09th Jan2019

Horror-on-Sea 2019: ’6-Headed Shark Attack’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Brandon Auret, Thandi Sebe, Cord Newman, Naima Sebe, Thandi Sebe, Tapiwa Musvosvi, Jonathan Pienaar, Chris Fisher, Meghan Oberholzer, Nikita Faber, Caitlin Harty, Charlie Keegan | Written by Mark Atkins, Koichi Petetsky | Directed by Mark Atkins

6-headed-shark-art

Woah woah woah… 6 heads? Last time I took a look at this franchise the shark only had three heads! OK, so a jokes a joke but a 6-headed shark seriously? Plus, whatever happened to the four-headed version? It seems The Asylum went from three heads to five without a thought for a four-headed version, but then sharks have pretty big foreheads already don’t they? [insert noticeable groan here]. Though you’ve seen nothing until you’ve seen a six headed shark… which is this case looks like a grey starfish with a tail!

It seems that after helming the first two entries in the series Christopher Olen Ray has abandoned the series and, after a trip to both the Empire AND Planet of the Sharks, director Mark Atkins has been given the reigns of the franchise – and it shows… 6-Headed Shark Attack starts in pretty much the same manner as Atkins previous two shark efforts, with a flotilla in the ocean under attack by a huge shark! Atkins even carries over some of his Empire of the Sharks cast including Brandon Auret, Thandi Sebe, Tapiwa Musvosvi and Jonathan Pienaar – case of if it works don’t fix it I guess?!

This time round its less of an empire of sharks and more of “Love Island of the Sharks” as a group of couples, taking part in what is supposed to be a marriage boot camp on a remote island turns into the ultimate test for survival when the titular 6-headed shark starts attacking the beach. Trapped with minimal weapons they try to fight off the shark…

Ahhh Mark Atkins, one of The Asylum’s go-to guys when it comes to writing and/or directing their low-budget opus’. Now I didn’t see his film Sand Sharks, but I did think Planet of the Sharks was a fantastic dystopian sci-fi tale, crossing Jaws with Waterworld to create one of the best sharkploitation movies The Asylum have ever produced. But since then came Empire of the Sharks and everything turned to crap, in what was a risible retread of Planet… but without anything that made that film so great. Which meant I held out little hope for 6-Headed Shark Attack.

And those fears were justified.

Wow. I get that these types of Syfy/The Asylum movies aren’t to be taken seriously and are SUPPOSED to be dumb fun but there’s a limit to the mix of dumb and fun… In this case the film is more the former. Dumb. Even saying in the script that its dumb can’t prevent this from being oh-so stupid. It doesn’t help that the cast are, frankly, all terrible too – not one of them delivers a line with any sincerity, its all played tongue-in cheek, which – in a movie that supposed to be tongue-in-cheek – doesn’t actually work. Despite the stupidity of the plot there should be some authenticity to it as well.

But hey, at least we get to see a 6-headed shark walk on land using its heads for legs – that has to count for something right? Right..?

I’m not going to punch this particular 6-headed shark while its down and talk about the terrible CGI because 99% of these films have terrible CGI, they couldn’t survive without it – after all, part of the “fun” of these films is ripping apart the crap effects work. But 6-Headed Shark Attack takes things to a whole new [lower] level. As unbelievable as it sounds but the 6-headed shark looks completely unreal, especially when its interacting with the cast – with characters seeming super-imposed on top of it or placed into the existing CGI-filled scene after the fact (as if they had no idea what scene each shark VFX would actually fit into), making the computer generated shark look even worse than usual!

It’s obvious that original franchise helmer Christopher Olen Ray had more of a hand in making those two original films the fun romps they were and losing his controlling hand at the tiller has certainly had a knock-on effect for the rest of the series.

6-Headed Shark Attack screens at this years Horror-On-Sea festival on Sunday January 13th at 8pm.

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