2012/01/03 17:39:10 UTC by Steph Howard

Roger Corman Triple Review: Dinoshark, Sharktopus, Dinocroc vs. Supergator

Why does anyone love to watch terrible movies? Maybe we’re drawn in by the bad acting or we wonder why someone like David Carradine was in Dinocroc vs. Supergator. It could be because we want to watch an preposterous concept like Sharktopus, and we hope that just this once, it will actually be a masterpiece. For me, I’m always waiting for the creature reveal. When it comes to recent Roger Corman releases, you can bet on a spectacle of the fantastic and absurd.

With nearly 400 titles under his belt as a producer, Roger Corman is the king of B-movies. While Corman’s monster films might not be for everyone, you can’t deny that he has played a significant role in the horror genre. His work in horror spans decades, bringing us classics like Piranha, The Little Shop of Horrors (1965), and The Terror. Of Course, the movies included in this review won’t be on any classics list, but they showcase what makes an enjoyable B-movie: an outrageous concept, plenty of blood and intentional, or unintentional, comedy.

Dinoshark

Just when we thought our global warming situation couldn’t become more dire, a glacier melts, reanimating and releasing prehistoric shark pups. Three years later, one of these creatures has found itself in Puerto Vallarta. Without any natural enemies and an armor plated body, there’s nothing to stop this Dinoshark from wreaking havoc on the locals and tourists. When no one believes that this creature is real, it’s up to local boat operator, Trace McGraw (Eric Balfour), to take down this beast. Will he be able to succeed backed only by the power of vengeance, a speargun, and a hot blonde?

Dinoshark follows the basic premise of any super-species movie, but why fix what isn’t broken? As unrealistic as it seems, the plot of the film probably isn’t that far from what would happen in reality. Seriously, who’s going to believe that a frozen dinosaur is going to come back to life? So, when a man cries “dinoshark,” who would listen to him? Beyond that scenario, though, Dinoshark tries to stick too closely to the classic Jaws story-line, and that’s where it all goes wrong. When a monster movie, especially one dealing with a “dinoshark,” tries to take itself seriously, it’s a recipe for failure.

Fitting with the overall feeling of the film, the monster itself is a bit lackluster. The Dinoshark seems like an afterthought. Mashing the generic T-Rex head onto a shark body sticks to the movie’s title, but there were so many other directions that the creators could have taken.

I would not recommend this film for first time creature feature viewers, because in the sea of wonderfully awful monster movies, Dinoshark is less than average. For a die-hard Corman fan, or someone who considers themselves an aficionado of creature movies, this would be tolerable if there wasn’t anything else on. Why waste your time on an unimaginative feature, when there are so many other options?

The disc includes commentary from producers Roger and Julie Corman and director Kevin O’Neill, as well as a trailer.

Film score: 1/5   Disc Score: 2/5

Dinocroc vs. Supergator

Greed causes technological experiments to shift from agriculture to animal weaponry and no one on the island of Kauai is safe. Two top secret creatures grow within the walls of Biotech, but they become too big to stay enclosed, so they burst through the walls and go on a carnivorous rampage. When bullets and explosives can’t tame these beasts, it seems that the only thing that can stop the eating frenzy is a mortal battle between the Dinocroc and the Supergator. But, what happens after the fight is over, and there’s still one creature left standing?

Dinocroc vs Supergator represents what I think the quintessential creature-feature should be: two brutes are unleashed on the unsuspecting public, and the only way to stop them is to make them throw down. While this seems very Godzilla vs. Mothra, it’s the ride that the viewer goes on that makes all the difference. Between the stereotypically cheesy acting, the story-line, and moments of CGI buffoonery, I found myself laughing hard enough for tears to stream down my cheeks several times. Though the plot was too far-fetched to believe, even for a monster movie, I truly enjoyed this film. My favorite character from the film has to be Charlie Swanson (John Callahan); he is the perfect mix of a bumbling father and Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami.

My biggest complaint about the film is that the battle scene between the beasts is terribly weak. Without giving too much away, all I can say is that the scene didn’t last nearly long enough. For a movie titled Dinocroc vs. Supergator, I expected monumental warfare and I was left completely unsatisfied by its execution. Beyond the battle disappointment, I would recommend this film to fans of the genre, and maybe even to a few brave newcomers. To truly enjoy this film, you need to remember that it’s ok to laugh at it.

The disc extras include commentary with director Jim Wynorski and a trailer.

Film Score 1.5/5  Disc Score: 2/5

Sharktopus

When a father/daughter scientist team mix a shark and an octopus, they had visions of a well controlled military weapon. Trained to respond to electrical impulses, “sharktopus” was a dream come true, that is, until it slipped its leash. When this creature is free to do as it pleases, all it wants to do is kill. Now it’s up to the monster’s creators to find a way to regain control before it’s too late.

Of the three films, Sharktopus was the most fun to watch. Even though there were one or two serious moments, the movie felt like it was made in a lighter manner than the previous two. With the over the top acting, absurd scenarios, and the purely ludicrous death scenes, it’s easier for a viewer to enjoy Sharktopus. Instead of heading down a botched serious path, like Dinoshark, Sharktopus adds an extra twinge of levity to the standard creature movie. Between trying to keep up with Nathan Sands’ (Eric Roberts) spiraling emotions and wrapping your brain around the creature, you’ll find yourself laughing in scenes that would make you cringe in other films, and ultimately, this is what makes Sharktopus my favorite of the three.

The one aspect of Sharktopus that I can’t rave about was the actual look of the creature. In Dinoshark and Dinocroc vs. Supergator the creatures looked plausible, if not too cautiously designed. However, with Sharktopus, even though the designers pushed the boundary of what this hybrid disaster would look like, the creature ended up being the worst of the three films. Instead of looking like a ferocious shark with menacing tentacles, the creature looked like a blue “Bullet Bill” with eight legs glued on. The ridiculous look to the creature does add to the comedic value of the film, though. Besides, I’m sure if I ever met Sharktopus in person, it’d be scary enough.

I would recommend Sharktopus to all viewers. Whether you’ve seen every Roger Corman monster movie, or you’ve never seen anything within the genre, you will have fun watching this movie so long as you keep an open mind. Obviously there will be viewers that will despise Sharktopus, but if you just take the movie for what it is, you’ll have at least a few laughs.

Special features for the disc include a trailer and audio commentary with producers Roger and Julie Corman.

Film Score 1.5/5     Disc Score: 2/5

These three films are made to be hilarious, mindless entertainment. For horror purists, this sect of cinema might seem sacrilegious for its satire and willingness to poke fun at itself. However, for anyone who likes a little comedy in their horror, or just wants to watch something that they don’t need to think about, these films will do the trick. If you find yourself adoring these films, keep in mind that there are hundreds more to watch. In fact, be on the lookout for Corman’s most recent endeavors, Piranhaconda and Camel Spiders, in the coming months.

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