SHARK ATTACK (1999) Reviews and overview

 

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‘There’s blood in the water’

Shark Attack is a 1999 action horror film about a marine biologist trying to discover why his friend was the victim of a shark attack.

Directed by Bob Misiorowski (Hardin; Derailed; Panic; Blink of an Eye) from a screenplay co-written by Scott Devine (Shark Attack 3: Megalodon; Shark Attack II) and William Hooke (Shark Attack 3: Megalodon; Shark Attack II).

The Israel-American-South African movie stars Casper Van Dien, Ernie Hudson, Bentley Mitchum, Jennifer McShane and Tony Caprari.

Reviews:

“The movie is competently put together. It benefits from age, hailing from a time when movies like this were still assembled with some care for production values and performances rather than like so many to today’s trash movies cobbled together as cheaply as possible with no concern for anything but the bottom line.” Blu-ray.com

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“The film is a surprisingly serious sharksploitation thriller of middling quality and occasional bad acting.  It’s interesting to think that as late as 1999, Nu Image was still trying to treat the sharksploitation genre honestly and straightforwardly […] All told, Shark Attack really isn’t as bad as it could be.” The Creature Feature Bleachers

“It was dull going. The dialogue was woeful, the acting was horrid (the supporting cast haltingly speak in untrue foreign accents), the script was weak, and the direction was inadequate. I didn’t expect to see a Jaws, but at least the story should have been better acted.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“This feeble chiller boasts plenty of daft plot and dialogue, but it is nowhere near Jaws or even Deep Blue Sea for tension, scares and thrills. However, with its poor acting, scripting and direction, it is often funny and enjoyable along the so-bad-it’s good lines.” Derek Winnert

“It has sharks, and sometimes they attack, but there’s more Scooby-Doo style mystery going on, with some B-movie action elements thrown in, and then the occasional foot dangling in the water what’s gonna happen to it that we want from a shark flick. I don’t know what you make of that, but in a weird way, it worked for me.” Direct to Video Connoisseur 

“There are plenty of attacks, a car chase, a boat chase, a gun battle and a helicopter (for some reason, helicopters became a staple of shark movies on SyFy) […] Stock footage and robotic sharks are used, rather than the CGI of later shark films, but they’re not that much of an improvement. The biggest flaw is that the attacks are mostly early, with everything else happening on land.” Down Among the “Z” Movies

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“The acting, cinematography, and editing aren’t even all that bad; the characters simply don’t engage in anything truly exciting, despite a flurry of action sequences and shark attacks. Every component of this movie contains a distinct lifelessness or overwhelmingly unintentional humor through pitiful design (which, at the conclusion, is downright hysterical).” Gone with the Twins

“The dialogue is where Shark Attack shines, as Van Dien and Hudson milk this terrible writing for every drop of unintended humor and it is glorious to watch. These are bad lines, like abysmal, but these two really dig deep and make them hilarious, though Hudon shines a little brighter, thanks to that ridiculous accent. Aside from the outlandish performances, this one is a clunker that has little wackiness.” Marc Fusion

“On the whole, Shark Attack moves reasonably competently in terms of being a B killer shark movie. It plays out as exactly what one expects of it – that is until about the last 30 minutes. After this point, it moves away from the focus on sharks and into formula action movie and thriller elements. Bob Misiorowski offers up generic car chases, abduction plots, an evil medical conspiracy and a big climactic speedboat chase with numerous explosions.” Moria

“It manages to raise our blood pressure, every so often, and finds ways to show human characters and sharks interacting, or at least the illusion of. You get several shark autopsies, long-winded scientific dialogue, and a betrayal subplot that ends up adding twenty minutes of unnecessary drama to an anemic movie.” Tales of Terror

“All the intrigue revolving around the fishing village’s economic turmoil, the restless natives causing a stir, and Ernie Hudson’s plot to buy up the town’s oil rights just get in the way of what the audience wants to see: namely, people getting eaten by sharks. The plot particularly gets jumbled near the end when all the plot threads get tied up rather clumsily.” The Video Vacuum

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Cast and characters [in order of appearance]:

Cordell McQueen … Marc Desantis
Casper Van Dien … Steven McKray
Chris Olley … Police Chief
Jacob Makgoba … Machete Policeman
Paul Ditchfield … Professor Bookman
Shelley Meskin … First Pretty Co-Ed
Candice Berman … Second Pretty Co-Ed
Bentley Mitchum … Dr Miles Craven
Simo Magwase … Tanka
Willie … Boat Captain
Ernie Hudson … Lawrence Rhodes
Anton Dekker … Jan
Tony Caprari … Mani (as Toni Caprari)
Dave Ridley … Mr Hacker
Jenny McShane … Corine Desantis (as Jennifer McShane)
Bradley Meyer … Boy in Boat
Eloise Cupido … Hotel Desk Clerk
Pepsy Mahunisi … Elder Leader
Mike Mvelase … Mabunda
Roly Jansen … Fishing Tourist on Boat
Lee-Anne Liebenberg … Woman in the Bikini (as Lee-Ann Liebenberg)
Frikkie … Thabo
Kwesi Malinga … Mrs. Rhodes
Lulu Makhathini … Maid
Twelopele Tsotsotso … Tadesse
Douglas Bristow … Doctor Puri
Caroline Barkhuizen … Night Nurse

Filming locations:

Port Alfred, South Africa

Technical details:

95 minutes
Audio: Stereo
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1

Release:

Shark Attack was distributed internationally by Nu Image in 1999.

Trailer:

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