Sharkenstein (2016) [REVIEW] | VS Baragon (not included)

It was just a matter of time before we reached the Nazi end of the sharkxploitation spectrum, and this – as we will find out later in Shark Month – isn’t even the only shark movie like this.

At least in regard for this combination, it’s from Mark Polonia (of the Polonia Brothers), so you already known what to expect, including a kickass poster that we just know it’s bound to be better than the movie itself in every way. I do like the posters they make for these flicks, genuinely do.

The plot takes more than a page from Frankenstein VS Baragon/Frankenstein Conquers The World, as it basically rips off the idea of the Creature’s heart (and in this case, also the brain) being immortal, and applies it to a “Franken-shark” created by mad scientist Dr. Klaus, as he continues a previously shut down experiment about weaponizing sharks the Third Reich started during WWII.

Now, more than 50 years later, the experiment has been concluded and the “super Nazi shark” is set loose on the small seatown of Katzman Cove, where three friends have come for a boating trip, and now have to survive this unexpected threat so obviously NOT cooked up by The Doctor from Hellsing.

Presentation is not as bad as it could be, at least the prologue where they explained the FRANKENSTEIN monster (written like that, in caps), its immortal nature and the submarine shoot-out is in black and white…. shame the effects for the submarine are beyond laughable, as they just badly patched in a jpeg of a submarine upper part over live-action scenery, as phony as the “german accent” the actors attempt in this intro portion. The only bits that seems real are the hydroplane, which is obviously stock footage or something shot in color and then turned into black and white.

Then again, what do i really expect from a movie where the Polonia Brothers Entertaiment name is presented on a mock-up of the Paramount logo? Paper maciè sharks, i do expect that, and i will say that you won’t need to wait much to see the frankenshark, as its shown pretty fuckin clearly in the first 10 minutes, both existing and chomping on people via laughable digital effects.

And i kinda love this goofy ass looking paper maciè shark puppet, how the submarine underwater it’s just another jpeg, or how the “bay laboratory house over water” is just a collage of houses jpegs mashed together with no sense of prospective, which is hilarious looking. XD

I don’t need to point out that this clearly trying to be a “so bad it’s good” movie on purpose, with the “pretense teens” played by actors that look thirty to fourty but sometimes talk like “movie teens”, sometimes not. In this instance i’m not sure how much of this was on purpose, as Madge (played by Greta Volkova) is the only one of the main trio that could pass for a student, and has some grasp on acting of the ham-less variety, alongside a couple of other actors that deliver at least consistent performances as the correctly “age casted” mad doctor and the local harbour sheriff.

What it’s surprising is that the film does feel kinda insecure about how to play out, avoiding to fully embrace his exploitation nature (especially regard the “sexual” bits, some enterily cut from some versions online) but also not rejecting it, as it clearly doesn’t want to be serious anyway.

It’s deliberately stupid, bad and silly, but the plot it’s coherent, and the no-budget effects are at least intentionally fun. Sharkenstein just lacks the confidence to fully commit, so the unintentional bad stands out more, because the direction never decides to 100 % go along with it anyway.

To badly paraphase Oda Nobunaga (not the real one): “committ to your treachery”.

As many others have said, even if you shoot for the intentionally bad, you must be serious about it, otherwise it’s just less effective. It’s odd especially since for the most part the movie is fairly sure about what it is and wants.

Not completely devoid of some value or entertaiment, but it’s not that bad of a time if you know what you’re getting into, just a bit insecure about its own shlockery.



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