Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast DVD Review

Written by TGM

DVD released by Independent Entertainment



Written and directed by Sam Qualiana
2011, NTSC, 80 minutes, Rated R
DVD released February 19th, 2013

Sam Qualiana as Mike Evans
Michael O'Hear as Professor Jonathan Hoffman
Jackey Hall as Daphne
C.J. Qualiana as Sheriff Donald Chapman
Kathy Murphy as Wendy



There are some concepts that are so spectacularly awesome while simultaneously perfect in their simplicity and design that you kick yourself for not thinking of it on your own sooner.  Post-It Notes. Sliced bread. The Clapper. The spork.  Fleshlights.   And now you can add Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast to that list.  A fucking shark that lives in the forest and “swims” under snow banks, lunging upwards from the frozen tundra, terrorizing the dopey bumpkin town folk by feasting on their meaty bits.  Brilliant.  Unfortunately, the brilliance stops at the concept stage. 

Clearly, obviously, indubitably, every shark movie ever made steals something from Spielberg’s Jaws, and Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast is no exception.  From the dipshit mayor who’d rather stick his head in the sand (snow?) and minimize the threat, to the curmudgeonly townie who survived a prior run-in with the blood-thirsty creature, a stereotypical town hall meeting where the local yokels get a chance to look indignant and confused, a pre-finale showdown “let’s get drunk before we likely die” montage, an obligatory “lets compare scars” scene, oh, and  throw a poor man’s Captain Ahab in for good measure.  I will, however, admit to being greatly disappointed with lack of scenes involving chum or bobbing yellow barrel buoys.  If you’re going to borrow from Jaws, you might as well go all in.


Thanks to industry “leaders” like The Asylum and the SyFy channel, it has been quite a busy couple of years for sharks.  2-Headed Shark Attack’s, sharks swept up in whirling Sharknado’s, Dinoshark versus Sharktopus’,  and now Independent Entertainment adds forest dwelling sharks buried beneath the snow.   The popularity of sharks in film is an obvious one.  Sharks evoke an ingrained, almost pre-programmed, primal fear that most of us harbor.  They’ve been around since the time of the dinosaur, and they can fuck up your day in an instant without blinking an eye.  Personally, sharks terrify the ever living shit out of me.  I cannot think of a worse way to die than to be torn apart by row upon row of razor-sharp teeth from the world’s most efficient killing machine.  It is for that reason and that reason alone that I tend to respect all shark movies, regardless of its overall entertainment or production value, at least to some extent.  But respect can only go so far.

In the hierarchy of cinematic history, there are mega-budgeted blockbusters, middle of the road financed chick flicks, low-budget indie darlings, micro-budget horror, and then there is Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast, a film that I am convinced was made for $24.76.  Look, only the world’s biggest asshole would sit here and rip apart a film that was made for virtually nothing.  These productions don’t have the luxury to hire seasoned actors and special effects masterminds, so criticizing these particular aspects would be both ignorant and futile. They make films with cardboard fins, and sweat, and suspect acting, and tears, and buckets of fake blood, and awful CGI, and duct tape, and heart, desperately trying to convert a turd into the most beautifully polished turd that they can.  And for the most part the producers of Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast succeed, but please don’t misconstrue my praise. This movie is bad, real bad, but in all the most awesome ways possible.  


Video and Audio:

The 16x9 anamorphic video and 2.0 channel Dolby audio are neither offensive nor particularly noteworthy.   


Special Features:

There are a tremendous amount of extras on this release, including the original short that inspired the film, two other unrelated shorts, six minutes of outtakes, a twenty-five minute behind the scenes featurette, a commentary track, and trailers.



Movie: 1.5 Stars
Video: 2.5 Stars
Audio: 2.5 Stars
Features: 4 Stars
Overall: 2 Stars

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