Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DINOSHARK

In the admittedly dubious tradition of DINOCROC and SHARKTOPUS, Roger Corman presents his latest SyFy Channel "Original".... DINOSHARK (2010), a pseudo-remake of his 1979 prehistoric fish tale, UP FROM THE DEPTHS.

 The plot is simple and familiar: a prehistoric predator is released from the melting Polar ice, and makes its way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where it begins sating its formidable appetite on surfers, skin-divers and low-flying parasailers. A fishing boat captain, an attractive lady science teacher, and a marine biologist that happens to be an expert on extinct species (portrayed by Roger Corman, himself) are the only ones who can hunt down and destroy the creature. (Ever notice that in most modern monster flicks, the authorities/military rarely even try to go after the beasties, leaving the monster-killing to the amateurs?)

Capably directed by visual FX artist Kevin O'Neill (who also helmed the aforementioned DINOCROC), this isn't a bad little time waster, and certainly more fun than its Corman-produced Puerto Vallarta companion feature, SHARKTOPUS. While the plot isn't any more original, it plays a bit better, mostly because O'Neill manages to maintain a consistent tone and a steady pace. The cinematography by Eduardo Torres is lush, colorful and nicely exploits/showcases the Mexican locations, while the score by Cynthia Brown is quite lively and effective.

The likable cast, led by Eric Balfour (SKYLINE, HELL RIDE) and pretty Iva Hasperger, is decent, and the toothy, aquatic saurian is nicely designed and animated by Flat Earth Productions. Like its SyFy Channel cronies MEGA SHARK and MEGA PIRANHA, the Dinoshark likes to leap from the waves to snatch victims from the air on occasion, and has the uncanny ability to completely submerge its massive bulk in about a foot and half of surf... but what the hell, why not?

Anchor Bay brings DINOSHARK to DVD with a dino-sharp 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and crystal-clear Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Producers Roger & Julie Corman are joined by director O'Neill for an informative audio commentary, and the trailer is provided.

Derivative and predictable, DINOSHARK is still somewhat better than your average SyFy original, and actually provides some undemanding entertainment. If you dig these monster fish stories and missed this one on TV, you may want to give it a rental when it's released in a couple of weeks.

BUY: Dinoshark