Director: Kevin O’Neill
Cast: Eric Balfour, Iva Hasperger, Aaron Diaz
Plot: When bodies start washing ashore in Mexico, Trace McGraw (Balfour) believes it is a prehistoric shark that somehow avoided extinction.
Despite a laugh out loud title, Dinoshark doesn’t have too much going for it. The only thing that sets this movie apart from the herd of B-Movies is that someone photo-shopped a Tyrannosaurus head onto a shark.
I wouldn’t say that Dinoshark is a necessarily bad movie. It’s a Roger Corman flick if that offers up enough information on the quality of this film. However, once you’ve gotten over the title and premise, it slips into a very by-the-numbers shark movie. There is a shark terrorising a coastal area and only a small group of people actually believe that it is the same creature. Then the movie jumps between the lead characters trying to figure out how to prove what this prehistoric creature is and then how to actually kill it, and jumping back to the actual Dinoshark, killing bystanders (byswimmers?). None of the characters are anything we haven’t seen before and despite being bigger and scaly, the Dinoshark could have very well been little more than an angry Tiger Shark, for all the good it does the film. This is the main problem here, because people that invest money into this movie come expecting a ‘I can’t believe someone came up with this’ experience, like we do with Sharknado, and they will be severely disappointed with this routine shark flick.
The monster also features very little in the actual film. The problem with low-budget movies like this is that there isn’t enough cash to actually properly make a CGI shark. This means that the actual monster stays hidden underwater for a large part of the movie. However, this isn’t even in a good, foreshadowing way, as the shark gets a full reveal in the very first scene of the movie. You will notice that it never comes into contact with very many things. You will see the shadowy figure of a large Dinoshark underneath a boat and you will see a mighty dorsal thing in the distance of certain frames. The only time the shark even touches a non-animated person is through the use of extreme close-ups, so we only ever see thrashing and blood. There is only enough money for a CGI shark to be added to the shots, but that means that we cannot have it coming into contact with anyone, like we would get with the animatronic shark from the original Jaws movie. When someone is killed, it is clear that we are zoomed in on a shot of some false Dinoshark jaws closing in on an actor. While this is actually a pretty clever way of getting around that problem, because the shark kills so many people and that is the only trick up the director’s sleeve, we are essentially watching the same death over and over again, only with a different actor in the shot.
Therefore, because the lead actors can only take on the shark in a very minimalist way, we spend more of the movie talking about the shark, rather than with the shark. This is another thing that makes it feel like a more standard and conventional viewing, because most of the movie is about the characters trying to get the most out of the exposition. Surprisingly, there isn’t even a love angle here, which, while I usually hate forced relationships in films, would have actually helped to bulk out the story a bit more and give the talking scenes something to work with. When we do see the shark, it is sentenced to killing off the supporting cast, and when we quickly run out of them, extras that have been shoe-horned into the story to get eaten by the shark. While we are talking about that kind of scene, I want to take the time to bitch about that. It isn’t just Dinoshark that does this, but every shark movie. We all know the generic scene. Someone will be swimming in the water oblivious and then we will be treated to some dramatic music and a POV of the shark as it comes in for the kill. When Jaws did it, it was exciting, but now we are used to it, and we all know that it only ever goes one way. The oblivious person dies. Once, all it took to rework the scene was have a woman, old person or child get eaten, because that used to be quite controversial, but these days it has become a tad routine. Now, when we realise we are going to spend the next three minutes of a movie watching the director try and illicit a response from us with the same scene we have seen so many times, we begin to zone out.
And the ending is pathetic. I am not talking about the ending, as in the finale, as it is actually fairly satisfactory for this kind of movie. We weren’t expecting much and it delivers on that account. However, the moment the Dinoshark has been taken care of, the movie cuts to a suggestion that there are ‘more of them’ and then the film ends. Like that. The final fight ends and there is less than a minute of the film left. We don’t even get a closing scene, or even closing piece of dialogue from the actual characters. Again, a love story would have helped to have given the two characters here something to actual say, when the story comes to a close.
Final Verdict: Not an awful movie, but if you have seen your fair share of shark B-Movies, you would be better off skipping this.