SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK (2005) Reviews and overview

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‘This year, Spring Break really bites!’

Spring Break Shark Attack is a 2005 American action horror film about a shoal of Tiger sharks that terrorise coeds in the waters off Florida.

Directed by Paul Shapiro (Death of a Cheerleader; Tiny House of Terror) from a screenplay written by James LaRosa (Everybody’s Doing It). Produced by Ted Babcock, Leslie Belzberg, Nina Heyns (line producer) and Peter Sadowski.

The Von Zerneck-Sertner Films-Film Afrika Worldwide American-South African co-production stars Shannon Lucio, Riley Smith, Justin Baldoni, Bianca Lishansky, Genevieve Howard, Warren McAslan, Kathy Baker and Bryan Brown.


Danielle, a sheltered young teenager, travels to Florida to join her friends, Karen and Alica for college Spring Break week. Danielle falls for a good-natured local guy named Shane who runs a boat charter business with his mother Mary. Danielle also attracts some unwanted attention by J.T., a libidinous fraternity party animal who will resort to anything to get Danielle into bed.


Meanwhile, Danielle’s older brother, Charlie, is a marine biologist investigating a new reef where several swimmers have recently disappeared. But it turns out that schools of deadly tiger sharks have arrived in the area and Charlie tries to get the warning out before there is a huge feeding frenzy on the beaches of the Florida coast…


” …fans are encouraged to check out this improbably entertaining mix of teen soap and South African-styled “Jaws” a look […] if you’ve had enough of this long winter and don’t mind watching a few attractive young ladies mix it up with surf, sand, and a few sharks, Spring Break Shark Attack provides guilty pleasure viewing…” The Aisle Seat

“Thankfully, the filmmakers were able to spring for at least one fake shark that is used for all the money shots, including the windsurfer dude who skis directly into an open-mouthed killer-shark dummy. Hilarious simply to see the multitudes of fins that couldn’t possibly be passing each other that closely, Spring Break Shark Attack is escapist fun…” AllMovie

“Despite its flaws and limitations, the film succeeds in being entertaining because it gives limited portions of two genres that by themselves are nothing special, but in combination keeps our attention going for the duration […] The lead characters, especially Riley Smith, give credible enough performances so that we develop an interest and empathy for them as the storyline shifts over to man against nature and the killer sharks.” Chuck’s Connection


“The sharks are more rubber fins than CGI and the attacks aren’t as silly – or gory – as in other films, though one guy windsurfs into the mouth of a shark. The film is light on attacks and heavy on relationships and character, which is truly unusual, and the acting is pretty good (except for thrashing and screaming during attacks). It’s ambitious but mostly dull, so it’s a failure.” Down Amongst the “Z” Movies

“The sharks come secondary and unfortunately too infrequently until the last twenty minutes or so at which point the movie tries to make up for lost time by throwing in sharks by the hundreds […] There are a couple of decent shark/kill scenes and a corpse or two that washes up on the beach, but nothing interesting enough to really stand out or make the film more any more enjoyable.” DVD Talk

” …Spring Break Shark Attack bothers to try and be an actual movie rather than a brain-dead exercise in insincere camp. Don’t get me wrong it’s still ridiculous and pretty brain-dead, but I’ll take it over the sort of movies that expect us to excuse their laziness on the pretence of intentional badness. When compared to what followed, Spring Break Shark Attack is pretty refreshing…” Oh, the Horror!

“Never let promo and poster art fool you! The actors are mostly good-looking, though, and they’re not wearing much. They’re good actors. The dialogue flows. The photography looks pro. Every inch of this production is polished. It’s better than half the shark movies out there, but it’s somewhat forgettable.” Tales of Terror

” …so cheesy, it’s almost hard not to admire. From the first sight of cardboard fins slowly cleaving through the water (swim faster, guys!), it’s clear the budget went mostly into suntan lotion. The only problem, in fact, is that the producers don’t quite go far enough, interrupting the skin show and reverse fish buffet with too much plot, an environmental message and even (ick) some romance.” Variety

“The problem is that there is way too much Spring Break and not enough Shark Attack […] at least they went old school on the special effects. The sharks in this movie are represented by plastic fins, fake shark heads, and leftover footage from Discovery Channel Shark Week. It’s not very convincing but it’s a nice change of pace from the usual SyFy Channel CGI garbage.” The Video Vacuum

Choice dialogue:

Danielle’s dad: “It’s not your brother I don’t trust. It’s those guys, they’re sharks.”

Cast and characters:

Shannon Lucio … Danielle Harrison
Riley Smith … Shane Jones
Justin Baldoni … J.T.
Bianca Lishansky … Karen
Genevieve Howard … Alicia
Warren McAslan … Max
Kathy Baker … Mary Jones
Bryan Brown … Joel Gately
Wayne Thornley … Charlie Harrison
Wayne Harrison … Peter Harrison
Miguel Borges … Beach Patrol Captain
Sindi Harrison … Maggie
Mehboob Bawa … Professor Wellington
Claire Watling … Housewife #1
Shirley Kirchmann … Housewife #2
Marisa Sarfatti … Housewife #3
Nicole Sherwin … Housewife #4
Jessica Knight … Hot Girl
Lisa-Marie Schneider … Blond / Sorority Girl (as Lisa-Marie Schneifer)
Garth Breytenbach … Husky Guy (as Garth Breytenback)
Peter Oh … Skater Guy
Nicole Mandy … Co-Ed #1
Sabine Palfi … Co-Ed #2
Nikki Nelson … Co-Ed #3

Filming locations:

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Technical details:

88 minutes

Also released as:

Dangerous Waters: Shark Attack
Dangerous Water
Shark Attack

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