Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Shark Week 3: '2-Headed Shark Attack' (2012)

For various reasons, I have seen several of the ultra-low-budget productions from "mockbuster" factory The Asylum, and 2-Headed Shark Attack is pretty typical of the company's work. With Carmen Electra, Charlie O'Connell and Brooke Hogan in the cast, it actually has more star power than a lot of Asylum releases, but otherwise it's the same terrible acting, incoherent writing, inept direction and shoddy special effects, with lots of padding to get to the 87-minute running time. The only real appeal of any Asylum movie is the so-bad-it's-good quality, but even that is in fairly short supply here. Most of 2-Headed Shark Attack is just tedious and boring, without anything even entertainingly awful about it.

There's plenty of non-entertaining awfulness, though. It starts with the basic premise, that a small boat full of scantily clad hotties is actually a "semester at sea" vessel for college students, manned by one ineffective professor (O'Connell), his wife (Electra) -- who is maybe a doctor? -- and a captain who seems to possess very little nautical knowledge (also, the professor is occasionally referred to as the captain, for some reason). This alleged educational expedition comes in contact with the titular creature, ending up stranded in the middle of the ocean next to a small atoll, to which everyone evacuates for reasons that aren't entirely clear.

Also not entirely clear: Why does the shark have two heads? There's some vague handwaving about mutants or something, but the movie doesn't even bother to come up with some ludicrous explanation. The shark has two heads because it does (and, as one character astutely notes, two heads means twice the teeth). The movie consists of the college students running around randomly, the females in bikinis (and sometimes gratuitously topless), the males in board shorts and tank tops, broken up by occasional perfunctory shark attacks (this movie has some of the least convincing screaming I've ever heard onscreen). The editing is so terrible that there's often a complete lack of continuity between shots of the animatronic shark heads and the CGI shark, within the same attack scene.

Director Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray is the son of legendary schlockmeister Fred Olen Ray, so in a way he's just carrying on the family tradition (his other movies include Reptisaurus, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus and Asylum mockbuster Almighty Thor). He certainly isn't aspiring any higher than his father's example, and 2-Headed Shark Attack is indifferently directed at best. Even for a movie with such a tiny budget, it's sloppy and half-assed; witness the pathetic swaying of the actors when their boat is supposedly being battered or the atoll is supposedly trembling and collapsing. Or the many background goofs, including a visible dinghy in the supposed middle of the ocean, and an actor clearly cracking up at one point after Hogan slaps another character in the face. When the people who made the movie barely seem to care about it, it's hard to muster up even ironic enthusiasm for the viewing experience.

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