The Asylum. Director: Christopher Ray.
Creature Feature Bleachers Award: Most One-Dimensional Characters.
It’s often said that the sequel never measures up to the original. Surprisingly, this axiom holds true even for sharksploitation drek like “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus” and its sequel, “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus.” Honestly, who would think you could possibly lower the production values and decrease the amount of heart in a film like “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus“?! Well, the Asylum managed to pull it off somehow. If you’re having difficulty imagining just how monotonous and lame this film is, allow me to paint a mental picture for you. Take the most boring 1950s creature feature you can think of, strip it of any characterization or emotional content, replace the fake monster suits with even faker CGI, fire the continuity editor, and you’ll end up with “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus.” And if you’re smart, your next move will be to throw it out.
A giant crocodile demolishes a slave labor diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Adventurer Nigel Putnam (Gary Stretch) eventually subdues the beast and arranges to have it transported to America. Meanwhile, a gigantic shark attacks a Navy warship, killing all passengers except Urkel… err, Lt. Terry McCormick (Urkel… err, Jaleel White). Unfortunately for McCormick, the death toll includes his fiance. Crocosaurus escapes shortly thereafter, stranding Nigel on an island. Finally convinced that Megashark has returned, the US military assigns Special Agent Hutchinson (Sarah Lieving, of “Super Shark” ‘fame’) to turn McCormick and Nigel into a top-notch monster-fighting team under the command of Admiral Calvin (Robert Picardo). Discovering that both Megashark and Crocosaurus gravitate towards Crocosaurus’s eggs, the team lures the beasts from the Atlantic Ocean into the Panama Canal with the intent of containing them. The beasts break free, however, and continue to wreak havoc on the west coast and Hawaii. Will Nigel and McCormick be able to outthink these indestructible monsters, or has humanity breathed its final breath?
In case you had forgotten what sort of movie studio the Asylum is, the trailers on the DVD quickly remind you. Ah yes, how satisfying to know that “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus” rests in the hallowed halls of classic cinema among such tasteful and well-developed masterpieces as “MILF,” “8213: Gacy House,” and “1st Furry Valentine.”
If you haven’t completely blocked it from your mind, you may remember that relationships and character development were some of the few endearing elements that made “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus” bearable. Unfortunately, this film has none of that. Admiral Calvin wants to smoke a cigar, Lt. McCormick lost his fiance to the shark, Nigel doesn’t like authority, and Special Agent Hutchinson owns a pair of binoculars. In the world of the Asylum, this counts for characterization. It’s hard to believe, but every single character in this movie is utterly and completely flat.
Perhaps I’m not being entirely fair. The engineers at the Turkey Point Nuclear Facility do an excellent job hamming it up for the camera. I completely believed that they were little dweebs with limited social skills. In fact, I like to think that all of our nuclear facilities are run by such cute nerdy people as those depicted in the film.
For sharksploitation fans who couldn’t get enough of SeaWorld in “Jaws 3,” “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus” keeps the ball rolling, as Crocosaurus pays a destructive visit to Orlando’s SeaWorld… err, “Mega Park.”
The subject of locations brings us to one of the film’s major faults: sensible continuity. Taken as a whole, the disjointed cinematography, slapdash writing, and erratic pacing all leave the viewer vaguely confused as to what is happening at any given moment. For example, the croc starts in Africa, goes to Florida, and is then lured through the Panama Canal along with Megashark. So far, so good. The creatures battle through the canal and continue battling once they reach the Pacific Ocean. Yet without any transition, someone suddenly says that the creatures are now fighting everywhere that the croc has laid eggs. What? How did Crocosaurus have time to lay eggs on the coast of California while it was constantly shown on screen in the Atlantic Ocean and the Panama Canal? And furthermore, how could it lay eggs during a battle with Mega Shark?
Perhaps the saddest part of this film is that— according to the interviews in the “making of” featurette— the cast seems to think that they have made a good movie. No. “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus” is not a good movie. It is not even a humorously bad movie. It is just awful. Thoroughly and irredeemably awful.
There’s not much to be said for the trailer, either:
Doritos fans, however, might enjoy the movie.
“Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus” is available on Amazon.