How do you make a bad shark movie worse? Put some hillbillies in it, with the usual non-acting young people and you’ve got yourself a Really Bad shark movie. And then there is the Rap. Yes, a Rap.
The splash of JAWS still sends waves into movies today. Most of them can’t compare, but the tropes that the classic Spielberg movie set up are a must for even the worst of shark films. This film feels no embarrassment by starting out with the bikini wearing young chick swimming alone and getting attacked by a shark while the boyfriend is off somewhere drunk or asleep. The only thing is, why is this cliché first victim being attacked by a shark in a lake?
Cut to our crew of would be college students getting ready for a trip to the outdoors. Sara Palski (Sara Paxton?) happens to have a family house right by the lake. A couple jocks, a jock girlfriend, a prankster, a slightly trampy chick, a nerdy med student and our heroine make for nice group of sacrificial shark bait.
Not to spoil this tooth and fin charmer, but the fun starts out with the group meeting one of the Sara’s old acquaintances. A lake town local that doesn’t like college students, or people of color for that matter. Actually, it was his toothless greesy looking friend that was the outright racist. Nothing like an extra bit of hate to spell out the antagonists. And if that wasn’t enough, he had to scare to prove it.
The first real death comes soon after. A shark was going after the black guy named Malik while he was water skiing. Bet you think they were going to pull the old ‘black guy gets it first’ thing? Nope. His hispanic girlfriend Maya was the one that became fish food. Malik did lose an arm though. Everyone is in shock, but the med student saves the jock. When one arm awakes he tells the group it was a shark. They tell him Maya, whom he was going to marry, didn’t make it. Now here is an interesting and atypical thing about the actors playing the jocks. The whole ‘support my fellow teammate’ dialog was actually the most emotional scene in the film. I would say that Sinqua Walls and Chris Zylka (as the two jocks) had the best acted scene in the whole movie, besides the racist lake townies.
I think you might have guessed how the sharks are getting into the lake, but in case you haven’t, I’ll keep it a secret if you decide to watch the movie.
Veteran Stuntman turned Director David R. Ellis (FINAL DESTINATION 2, SNAKES ON A PLANE) directed the film. Will Hayes Jesse Studenberg were the writers. It also starred Alyssa Diaz as the first real victim Maya, Dustin Milligan as the hero med guy, Chris Carmack as the bitter bad guy Dennis, and Joshua Leonard as racist Red.
Why should you watch this b-movie? Where else are you going to see pretty young people, hillbillies, lake sharks, a one-armed black guy kill a hammerhead with a harpoon (though it looked like a spear) and a rap performed by ALL the young actors at the end of the film? Huh? That’s right, no where. And if you are expecting the usual underwater nude shots that these kinds of films always have, well it’s PG-13, so you won’t get much of that. Actually, that might make it a good horror for a younger audience. There is just lots of discovery channel shark footage and people splashing in red dyed water, and two well acting jock buddies. It’s not such a horrible movie that you might get a laugh out of it. But then again, now that you’ve been warned, you might look at it in a different way.
No rating for SHARK NIGHT. What’s the point of rating a B-Movie when you know it’s a B-Movie? All of them get 2 COSMIC AFROS or less.