Because I understood from the onset that this film was meant to be humorous I enjoyed it more than if had I not known. Sharktopus, produced by Roger Corman, is a nod to the genre of exploitation films. Still, funny as it was, it wasn’t without its flaws.
Sharktopus had everything: girls in skimpy swimsuits, a blood-thirsty monster, a villain, a hero and a romantic subplot. It all goes wrong when a genetic mutant, Sharktopus, becomes uncontrollable. Originally meant to hunt terrorists, the creature can’t help but destroy everything in sight.
At first, the film was hilarious. People were getting eaten while bungee jumping, while laying out, and even while searching for buried treasure. It got awkward though when you couldn’t differentiate between what was purposely funny and what wasn’t.
The script was awful. Not knowing whether it was deliberate doesn’t necessarily matter because after 90 minutes, it got annoying. The characters didn’t shine and there was one in particular that I did not like. Honestly, I don’t know if they knew or understood if the film they were making was a real science fiction piece or pure comedy.
Several times the cast winked at you by saying things like, “That only happens in the movies.” Again, this reminded me that maybe the whole film was a spoof off of old exploitation films. Roger Corman is the master of exploitation pieces, so the fact that he produced this film makes it seem like it was all a joke. Of course, if it wasn’t, then this film is just really terrible.
For those who didn’t attend Fantastic Fest, and hear the director talking about the film, it would be hard to determine just exactly what Sharktopus is doing. The film has already played on the SyFy channel, and I don’t believe it’s something you’d watch again and again. It was just too stupid in too many places, intentional or not.
There were plenty of great moments in Sharktopus, so if you catch it on television, I’d recommend watching it. But it goes wrong all over the place - the script, the choice of characters, and overall inability to express its tone. Simply put, Sharktopus just doesn’t go for the kill.