Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus – 2009

Recently someone asked me, “Nigel, why haven’t you reviewed any SyFy Channel Original Movies?”  Well, for starters, “SyFy” is a stupid made-up word and I refuse to let them think I’ll tolerate that kind of behavior.  Imagine, you take a genre of story such as “Science Fiction” and shorten it to the slightly more user-friendly “Sci Fi”, because it’s easier to say.  Then, even though “Sci Fi” is a perfectly reasonable abbreviation, you attempt to truncate it further into the verbal abortion that is “SyFy”, much to the benefit of absolutely no one.  Next, it’ll be “SFY”, followed shortly by “a series of grunts and the sounds of a snake with a lisp.”

SyFy movies are an interesting breed of awful.  For examples, just look at “Sharktopus”, “Dinocroc”, and “Piranhaconda”.  These are movies where they’ve taken two random animals, combined them, and forced Screen Actors’ Guild rejects to run away from them on camera.

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Let’s take a look at a SyFy Original Movie right at the top of the bell curve, Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus.

Come for the abnormally sized creatures, stay for the in-flight snacks.

To say that I hate this movie and everything it stands for would be an understatement.

Just think, you’ve got an entire production studio backing your work.  It’s not like you’re just some shlub with a camera and some friends.  You’ve got people with at least some formal training at your disposal.  And what do you do?  You hire a guy that learned to animate in his spare time and tell him to go buck-wild.

I’d imagine there are two posters on the wall at SyFy.  One poster is filled with different animal names, Alligator, Shark, Platypus, etc.  The other poster is filled with adjectives; Giant, Mega, Extreme, Super, etc.  Then they get an intern to throw darts randomly and see what happens.

That being said, I’d watch the shit out of “Mega Platypus.”

Anyways, Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus is easily one of SyFy’s most charming movies.  It’s not particularly good, but it’s hardly the worst movie they’ve got in their repertoire.

The plot is simple, while experimenting in the arctic, the US Government accidentally awakens two prehistoric beasts that had been fighting, but got caught trapped in ice during the Ice Age.  You know, that event that happened millions of years ago over the course of several thousand years.  Yes, it snuck up on them.

Both America and Japan have a vested interest in not being destroyed, so they get their top scientists on the case.  Not surprisingly, the scientists want to capture the beasts and learn from them, while the governments want to destroy them with nukes.

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The characters are laughably forgettable, including no less than four ethnicities for the sake of keeping things hip and urban.  The casting for this movie is a lesson in affirmative action, with the exception of actual black people.

We’ve got the plucky white female scientist, who just “can’t stay away from the sea.”  There’s the Irish grizzled Ex-Navy Paleontologist, from the “when the fuck did the Navy start hiring Paleontologists?” department.  A Japanese scientist, who is apparently the eye candy in this movie, as our pretty, white, female scientist hypothesizes that she prefers a sensation of the the Asian persuasion.  And last, the government official, a racist white guy who spends the entire movie actively trying to make you hate him.

After farting around for half the movie trying to come up with ways to catch the beasts, our scientists reluctantly accept that they can’t catch a fucking dinosaur and let the government officials try and destroy them.  SPOILER: guns don’t harm them.  These animals bite naval destroyers in half and eat bridges for breakfast.  Your guns do nothing.

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So, when that doesn’t work, we get the most awkward and shoe-horned sex scene ever, and then the scientists get the idea to let the Shark and Octopus finish each other off.  They figure, “hell, let’s just let them continue the fight they started a few million years ago.”

Do you enjoy watching CG animals fight?  I hope so, because SyFy has one scene of them fighting and they’ll play it over and over.  Sometimes they’ll mirror the shot, but it’s still the same one.  Octopus grabs shark, shark struggles, shark bites off octopus’ arm, octopus let’s go.  Rinse and repeat as necessary.

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I wish I could tell you there was a happy ending and everyone died, but unfortunately, that’s not what happens.

The Mega Shark and the Giant Octopus eventually do kind of kill each other.  The epic battle they rage for most of the movie finally ends when they collide at speed and just sink into the dark depths of the ocean.

The Asian and the lady scientist form a relationship based on science and pheromones, and the Irishman feels left out.  The two are having a deep, philosophical conversation on the beach about “my god, after millions of years of struggling, it’s finally over”.  Suddenly, they’re interrupted by the Irishman who informs them, “Hey you guys, it’s not over.”  They all kind of smile at each other knowingly, get up, and leave.

While the story in the movie is plausible enough for a science fiction film, the acting and script leave much to be desired.  The guy who plays the Irish scientist keeps going in an out of character and sometimes forgets to do the accent.  The entire Japanese naval fleet, for some reason, all speak perfect English and don’t have the slightest hint of an accent.  Several times, the main plot is interrupted by sub-plots, that don’t always get resolved and confuse the audience.

At the end of the day, the movie itself was just bad.  Is it unwatchable?  No.  Is it entertaining?  Sure.  Will I watch it again?  Not sober, I won’t.

This is definitely a “have a few drinks with friends and watch” kind of movie.

However, I want you to be aware, that this movie does contain the single best moment in recent film history.  This scene is what kept me from ripping the movie out of the player halfway through and setting it ablaze.

I’m getting married in two days.

 

Go back up and read my “in-flight snack” joke and just bask in how goddamn clever I am.

Showing 2 comments
  • Tom
    Reply

    "I'm getting married in two days… HOLY SHIT!"

    Bra… vo.

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Maybe you knew this, maybe I'm not 100% right, but I'm pretty sure the SyFy channel changed its name because they wanted a label that was specific to them not Science Fiction in general. Also, people were fucking up the correct way to write "Sci-Fi" for the station.

    Also…..this website is a amazing. I've been looking for one like this for a bit.

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