[EXPRESSO] Shark Bait (2022) | Jet Ski Adrift

Just before i was gonna import it on DVD, it arrives localized in cinemas here, and you can bet yo’ ass i’m not gonna miss a shark movie showing in theathers in this day and age.

Especially since it hails from the company behind the 47 Meters Down series, and last year’s shark flick Great White, so it comes with certain expectations.

Plot is fairly simple, in usual shark movie fashion.

A group of friends celebrating Spring Break abroad decides – on the last day of the festivities – to steal a couple of jet skis and drunkenly fuck about with them before going back home.

They have an accident and find themselves adrift, trying to survive and search for any help they can get, with one of them sporting a badly injured leg that eventually attracts sharks…

Nothing original, but some of the best shark movies that opt for a more realistic approach and actually are horror thrillers do work off straighforward scenarios like these, where most of the action happens in a very restricted scenario, and this movie it’s no exception.

Honestly it has a lot going for it, from very good production values, very good looking shark and practical gore effects, but it manages to create quite the satisfying tension and solid atmosphere, so it doesn’t just look the part of a professional “big budget” released.

It’s decently acted too, shame that it could have been proper good if the characters were more than likeable cliches, and if the third act didn’t overused the shark, sacrificing tension for action in a very rushed fashion, mostly to even further drag out the finale.

Still, it’s a decent, solid shark movie, a lot more captivating than i expected, and it’s definitely better than Altitude’s last year offering, Great White.

Blood Surf (2000) [REVIEW] #sharksncrocs

The new millennium brought upon us many things.

And a movie called Blood Surf was sure one of them, though it sound more like a videogame title.

In hindsight, it’s perfect specimen for this month dual theme, as it answers a question nobody asked, as in “what if we made a shark movie, but with a croc/gator instead?”.

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Dam Sharks (2016) [REVIEW] #sharksncroc

No, it’s not a typo that they eventually went with as the official title.

The sharks in question are “dam sharks” because they act like beavers and construct dams with wood and body parts of the people they tear apart for lunch.

And despite everything that i will say about the movie, i can’t deny that this is a new one, we never saw movie sharks act in this specific manner, so Dam Sharks has already something that puts it above most of the other crappy shark movies.

It has a somewhat original idea, even thought the rest it’s so very typical and it joins the strangely populated ranks of b-movies about freshwater (or non-salt water) sharks rampaging through rivers in the swampy areas of the U.S. Interior Highlands, or bayou based rural America as a whole.

For those wondering, no, there’s no explanation given to any degree as to why the sharks (ignoring how they got there to begin with) are constructing dams with human bodies parts and branches, as if they mindlinked with a pack of beavers and Griphis from Berserk. They just do.

I’m gonna write this off as a positive because it cuts down on an even dumber and likely not fun explanation, with minutes spent in researching the shark species with a 2000’s era PC interface or boring pseudo-scientific explanation to “beaver sharks jump-attacking people on the river”.

On the other side of the plot, we have the “human buffet” to which the sharks feast on, made of a tech company’s staff going on a “wilderness retreat thingie”, and the local sheriff trying to kill off the sharks before they can claim more victims. Well, the local sheriff and the local crazy-ish redneck with a gun that doesn’t like tourists and a shady not disclosed past, gotta have that one.

Did i forget to say that the boss of the tech company it’s a smarmy control-freak douchebag, or that there is a romance subplot where the acting ability and the chemistry on display reminds one of a dead sea urchin? Or that there also scenes of random paintball matches, alongside the redneck and “beauty and the nerd romance” crap?

And yes, not only they rip-off the old classic “Smile, you son of a bitch” (and the gas cylinder as a way to explode the shark into bits, wonder where they go that from), BUT the script goes the extra mile to be even more hackeneyed, as they also steal famous quotes from Aliens, with the complimentary low-effort self-refential element of them naming Sharkenado, or saying that “they saw that done in a movie before”, the latter being said at least twice. SIGH.

Also, one character it’s named Kenny just so they can shout his name when he dies.

This one is from Cinetel, yes, they’re still around, and at least that means that they actually have a budget for this TV movie, it’s just slighly above what i call the “Asylum tier” in terms of special effects and CG, so the sharks look crappy, but WAY better than plenty of other shark movies featured here that decided money for anything wasn’t something they needed to care about.

There is a budget, so at least that means no monsters made of dried up papermaciè, crafted out of old newspapers orwhatever crap the directors had lying around in their fridge, and there are some recognizable faces for the B-movies buffs, with Jason London, Eric Paul Erickson and Matt Mercer that help salvage the overall quality of the acting from being outright crap….but still subpar.

Overall, Dam Sharks is basically a worse version of Ozark Sharks, but the somewhat original idea of a dam created by sharks with trees and human body parts gives the ordeal a grotesque shadow of novelty, helping the movie in being… again, just subpar.

Not one of the worse ones, oddly enough.

The Sharks & The Crocs

As promised, this year we’re gonna let our reptilian friends join what’s usually Shark Month on here, hopefully that’ll will make you wanna stab me with knives a little less, as the bi-daily posting schedule will remain, meaning the roster of reviews has been cut in half to 15.

Not too happy about that myself, to be blunt. It is what it is, sadly.

(also, yeah, baffled that Panty & Stocking is coming back, it actually is)

See you later today!

Dinosaurs and Snakes Of June (plus some Violet / Scarlet Pokeposting)

First, the EXPRESSO review of Jurassic World Dominion is coming a little later than expected, for personal reasons, basically. Wanna see it leasurely and shit.

Second, a full lenght review of GITS SAC 2045’s second season is coming.

