‘You can swim, but you can’t hide.’
Raging Sharks is a 2005 science fiction action horror film about an alien spaceship that causes great white sharks to terrorise marine researchers in the Pacific Ocean.
Directed by Danny Lerner (Search and Destroy; Shark in Venice; Shark Zone) from a screenplay written by Les Weldon (Shark in Venice; Replicant; City of Fear). Produced by Danny Lerner, David Varod and Les Weldon. Executive produced by Boaz Davidson (director of X-Ray), Danny Dimbort and Avi Lerner.
The American-Bulgarian Millennium Films-Tosca Pictures co-production stars Corin Nemec, Vanessa Angel, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Jensen, Elise Muller, Binky van Bilderbeek, Simona Williams and Jonas Talkington.
US/Bulgarian co-production Raging Sharks, from the shark crap master director of Shark Zone (2003) and Shark in Venice (2008) no less, piqued my interest with its Nights of the Creeps-esque inclusion of aliens and Corbin The Dentist Bernsen’s name in the credits. And, to my surprise, Raging Sharks is certainly something special.
Let’s just get this out of the way: this is an awful, awful film. But wow, it is entertaining. It lacks that irritating self-awareness that modern “bad” films are plagued by. Instead, it’s just flat out bonkers.
Raging Sharks begins in outer space. Outer f*cking space. And there’s a bunch of aliens fooling around on their spaceship. What are they doing on that ship? We have no clue. But something from their ship crashes into the ocean, conveniently landing on a ship in the Bermuda Triangle.
Five years later, Doctor Mike Olsen (Corin Nemec) is hanging out in his underwater oceanic observation station, the Oshona, and bitching to his ever-suffering wife (Vanessa Angel) about how little funds they have. I’m not entirely sure what the role of this observation station is, but Mike hates it. Things only get worse for the crew of the Oshona when a horde of sharks pay them a visit.
The sharks are attracted to something in the water, and they’re tearing the place to shreds, as well as anyone stupid enough to get in their way. They also decide to chow down on a few tourists for the hell of it.
Joining Mike and his easily irritable crew in the middle of their disaster is the mysterious Ben Stiles (Patrick Warburton lookalike and soundalike, Todd Jensen), a government worker who wants to see the Oshona shut down. Stiles is a paper-pushing dickhole geek. Or is he?
Also along for the ride — well, along for the ride of an easy paycheck — is Corbin Bernsen as Captain Riley, a submarine captain with a heart of gold. Bernsen, though no stranger to sh*tty films, looks pretty mortified to be in this one. He never leaves the submarine set. But at least he gets to fire a torpedo into a bunch of sharks, right?
While there’s the occasional void of nothingness, there’s enough bad acting and absurd dialogue to keep the laughs going. One of the actors (the oddly named Binky van Bilderbeek) does the worst British accent I’ve ever heard. He says “bloody hell, mate” and “lads” multiple times — this is how we know he’s British. He also occasionally rambles whimsically written lines and sings songs. He had me in tears of laughter. I looked him up on IMDb and turns out he’s actually British. What!?
The rest of the cast is utterly dead to the world. Except for Corin Nemec. At first, I thought Nemec was overacting horribly, but I think it may have just been in comparison to everyone else. One of the actors practically rolls his eyes whenever he’s on-screen. The cast can’t really be blamed though when you’ve dialogue like “Careful! That’s my wife!” to contend with.
The big surprise of Raging Sharks is the sharks themselves. Sharksploitation newbies will likely scoff their way through this, but at least the sharks are not entirely comprised of bad CGI. While most of the attacks are filled with fast-cutting, mismatched stock footage (at one point a killer whale shows up), it appears they actually made at least one fake shark head to chow down on actors and extras alike. A rare treat indeed for a film from this millennium. No matter how sh*t a shark film is, I always have to bow down with respect for one that goes the whole way and throws in a crappy rubber shark.
The sharks are vicious as f*ck too. For the film’s first half, Raging Sharks delivers a huge amount of shark attacks. Ocean water is stained red and several limbs float pathetically down to the bottom of the ocean. As if realising their superfluousness to the main plot, the sharks sadly take a backseat in the film’s final act. But did I mention a torpedo is fired into a bunch of sharks? I did? Good.
A bizarre and terribly uneven mix of outer space sci-fi, underwater horror, and naval drama, Raging Sharks is a shark film like no other. While I’m not much of a fan of the shark-new-wave, I must admit that the garbage pumped out by Nu Image Films is generally pretty entertaining. Raging Sharks is not quite as hysterical as their seminal masterwork, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002), but it’s definitely a must for bad movie fans and lovers of sharksploitation. Everyone else: please avoid at all costs. Seriously. You’ll hate this.
“Raging Sharks just had too much on its mind. It should have been focusing on sharks. There’s a good 20-25 minute stretch where the sharks disappear so Vanessa and her husband can do battle with a traitor in their midst […] Overall, Raging Sharks is a little wackier than the usual straight to video shark flick. If you like your shark movies with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, you might get into it.” Dr Gore’s Movie Reviews
“Raging Sharks grows increasingly drunk on its own silliness, all the while keeping a straight face […] It’s just one thing after another you’ll have to experience for yourself. Illogic exists at every turn. Clichés lurk around every corner. Stock footage explodes on the screen without warning. And then there’s the ending…” Dread Central
“ …good, goofy, C-level, schlock-o-rama fun. I certainly wouldn’t recommend Raging Sharks in the same way that I’d recommend, say, a good movie — but if you’re a bottom-feeding movie geek who loves to giggle at the oddly charming cinematic ineptitude while watching a massive school of sharks get their buffet on…” DVD Talk
“Gratuitous use of slow-motion effects, villains that will not die and several twists that never should have been twisted make this film linger like bad house guests. Combine this all with a soundtrack heavy on melodramatic opera music, silly sound effects like sharks that roar, and you’ve got a 92-minute crapfest.” Horror DNA
Raging Sharks was distributed worldwide by Nu Image Films.
Cast and characters:
Corin Nemec … Doctor Mike Olsen
Vanessa Angel … Linda Olsen
Corbin Bernsen … Captain Riley
Todd Jensen … Ben Stiles
Elise Muller … Vera
Binky van Bilderbeek … Harvey (as Bernard van Bilderbeek)
Simona Williams … Simona
Jonas Talkington … Jonas
Michael P. Flannigan … Paradiso Captain
Atanas Srebrev … Carlo
Emil Markov … Leo
Julian Vergov … Roosevelt First Officer
Les Weldon … Roosevelt Sonar Officer
Daniel Tzotchev … Roosevelt Commander (as Daniel Tcochev)
Nencho Balabanov … Diver Don
Velizar Binev … Diver Jake
Vladimir Nikolov … Angry Driver
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1