The tag-line on the cover of the blu-ray for the latest Roger Corman produce SyFy Chanel sanctioned crap-fest DINOSHARK, states: “Fear What’s Just Below the Surface”. This could be clever if something actually were below the surface, and I don’t just mean the physical ground/water that is obviously being reference here. No, I speak of the surface of the film itself which, as it is, is barely stable let alone in any position to claim that there is anything under it. In other words, DINOSHARK is filled with false promises. I mean, the title alone implies a creature of epic proportions of which a modest SyFy Chanel budget clearly cannot achieve. But that ends up being the least of the film’s problems.
To even attempt to describe this films plot seems futile as it does not really exist. The title basically says it all in one word. This film is about a Dinoshark. That is it. If you came upon this thinking that you would recieve 90 minutes of a half-dinosaur-half-shark creature eating people, well, you’d be about half right. The Dinoshark does exist and it looks as crappy as you would expect considering the source of the film, however, it doesn’t really do much of anything. It comes back from hibernation to apparently eat people, but we don’t see much of this. It basically appears every now and then to remind the viewer that they are in fact watching a film titled DINOSHARK.
The cast here is alright, I mean, it’s not like they can fuck up this material in any way, right? I’ve never been a big fan of Eric Balfour but I dug his part in the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake and he is fine here but he has very little to work with. He interacts with the title creature as convincingly as anyone else would, I imagine, and he fits the part from a physical aspect as he has a lot of running around to do. Actually, I’m pretty sure Balfour spends the majority of this film in motion though I could not really tell why most of the time. His female counterpart, Iva Hasperger, is someone I’m not familiar with yet she was the source of the only moment in the film which elicited a response from me: she is seated at a computer for “research” on the Dinoshark for what feels like ten minutes until, for no apparent reason at all, she decides to remove her shirt and sit back down in her bra. Well, I guess the SyFy Chanel crowd would approve. It is, after all, the most titillating moment of the film.
What is really amazing about all of this is how absolutely rushed it feels. I know that SyFy churn these things out by the dozen but some attention could be paid to continuity. There is no reason why a character’s shirt should change mid sequence or a character who is wearing glasses is suddenly not. Sure, the target demographic for this type of thing is probably not the most discerning viewer base, but give them some respect. This is just lazy and the fact that Roger Corman’s name is attached to it, which was once a stamp of approval for genre film fans, just adds insult to injury.
The blu-ray from Anchor Bay fares better than the film. The transfer is nice and seems to be an adequate representation of a film that is seemingly shot on HD. The detail is strong throughout and the film is always colorful and vibrant. It’s certainly not a demo disc by any means, but it represents its content very well and people who actually like the film should be pleased. The audio was strong though I was only listening in 2.0, I cannot comment on the surround mix for this title. The extras are slim, featuring only a trailer a commentary which features Corman and his wife. I sampled the track and what I heard was far more entertaining than the film and compels me to recommend the disc as a rental for fans of Corman.
DINOSHARK is a failure. It doesn’t just fail as a film in general but also in living up to even the most base promises it proposes. It is not a strong creature feature and even as a SyFy film it is not the cheesy fun that fans have come to expect. In all honesty, and I never thought I would say this, the SyFy releases were better when Corman was not involved. It seriously pains me to say such a thing but that is the truth. Corman, we all know you’re better than this so please get back to producing quality films. And SyFy, we like you better when you are not trying to make “good” films. Go back to doing what you do best and give us the crap we want while at the same time not insulting our intelligence.