MostFamousDavid. Director: David Elliott.
Creature Feature Bleachers Award: Most Intriguing Backstory.
Though “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” was never made, I believe it deserves a place in the sharksploitation canon. The film’s 10-month production history is far more intriguing than the plots of many of the shark films we’ve seen so far. Even I don’t have all the answers when it comes to “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs.” The biggest and least answerable question is, “Which of the people involved with this film actually thought that it would be made?” I state that honestly and without joking. Read on, and you’ll see why.
First things first, here is the pitch for the film (note: this week’s review incorporates many videos, but this is the most important one):
A little context: “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” is the brainchild of Internet “celebrity” David Elliot, who pitched the idea in early 2008. David wanted to break into Hollywood, and thought that generating vehicles for himself would be the best way to do it. As you can see, “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” is the “fo[u]rth” such idea he had. I won’t devote much time to the other three, but to give you a sense, his proposed film “Parody Parody Parody” would involve him directly repeating lines from parody films, but with a “very smug” look on his face. As David points out, “Parody Parody Parody” would be very cheap to make because he would be the only actor and the script would be taken entirely from other movies.
By comparison, “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” looks like a work of pure genius. Think about it; the shark can function on land not only because it has snakes for legs, but also because it’s a zombie and doesn’t need to breathe. All the angles are covered. The ridiculousness of this and the other film pitches may cause you to think that David is joking about the whole thing. I mean, it’s hard not to laugh when he says he will play Corporal Lance Buckshot, handsome leader of the Cyber Ninja U.S. Marine Squad, or when he claims that the film will appeal to anyone who likes SyFy, zombies, snakes, sharks, or American soldiers.
I’ve finally decided that the whole “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” project is David’s hoax, but it is not a conclusion I make lightly. After all the terrible sharksploitation films I’ve seen, it’s hard to tell what a studio might actually make. Furthermore, throughout David’s myriad videos about “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs,” he maintains the exact same composure and style of delivery. He sounds genuine, if a bit off his rocker. David eventually claimed that his Internet exploits (including videos refuting evolution and explaining why he won’t show his private parts online) were an attempt at parodying Internet celebrities. And, at one point, his website even redirected you to the Wikipedia article on satire. Still, David’s dedication to the role of “obnoxious, fame-hungry, talentless YouTube celebrity” is remarkable. If I didn’t know he was joking, I would think he was merely delusional.
The tipping piece of evidence against his sincerity is the letter he received from the Queen:
Notice how he stops reading and starts improvising when he gets to the part about the Queen financing the film? That finally convinced me he was joking. Other people, however, believed him and responded to his casting call:
Yes, he claims to have a six million dollar budget. Somewhat suspicious, n’est-ce pas? Yet the idea of an entirely Internet-cast film is intriguing, and I could see it possibly taking off at some point in the future. Obviously it didn’t happen in this case. My question is, how many of the people applying actually thought that the film would be made?
Did this guy?:
Did this kid? (caution: loud):
Did this girl?:
That’s perhaps the most pathos-filled part of “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs”: the aspiring actors who actually believed the film had a chance of getting made. I highly doubt that “Hector” the supposed Hollywood backer, really existed, let alone offered six million dollars to the project. I don’t think David seriously considered making the film, either. But I do believe that the majority of these audition tapes are from people who genuinely wanted to be in the movie. Though I would have ridiculed their sub-par performances in “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs,” I feel a little bad that their dreams were crushed.
Okay, this guy knew what was up:
Still, “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” was not to be. In a somewhat lengthy video titled “Bad news for now,” David explains that the film probably can’t be made. For one thing, he states, “The financier really has some very strange ideas for the film”— perhaps a reference to the sex scenes that “Hector” supposedly wanted to include. David then rails against haters, YouTube, and the fact that “maybe” 10 people out of the 50 or 60 who auditioned met his standards for the film. He then basically tells everyone to get acting lessons. Not a particularly auspicious end to what could have been a great movie.
Still, the entire “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” phenomenon provided some good entertainment. I highly recommend watching a few of the other audition tapes and David’s progress updates (see link below). Be sure to check out the lyrics of the “Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” theme song, at the 3:20 mark of this video:
Quality writing right there. “And who else? Oh, Sophia Brixton. She’s a real woman no zombie picks on. Voluptuous, intelligent too, And did you know that she knows Kung Fu?” Furthermore, I appreciate that the film takes place in Chicago, although one of the auditions oddly stated that the Mayor “Doley” character was going to be a Republican.
“Zombie Shark with Snakes for Legs” can best be viewed by flipping through MostFamousDavid’s YouTube account.