11 September 2014

Terror from the Depths: The Shark Part II

Yep that's it for summer folks
Well September's here, that means summer is pretty much done for (unless you're fortunate to live in a part of the country warm enough to get an Indian summer) so that means no more swimming. But there's more shark-filled mayhem to be had from the comforts of your own home and without the risk and peril of winding up lunch.

First up will require you going to the crypt and dusting off the classic grey box that is the original Nintendo Entertainment System for Jaws the game. It's pretty simple, you travel across an overhead view of a body of water before you hit something and have to dive overboard. From there its a fairly simple task of using your speargun to kill the stingrays, jellyfish and occasional small shark and collect the crabs that increase your speed, stars for points and conch shells to upgrade your power level (the only way to kill Jaws) and buy a radar tracker. I thought the game was fun but complicated as hell as a kid, only in my later years would I discover it's simplicity.
Jaws: The Revenge of the LJN Rainbow

The Angry Video Game Nerd however takes a bit of a different opinion... cause well he's the Angry Video Game Nerd. Not the Happy Video Game Nerd:

Or if you'd rather just let dusty corpses lie just watch the full playthrough here:

Next up is a more recent update on Jaws... this time however, you finally get to play as the shark, or Jaws or Bruce if you prefer in Jaws Unleashed:

First couple of turns at the game were difficult considering the full 3D nature of the game... that and getting the angle just so to make an attack or a kill proved difficult... as do some of the level tasks such as obtaining an ID card or flipping a switch. My copy actually glitched and froze on one my initial runs... not sure if that was the game itself or just my copy considering I picked it up used. Need to give it another run to give an accurate report here... even still give it a look or a rent or a borrow if you come across it (surely it couldn't be more than a few bucks at Gamestop if you find it, it didn't perform well in the eyes of critics or gamers alike).

Getting back into the blood and guts of the matter though... there just isn't much in the way of good shark movies... after Jaws 3D came out the same year  I was born (1983) the next 3D shark movie didn't come out until 2011 with Shark Night 3D. I had such high hopes for this one as the premise of sharks attacking teenagers in a lake seemed appealing... but it was so BAD. And usually I give movies like this a wide berth and an open mind... but it was such shit I just couldn't!

Bunch of cannon-fodder teenagers on weekend retreat start getting killed in a random string of shark attacks with seemingly no escape from the toothed terrors. Not Donal Logue (Blade) offering some comic relief could save this one... not even the macho bravado shown by a one-armed spear wielding character talking tough about how he's playing by "Baltimore rules" could help... that and the over CGI sharks just set this movie up for complete and utter failure. Or rather they opened up the door for a veritable wave of godawful (and sort of delightful?) shark films courtesy of the Roger Corman group The Asylum:

First up Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus:
We get this for a DVD cover...

...and Japan get this: Joke's on them I guess

Which features this captivating and heart-wrenching scene at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco...

this amazing feat of Mega Shark strength:

and this gripping epic final battle:

Bad... just bad...but a nice throwback idea to the classic monster movies of the day like Frankenstein meets the Wolfman or King Kong vs Godzilla. The Japanese DVD cover though makes the film look like a proper daikaiju flick though! The giant shark couldn't be kept down since it returns in the next thrilling installment: Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus

...featuring the exact same tagline from Aliens vs Predator!
No one watching a movie sporting this tagline
is bound to win either by watching it
 Starring: Urkel from Family Matters trying to win an Academy Award from The Asylum

We never took him seriously before,
& we still won't after this

The giant shark didn't end of suffocating at the end of the first film and comes back to fight the Crockashitasaurus in this thrilling followup
Here's the best of to save you the time and trouble:

But no no, they didn't stop there. Fans demanded a third movie in which I present: Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark

Displaying mech.jpg
Not sure if homage or direct rip off of Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla...

Hmm why does this seem familiar though... scientifically built mecha monster goes apeshit and launches a full-out attack on the city... where have I seen this before...
Displaying kiryu.jpg
Oh, right. How silly of me to forget
And when the giant mecha shark goes rampaging in the city is about where the film jumps it's own shark and I jump ship... 
On that note however, I leave you with one of my absolute favorite scenes with sharks courtesy of Lucio Fulci's classic Zombie where a topless scuba diver gets caught between a hungry shark and a hungrier zombie, both of which want her for lunch! The music is still creepy to this day: 

It's also my latest t-shirt purchase from Fright-Rags as well!

Artist credit to Jeff Zornow
 So until next time kiddies! Stay safely on shore, the beaches are closed... that is until the next time on Terror from the Depths... coming soon, more whacked out Asylum monster mashup deathmatches, several 80's deep water horror classics and maybe more on Jaws Unleashed... but in the meantime... 

Autumn is coming