The latest example can be summed up in one word, and that word is “Sharktopus.” You may have already seen it on Syfy, but Blu-ray restores it to the pristine splendor for which it was intended.
Yes, I’m kidding (but not about the Roberts sibs). “Sharktopus” is a CGI quickie from producer Roger Corman, who used to pull off this kind of mutated-creature feature with panache in the late ’70s and early ’80s; think “Piranha.” This continues those efforts’ streaks of knowing parody, but this is too knowing; not only does it wink, it nudges. There’s even a wordless cameo from Corman, a notorious skinflint, who kisses a coin he picks up on a sandy beach in Mexico!
Those beaches turn rojo when the titular aquatic monster escapes the lab in which scientist Nathan Sands (Roberts) created it, swimming toward resort central. Called “S-11,” the creature is half-shark, half-octopus — a sharktopus, one might say (and by “one,” I mean the newscaster who broadcasts that very forehead-to-the-palm definition).
Its tentacles allow it to walk like a “War of the Worlds” tripod, and its teeth allow it to decapitate and otherwise eviscerate humans with ease, like a sword through Jell-O. Attempting to put a stop to ol’ ’pus are Sands’ daughter (Sara Malakul Lane) and her himbo romantic interest (Kerem Bursin), who wields automatic weapons and is incapable of buttoning a shirt. The movie is stolen, however, by Liv Boughn’s TV reporter; she looks kinda like Flo from the Progressive commercials, but in beachwear.
I needn’t tell you “Sharktopus” is a bad movie; you know that already, even if you’re just now hearing the title for the first time. The special effects are laughable; the acting, even worse. But its couch-with-a-beer appeal is undeniable. Your intelligence will be neither insulted nor triggered. —Rod Lott