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Bad Movie Tuesday: Sharktopus

May 17, 2011


I can’t believe this is the first Roger Corman film I’m covering on Bad Movie Tuesday. Roger Corman is one of the godfathers of bad cinema. His face would be right alongside Ed Wood’s on the B-Movie Mount Rushmore…..It wouldn’t be made out of rock though…..the directors would be too cheap. More like Mt. Styrofoam.

All the great directors analyze and agonize over every shot. David Fincher did 99 takes of The Social Network’s opening scene. Stanley Kubrick would take weeks on one scene. However, Roger Corman once bragged that he could film an entire movie in three days.

Roger Corman believes in four things

1. Low budgets

2. Bikinis

3. Bad Acting

4. Bikinis

His movies haven’t changed much in the last 50 years.

These aspects are all encapsulated in the posters above. A Bikinied babe getting eaten by some sort of mutated creature. These movies always look dirt cheap and the acting is more cardboard than cardboard cut outs.

Nothing much changes in Sharktopus. The film centers around a military weapon run amuck on land, air and sea. The Sharktopus is like all the other B-movie monsters that have escaped from military labs. Much like the Super Anaconda, Mega Piranha and the Dinocroc the Sharktopus kills random women in bikinis. Land does not stop this creature and it has a thing for bungee jumpers.

A Corman film has never looked great. He wrote a book called “How I made one hundred films and never lost a dime.” I’m pretty certain he never spent anything he didn’t need on a film. Also, I’m pretty certain that he literally never lost a dime.

Roger Corman launched the careers of William Shatner, Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda. He also tutored and trained James Avatar Cameron, Ron Howard,  Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme and Peter Sayles. They all got a great crash course in low-budget filming.

The problem with this film is that it is so tongue in cheekthat it isn’t as fun as it could have been. They know they are making a film called Sharktopus and wink at the camera a lot. Great bad movie such as Plan 9 From Outer Space, Troll 2, The Room and Sharks in Venice take themselves seriously. Ed Wood loved his films. Tommy Wiseau is an enigma of dumb. The Italian director still thinks that Troll 2 is great.

Sharktopus is cheeky (unintentional pun)  fun. However, it is not so unintentionally bad it is great. However, you have to respect a man who has been making bad films for fifty years and has  no intention of making a good one. If anything watch this movie to witness the grand master of bad cinema.

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