Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I honestly believe that one of the reasons I was put on this earth by God is to help people. Today we are going to assist those passionate souls who want to get into the filmmaking business and to this end my advice to you is to combine two different creatures that probably don’t really belong together, and write a crappy screenplay based off of this. It’s really a can’t miss. Yesterday we watched the Roger Corman produced… excuse me… Academy Award Winner Roger Corman and the film he has recently produced ‘DinoShark’. Even though I still don’t recognize this so-called Academy as a viable entity, this does indicate some hope for the institution. Anyway, I’m going to throw out a few free ideas for you good people out there. So anything with ‘Croc’ in it seems works pretty well. ‘HippoCroc’, ‘PirhannaCroc’, ‘TigerCroc’… What Hollywood clown wouldn’t at least skim that one over when it crosses their desk? A conjugation of the word ‘Dinosaur’ works pretty good too. ‘Elephantosaur’ or ‘DinoGator’ for instance. As a matter of fact I might have to start work on ‘DinoGator’ my own damn self. The kicker is that this screenplay that you’re about to work on, one which will start a bidding war between ‘The Asylum’, ‘The Sci-Fi Channel’ and Roger Corman Enterprises doesn’t even have to be any good. Just get it done. Unfortunately ‘Sharktopus’ has recently been taken off the board.

Part monster movie and part Puerto Vallarta tourist demo, we meet the character of boat captain Trace McGraw as played by the always trusty Eric Balfour. Trace is back in Puerto Vallarta to do whatever it is he does, after telling us some wacky story about his battle with pirates. It’s complicated. He also went to Annapolis which explains absolutely nothing. Here he makes the acquaintance of Carol (Liv Hasperger), who in addition to looking absolutely fabulous in a pair of cut off khakis is also, now bear with me here, a Princeton educated, eco scientific, water polo coach with a minor in resort event planning and harpoon marksmanship. I think that’s it, but there may be more this woman can do because she is pretty damned awesome. Warner Brothers… I think I found your ‘Wonder Woman’.

One day while out on the sea Trace sees a first response boat eaten by what looks to be a sea monster. This sea monster also ate Trace’s and Carol’s mutual best friend Rita (Christina Nicole). Note that I almost turned this movie off when Rita got eaten because I had deemed her far to fine to die so early, but I trudged through like a champion. The issue is that the ‘authorities’ have said these deaths came from a Tiger Shark but Trace knows better is now hunting this thing that has killed his friend. Now here’s our issue. We understand that ‘the authorities’ don’t believe a 150 million year old sea monster is eating the residents, staff and guests of Puerto Vallarta, but something sure as hell is. So maybe a little heads up to let everyone know? Or a shut down or something? But alas it’s business as usual as the guest continue to get mindlessly devoured.

With ‘the authorities’ proving to be completely useless, it is now up to our boat captain and our eco scientist, water polo coach, resort professional with the powerful set of legs to take this prehistoric monster down all by their lonesome, along with some rocket launchers and grenades they picked up at the army base.

Well, I don’t think you need me to tell you that ‘DinoShark’ isn’t a very good movie. I mean a Roger Corman produced Sci-Fi Channel Network original is almost doomed for failure as a cinematic work almost from it’s inception, but if you accept that debilitating limitation coming in, then the rest is gravy now isn’t it.

Yes, the CGI DinoShark looked pretty crappy, and yes it was rare that the CGI creature and real live people crossed paths, if ever, and yes they seemed to use the same CGI DinoShark shots over and over and over again but… Okay, I don’t see anything to wash that away so let’s move on. You have to love the scene where the good buddy tells Trace and Carol ‘He has friends down at the base’ because these friends of his gave him Rocket Launchers and Hand Grenades. I was raised on Army Bases and as such I have 'friends at the base’ but every time I asked for a Rocket Launcher they said no. Assholes. At what point does the DinoShark get full? I mean it kept eating people and objects, helicopters, boats, sombreros, crocodiles one after another and never got full. What’s up with that? While the CGI was admittedly crappy the FX team did spend some time crafting the DinoShark head which would pop out of the water on occasion and chomp down on something which did look pretty cool, even if it too got used over and over and over again. And how many Tiger Sharks actually eat entire boats? Admittedly Trace did ask this very same question but those ‘authorities’… damn they sucked.

Another thing that was cool about this movie was that our heroes actually saved almost nobody except themselves. They would race to the scene ready to save somebody but they were always too late. You watch and you hope they save the water polo team… oh well. You hope they save the mom and dad… oh well. Or the pretty ladies swimming in the ocean… or the buddy with friends at the base who essentially committed suicide. They were completely useless. But don’t leave early because you do not want to miss the big finale Man against Dino Shark mid flight air battle. That was sweet.

So someone watching ‘DinoShark’ and proclaiming it to be garbage is akin to someone biting down on a lemon and whining about it being bitter. We know this already. But what can you do with that bitter ass lemon? Why make some lemonade of course. And while the lemonade that team-Corman made with DinoShark is plenty nasty, on a hot day with nothing else to drink it can also be plenty refreshing.

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