SHARK IN VENICE (2008) Reviews and overview

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Shark in Venice – aka Sharks in Venice – is a 2008 action crime horror feature film directed by Danny Lerner (Shark Zone; Raging Sharks) from a screenplay co-written with Les Weldon. The Millennium Films-Venice Sharks production stars Stephen Baldwin, Vanessa Johansson, Hilda van der Meulen and Giacomo Gonnella.

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The seemingly tranquil waterways of Venice are terrorized by the perfect killing machine. In search of his father who has mysteriously disappeared diving in the city, David stumbles across the cryptic trail leading to the long-lost fortune of the Medici.

As the unwitting pawn in a Mafia plot to recover the treasure, David’s girlfriend is kidnapped at gunpoint, plunging him into a desperate race against time. If he has any hope of saving her he must enter the deadly waters. Can David out-gun the Mafia assassins and survive the voracious sharks laying in wait beneath the surface, or will he succumb to the same fate as his father?


The film was shot on location in Bulgaria. Apparently, the director intended to name the movie Shark in Bulgaria, however, it would not have had the same “flow” as if the movie were titled Shark in Venice.


“Interviewed in the DVD’s making-of featurette, the cast go on about how the movie’s just meant to be undemanding fun for the viewer. But, really… sloppy shark attacks consisting of nature footage, red filters, lots of splashing and incoherent clips from Shark Attack 2? Where’s the fun in that?” Anchorwoman in Peril

“The plot on the whole, makes not one bit of sense. Edit­ing gaffes abound includ­ing one scene that made me think Steve Bald­win had had his leg bit­ten clean off by a shark. Amaz­ingly, his leg seems to grow back after a night in the hos­pital. Luck­ily, such minor details are but a trifle to the dir­ector, keen as he is to get to the next chase or shoot out, occa­sion­ally remem­ber­ing to throw some stuff in about sharks.” Bananas About Movies

“The movie is a reworking of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with a shark thrown in for good measure. Really: it’s set in Venice, involves a missing father, and follows a college professor who goes looking for him. Other influences within plot details are obvious, too, and it’s almost as if the filmmakers decided a shark was necessary to help offset it a little more from feeling like a straight rip-off.”

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“Wow, with a title like Shark in Venice you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking this movie was about a shark in Venice. Well, turns out you might just be wrong because there are barely any sharks and I’m pretty much sure this film rarely takes place in Venice. One damn thing is for sure though; Stephen Baldwin is definitely in this movie. In fact, he’s all over it, often in ridiculous and very embarrassing tight-fitting clothing.” Cool Target

“Just when you think there’s nothing left to the shark attack franchise on SyFy, they throw in Mafia, the Knights Templar (a bit Indiana Jones, a bit DaVinci Code) and Stephen Baldwin. The plot doesn’t make sense, there’s continuity problems, there’s stock footage and recycled footage from earlier shark films…” Down Among the “Z” Movies

“Whilst Venice is always pretty, we see so little of it here that it could easily be the product of a single weekend’s frantic shooting, padded out with work filmed elsewhere […] Overall, Shark in Venice fails to live up to its snappy title but it’s just awful enough for a certain kind of film fan to find it delightful.” Eye for Film

“Stephen Baldwin as a hero does not work – he’s a lumbering, humourless, unsexy man with no charisma and reads lines like he’s reading out a Nandos menu with great disinterest. Stephen Baldwin cannot act. There is no debate here – his unfortunately perky nipples have more personality.” Gorepress

“Like its modern ‘monster on the loose’ compatriots, Shark in Venice finds the unnecessary need to give the characters some human villains to compete against, as if a killer shark loose in Venice isn’t enough. This means that the studio can spend less screen time on the monster and thus save money on the special effects and just throw in a moustache-twirling villain with a few henchmen who will all become monster chow by the end of the film.” Popcorn Pictures

“Save your brain cells, eyes and money folks.  This one is not a keeper.  Oh, final FYI; we see the shark (title creature) very few times throughout this movie but thank God for that Mafia link or we might have gotten bored.” Rotten Reelz

“a ‘Shark’ movie, with little shark action…..In reality, the movie is just some Romanian Crime flick with the occasional dorsal fin. However, it’s all the better for having Stephen Baldwin as the lead (as opposed to the dire Casper Van Dien) Baldwin looks seriously stoned throughout the course of the movie, delivering his lines with a laughable stoicism.” Straight-to-DVD Heaven

“Say what you will about Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, but at least the awful FX were good for a laugh.  Secondly, the plot is just plain stupid.  It’s like a mix between Spring Break Shark Attack and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (or maybe National Treasure).  And finally, the performances are bland as all get out.” The Video Vacuum

“… you can clearly see his [Stephen Baldwin’s] boobs bouncing up and down in all the action scenes. It is particularly painful watching him squeeze into a scuba diving suit. The shots of the shark are from the ocean, and not downtown Venice; added to this is the fact that the shark doesn’t have anything to do with the plot.” J Welbourn

“I did chuckle at the sight of lardass in a wetsuit- even if I pity the wardrobe girls that had to get him out. I wonder how they did it, probably with a tin opener. There is some fun to be had from it- if you fancy a low rent mafia movie. However, if you’re expecting it to be a big fish eats people movie then avoid like Baldwin avoids tofu.” Werewolves on the Moon

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Cast and characters:

Stephen Baldwin … David Franks
Vanessa Johansson … Laura
Hilda van der Meulen … Sofia Totti
Giacomo Gonnella … Vito Clemenza
Ivaylo Geraskov … Rossi
Atanas Srebrev … Captain Bonasera
Kaloian Vodenicharov … Man in Black (as Kaloyan Vondenicharov)
Bashar Rahal … Medical Examiner
Vladimir Kolev … Assistant (as Vlado Kolev)
Michael McCoy … Dean Flathers
Assen Blatechki … Operator (as Asen Blatechki)
Rolando Cadenas … Student
Ivo Kehayov … Cop (as Ivaylo Kehayov)

Filming locations:

Venice, Italy

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