Anchor Bay Entertainment. Director: Kevin O’Neill.
Creature Feature Bleachers Award: Most Unoriginal.
Though “Dinoshark” and “Sharktopus” premiered within a few months of each other in 2010, the difference between their enjoyability is remarkable. While “Sharktopus” ranks as one of my top sharksploitation picks, “Dinoshark” languishes somewhere near the bottom of the list. Despite the film’s title, there’s nothing particularly unique about this shark, nor do the human characters make for very interesting viewing. Without a hero or anti-hero to root for, I found myself cheering for the clock. (The fact that this film is exactly 90 minutes long should tell you something). “Dinoshark” received a lot of favorable press as a bad B-movie when it came out, but anyone rash enough to place “Dinoshark” in the “so bad it’s good” category should take a long moment to peruse the other twenty-some films reviewed on this site. This is neither the best nor the worst shark film out there.
Freed from a chunk of Alaskan ice, an ancient dinoshark slowly makes its way down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Boat pilot Trace (Eric Balfour) and swim coach Carol (Croatian actress Iva Hasperger) begin to suspect the shark’s presence when their mutual friend Rita (Christina Nicole) goes missing. Evidence of the shark mounts when the pair notice the disappearance of friend Steve (Richard Miller) and his latest romantic conquest Lois (Liv Boughn, who simultaneously appeared as Stacy Everheart in “Sharktopus”). Trace and Carol seek further information about the beast from Dr. Reeves (Roger Corman, who simultaneously hammed it up in “Sharktopus”). With the help of local law enforcement, will they be able to vanquish the threat?
Yes, schlock movie producer/director Roger Corman once again stars in one of his own films (remember his performance as the misanthropic old pervert in “Shartopus”?). This time around, Corman plays a more vital role in the plot, advising the heroes to aim for the shark’s eye. He is joined on screen by co-producer Robbie Roessel, who should quite simply never be allowed to act again (you’ll know him when you see him, trust me). Though a few of the bit players are repeat performers from “Sharktopus,” I get the feeling that “Dinoshark” was the first and (hopefully) last acting experience for most of the actors.
General lameness aside, a few parts of “Dinoshark” are worth mentioning. For instance, the single greatest moment of the film might just be Carol’s reaction to the information she uncovers about Dinoshark. Having just lost her friend Rita to the beast, Carol wants to research it as much as possible in order to take it down. Perusing Dr. Reeves’s website on a very slow laptop, she eventually comes across an artist’s rendering of what Dinosharks might have looked like 150 million years ago. Bingo! The picture looks just like the shark she saw earlier! Time to take off her shirt!
Seriously, that’s exactly how it happens. Even better, this scene ends abruptly, and in the next scene, Carol’s wearing a different black shirt. I guess this sequence is meant to imply that she changed shirts, but as to why identifying Dinoshark would make a person change shirts, I have no idea.
Trace’s inconsistent facial growth constitutes another ripple in the film’s otherwise “smooth” flow. I only noticed one instance of this particular glaring incongruity, but it was enough to draw my attention. Take a look at Trace’s beard at the movie’s 27 minute mark:
And then again at the 34 minute mark:
The trailer is about as unoriginal as the film itself:
“Dinoshark” is available on Amazon.