Movies From the Black Lagoon: Sharktopus

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Sharktopus- 2010, Unrated
By Tom Doty

The SyFy Channel finally delivers a monster movie that's worth watching thanks to veteran producer/director Roger Corman. Mashing up critters to create new monsters is the latest trend in Creature Features, Corman is already working on "Piranhaconda," and I had a ball making up new monsters with my sons. They came up with a few possible sequels such as "Dolphinator," "Clamasaurus," and "Robo-Fish." Use this game to get you through the boring parts and you might just have yourself a real icebreaker for your next dinner party.
Our story opens with vacationers enjoying the sunny southern California sun until a shark decides to stalk a nubile swimmer. The toothy terror is about to gobble up the beach babe when it is suddenly yanked out of its comfort zone by the titular terror. That's right folks you get to see what a sharktopus looks like in the opening scene. The creature is a shark from the belly up but gets about on eight tentacles that it uses to swim, crawl, and grab for food with a boarding house reach that has to be seen to be believed.
Turns out the critter is being monitored by scientists who are controlling it from a nearby craft. They consist of dad and daughter scientists, Sands and Nichole. They are using electrical implants to control the beast. If you're guessing that they designed it for the military then you're way ahead of this flick. Sure enough a Naval official stops by (unofficially) and asks that they give him a demonstration of Sharktopus in action.
The resulting show includes stalking a speedboat but Sharkto-dope gets too close and shears off his implants. He is now free to eat and he does by trashing the boat. The next scene is hilarious and finds two slobs painting a battle ship. Their conversation turns to an examination of the worst way to die and boy do they find out the answer.
Sands and his daughter track the beast to Puerto Vallarta and engage the services of a disgruntled ex-employee to bring their baby back alive. Meanwhile a tabloid reporter (who works for a CNN type of news channel) gets wind of the story and teams up with a drunken sailor and her goofy cameraman to get the scoop of the century while a Howard Stern type of DJ begins reporting on the story as well. It all leads to a gory finale that provides plenty of gore and a few yucks as Sharktopus hits the shore and begins staling prey on land (okay neither sharks or octopi can do that but nobody mentioned this fact to Mr. Corman.
This one is fun but you may want to fast forward through some of the stilted dialog. The film benefits from a few scenes where they forego CGI to have extras battle Styrofoam tentacles (my favorite part). Roger Corman even appears in a cute cameo as a beachcomber who loves buxom women almost as much as finding coins in the sand. While the movie may not reinvent the wheel it is fun to see Corman still enjoying junk movies in his 80's.
Best Lines: "Commander you just unleashed an eight legged man eating shark on the world."
"Even I know sharks aren't serial killers."
"Sharktopus wants our virus."
"I hope you choke on me freak."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@myactv.net.