3 Megalodon is indeed the textbook definition of “so bad it’s good”: bad acting, VERY (sometimes even confusing) editing, a lot of scenes so pointless and brief they could have been cut all together, ludicrous special effects, laughable stock characters, mild random nudity, a script, and the usual crap plot, which also – while it’s there – rips off The Meg, as in the 1997 novel by Steve Alten, way before an authorized (if loose, allegedly) adaptation arrived in 2018.
It’s still better than the first Shark Attack, it’s fair to say as much, but – for whatever reason – Shark Attack 2 is better, silly, still not good, but at least the screenwriter kinda tried, the budget was an upgrade over the first one (despite going direct to video) and better used. Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is just utter crap that happens to be fun because of its “quality”, but i guess we wouldn’t have it any other way, given its cult status, one that’s fully deserved. CHOMP!
Taking a break from shark movies now, but they will be back. They always will.