Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Amateur Hour: Sharks in Venice (2009)

Summer time always brings out the shark film lover in me, so now seemed a good time to finally check out
Sharks in Venice. Or should I call this film Stephen Baldwin gets a free trip to Venice for being in this film?

Don't look at me like that Steve-o. You know you did this for a free vacation

And while I expected it to be a bad film, I did not expect the enjoyable laugh-fest beginning with the opening scene. By the midway point, this film instantly became one of my favorite comedies of all time. Trust me, when I say this is high...wait for it...larious!

Sharks in Venice
or SIV (sounds like a disgusting venereal disease, right?) begins with some divers on an expedition that get killed by sharks...or should I say shark stock footage. In this particular scene, even though our slaughtered divers in our film are surrounded by complete darkness, the shots of the sharks look like they were filmed in the sunshine-filled oceans of Hawaii.

Stock footage and poor CGI like this create the shark attack sequences

We then head to San Francisco at the Oceanographic Institute, where Stephen Baldwin is lecturing his class on diving. Apparently Baldwin is like a hipper version of Matt Hooper, except his specialty is wreck diving. When one of his students makes a lame comment about his own diving abilities in an attempt to be humorous, Baldwin rips on the kid but then continues to play the kid out over and over again for the next several minutes. Geez Baldwin, let it go and learn to take a joke.

How does it feel, Stevie? This is how I looked after I saw Bio-dome & Threesome

I don't want to spoil any of this masterpiece for you all, but I need to tell you some of my favorite parts that left me in tears:

- The female lead, Vanessa Johannsen, is probably the worst actress on this planet, perhaps the galaxy. Whether she is supposed to be happy or sad or scared, she delivers the same expression every time. It's a funny bugged-eyed expression don't get me wrong, but it is never relevant to what she should be emoting at that particular time. My favorite scene happens early in the film, when she shoots that goofy expression to the blonde female cop. When Johannsen gives the woman this extended look while the camera just remains on a close-up of her, I almost died.

This is the same look you get from her the entire film.

- The sightseeing scenes were obvious like really bad ads for Italy tourism. I'm 100% Italian and want to visit the land of my native roots one day, but I was cringed while Baldwin gave shout-outs to the local landmarks. Must be seen to be understood how ridiculous it all was. Let's just say his emotion will do nothing to help boost the tourism influx into Venice.

"See up there? That's where my big brother's career's at."

- Baldwin yells to a nearby guard: "He's gotta a gun!" Well no shit. Did this guard think that the sound of a firing automatic weapon in the hallway was fireworks or something. And was he not tipped off by the other dead guard he saw before Baldwin screamed this obvious warning? No. He was an idiot and got smoked like a Marlboro red.

- Everyone who has an encounter with a shark is easily mauled and instantly killed...except for Baldwin. He is the only one who gets bitten by a great shark but still has the energy to go on a
Raiders of the Lost Ark-like adventure.

- And then after his
Raiders of the Lost Ark-like adventure, he is mauled by a great white again only to wake up in a hospital with barely a scratch on him. Look at this:

"I had a dream again where I baptized Spencer Pratt"

I could only hope to look half as good after getting into a scrap with a great white!

- Damn does William have some big ass nipples. They just scream through his wet shirt at the very end. Dude pimps his boobage early and often, so brace yourself for that.

See? Real Baldwins have man-boobs!

- Speaking of the end, I nearly pissed myself when they showed the motionless shark fin bobbing up-and-down in the water that looked fake as all hell. Looked like a raft floating in the water when it was supposed to be a shark fin cutting through the water's surface.

I could go on and on all month on just how many funny parts this film has going for it. But alas it time to wrap it up...

The Good:

Scenes like this!

- You have to see the film to know what greatness happens in the above scene only seconds later. This scene sums up all of the wacky shit you will see throughout the film's running time.

- The unintentional comedy that comes at you in a rapid fire-like fashion. See my points above in this review for prime examples.

- This is better than anything The Asylum can put out. These creators know how to do shitty film making the right way. And while it is a bit of a Jaws clone, at least there is some originality to it. Hell, even the terrible script in this flick is light years better than The Asylum's many attempts at screenwriting legitimacy.

The Bad:

- None!

Final Verdict:

I bet you are asking "WTF do you mean there is nothing Bad??!!!", so let me explain. Oh this film is bad alright. Real bad. But no one making this film is taking anything seriously. From the opening frames, I could tell that the creators behind this film knew they were making a low budget crapfest, so they intentionally made it flat out ridiculous...and to great success.

Highly recommended for bad film lovers or shark film completists like myself.
And bonus points if you catch it on SyFy and never drop a penny.


McGriddle Pants said...

I can NOT believe you watched this load of crapola! I worked at a video store when this little beauty came out (around this time last year) and thought... "HOOoooOoooOOOly Shit!"
Maybe i should have 4 or 19 beers and watch it!!

Geof said...

McGriddle - Have 4 and then another 19 beers or have 419 of them either configuration works) and watch this. It's hilariously crappy. And it has "born again" Baldwin. A can't miss!

Kittie Howard said...

What a hoot! That shark in the Venetian canal, LOL! Gonna have a laugh when hub and I ride on that canal in a week or so. Fun review, I so totally get it. Thanks for stopping by!

Planet of Terror said...

This sounds right up my alley! Love me some trash cinema.

Crazy Brunette said...

Yeah, no fucking thanks!

Chuck said...

I will watch this for all the reasons you wife will be gone from the room 5 minutes after it starts! Coz I'm not gonna let her read your review..heh heh heh

Carl (ILHM) said...

The cover alone warrants the view, but I have been meaning to check this one out! I love the crapfest that is SHARK ATTACK, so how can I go wrong here??

Anthony J Langford said...

Hey - that's a great review! It does sound terrible! Now, I'll have to watch it!

Great work man..


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