Monday, January 3, 2011

MEGA SHARK VS. CROCOSAURUS

"Whoever wins... we lose!"

The highly-anticipated (by some people) sequel to The Asylum's nigh-legendary MEGA SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS has recently been unleashed on the world. That's right, MEGA SHARK VERSUS CROCOSAURUS (2010) is on the loose!

The giant, airplane-eating Megalodon shark, which everyone presumed killed in battle with the aforementioned super-cephelapod, reappears and destroys a U.S. Navy battleship. The sole survivor is undersea acoustics expert Dr. Terry McCormick (Jaleel White, "Urkel" of FAMILY MATTERS), who has been experimenting with sonic devices intended to repel sharks. Meanwhile, in the Congo, monster hunter Nigel Putnam (Gary Stretch, BLACK OPS) has somehow (it's not clear) captured a gigantic crocodile. He decides to ship the anesthetized reptile to America (by tying it to the deck with a clothesline), but halfway across the Atlantic, the ship is attacked by the Mega Shark, and the "Crocosaurus" escapes. Soon, Naval commander Robert Picardo recruits the "shark guy" and the "croc guy" to help the military hunt down and destroy the beasts.

If you visit this site regularly, you'll know that I actually enjoy some Asylum films. Unfortunately, MEGA SHARK VS. CROCOSAURUS isn't one of them. I don't mind dumb monster movies, but I do mind insultingly sloppy ones, and Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray (son of exploitation maestro Fred Olen Ray) has delivered 90 minutes of non-sequiturs, cliches, incomprehensible action, and ludicrously stupid characters.

Once again, the Asylum's standing battleship/submarine sets (last seen in 2010: MOBY DICK) get a real workout, and hilariously under-detailed CGI beasties engage in repetitive, nonsensical combat. Sure, there's a few chuckles in seeing the Mega Shark leap hundreds of feet in the air to snag helicopters out of the sky or pummel battleships with its tail, but both creatures constantly - and inexplicably - change size, and manage to squeeze into (and out of) hysterically small spaces and hide in impossibly shallow water so often that you soon realize that the filmmakers really just don't give a shit about what they're doing. Also, would it have hurt somebody involved in the writing to look up crocodiles on Wikipedia? After numerous references to the species' non-existent "shells" and "exoskeleton," it became very difficult to take the film's "crocodile expert" very seriously. Crocs are astoundingly complex and amazing predators - all the made-up crap in the script just emphasizes the filmmakers' laziness and apparent contempt for their audience.

The performances are across-the-board awful, but to be fair, the script offers the cast not a single line of dialogue that actually sounds like it might be spoken by a real human being, nor any consistent character traits or background to build a performance upon. Asylum regular Sarah Lieving (KING OF THE LOST WORLD, INVASION OF THE POD PEOPLE), is lovely to look at, for example, but her character is stoic to the point of being wooden. The less said about Jaleel White, the better.

Oh well. The Asylum's DVD presents MSVSC in a fine, 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with both 2.0 stereo and 5.1 audio mixes. There's the usual behind the scenes featurette, a gag reel, and trailers for other Asylum releases.

As with its predecessor, MEGA SHARK VS. CROCOSAURUS doesn't live up to the promise of its title (or it's cover art), with only a few chuckles to its credit. If you must see it, catch it on the SyFy Channel or rent it; I simply cannot recommend purchasing it unless you're a die-hard Asylum monster movie addict. Even then, I'd suggest thinking twice. (Hopefully, the company's next giant monster opus, MEGA PYTHON VS GATOROID, will be more fun.)

BUY: Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus