10th Jan2017

‘Ice Sharks’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Edward DeRuiter, Jenna Parker, Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau, Clarissa Thibeaux, Travis Lincoln Cox | Written and Directed by Emile Edwin Smith

ice-sharks-dvd

By now you probably all know I have a soft spot for ridiculous shark movies, be they from Roger Corman, The Asylum, Syfy or anyone else… Which is why I always HAVE to subject myself to whatever treasures this disparate genre provide. Be it a Zombie Shark, Ghost Shark, Sharknado, Sharktopus, a 3-Head Shark, a Swamp Shark etc., etc…. whatever!?!

This time round we’ve got killer sharks and an environmental message in Ice Sharks. A Syfy channel originjal movie from The Asylum (so its a low-budget double-header) which sees a team of expert scientists are studying the effects of climate change on marine life at a research station deep in the Arctic. Suddenly, out of nowhere, hell breaks loose when a new breed of aggressive, ravenous sharks suddenly crack through the thinning frozen ocean floor of the Artic, devouring all who fall through. As the ice breaks apart and the station sinks into glacial waters, those alive must band together, and fight off the killer beasts before there are all eaten alive.

Writer/director Emile Edwin Smith is no stranger to either shark movies AND movies set in the Artic, he helmed both Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark and Age of Ice - both for The Asylum. I wonder if he just decided to just mash the two concepts together in his screenplay for Ice Sharks? Smith is also no stranger to excessive amounts of CGI, having originally worked as a digital artist on films with similarly bad CG as this film including Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. It’s almost like The Asylum actually went out and scouted a director who would fit the bill for a film such as this…

By now everyone knows what to expect from these kinds of genre films: cheesy dialogue, stitled acting, and bad CGI. But what you don’t expect – and what Ice Sharks does – is to start with a shark attack and NEVER let up. It’s one attack after another, with brief moments of calm interupted by more killer sharks and more people being eaten. And, for once, we get some practical effects – in so much that there’s a rather grisly, at least for a TV movie, shark/leg amputation, complete with practical blood and a deliciously gory bloodied stump!

With such a small cast there aren’t that many people available to kill, which is why Smith’s feels much more like Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians with sharks rather than an out-and-out CGI slaughterfest like Sharknado et al. The fact it doesn’t let up also means that it doesn’t drag and there’s absolutely no filler – even with a just-under 90 minutes running time Ice Sharks seems to be over just as it’s begun. The same can’t be said for other films of this ilk; films which pad their runtime with more dialogue than action,usually because they don’t want you to see too much of their monsters for fear of audiences realising how bad the CGI is – and yes the CG in this movie is crappy but hey, it’s expected isn’t it?

Ice Sharks is [obviously] not going to win any plaudits but it did turn out to actually be a fun, if fleeting, example of the genre. The film is out now on DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.

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