Film: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
An Exactly What It Says on the Tin
movie, clearly aiming for Cool Versus Awesome
. Whether it reaches it is up to you.
A prehistoric giant octopus
and a Megalodon
shark have been frozen in an Alaskan glacier
for millions of years when they're suddenly freed by illegal sonar experiments / a panicked pod of whales / a crashing helicopter / global warming / ice melting due to the proximity of a Hot Scientist
in a minisub — it's not clear which. They immediately take up where they left off — eating everything in, on, and even above the ocean in order to fuel their vast bulk. Two Hot Scientists
, a Professor
and a Jerk Ass Man In Black
— aided by the US and Japanese
navies — team up to combat this undersea menace
As with most Asylum
films, the action sequences are few, and rely on terrible CGI, but the writing and acting are dramatic enough to endear it to some fans, particularly those of the Kaiju
Followed by Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus
, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark
and Mega Shark vs the Kolossus
(which is The Mockbuster
to Attack on Titan
, with the title opponent being a Humongous Mecha
version of the Colossal Titan)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, on Cinemassacre, has reviewed this movie in "Top 40 Shittiest Shark Movies."
It seems to have spawned a subgenre of its own, as there are now several other films of the "Mega [Insert Animal Name]" variety, including Mega Python vs. Gatoroid
. The two animals were even merged in Sharktopus
, by another studio.
The movie contains examples of:
- Acrophobic Bird: An Air Force pilot tries to avoid this trope, but is ordered to fly lower by the Jerk Ass The Men in Black. He dies, naturally.
- America Saves the Day: Averted as both the United States and Japan co-operate to destroy the monsters, presumably due to Japan's extensive experience in this area.
- Artistic License – Biology: Let's leave aside how a 50-ton shark can leap high enough to catch an airliner flying at who knows how many miles-an-hour (and know exactly when to jump in order to snatch it out of the air). The scientist main characters play up the standard idea in films that only insensitive ecological morons would kill such wondrous creatures, and insist that they will only help if the military promises only to capture the monsters. They ignore the fact that feeding these things would require the destruction of most of the ecological systems of Earth.
- Artistic License – Military: Military default is not nuking. Military default is minimum effort for maximum effect. Nuking is last resort. Which is why they're not considered a conventional solution.
- Artistic License – Physics: Aside from the megashark sea-to-air missile, there's the minisub that somehow races ahead of a predator traveling at "jet speed". Research subs are about as agile as tortoises, and move at speeds that couldn't outrun a kayak, let alone a jet. Or a perfectly ordinary shark, for that matter.
- Artistic License – Ships: Stock Footage of an Iowa-class battleship is identified as a destroyer. This makes the subsequent scene where the megalodon is attacking it even more ridiculous. Made worse when the "destroyer" fires its deck guns, the camera follows the rounds as they somehow manage to travel horizontally under the water. Also, the ridiculously wimpy visual and sound effects when the guns are fired. This is what a broadside of 16-inch guns looks/sounds like!
- Big "NO!": What the Air Force pilot screams instead of trying to avoid the giant tentacle that is about to swat his fighter from the air.
- One that continues to sound even after the jet had been destroyed by said tentacle.
- Dolled-Up Installment: A lesser-known shark movie from around the same time called Malibu Shark Attack was later re-titled Megashark In Malibu for DVD release. That's right - someone out there wanted to ride the coattails of this film.
- Double Standard / Positive Discrimination: At one point the Asian scientist makes a Too Soon joke about Hurricane Katrina. Not long after, the MIB agent says he can commit Hari-Kari if he doesn't want to work with them. Guess who the female protagonist says is horrible?
- Eureka Moment: After having sex the Hot Scientists realise pheromones are the key. To capturing the monsters, that is.
- Fatal Family Photo: "I'm getting married in two days", said by the Holy Shit Guy just seconds before his plane is eaten by a giant prehistoric flying shark.
- Genre Blind: Never EVER tell someone you're getting married in two days when you're in a plane above the ocean. This is made even worse by the fact that he had no reason or lead-in to say it AT ALL.
- Giant Equals Invincible: It's a kaiju film. Comes standard.
- The sequel proves Mega Shark's immunity to depth charges, as it swims through a phalanx of explosions and only gets annoyed.
- Helicopter Flyswatter: Uses the standard version when the octopus swats a fighter plane, and takes it far beyond credibility when the shark leaps 30,000 feet up to nom an airliner.
- Hollywood Tactics: The navy fires deck guns at their undersea opponents, instead of using depth charges or anti-submarine missiles.
- Hot Scientist: Clearly what they were going for, but both our protagonists are sort of plain-looking at best.
- Idiot Ball: Luring two giant sea monsters towards heavily populated cities so they can be captured. Yeah, right.
- Jerk Ass: The pony-tailed, misogynist and equal-opportunity racist The Men in Black Allan Baxter. Surprisingly he avoids becoming an Asshole Victim, though a "Making Of" clip on the DVD implies it was written in at one stage.
- Laser Sight: When the soldiers burst into his house, The Professor gets one dot on the head and another over his heart (despite the fact that both rifles are pointing at his chest). Do they think he's going to attack them with a megalodon tooth?
- Made of Iron: The megalodon's teeth chomp through planes, bridges and warships with impunity.
- The Men in Black: Seen standing with blatant obviousness on the beach, as the female scientist examines a beached whale. At least they avoided an Incredibly Obvious Tail in a black van — the scientist only thinks the feds are following her.
- No Budget: In so very many ways. The Sinister Government Agency is always guarded by the same guy. All the naval hardware is stock footage. Location shooting at a powerplant serves for a ship, a lab, and a Sinister Government Agency. And (as noted below) they got their money's worth out of the effects shots.
