31st Aug2020

Frightfest 2020: ‘Sky Sharks’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Barbara Nedeljakova, Eva Habermann, Thomas Morris, Tony Todd, Dave Sheridan, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Amanda Bearse, Naomi Grossman, Robert LaSardo, Mick Garris, Lar Park-Lincoln, Noush Skaugen, Lynn Lowry, Asami, J. LaRose, Nick Principe | Written by Marc Fehse, Carsten Fehse, A.D. Morel | Directed by Marc Fehse

Deep in the ice of the antarctic, a team of geologists uncover an old nazi laboratory still intact where dark experiments had occured. In order to conquer the world, the Nazis created modified sharks who were able to fly and whose riders are genetically mutated, undead super-humans. A miltary task force called “Project: Dead Flesh” – reanimated US soldiers who fell in Vietnam – is put together to prevent world downfall.

Part Sharknado, part Iron Sky, Marc Fehse’s Sky Sharks is, technically, one of those so-bad-its-good film – only this one, unlike others of its ilk, has been made to be that way, created to be as cheesy, over the top and ridiculous as a film of this type could be. However, surprisingly, for a film filled with gloriously over the top violence and gore, T&A galore and enough zombie Nazis to fill World War 4, nevermind a third world war, Sky Sharks is remarkably dull.

Maybe that’s because the movie is less a film, more a series of vignettes strung together with the kinds of propaganda videos we saw in Starship Troopers – however here there’s no satire, no irony, just ridiculously daft “adverts” for Richter Technologies, a company run by an undead Nazi who created the titular creatures force and the zombie hordes that ride them back in the 1940s!

The core of the story is that of a revived Nazi experiment but along the way we also get a preface set on board a passenger plane – the footage that, I’m sure, was the original footage used to crowdfund this slice of schlock; flashbacks to Nazi Germany and the creation of the killer army of the undead; and even a flashback to Vietnam and the creation of ANOTHER undead army – this time for the US. Those flashbacks, whilst adding to the overall universe of the film, are more like padding for a movie whose core story is too short for a feature – after all, once you had your third or fourth scene with the titular Sky Sharks attacking a plane there’s not anywhere else to go with flying sharks.

That’s probably why Sky Sharks knocks off a number of films, including the opening of 2002’s Ghost Ship and even Universal Soldier (hell, we even see an undead soldier collecting ears a la Dolph Lundgren’s character in that film!). Though I’m not sure why this film feels the need to riff on existing films when the original concepts within – in fact the ENTIRE films concept – is more fun and more interesting than any it parodies. Had the filmmakers spent more time on their ideas than pilfering other peoples maybe we wouldn’t have needed so much padding of the films run time.

Yet for all it’s foibles, there’s one REALLY good thing about Sky Sharks. The soundtrack by Nicolas Alvarez and Dennis Schuster. Packed with an 80s synth vibe and techno-industrial death metal, the soundtrack fills in the gaps where the filmmaking lacks, adding to the tension, excitement and overall mood of the film – its matched only by the impressive visuals that are strewn throughout Sky Sharks.

A film that would have benefited by a much shorter run time and a bit more funding spent of the CGI – which veers from stunning to terrible, sometimes within the same scene – Sky Sharks is one of those films that will succeed on pre-viewing hype, not post-viewing word of mouth.

**½  2.5/5

Sky Sharks screened at this years FrightFest Digital Edition on Thursday August 28th.


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