Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I was kidding at the end of the Tsunambee post when I said I was going to watch Ghost Shark next? I own a physical copy of the damn thing! Sometime in the middle of quarantine (time has been rendered meaningless) I picked up a DVD multipack of shark movies that also included one alligator film because…? Anyway, when’s Shark Week? Sometime in July or August? Well don’t be surprised if I celebrate by watching Mississippi River Sharks, Ozark Sharks, Santa Jaws, Radioactive Sewer Sharks, Swamp Shark, and/or Zombie Shark. I also made up one of those, but the guessing game kind of gets ruined as I review and tag the real ones…
A father/daughter duo of rednecks miss out on a $30K cash reward when a shark eats their potentially prize winning fish, so they retaliate by blowing the everloving fuck out of it. The shark swims into a cave covered in generic runes before it dies, and the mystic energies of the cave cause it to become a ghost shark. Straight to the point, I like it. Our spectral Selachimorpha is able to appear via any body of water, and I do mean any. Some teenagers get involved when the dad of a pair of sisters is one of the first victims, and they discover the mystic origins of the cave. But who cares about that when we have a ghost shark killing people in otherwise impossible ways! Chubby kid on a Slip ‘N Slide? It’s a kill so good that the SyFy Channel used it in the trailer. Sexy girls at a car wash? Ghost shark pops out of a water bucket and chows down. Plumber fixing a leak? Spray of blood and he’s gone! Some kids playing around an open fire hydrant? As fast as lightning, the upper halves of their bodies are gone. Back to the plot, the protagonists have to work with a drunk lighthouse keeper to stop the shark, but he doesn’t want to destroy the cave because his wife died there and she might also be a ghost. Oh, and she died because he strangled her to death. In the flashback, his narration suggests that she was also aggressive during their regular arguments, which is… not supported by what we see? Anyway, drunkie dies when it starts raining, meaning the shark can appear anywhere, so whatever. The cave is blown up, the shark is defeated, and I guess the teenagers can do… whatever? I wasn’t paying attention to anything about their personal lives.
Sharknado is fun and all, but I prefer the movies that take themselves semi-seriously while having a batshit crazy concept. There aren’t that many jokes in Ghost Shark, unless you consider “a ghost shark splits a guy in half as it bursts out of his stomach because he drank a cup of water” funny, in which case this movie is goddamned hilarious. Another example dear to my heart is Mega Python vs. Gatoroid because it knew exactly what it was about. When it was first airing on TV, co-stars Deborah “Lost in Your Eyes” Gibson and Tiffany “I Think We’re Alone Now” Darwisch would have little segments before and after the commercial breaks. At one point they solemnly swear that their characters will continue to make bad decisions, because that will result in more over the top deaths, and it was at that moment that I knew that SyFy Channel knew exactly who its audience was.
Me. The audience was me and my love of garbage.
I did appreciate that the movie wasn’t too obvious, though. There’s a gentleman on the larger side in the core group of friends, and all bets are on him to be the first kill in the group when he can’t swim fast enough to avoid the ghost shark. The sisters show up on their dead dad’s boat and he’s rescued! Sure, he does die later, but that’s after we’ve learned a bit more about him. Turns out he didn’t die because he was the fat guy in the group, but because he was a bit of a dick, which is… progressive? It’s not nothing. The mayor of the city closes the beach after the first unconfirmed report of a shark attack, so that’s also more than I expected. Actually, “more than I expected” is a pretty good tagline for this.
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