Snow Shark – Ancient Snow Beast (2012) [REVIEW] | Papermaciè Sharks

I wanted to cover this alongside the other 2 ice themed shark movies this last january, but only, after searching high and low (♫ there’s no end to the lenghts ♫ ), i got a hold of the first “snow shark” movie ever, at least as far as i’m aware, one that came out in the early 2010s but precedes the modern strain of sharks mixed with natural phenomena, made robot, giant, ghost, and so on.

Yes, the full title is needed because there’s also Avalanche Sharks, in some territories (like Germany) sold as “Snow Shark/s”, at least on home video.

And for this one, we must once again thread into psychotronic “shot on shitteo”, as in homegrown cinema, shot by a guy that directs, writes and stars into his movies, alongside the cast made of his friends and family (who brought their own costumes and props to the set), clearly shot in his hometown on a very short time-span and on a shoestring budget, like less than 7000 dollars.

And yes, this one is in the same league as Jurassic Shark and Krampus The Christmas Devil, actually this feels like a Polonia Brothers joint… and they’re involved alongside Brett Piper (of Queen Crab “fame”) as editors, but we’re still in that specific strata of “low-to-no budget”.

In this case it’s the brainchild of Sam Qualiana, brandishing a resumè of starring in many Troma films, so it’s fittingly he later started makin his own no-budget shlockfests in that vein, Snow Shark being his first “feature lenght”, but certainly not the last, as he later directed The Beast With Six Fingers, and Post Apocalyptic Commando Shark.

Intriguing how he’s also credited for acting as Jesse in “No Road Out” and for many “additional crew” jobs in blockbusters like The Amazing Spider Man 2, TMNT Out Of The Shadows, even stuff as recent as A Quiet Place Part II. So he’s definitely kept himself busy, which i truly respect, i seriously do.

It’s also worth nothing this is actually a movie version of a short of the same name (which i don’t plan to see or review) Qualiana did 7/8 years before, and believe it or not it was partially funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

The plot sees 3 biologists on a scientific expedition make a huge discovery that ended in tragedy, and 12 years after, whatever killed them has awaken, as if to make it clear that the Ancient Snow Beast was never a legend. It was a shark. A snow shark.

What follows i don’t really have to explain, i really don’t, you can easily guess what happens, and it does. No surprises of any kind or any shape.

Snow Shark Ancient Snow Beast has all the hallmarks of a very bad, no budget shark movie: stilted, flat, boring and lifeless acting (when it can be counted as such), bad audio mixing (ADR? Post-production? Never heard of ‘em), characters that don’t even register as stereotypes, boring plot and execution (if you even call it a plot and not a random array of scenes, some connected to others).

Even rooting for the shark is difficult, as there’s no budget to actually proper show the beast biting people from camera angles that show the snow shark. And of course bad cinematography: colors look a bit too saturated, scenes shot at night barely have lighting, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that this ISN’T a cheap porn produced by the ghost of Buck Adams’ thong, even if you know it ain’t.

But nothing actually comes together to make this one fun, intentionally or not, or even able to summon a modicum of interest in the viewer, no odd plot curveball that comes out of nowhere, no zany caricature that at least evokes a smile, no energy to anything, just slop after slop, interspersed with some random nudity, and the cute idea of a shark that dives into snow like water… doesn’t really make this any more interesting, which is quite something to not accomplish. Even for a movie where they literally designed the poster first and then made a movie around that.

It’s “disinterestingly bad”, very, very bottom of the barrel bad, one where you don’t care for anything happening in it at all, making it feel like there’s no end to the tedium, that somehow time isn’t moving while – and IF – you manage to slowly trudge your way through the movie, even if it’s just 75 minutes (plus credits) and the only words of praise i can say are “not the worst thing i’ve ever seen”.

it’s just…..ungodly dull 99 % of the time. You can make bad movies, obviously, but at least try to make the viewer care a tiny bit, try to not bore him to sleep after 2 minutes, try to tell a story instead of just filling time between the main ones.

Otherwise of course you’ll notice even more how some scenes would benefit from a fuckin boom mic or any kind of audio editing to remove the too easy to hear background noises of the wind, the sudden audio gaps, or inconsistent volume of the dialogues. Even a scene of a father and son sitting on a very small kitchen table and talking over breakfast has to make the audio a joke, as its a scene with two actors being VERY close to each other, and it’s impossible to actually even focus on what they’re saying as there’s a timer ticking constantly AND at an higher volume than the dialogues.

At least they made some physical props for the shark, as in a fin, a mouth, and even an entire full body puppet of the shark. Sure, they’re just a notch (or two, at best) above the effects in Weasels Rip My Flesh, as in this case they actually let the paper machie dry, but you gotta enjoy the very, very lil things… because there’s really NOTHING else in a big pile of boring, no-budget nothing like this.

There are even worse shark movies, i said it before and i say it again because you can do even worse than this, at least there’s a semblance of effort in making it work and the script isn’t completely senseless gibberish, but even compared to the “heavyweights” this one can hold its own on being atrociously bad, and the kind of boring “bad”, where you don’t enjoy anything even if you are trying to squeeze some fun from the experience, and it always feels like it’s never actually gonna end anytime soon, even as the timer shows you’ve made a bit further into it.

Absolute skip. Just skip, it’s NOT the absolute worst, there’s worse, but it’s just SO dull.

Until a Rifftrax version of it surfaces, as it would make for a great riff.



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