SHARK SWARM aka GREAT WHITE (2008) Reviews and overview

 

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‘Fear travels in packs…’

Shark Swarm is a 2008 made-for-TV action horror movie about a villain’s toxic sludge dumping that unfortunately makes sharks more aggressive. Also released as Great White

Directed by James A. Contner (Jane Doe: Vanishing Act and sequels; Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series; Star Trek: Enterprise; The Cover Girl Murders) from a screenplay co-written by Matthew Chernov (Hard Ride to Hell; Grave Misconduct; Ring of Death), Stephen Niver (Sharktopus rewrite; Bigfoot in the Park) and David Rosiak (Hard Ride to Hell; Grave Misconduct; Ring of Death).

The movie stars Daryl Hannah, John Schneider, Armand Assante, F. Murray Abraham, Roark Critchlow, Heather McComb and John Enos III.

Plot:

Corporate real estate tycoon Hamilton Lux sets his sights on developing the quaint seaside town of Full Moon Bay into a prime getaway for the wealthy but runs into some unexpected problems. Lifelong fisherman Daniel Wilder owns property exactly where Lux wants to build high-priced condos and isn’t planning to sell.

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Lux has secretly laced the local waters with a toxin deadly to marine life, decimating the fishing industry in an attempt to starve Daniel out. Alas, the chemical reacts differently on the area’s sharks, drastically increasing their aggressive tendencies and transforming them into engines of pure destruction moving in coordinated swarms.

Without fish to feed on, shark attacks on humans rapidly increase. Lux uses media contacts to paint the attacks as random incidents. Daniel, his marine biologist brother and a concerned E.P.A. agent must expose Lux’s plan and rid the area of the chemically-altered sharks before the population is devoured by hungry sharks

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Reviews:

“I can honestly say I never got bored once during the three-hour running time, which is more than I can say for all the Shark Attack movie clones that generally clock in around 85 minutes. How do they stretch Shark Swarm to three hours? Well, not with anything new, that’s for sure. Instead, they simply chuck in at least two of everything…” Anchorwoman in Peril

“Terrible performances, sub-grade special effects, a nonsensical and cliché plot, and a considerably lackluster series of villains brings Shark Swarm into the company of typically forgettable and lame Hallmark original movies that failed on being even the slightest bit of entertainment.” Cinema Crazed

“People have certain expectations from a film called Shark Swarm. They will expect swarms of sharks, and in that respect, the film is being honest with us. They won’t expect a running time significantly over an hour and a half, nor a bloated cast of characters with lots of little side stories and interpersonal drama. Not good interpersonal drama like that of Jaws, or even Jaws 2, but rather like that of every made-for-TV movie ever made.” Corn Pone Flicks

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“ …Shark Swarm is actually pretty decent. It doesn’t drag on as badly as you might expect and finds a fair balance between action, comedy, romance (blech), and science fiction. If you’ve got almost three hours to kill, give it a shot.” The Creature Feature Bleachers

“Why is it two and a half hours long? That’s a very good question because it would not have been hard at all to trim an hour’s worth of superfluous sub-plots out of this movie. Secondly, all of the sharks in this film are CGI. Unless I blinked and missed it, there’s not one real shark anywhere to be seen in this film.” DVD Talk

“Several of the attackees are never properly introduced before they meet their toothy fates […] and the number of ways the movie finds for the hapless souls to fall off boats and docks into the drink gets to be an unintended running joke. Equally silly is the fact that even as a dozen or so people are claimed by the shark swarm, nobody in Full Moon Bay seems to notice their disappearances.” Fangoria

” …there’s nothing here to get too excited over but it’s perfectly acceptable stuff that can’t avoid feeling like “Jaws-lite” in one or two moments. Things could easily have been condensed, or even removed altogether, to get the film down to a zippy ninety-minute runtime but it was created as a longer schedule filler and that’s how it has to be viewed.” For It Is Man’s Number

” …you may laugh as much as anything.  Only because this is unintentionally amusing in small parts, it is not a total disaster, even throwing in F. Murray Abraham.” Fulvue Drive-In

“The politics slow everything down. The shark’s frenzy was caused by toxins released in the water by corporate ass holes we couldn’t care less about, except their subplot is very prominent and makes this film hard to sit through. There is no spirit in Shark Swarm. This is paint-by-numbers.” Tales of Terror

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Main cast and characters:

Daryl Hannah … Brook Wilder
John Schneider … Daniel Wilder
Armand Assante … Hamilton Lux
F. Murray Abraham … Professor Bill Girdler
Roark Critchlow … Professor Phillip Wilder
Heather McComb … Amy Zuckerman
John Enos III … Kane Markus
Alan Fudge … Pastor Herman
Gene Davis … Sheriff Dexter Murray
Brent King … Clint Duran
June Squibb … Bess Wilder
Mimi Michaels … Kim Wilder
Elisa Donovan … Brenda
Jacleen Haber … Tia
Darcy Rose Byrnes … Heather
Tiffany Hines … Michelle
Raymond O’Connor … George Banks
Karen Strassman … Heather’s Mom
Steve Tom … Donald Grant
Paydin LoPachin … Stacy
Kevin Thoms … Mario
Willie C. Carpenter … Mayor
Mel Fair … Heather’s Dad
Frank Sivero … Davey Ballew
Jim Hanks Jim Hanks … Nick Atkins
E.J. Callahan … Al Maynard
David Parker … Mark Wheat
David Thomas Jenkins … Weezer
Nicole Gabriella Scipione … Alice

Technical details:

164 minutes

Fun facts:

This was the eleventh film in the ‘Maneater’ series of movies.

F. Murray Abraham’s character Professor Girdler was apparently named after filmmaker William Girdler who directed eco-horror films Grizzly (1976) and Day of the Animals (1977).

The film frequently references a fictitious place named Spivey Point which is also featured in The Fog (1980).

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