It’s remarkable that after almost forty years after Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws tore up box offices across the globe, a veritable slew of cheapo shark movies are still gnashing their way across screens in ever more ridiculous scenarios and hybrids.
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) is just one in a series of production line monster movies churned out by the prolific Nu Image production company – they were responsible for Tobe Hooper’s much-slated Crocodile (and its sequel), plus similar eco-horror fare such as Spiders, Octopus and their sequels. There’s absolutely nothing here you’ve not seen before but the whole thing is so mind-boggling and ridiculous you can’t help warming to its trashy charms.
Obvious plot point one: A giant shark is terrorising a beach resort. After discovering a shark tooth embedded in an undersea cable line, a lifeguard (John Barrowman) puts the item on the internet to ascertain its species. Obligatory love interest plot point two: He soon gets a visit from a pretty blonde marine biologist (aren’t they always?) asking him to take her to the area where the tooth was found. The biologist (played by Jenny McShane) is aware that the incisor belongs to an extinct prehistoric species known as Megalodon, however, since this is the biggest scientific breakthrough since man landed on the moon she is keeping very quiet. Meanwhile, the curiously size-shaping shark goes about its deadly business snacking on the usual stereotypes encountered in these types of aquatic attack movies. From here on I’m sure you can join all the narrative dots that lead to the inevitable explosive finale.
Shark Attack 3 is unashamedly wonderful garbage. There’s wretched dialogue such as “You know, you’d f*ck anything with a pair of tits, man.” Or a male lifeguard to a female biologist: “How about I drive you to your house and eat your pussy?” followed by a swift cut to a gratuitous softcore sex scene.
There’s cheap jack CGI – in one ridiculous scene, the fake-looking shark ‘swallows’ an entire boat! There’s plenty of mismatched and poorly edited stock footage of various types of real sharks. Yet, this is one of those absurd efforts that gleefully bins any logic and gives its target audience what they really want to see, i.e. semi-naked lovelies being gorily dispatched amidst speaker shaking ‘munching’ sounds.
Jonathan Casbard, MOVIES and MANIA
“Plot is completely irrelevant; what matters are the astoundingly bad special effects. We’re talking some of the worst special effects of all time here—this film is to the 2000s what the spaceships in Plan 9 from Outer Space are to the 1950s. And as if that’s not enough, it also has the single most ridiculous “romantic line” to ever make it to the final cut of one of these films. It’s far too cringe-worthy to reprint here, you need to watch and understand.” Paste magazine