- Nuke 'em: The Army (well, one jerk with a ponytail) wants to do this, but is opposed by the scientists. Think of the damaged ecosystem! The risk to the population! The tsunamis! Much of which could have been avoided by not luring these monsters into shallow water near populated areas.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The movie review site Braineater counted how long the shark and/or octopus are on screen. End count? Including cutaways during their brief battle, five minutes and twenty seconds - cut by a third if you exclude repeated footage. Worse yet, half the footage is repeated from earlier in the film. There are, perhaps, five unique effects shots of the title characters.
- Screen Shake: Seen during the Hot Sub On Squid/Shark Action. Not everyone shakes in unison.
- Sea Monster / Giant Octopus / Megalodon. And a giant croc in the sequel.
- Sequel Hook: On being shown infra-red photographs of an unseen something in the North Sea, the protagonists rush off to their next adventure.
- Shout-Out: "It rises!" (seen here at 0:28). Which was a surprisingly cool Shout-Out to the 1956 Moby-Dick.
- Space Whale Aesop: Insert the requisite Green Aesop where it's suggested that TV dinner monsters are Nature's way of getting back at us for global warming. Fortunately it's only a single line so we can get on with the movie.
- Stock Footage: Of naval warships, aircraft, and a dockyard which we're supposed to believe is a Japanese maximum security prison. A shot of two guards passing each other gets reused as well.
- The truth of it is, every single shot with SFX in it is repeated at least five times in both this film, and its sequel.
- Sunglasses at Night: Worn by The Men in Black soldiers guarding the scientists, even in poorly-lit laboratories and interrogation rooms.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The monsters have a strange desire to eat metal objects like jet planes, oil rigs, warships, and the Golden Gate Bridge. When the protagonists come up with a Takes One to Kill One plan, the monsters are described as having an obsessive hatred for each other that makes them Duel to the Death, instead of merely trying to drive a rival for its food source out of its territory.
- Technicolor Science: Seen in the Hard Work Montage, which involves large amounts of pouring liquids from test tubes into larger test tubes. All of these liquids are colored. Later they come up with the idea of making pheromones, so it's back to the lab. More colored chemicals are poured. When the mixture glows, the scientists know they've succeeded.
- Tempting Fate: You never tell the flight attendant you're going to be married in two days, because you just know a giant prehistoric shark will leap 30,000 feet into the air to chomp your Boeing 747! I mean, it's just common sense, right?
- Versus Title
The first sequel contains examples of:
- Deadline News: A news copter is reporting on the carnage when the crocasaurus swats it out of the sky.
- Mama Bear: The Crocodile is extremely protective of her eggs and young. The explanation the two monsters are fighting is the shark is attracted to the cherping sound emitted by the eggs and the Croc is fighting to defend them. They even come to her aid when she's in trouble.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Had one of the heroes not had the bright idea of bringing the Crocodile and her eggs back from the jungle, she'd probably never have been a threat.
The second sequel contains examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: After getting hit a few too many times the Mecha Shark goes rampant in Sydney. Yes, in Sydney, it has extendable tank treads. However, subverted with Nero himself, the drone mode takes control away from him and once it's deactivated he is once again on the good side.
- Animal Nemesis: Admiral Engleberg has a special hatred for the megalodon because it killed his brother. It gets him too during the battle of Sydney, but not before he gets to drop a lot of bombs on it and even shoot at it with his handgun.
- Artificial Intelligence: The Mecha Sharks are assisted by an AI named Nero.
- Attack Reflector: The megalodon has a nasty tendency to smash away torpedoes fired at it, never with pleasant consequences for the US navy.
- Call Back: The infamous Flying Seafood Special scene from the first film is referenced on the front page of a newspaper in a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
- Flying Seafood Special / Helicopter Flyswatter : Like in the first film the megalodon goes for an airplane, but this time the Mecha Shark tackles it out of the sky just in time to save the plane.
- Giant Squid: A couple of Architeuthis physeteris attack the Mecha Shark Mk.I during its test run, but it's not treated as a serious danger and they are easily repelled.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Heather, the ANN reporter, is determined to cover all about the megalodon story. It doesn't end all too well as she ends up in front of the out-of-control Mecha Shark.
- Human Popsicle: Like its predecessors this megalodon is also frozen in ice when the movie begins, and is released as the chunk of ice it's in is being towed to Alexandria to help out with a drought.
- Humongous Mecha: The titular Mecha Sharks are piloted, AI-assisted, and heavily armed versions of the megalodon.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Transitions to other parts of the worlds are done by zooming out on a map and then zooming in on the new location.
- Monumental Damage:
- The initial megalodon attack in Alexandria's harbor sends a boat flying into the Great Sphinx (hundreds of miles away in Giza), shattering its head.
- During the battle for Sydney, the Mecha Shark is knocked into the Opera House.
- Orbital Shot: The shot of Mike and Rosie embracing at the end does this to a dizzying degree.
- Running Gag: Every time Jack starts telling an anecdote about his father, he gets interrupted.
- Shock and Awe: The Mecha Sharks have an "Eel Skin" ability that, when online, shocks anything touching the hull.
- The Stinger: Mike thinks he can finally get away with lighting a cigarette. Nope.
- Tank Goodness: When the Mecha Shark goes rogue, it unfolds tank treads and goes on a murderous rampage in Sydney.
- Time Lapse: Used several times to establish time passing for everyday people in Sydney.
- Your Size May Vary: Most flagrant when the out-of-control mechashark's mouth shifts from a few feet across when it tries to eat the little girl to several yards across when it's rolling through Sydney's main streets. It's blatantly-obvious that they switched between the small model mechashark and the larger CGI-or-model-mouth version.