Shark Exorcist, or: The Power of Chum Compels You!

I imagine the meeting went something like this:

“Quick!  Name two of the best horror films ever made!”

“Well, there’s Jaws and, um, The Exorcist?

“Awesome!  So what if a shark got possessed?”

“Yeah!”

“And it should have boobs.”

“But what if kids want to watch?”

“Boobs in bikinis!”

“Hell yeah!”

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Shark Exorcist is a 2015 film directed by Donald Farmer who gave us An Erotic Vampire in Paris and Hooker With a Hacksaw.  Starring no one you’ve ever heard of, Shark Exorcist brings together a Z-list cast and potato-quality special effects.

She watched this movie.

This movie immediately forgets that being terrible is only one part of what makes B-movies great. Shark Exorcist isn’t funny.  Sharknado was funny.  Sharktopus was hilarious.  Even Jersey Shore Shark Attack made me snarf.  I want to give Shark Exorcist a fair shake so I’ll admit those B-grade shark movies had a budget and a few named actors.  Fine, I even enjoyed the approximately $12 production of Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You.  Also, some of the characters from the above movies were likeable and the stories are fun.  Remember all you wannabe movie makers out there: story and character are key even if your movie is B.

It all starts out with a (possessed?) nun who has already killed 13 kids then randomly kills another woman before tossing her in a lake called Paris Landing and asking “Lord Satan” to “send [her] an avenger!” At which point we cut to this:

How did the great white get in the lake?  Probably Satan.

Meanwhile, a group of girls goes to the lake, where one is attacked and then possessed by the possessed shark. I will admit some confusion because if the shark is still possessed and the girl is now possessed then who or what is possessing both of them?  Can Satan pull double-duty?  Is possession now transferred via shark saliva?  Also, how do we know the girl, Ali, is possessed?

This is how.

After Ali lures a boy to Paris Landing where he is consumed by the shark (in what is not one of the great shark attack scenes), we get to meet Father Michael, a priest who wears in ill-fitting Roman collar and crosses himself a lot so we know he’s definitely a priest.

I don’t know who these people are but they show up next:

I’m assuming witches.

There are various scenes of shark possession (out of the water) before this girl shows up for some reason and goes swimming with Ali.  Except she’s a dream!  I think.

I know, she’s the special effects team!

Fr. Mike somehow figures out Satan has come to Paris Landing and begins an investigation, concluding that Ali is possessed because she’s not eating and loves water.  I’m also guessing here because Fr. Mike doesn’t mention possession, demons, or Satan.

After a dialogue-free, action-free scene that stretches on for an excruciating five minutes, it’s time for Father Michael and Ali’s roommate to exorcise the demon!  Here the movie remembers that it’s supposed to be spoofing Jaws and The Exorcist so we have the pea soup barf, and, I wish I was kidding; “We’re gonna need a bigger cross.”

The King James version specifically mentions tiki torches as a must-have item for driving out Satan.

More stuff happens, including the demon shark descending from the sky. I’d normally be more specific than “stuff happens” but we’re never actually shown or even told what happens so stuff happens.

Finally, blessedly, with a few more deaths and a “Hail Satan!” for good measure, the movie draws to a close.  The demon shark is still out there eating people.  There’s still a few possessed people, and goddamnit no one performed an exorcism on a shark! I wanted to see an exorcism on a shark.

This movie totals two post-credit scenes, one of which is long and both of which are dialogue-free.  In the first, a girl does stuff with a plastic shark that makes everyone uncomfortable before spitting juice at the camera.  The second?  Well, I’d hate to spoil the ending and potential sequel for you all.

Farewell, flying demon-shark. You deserved a better movie.

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Bait, or: Just When You Thought it was Safe to Buy Pringles

Thanksgiving is that magical time of year when my countrymen and I embrace gluttony with wild abandon. Prep for this most wondrous feast usually involves a few trips to the grocery store. Most of us just have to worry that the store will sell out of our favorite brand of cranberry sauce. The characters in Bait have to worry about getting eaten alive by sharks.
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Wait, what?

The first 20 minutes of the Australian import Bait are spent giving us some backstory on the main characters, all of whom have enough combined angst to fill a U-Haul. First up is Josh, a lifeguard whose best friend is nommed by a shark (a run-of-the-mill ocean shark, not a grocery store shark) in the first few minutes. Josh’s howls of anguish are comedically overdone, but he does teach us how to properly express grief while on a jet ski.

A year later we find Josh working at a grocery store where he conveniently bumps into his ex-fiancee (the chomped best friend’s sister) and her current boyfriend. We also meet the shoplifter Jaimie, who is working through the grief of losing her mom through lifting sunglasses and what appears to be shampoo (Pantene cures all ills, after all). The cop called to deal with Jaimie is, of course, her dad. There are also the robbers Doyle (Julian McMahon, Dr. Doom from Fantastic Four) and his partner Kirby who has strong armed Doyle into robbing the joint. We also meet the store manager, Jaimie’s boyfriend, a couple of yuppies, and a pomeranian.

So, how do the sharks get into the grocery store? Simple. This happens:
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Bet you didn’t know tsunamis in Australia come pre-loaded with sharks.

And so our motley crew valiantly scales the grocery store shelves, blissfully unaware of the shark swimming placidly among the canned peas. At this point, I’d officially like to nominate the grocery store manager for the Worst Day Ever Award. I mean, who catches a shoplifter, has a gun pointed at his head during a robbery, survives a tsunami, and then has to fend off sharks? That has to be some kind of a record.

As if having Josh & co trapped on the grocery store shelves wasn’t enough to keep us occupied, we also get to follow along with three people and a pooch trapped in the carpark (where there is also a shark). Two of these folks have the most waterproof car in the universe. Seriously, you could drive that thing to England.

The people on the shelves eventually realize they’re not alone. The water is rising, but slowly. Through various, and occasionally hilarious, plans to escape/ensure their safety, these people practically throw themselves into the waiting jaws of the great white. If you ever find yourself trapped in a grocery store with a shark, take a lesson from Bait and for the love of God, stay on the shelves! (I was reminded of the In Living ColorStay in Your Car!” sketch from years ago.)20121119-235407.jpg
(What could possibly go wrong?)

Bait is not earth-shatteringly good, nor does it suck. The premise is ridiculous, there’s lots going on, and the actors try a little too hard to play it straight. That said, it’s a fun way to kill a Friday night. And anyway, it has sharks in a grocery store. You know you want to see that.

Stay tuned for next week’s review of Grabbers, or: Irish Tentacle Monsters from Spaaaaace.