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DIRECTOR: Mark Atkins RELEASE DATE: July 31, 2012 RATING (US): R
CAST: Brooke Hogan, Corin Nemec et al.
// review by Emily

Warning: this movie has intense blood and gore and bikini babes and chunky dudes running.

Once again, we delve into the mysterious land of god awful B-horror movies. The subject of this cinema escapade? SHARKS! Not really a surprise there. For some reason, people are absolutely obsessed with horrible shark movies. This obsession reached a peak with the popular horrible move Sharknado and eventually drizzled back down. I'm pretty sure they're still making Sharknado movies. What number are they on now? Six? Hold on, I'll look... Huh. I was close. Sharknado 4 came out last year. It's actually really rare that these B-movies get sequels, and I'm torn between whether or not I feel like Sand Sharks deserves one or not. I'll tell you about it and let you decide.

I'll give a little background before diving into this sand encrusted beauty of a B-movie. Sand Sharks was released in 2012 and was met with... well, not great ratings. Not even the appearance of Hulk Hogan's daughter Brooke was able to persuade the critics for higher ratings. The movie is often hailed as one of the most ridiculous shark movies there is. I agree to a point. Just don't believe the summary on IMDb. It LIES. The director Mark Atkins is no stranger to making movies of the not-so-great variety. His works include Android Cop, Snakes on a Train, and his most recent work Jurassic School, where a kid's school project hatched into a dinosaur. Oy. Pretty much every movie on this director's list is a B-rated mockery of the art of movie making. Even Sand Sharks makes a point to bring up its B-movie status. I can't tell if this guy is a B-movie master or failure to be honest.

Sand Sharks starts out as your average, run-of-the-mill B-movies. It all starts with a couple of dudes doing something mundane (in this case, motor biking in sand dunes) and erupts into chaos when the fearsome monster appears. The first thing you notice is how obscenely long the introduction is. It's almost two whole minutes of credits and videos of people biking across sand dunes not doing anything particularly spectacular. YAWN. You end up yelling to the screen gods, "Where are the sharrrrks!?"

Finally, one dude crashes and looks around like a derp for a minute before being gobbled up by some unseen monster swimming in the sand. Yes, the sharks are swimming in sand. What did you expect with a title of Sand Sharks? Anyway, the story continues with a stereotypical, obnoxious dude persuading his father, the mayor of White Sands, to host a giant music festival on the beach in order to attract spring breakers and save the town from economic disaster. This is all good and well until ye olde sand sharkies start gobbling up unsuspecting beach goers and leaving a trail of severed appendages in their wake. The shark is dealt with by... blowing it up with electricity. Yeah. The music festival goes on despite the knowledge that there are more sand sharks burrowing their little hearts out to the bland electronic DJ. It's buffet time for the sharks until an old man named Angus with a pirate accent comes and tells them how to deal with the sharks. They finally defeat the little beasties by turning the sand into glass with napalm. I'm not even kidding you right now. The hero and Brooke Hogan limp off into the sunset while token hot enemy girl is gobbled up leaving a trail of blood, likely just leftover ketchup from the caterer. "Ohh nooo, the monsters aren't really gone and the movie's not really over" — that trope literally every horror B-movie utilizes — is in full effect.

There really isn't anything spectacular about this movie. Frankly, it doesn't deliver anything out of the ordinary or particularly different that would separate it from the rest of the horrible horror movies. Most importantly, the story line has MAJOR holes in it. I'm sure the writers were like, Oh, herp a derp, they won't notice such completely obvious writing blunders! Oh, yes. We notice the giant gaping inconsistencies. We ain't that dense. Halfway through the movie, two dimwits go fishing at night for the shark in order to collect the bounty on their heads because they sharks only attack at night. Sandy the Scientist *groan* also proclaims that the sharks only attack at nighttime. Let's go through the roster of victims shall we? The biker dudes: eaten during the day. Jerk girlfriend and her buried in the sand boyfriend: daytime. Surfing dude: daytime. ALL the death up to that point in the movie were during the day. You didn't think I would catch that, did you? I catch EVERYTHING. Even the music festival massacre was during the day! Dope writers.

The next faux pas was minor but very, very visible. Sandy and the sheriff have become trapped on the rocks with sand sharks swarming the sands surrounding them. Say that ten times fast. They call Obnoxious Man for help, but he gets distracted trying to gain retribution for the havoc he's personally caused. Next thing you know, the sheriff and Sandy are in the sheriff's office. How did they get off the rocks? Why is the sheriff suddenly limping? I feel that a pivotal part of the movie was cut out to save time for useless garbage. Like, seriously, that missing movie part sounded kind of important. How did they get off without being attacked? Or were they attacked and that's how the sheriff got his sudden limp? AUGH so many questions! To talk about the acting and cinematography would be like talking about a rock you saw by the side of the road. It just kind of sits there and isn't all that attractive. The actors were enthusiastic about their roles, but the professionalism didn't quite carry out.

However, it's apparent that they knew that the whole movie was a giant joke. All the puns and bad jokes were carried out flawlessly. For a pun lover like myself, I found myself groaning to all the I'll bite, we'll make a killing, take this you sand of a beachpuns. It was awesome. The special effects were everything you would expect from a B movie. The sharks looked like they were animated by freshman students looking for experience to get into better jobs. The blood and gore was very obviously fake and plastic. Even the sand around the shark fins going through the sand was blurry and disappointingly unrealistic. The people who wrote this had to know that sharks swimming through sand would be a tough job. Honestly, they should've given up at that point and moved on to a more interesting topic like ohh, I don't know. Electric eel sharks. Robogators. A giant Ernest Borgnine.

The best part of the movie which brought the whole movie together as actually being enjoyable in my opinion was the fact that the movie didn't take itself seriously. As soon as they referenced horror B movies, the movie became fantastic. If you look at the movie as a comedy, you will not be disappointed at all. As a comedy, the movie is great because it knows there aren't high expectations of it. Sure, it's a total crapper, but the humor and poking fun at itself makes it a lot more bearable. However, if you're looking for a really, really bad horror movie, that's what you'll get with Sand Sharks. It's a terribly bad horror movie, but it's also a pretty decent comedy. If you can overlook the subpar special effects and cheesy acting, you might actually enjoy the movie like I kind of did. To put it bluntly, Sand Sharks didn't make any waves in improving the B-movie genre. The effects are awful. The acting is so-so. The story is erratic and silly. However, if the humor wasn't present in this movie, I would go so low as to give it a 2 rating. The humor makes this move and I hope the writers realize that. Without that little glimmering element in there, this movie would just be another bland, unoriginal movie that everyone should avoid. The movie isn't fantastic, but it's not a total waste of time.

Did I mention there's an actor called Edgar Allan Poe IV? That's kinda cool.


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