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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Land Shark (2020)

A man and his son are fishing when they “catch” a cow’s head. If that weren’t weird enough for you a giant shark jumps out of the water and heads towards the nearby city. Then the action movies to three days earlier, which we know thanks to the helpful crawl on the screen. There are some science nerds doing experiments on a shark. Why? They want to cure cancer or so the evil… wait we don’t know that yet… the totally not evil corporate CEO tells us. He makes the lovely Dr. Ye move to phase three even after she warns him it is too fast to proceed. But they follow his orders, and the shark gets mad after the treatment. So mad that it starts to smash windows and eat people.

You may be asking yourself “what the hell is going on?”. I know that I was. Well, it turns out the evil… we know this now… CEO wanted to cure cancer by modifying the DNA of a shark by splicing in some Earthworm DNA. Why? SCIENCE BABY!!! This means that even when the survivors of the attack make it out of an escape hatch the shark can now swim thru the dirt to catch and eat them on the land. Neat. Evil CEO makes comic relief skinny guy and his side kick comic relief fat guy catch the shark. How does he manage that after they quit? Shoot a lady! Why? Because he is an EVIL CEO. Were you not paying attention? More shit happens, the Evil CEO gets chummed, the henchmen die, and our comic relief along with the still not dead Dr. Ye kill the Land Shark and save the day.

There has been a weird trend lately with these made for the Chinese domestic film market flicks showing up at stores or streaming online. The most recent one that I’ve covered before Land Shark was Curse of the Kraken. They all have the same formula which is a story that copies some elements of more popular movies, a mess of a cast that is mostly there to die (sadly offscreen omitting any of the red stuff), and an awful CGI beast/monster. This movie is no different. Clearly genetic manipulation of sharks leading to a bloodbath references a movie like Deep Blue Sea. There is the added Evil CEO character that is almost a must in monster movies (especially from Communist China). This gives the movie a “been there done that” feel that doesn’t help matters.

Road Trip with the Land Shark!
We are also inundated by a lab full of characters, only a few of which are ever given names. One of the “named” characters is actually referred to in the subtitles as “glasses guy”. I shit you not! This is how disposable the characters are in the story. Speaking of disposable just about the time when the cast is at a manageable level and you think “okay now maybe I can get interested” we get a couple SUV loads of random henchmen with assault rifles to muddy things up again. Spoilers none of them get names and all are dead before the credits roll.

Our monster is an awful CGI shark that they can’t seem to keep in scale. Just to be clear I’m not talking about it growing larger as it feeds. That I totally get. But when it attacks the lab what we see underwater could clearly not be swimming around in the two or three feet of water on the set that the actors are in. Even when it switches to the underwater shots of the shark in the lab it is generic footage that looks like it was intended to show it in the open water. I don’t expect Jurassic Park here fellas, but at least put some effort into it. I can’t remember the last time I was this bored of a movie and this thing only clocks in at seventy five minutes long. How did they manage that?

This is a terrible movie that I can’t recommend. When you make the worst Asylum movie look interesting, which Land Shark does, then you are in big trouble. Very big trouble. I really need to stop watching these… but maybe the next one will be good. I know I have issues.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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