Today’s movie is Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, one of the most notoriously awful shark movies of all time.
Shark Attack 3 was written and produced by the duo of Scott Devine and William Hooke, who also penned the previous two Shark Attack movies. The film was directed and shot by David Worth, who has also been behind flicks like Kickboxer and Shark Attack 2, and has served as a cinematographer for films like Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, Bloodsport, and Paper Dragons.
The editor for the film was Kristopher Leese, who worked on the editorial teams in a handful of episodes of television shows like E.R., Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Heroes.
The effects team for Shark Attack 3 included Veselina Georgieva (The Expendables, The Wicker Man), Nikolay Gachev (Olympus Has Fallen, Legend of Hercules, Mansquito), Simeon Asenov (It’s Alive (2008), Drive Angry), Tinko Dimov (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Jurassic World, Jupiter Ascending), Anton Donchev (In Hell, Alien Hunter), Stanislav Dragiev (The Expendables 2, Automata), Jivko Ivanov (Jarhead 2, Lake Placid 3, Robocroc), Scott Coulter (Dogma, The Faculty, It’s Alive (2008)), and Radost Yonkova (Green Lantern, Men in Black 3).
The musical score for Shark Attack 3 was provided by Bill Wandel, who has also provided music for films like Crocodile 2: Death Swamp, Octopus 2: River of Fear, The Genesis Code, and some obscure gem called Blackmailing Santa.
The producers on Shark Attack 3 included Danny Dimbort (The Wolf of Wall Street, Shark in Venice), David Varod (300: Rise of an Empire, Octopus), Danny Lerner (War, Inc., Lethal Ninja (1992)), Avi Lerner (Alien From L.A., American Ninja 2), and Boaz Davidson (The Iceman, 16 Blocks).
The cast for Shark Attack 3 included John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Jenny McShane (Cyborg Cop III), Ryan Cutrona (Hot Shots!), and Bashar Mounzer Rahal (In The Name Of The King 3).
The plot of Shark Attack 3 surrounds the re-appearance of a thought-extinct species of enormous sharks, known as Megalodons. A handful of locals take it upon themselves to eliminate the gigantic shark before it can make it to a populated tourist beach where it can wreak significant havoc.
John Barrowman’s infamous propositioning line from Shark Attack 3 was improvised, and intended initially as a joke to make Jenny McShane break character. However, because she played it off with no reaction and the production was averse to doing multiple takes, it wound up in the final cut of the film.
The reception to Shark Attack 3 certainly wasn’t good, and it currently holds a 2.7 rating on IMDb. However, it has become a cult classic thanks to a number of clips of the shark effects (and Barrowman’s ‘cunning linguistics’) making the rounds on the internet.
First off, this movie is amazing, and I highly recommend it as a good-bad feature. For being as awful as it is, the film is actually not difficult to watch, and is paced better than most low-budget features, while still retaining its “terribad” features.
One of the most immediately notable aspects of this movie is the acting, which is generally abysmal across the board. The bizarre line readings come fast and furious throughout the film, which is usually a sign of bad directing. The odds of having honestly terrible actors from top to bottom is far less likely than the possibility that they were being instructed poorly. Given what John Barrowman has said about the movie over the years, I don’t think it is too much to assume that bad direction combined with the hesitancy to do multiple takes to create the memorable acting performances on display in this movie.
Something that has been done in countless shark movies since Jaws is the use of mammalian roars coming from sharks. Obviously this doesn’t make any sense, but it has gotten to be a bit of a tradition in shark movies in spite of all logic and sensibility. In the original Jaws it was a subtle big cat roar in the death sequence, but the noises have gotten increasingly blatant over the years. Shark Attack 3 is a bit unique in that it seems to use stock audio of bear attacks for the megalodon, which stands out from the pack of generic grunts and roars given to sharks in other films. Bears have a very specific sort of angry noise that is instantly recognizable, and hearing it come out of a shark is just…weird.
The shark itself is often made up of stock footage in Shark Attack 3, but there are a couple of creative moments worth noting. For instance, there is a camera hooked behind a shark fin in the water, giving a pseudo POV effect for a number of sequences. There is also some use of a fake shark head/torso for some of the attack sequences, though it seemed to be used pretty sparingly. The film is infamous for combining stock footage with original footage to create some of the worst attack sequences of all time, but those moments are pretty well compartmentalized to that section of the movie: through the lion’s share of the film, the effects aren’t awful. Given the budget the production was dealing with, they were pretty creative, particularly when compared with other Jaws knockoff shark movies.
I will also note that I found the use of practical effects intercut with stock footage, while cheesy, to be vastly superior in entertainment value when compared to the plethora of Asylum-produced monster flicks (Mega-Piranha, Sharknado, etc). For what it is worth, a rubber shark head looks more “real” than a cut-scene from a 2005 video game. As far as cost-effective CGI has come, it still can’t come close to comparing with actual, tangible effects (or appropriate stock footage), even when considering its creative benefits.
Overall, as I previously stated, Shark Attack 3 is an entertainingly bad movie worth checking out. I would take it over a Sharknado any day, and the popular clips of it circulating the internet amazingly don’t do it justice. It isn’t too difficult to find if you do some digging, and it is worth dredging up.