The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (2010)

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I'd been waiting for this one for a little bit. After the original, Mega Shark vs. Giant Cocktopus, I needed to find out... what?... oh, it's "octopus", not "cocktopus"? Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, that makes much more sense. Anyway, Mr. Gable's Reality had been keeping us up-to-date on it's goings on (link is to the posts), how far along it was in the production process, etc., but also keeping it fresh in my mind so I wouldn't forget it, and I didn't.

Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus takes place sometime after the original. Everyone, except Jaleel White, thinks the large shark is dead, but he knows better, and he accidentally signals it to eat the Navy ship he's stationed on, killing everyone but him. At the same time, a Crocodile Dundee type (though English instead of Australian) in Africa comes across an enormous Crocodile, which he tranquilizes and tries to ship to the US. Thing is, it's having babies, i.e., laying eggs, and the large shark wants to eat them. Now the crocodile and shark are getting after it, and blowing up tons of shit in their wake. Will Jaleel White and the Poor Man's Crocodile Dundee be able to stop them?

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This one wasn't so bad, in fact it was pretty fun, which I guess is all you want. It did lose steam near the end, which again is a constant issue with Asylum films, even if they are only 90 minutes long. 70 is a better number for them. But, compared to a lot of their other efforts, this one worked much better. It managed to combine the hilarious footage of CG animals launching themselves into city buildings and causing explosions, with some funny moments in the down times, especially with Jaleel White, Gary Stretch (the Crocodile Dundee guy), and veteran character actor Robert Picardo. Definitely a group movie, and though I wouldn't put it up there with Shark Attack 3, it's not horrible either.

Anyone whose been rockin' with us for a little while knows we have something of a love/hate relationship with The Asylum. Sometimes (okay, not very often), they hit it out of the park, while others feel like they should be so great, and don't quite pan out. This one had that potential to be one of the bad ones, and had it not been for the actors I mentioned above getting us through the lean moments with no sharks or crocodiles, it would have been. I don't really get it, but The Asylum has this affinity for being annoying. One clear example came with this white dude with dreds, who worked with some guy that was going to transport the crocodile for Gary Stretch. He keeps repeating over and over how he needs his 10 percent cut. "I get my ten percent, right?" "Don't forget my ten percent." Why? Why would you do that? Why annoy us? Don't you want us to like your movies, Asylum? At the very least, like them and tell people we liked them? Though Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus was able to overcome annoying us, others-- Mega Piranha comes to mind-- weren't so lucky.

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When last we saw Jaleel White, he was in Beach Kings (aka Green Flash), a volleyball movie where he played a sporting goods store manager. This was definitely a better deal for him here. He had a few weird moments, not his fault, but because the script was bad, but he went with it very well, which in a sense made it even funnier. Though I love seeing former pop stars, or actors that I've only seen in other Asylum pictures, getting real professionals like White, who are used to working as an actor and have done it for a while, does make a difference. Of course, as we've seen in the past with The Asylum, it doesn't always make all the difference. Either way, I'd love to see White again in another one of their movies-- or another DTV flick.

One thing that surprised me about Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus was the actual landmarks it used in the film-- commercial landmarks at that. First they had The Orange Bowl in Miami, into which a helicopter crashed and exploded, and then they had Sea World, where the shark swooped in and ate Shamu and all the other killer whales as they did their routine for everyone-- or maybe it was the crocodile. Usually, Asylum films take place in these liminal spaces, a cinematic purgatory, if you will, so to see Sea World was very exciting. It was almost as if The Asylum had made it.

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How do you not love this guy, veteran character actor Robert Picardo? I don't see how you can't, right? When they showed him in the making of featurette and the blooper reel, he looked like a ton of fun to work with too. Maybe the best casting decision The Asylum has ever made, and that includes a couple they did with Lorenzo Lamas in them. We need more Robert Picardo in anything.

I think this one will satisfy the fun quotient, which is all you want with The Asylum, I guess. Still, it did have small pockets of annoyance and probably went on for about 20-30 minutes too long. I think we forget that those horrible 1950s sci-fi movies that MST3K made fun of were probably painfests to get through too if Joel or Mike and the 'Bots hadn't been there. Maybe The Asylum forgets it as well, hence what we're hoping will be awesome ends up not being such. Anyway, this isn't a bad deal for a Red Box with some friends.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1705773/

3 comments:

  1. Oh, you beat me to it! My friend just bought this and we were gonna watch it over the weekend. I can't wait! Robert Picardo IS THE MAN.

    Excellent review as well.

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  2. And thanks for the link! That's awesome!

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  3. You problem on the link (you'll probably get another one for Storm Troopers...).

    I think you'll have fun with this one, especially with Picardo-- though the shark and crocodile aren't bad either.

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