Second, June will feature a decent number of snake movies’ reviews, as it will lead into what usually is Shark Month, but this year will be a “double feature” in terms of theme, for the hell of it. You’ll see.

Lastly, i feel like i should say something about the newly revealed gameplay trailer for Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, as i did post my musings on the Pearl/Diamond remake and Legends Arceus.

Maybe it’s because i’m old enough to have done this dance over and over, i’m kinda mild over what was shown. I like the “tribal vs technology” theme, the legendaries look like Yu Gi Oh 5DX bikes, and i’m happy there’s gonna be more emphasis on multiplayer.

The very few new pokemons shown really don’t do it for me in terms of designs, i do like the Spain-inspired look of the setting (and the player character with that spanish catholic schoolboy/girl vibe), and as i literally just happened to beat Pokemon Legends Arceus, i’m sure this will expand the formula, as Arceus’ open world template it’s not complex but it’s actually fun and well executed, exactly the good change of pace the series has needed since a while ago.

Maybe as we’ll get to see and learn more how the open world will be “more open” than in Arceus, what features will be returning and what new stuff will be added… i’ll most likely warm up to this new mainline game. We’ll see.

Didn’t help that it was announced very quickly after Legends Arceus launched, way earlier than anyone expected, i mean, come on Nintendo, it will sell zillions even if you slated this to release in early january 2023.

Guess they couldn’t wait even for december this time around. Geeze.

Sky Sharks (2020) [REVIEW] | Gott ist im Himmel

Let’s close this year’s Shark Month with a big bang, shall we?

And frankly i don’t think there’s anything better in that regard as Sky Sharks, a movie you’ve might have heard of but wondered when or if it’s actually coming out.

Borne from a succesful Kickstarter campaign, Sky Sharks was supposed to come out in 2018, but production hit roadblocks, various issues came up, for some time we didn’t hear anything about it at all, but then, in 2020 it resurfaced, complete and was released, even on home video (might have to import it, though).

And it was definitelly worth the wait, since this one of those rare shark movies that sets out to be a big B-movie by design, trying to tick all the usual exploitation-but-awesome points… and actually succeds in living up entirely to its trailer promising flying sharks piloted by undead nazi uber-soldiers, alongside nudity and lots of gore. It’s just missing vampires, a christian-protestant feud, psycho priests with bayonet-blades longer than an arm, but i’m really nitpicking in this case.

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Maneater PS4 [REVIEW] | Megalodon’s Revenge

As a “bonus” to this year’s Shark Month, let’s talk about Maneater, from Tripwire Interactive, of Killing Floor and Red Orchestra fame, as they basically try to make the spiritual sequel of Jaws Unleashed… i would guess, i haven’t played that one yet (strange, i know), but i really can’t think about anything else that would fit the bill for a single player, story focused console/pc release.

I wouldn’t exactly count the Hungry Shark games or Depth, you know, and it’s kinda surprising there haven’t been more attempt at an action game focused on exploration where you play as a shark, so Maneater does fill a very unexplored niche, the open world shark action rpg.

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47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) [REVIEW] | Mayan Ruins Of The Deep

While not exactly loved, 47 Meters Down did get a decent reception and turned out a profit, which means the studio hired back Johannes Roberts to write and direct another one of these “sequel but not really”, often called by the more elegant definition of “stand-alone sequels”.

You know the drill: no continuity, same basic premise, completely different cast, you don’t really need to have seen the previous movie, etc.

Well, actually the premise it’s a bit different this time around, even if – of course – it involves sharks, like you expect and want. Like the subtitle implies, this time around isn’t about a cage dive gone awry, but a group of girls that go scuba diving in a sunken Mayan city, only to be hunted by a group of sharks that happen to be swimming in it.

I mean, why the fuck not? Especially if you can get away with titling your movie after “cage diving” despite it barely have relevance to the story, this 47 Meters Down non-sequel can do whatever he likes, even sound like if someone accidentally made a possible Everblue horror adaptation.

Continua a leggere “47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) [REVIEW] | Mayan Ruins Of The Deep”

The Reef (2010) [REVIEW] | Seas For Fears

No, no the kids movie, you silly.

Know what? Let’s talk about a good shark movie, for a change, let’s talk about The Reef, from director-writer Andrew Traucki, here at his second directorial role for a feature lenght film, after debutting with Black Water, another survival horror film, but about a saltwater crocodile (later followed by Black Water Abyss).

This one is often brought up when discussing the best shark movies, and by pure coincidence it’s another Australian production, like Bait 3D, which happens to be one of my favorites and one of the better received shark flick all around. And boy do we need good ones to offset the avalanche of shit shark movies pumped out on yearly basis, we really do need some good one once in a while.

Continua a leggere “The Reef (2010) [REVIEW] | Seas For Fears”

47 Meters Down (2017) [REVIEW] | The Real Cage Dive

Once more we are more on the serious side of the shark movie, with the rare UK production, among the overwhelming number of american and australian ones, 47 Meters Down (or 47 Metres Down, as my UK DVD release says, thought it was just a typo on the cover art and the back of the box, but nope, it’s just unsure how exactly “europey” it wants to sound), which would also “inspire” the third Open Water film, released just months after this one.

But we’ll talk about what differentiates the two movies when talking of Open Water 3, for what concerns 47 Meters Down, you just have to know it’s about two sisters that decide – after the more introverted one breaks up with her boyfriend – to spend a vacation together in Messico.

While there, they decide to try something extreme and go on a cage scuba dive, but due to the wire malfunctioning, they end up being trapped in a shark cage underwater (at the depth the title specifically refers to), and they desperate struggle to escape while great white sharks siege them.

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