What do you expect from a movie called Sharktopus? Well not an Academy Award winning drama that’s for sure and that’s exactly what Sharktopus isn’t. To the contrary, it’s one of those cg-monster movies that has been flooding the bargain dvd bins for some years now. Killer Raptors, Pythons, Pterodactyls, Sabretooth Tigers, Giant Spiders, (Mega) Sharks, Mammoths, Octopi etc have been wreaking havoc on the home screen in truly bad CGI fashion for some time now. These movies are shot with an “we’ll add or fix that in post production” attitude and it shows.
Which brings us to the main problem of Sharktopus; the really crappy special effects and like in similar themed movies like Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus it’s totally unconvincing. Despite a basic cool look the skin of the Sharktopus has largely any texture on it and the movements of the tentacles feel forced and anatomically incorrect. Monster movies mostly succeed or fail with the level of realism the monster has. Godzilla, by no means a good movie and full of plot holes at least has some great atmosphere and a monster that fits seamless into the real environment that was shot on film. I know these movies were made on a small budget but so was Jaws, or to keep the comparison fair: even movies like Pterodactyl and Mammoth had more realistic creatures if I remember well. The only moments the Sharktopus felt real and natural was when he was seen underwater swimming.
These kinds of movies use CGI for every special effect so basically no practical effects are used. Just one time I had the idea of watching an actual tentacle. All the other scenes involving the beast look incredibly fake. Actual practical effects might limit the amount of movement you can get from your critter but considering the quality of the CG in a movie like this the at least 25 year old Snake Freddy from Elm Street 3 looks way more convincing than any scene featuring the Sharktopus, even when only a tentacle is shown.
Luckily there are some redeeming features in Sharktopus. The movie never takes itself to seriously and is filled with bikini clad women. Next to that it’s elevated by probably Hollywood’s busiest actor: Eric Roberts. This guy just pops up in anything: TV series, TV-movies, direct to DVD movies and cinema blockbusters. One moment you’re watching him in Heroes, the other in The Dark Knight. This week alone I watched three movies with him in it.
Despite the CGI and due to the humor combined with Roberts this movie is watchable though it should have been at least 15 minutes shorter. A lot of scenes just consist of set up of some random human in a water-related environment when Sharktopus suddenly pops up and kills them which did became repetitive after a while as they don’t help to progress the story line.
Which reminds me, I never gave a small synopsis on the movie. My guess is you don’t actually need to know nothing more than: Shark-octopus hybrid kills attractive young women (and an occasional male).