Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
By: Devon B. on August 13, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Lions Gate (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. English, Spanish Subtitles. 94 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: David Worth
Starring: John Barrowman, Jenny McShane, Ryan Cutrona, George Stanchev,
Pavlin Kemilev
Screenplay: Scott Devine, William Hooke
Music: Bill Wandel
Tagline: The Terror Has Surfaced
Country: USA
Maybe it's a flaw in my character, but there is no way I can pass up a movie about a megalodon (a giant prehistoric shark). Much to the dismay of my significant other, I therefore had to rent Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. My character needs re-evaluation.

Megalodon is real heavy on plot. A resort is terrorized by a baby megalodon (mostly played by documentary footage of white pointers) that has risen from the depths of the ocean to eat their guests. Some people try to stop it. Way earlier than expected, the babe's taken out during a scene only slightly reminiscent of Jaws' ending. The baby shark bursts through the boat's side, though the boat manages to stay afloat somehow. The hero, frustrated at the problems the shark's caused, takes a baseball bat to the side of the very fake looking shark head while screaming, "Die! Goddamn it, die!" Witty dialog up there with Tarantino's…The heroine then tries to outdo Mr. Scheider's legendary one-liner by saying "You're extinct, fucker" before doing the shark in. Movie over? Of course not, we need the big megalodon to show up 'fore we can roll credits.

Megalodon doesn't just borrow the idea of a man-eating shark from Jaws, it mimics a whole bunch of other things from that series. The shark growls, which was stupid in Jaws: The Revenge. The score and opening underwater tracking shot owe a lot to Spielberg's movie. The intro attack had been done better in the 70s. The water-skiing incident from Jaws 2 has been updated to parasailing, the shot of a severed leg sinking is nicked directly from Jaws, and worst of all, the fake shark head pulls backwards like in Jaws. I thought no one'd do that pull back again; it looks so ridiculous. Why didn't Megalodon's creators steal the good elements of Jaws instead?

Okay, they did get one good idea from Spielberg: the use of actual footage of great whites. I guess this is a hallmark of the Shark Attack series, and I much prefer it to CG. I must give 'em credit, the stock footage is well used, with aspects of the story obviously written around existing footage. I suspect some of the footage was doctored electronically though, unless someone was making a documentary on shooting at sharks that Megalodon's producers got film from. Except for one scene that gets really confusing because evidently there were supposed to be two different types of shark, the stock footage is used well, though somewhat jarring against the main film's stock. The larger megalodon that turns up at the end appears to be a CG composite of an enlarged, real shark most of the time. Evidently all the available white pointer footage was used on the baby megaladon, because the bigger shark has to be put on screen via the same footage of it breaching the surface recycled over and over and over. In the climax, the big shark's shown underwater by CGI, and it's not great looking, but not as atrocious as I'd expect on a low budget film like this.

The thing most likely to scare the viewer isn't the giant fishies, anyway, it's TERRIBLE performances by the human cast. Every fucking cast member in this reeks up the screen. Their appalling performances don't help to cover up the fact that they're playing cookie-cut "cool" characters that spout typically annoying dialogue, much of which is badly ADRed. And why are these people going through such an effort to kill this huge shark when the story makes it seem that many more may be called up?

Watch for the magic parasailer who can alternate between stuck underwater by her chute and being above the surface from shot to shot.
Video
The DVD presents the film at 1.85:1. The film suffers some speckling and compression artefacts, and the quality of the film can vary due to the mismatched film stock of the inserts. The footage actually shot for the film isn't as bad as the inserts, but still can look dodgy in the underwater bits that have large sections of black and blue.
Audio
The audio is a pretty shoddy 2.0 mix. The ADRed lines are pretty annoying, and there was no credence given to the idea that those close up should be louder to those way in the distance.
Extra Features
The trailer.
The Verdict
Megalodon is not a good movie, and the disc leaves a lot to be desired. It's okay for a shit hanging session, but anyone looking for quality entertainment needs to look elsewhere.
Movie Score
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