Stars: Brandon Auret, Stephanie Beran, Lindsay Sullivan, Lauren Joseph, Daniel Barnett, Christia Visser, John B Swart, Alex Anlos, Angie Teodora Dick | Written by Mark Atkins, Marc Gottlieb | Directed by Mark Atkins
In the near future, glacial melting has covered 98% of earth’s landmass. Sharks have flourished, eating all underwater life.They now dominate the planet, operating as one massive school led by a terrifyingly greedy mutated alpha-shark. The only human survivors live in terror of the predators, and it s up to them and them alone, to take down the gigantic leader shark and make the seas safe again.
Well, well. What a surprise Planet of the Sharks turned out to be. I’ve seen dozens of these The Asylum/Syfy monster movies but none quite like this one. If you’ve only seen Sharknado and it’s sequels you’d think that The Asylum typically tend to make camp creature features but that’s not always the case… Planet of the Sharks is the antithesis of Sharknado, a serious, sombre sci-fi tale that crosses Jaws with Waterworld to produce a finished product that is exciting, fun and – honestly – one of the best sharkploitation movies The Asylum have ever produced.
Writer/director Mark Atkins (who penned the recently reviewed, as part of our Monster-Movie Mayhem series, Dragon Wasps) sets his film a dystopian future where man-kind has ignored climate change and the ice caps have melted, drowning the world in water. Like Waterworld, the survivors live on floating cites – only the villains in this film are sharks: forced to search out new food sources, namely humans, after the rising temperature of the seas kill off their usual food source, plankton. And yes, that IS explained in the movie – in fact Atkins and his co-writer Marc Gottlieb actually go to great lengths to expain the science behind everything that happens in Planet of the Sharks - giving the film a real air of legitimacy against the likes of other Syfy/Asylum productions.
Opening with the decimation of one of the floating cities by a group of ravenous sharks, and ending with an all-out attack on Junk City – where our heroes house a rocket in hope of launching it into space to change the atmosphere – Planet of the Sharks is not short on action, yet is not the all-out sharkfest the title would suggest. Instead the sharks are a constant background threat, the motivation for our cast of international characters to come together to try and change, nay save, the world. It’s one hell of an environmental message it you ask me!
Plus, you’ve got to love any film that features a cast of characters that include a doctor called Caroline Munro (after the British actress), a woman name Joanne D’Amato (inspired by the Italian filmmaker no doubt) and a “Dr. Roy Shaw” – who’s clearly named after Jaws actors Roy Schneider and Robert Shaw!
Planet of the Sharks is out now on DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.