24th Apr2016

‘Zombie Shark’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Cassie Steele, Jason London, Roger J. Timber, Ross Britz, Laura Cayouette, Sloane Coe, Becky Andrews, Ladson Deyne, Leslie Castay, Carter Burch, Flynn Foster, Jeff Pearson | Written by Greg Mitchell | Directed by Misty Talley

zombie-shark-poster

Also known as Shark Island, a more generic title that would undoubtedly failed to sell more copies than the films other more exploitative moniker, Zombie Shark; this film stars former Degrassi: The Next Generation actress Cassie Steele as Amber, a tough as nails bartender who goes on a trip to a quite coastal island with her sister and a few friends, and runs straight into an army of sharks intent on eating anything and everything that get in their way. Only these are no ordinary sharks, oh no…

You see the almost-deseted island Amber and her friends are partying on also happens to home to a once-abandoned army facility that now houses a scientist, Dr. Plamer, who is trying to cure death in much the same way as Herbert West was in Re-Animator – i.e. trying to reanimate dead tissue. Only she – stupidly – uses sharks as her test subjects. And her “science” works – in so much as she reanimates a dead shark, who then goes on to infect other sharks with a virus that turns them all into the living dead, raoming the seas chomping down on the islands inhabitants – even turning some humans into zombies too!

We’ve had Sharktopus, Dinoshark, Mega Shark and even Ghost Shark; and now we have Zombie Shark. Riiiight. Can you say scraping the bottom of the killer-shark-movie barrel?

OK, so maybe this film does have the odd “new” idea, at least when it comes to this type of genre film – after all, how many killer shark moves can say they feature a scene in which a character is pulled out of the belly of a dead zombie shark? And said character has been turned into a zombie after being swallowed whole? There’s also some hilarious comedy from the island resort’s jack-of-all-trades/bartender Lester (Roger J. Timber), who tries to act the tough guy but isn’t; and when he does act tough he just gets his friends arm chopped off. Accidentally.

The rest of Zombie Shark however is filled with the typical Jaws-like cliches and creature-feature tropes you’d expect. It’s also filled with some truly awful CGI. And I mean awful even for a cheap and cheerful genre flick such as this! At one point it looks like the filmmakers have bought stock CG footage of a shark swimming underwater into and out of camera – it’s a CG creation that looks nothing like the killer fish in other scenes. In fact it looks like early (really early) test footage from the likes of Deep Blue Sea. I truly fail to see how, if the CW’s TV show The Flash can make a half man/half shark look totally badass on screen, how is it filmmakers can fail to make a simple shark look anywhere close to realistic?

Another killer-shark film that could have benefitted from a little extra tongue-in-cheek/camp attitude, Zombie Shark is the type of shark flick that will be bought and sold on its title and poster alone – for there’s nothing else here to recommend it.

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