22nd Feb2021

‘Virus Shark’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: James Carolus, Steve Diasparra, Danielle Donahue, Jamie Morgan, Ken Van Sant, Sarah Duterte | Written by Aaron Drake | Directed by Mark Polonia

I think I’ve watched more films by Mark Polonia during this past year in lockdown than I have in the rest of my life. Which is apt given this, his latest film, deals with a global viral pandemic… Though unlike the current one we’re experiencing here in the real world, the virus in Virus Shark comes from a shark. As if I needed to explain that given the title!

Dubbed SHVID-1, the virus has decimated the globe, with millions dying, riots and violence in the streets, martial law declared everywhere. Basically the world has turned to shit. The only thing standing between humanity and what looks to be the end of the world are a group of scientists working 800 metres under the sea, trying to find a cure for the shark virus before its too late. But guess what? Spending so much time under water in a facility with no other people for company and no daylight can have a weird effect on people… Case in point the films lead scientist who decides, in his infinite wisdom, to try and run off with a new found vaccine so he can give it to the woman he loves on the surface and get his long-promised leg over!

If you’ve seen any Mark Polonia film you should know what to expect from Virus Shark, even moreso given that its also produced by the kings of low-budget SOV filmmaking SRS Cinema and its owner, and a filmmaker himself, Ron Bonk. Though to be fair to Polonia this time round, some of the effects work, in particular the use of miniatures and the zombie-skin like effects of the virus are a step up for Polonia and co. Though Virus Shark stills relies on copious amounts of CGI for the majority of their effects work – in particular the sharks swimming in and around the undersea base (which is CLEARLY a kids high school, not a science facility!)

Otherwise Virus Shark his very much a “Mark Polonia film”, featuring amateur performances, amateur filmmaking, a ridiculous story and a whole heap of fun. With a capital F! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… in this time of oh-so-serious consequences for our actions in the real world, movies like this: films that are very much camp, a little bit crazy and just on the right side of do bad its good, are a VERY welcome distraction from daily cares and worries. Which probably explains why – as I said in the opener – I’ve seen more Mark Polonia films since lockdown began last March, than I have in the rest of my life!

Though still, this is no Return to Splatter Farm, Polonia’s magnum-opus in my eyes!


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