Sand Sharks DVD Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Chelsea Films
Directed by Mark Atkins
Written by Cameron Larson
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 86 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 9th January 2012
Gina Holden as Amanda Gore
Corin Nemec as Jimmy Green
Brooke Hogan as Sandy Powers
Vanessa Lee Evigan as Brenda Stone
Nick Hogan as Himself / Celebrity Judge
Julie Berman as Nicky
Hilary Cruz as Erin
It's Jaws on land, but they kept the sharks. A small American beach town is menaced by sand sharks as they prepare for a much-anticipated music festival. They're like regular sharks, except they swim in sand instead of water. A stressed Sheriff and a shark expert attempt to warn off the townspeople before it's too late. And yes, someone does say that they're gonna need a bigger something. In this case, a beach.
Sand Sharks sticks so closely to the template set by Spielberg's masterpiece that it's barely a spoof. Aside from the concept, there are hardly any jokes. It's tongue-in-cheek like a Sy-Fy movie but without the budget. Even the script and actors are sub Sy-Fy – the hokey lines being delivered by the likes of Brooke Hogan, Brianna Evigan's less famous sister and a chubby Bruce Campbell impersonator. “Eat this, you sand of a bitch!” cries Brooke Hogan, in one of countless sand-related puns. The obligatory Quint stand-in gives the closest the film has to a good performance, delivering a sozzled cross between Rutger Hauer and Burgess Meredith.
It's hard to criticise a movie called Sand Sharks without coming across as a bit of a grump. Clearly, this is not a film to be taken seriously. And there's certainly some amusement to be had in seeing shark fins speeding around in the sand, circling their prey. An early scene in which a man is buried in the sand by his girlfriend looks terrible but raises a few chuckles. The opening sequence, reminiscent of Eight Legged Freaks sets the tone; a pair of dirt bikers zoom around in the sand, only to be devoured by an angry sand shark. And as Ride Of The Valkyries plays over the finale, Sand Sharks proves a hard movie to properly dislike.
But beyond that, there's little to actually enjoy. With its ultra-low budget, Sand Sharks can't afford much more than the briefest glimpses of its creatures. The rest of the movie is made up of horrible acting and dialogue that's even worse. The novelty soon wears off in seeing the monsters jumping out of the sand to grab a bite out of passing beach-goers. It's like the scene in Deep Blue Sea where Samuel L Jackson is snapped up, repeated over and over and over again. The climactic beach party promises a massacre of Piranha 3D proportions, but there are all of twenty people at the supposedly thousand-strong “party.” With no gore or nudity, it even fails as an exploitation piece. A man runs around in circles singing “row row row your boat”, undoing any of the goodwill earned by the Ride Of The Valkyries montage only moments beforehand.
Irony can only get a movie so far. There are not enough jokes for the movie to function as a spoof nor enough action to make it a proper creature feature. They're gonna need a better film.
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