Merging the best ingredients from a range of genres ‘The Shark Killer’ is the perfect cheesy movie to kick start a summer movie double bill!
The shark killer is a double barrelled title as it relates to both a literal and metaphorical ‘shark’ killer by the name of Chase Walker. Part beach hunk, part shark-killer for hire, the quick witted ladies’ man finds himself embroiled in a fight between rival gangs as he is enlisted to recover a diamond from the belly of a rather nasty great white shark dubbed ‘black fin’.
Normally hired to cleanse beaches of man eating sharks he is initially sceptical of his newest job. He doesn’t want to work for his gangster brother, but he is persuaded, part through loyalty, part through his attraction for a young and unlikely lawyer played by Erica Cerra. Once the story gets going, the story plays out pretty much as you would expect – kill the bad guys, save the day and of course, get the girl. All in all, despite the tagline this is your classic adventure, meets comedy, meet creature feature and not strictly about shark killing – except for shark being slang for gangster of course!
The plot never takes itself too seriously, and the characters which we follow are suitably stereotyped so that the movie moves along without causing offense. The script and set pieces lend themselves well to the overall laidback and chilled theme of the movie; sitting somewhere between campy B-movie and something that would sit proudly on any Syfy ‘Shark Attack’ marathon it’s all about having a good time, and have a good time you will likely have if you are in any way a fan of the recent ‘Sharknado’-esk trends of creature features!
Despite B-movie creature flicks having a reputation for being more cringe inducing than funny, I felt that here the comedy is fairly well done, with a number of cheesy one-liners, corny chat-up lines and character banter to keep the mood light hearted. The action sequences offer some decent gun play and there is plenty of macho hand to hand combat to give it the ‘man’ factor fans will no doubt enjoy. The acting is pretty good, especially Derek Theler in the role of Chase, whose rugged looks and physique make him seem like he was bred for the role (and indeed just missed out on Chris Pratts role in ‘Jurassic World’). The inclusion of South African national Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy) as psychopath gangster Nix was a lovely touch too – some people were just born to play the bad guy!
In terms of the creature effects there is CGI a plenty. The sharks are passable for the most part, although it amazes me that despite ‘Jaws’ being made decades ago the technology still doesn’t seem to exist to make a shark look half decent! Whilst this isn’t strictly a monster movie, there are a number of decent homage scenes to several Shark related blockbusters, specifically in the opener which could be the start of a remake of Spielberg’s classic. The action sequences involving the sharks are entertaining enough, and we see several bad guys meet a satisfying end at the hands (fins) of our toothy friends. The gore is never excessive, but rest assured there are plenty of chomped prosthetic limbs scattered throughout the movies several shark attack scenes. The majority of the violence is contained within the shootouts which are satisfyingly bloody in some cases – I still feel the 15 rating is a little harsh though.
Overall, with an easy to digest story, characters which are fun to follow, and some killer sharks thrown in for good measure ‘The Shark Killer’ is a safe bet for any movie evening. It’s funny with some great action. With the less than subtle cover, and a plot which screams ‘straight to DVD’ movie I don’t think anyone is going to feel cheated at its content! Floating comfortably afloat the wake of ‘Shark Attack’ and ‘Sharknado’ the South African set adventure thriller is unleashed on DVD 20th July!