06 March 2011

Movies: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1350498/

Is the title any indication of how good this movie is? How about this cast?
Stars Deborah Gibson (yes that Deborah Gibson) and Lorenzo Lamas.

This movie is so terrible that it is an entertaining experience to watch it.

Not enough to make a determination? How about a quick summary of the start of the film:

While Debbie Gibson is studying a giant pod of whales from inside an experimental submersible, the Navy deploys a low-frequency sonar in the area which confuses the whales. The whales smack into the submersible, damaging it.  Worse yet, the whales also smack into an ice shelf, a shelf that contains two prehistoric giants once locked in combat but now locked in ice for millions of years. The power of the blow releases the monsters into the ocean, which thaws them immediately.
Upon Debbie's return she extracts a chunk of something mysterious from a whale corpse that washed up on the coast after the attack. Her boss chews her out for breaking the submersible, which ultimately leads to her being fired from her job.  She takes the chunk to her old professor so he can help her identify it. They mix some blue liquid with red liquid and look into a cheap optical microscope someone bought at a flea market, then some cool computer graphics look like a shark tooth. Only the fragment indicates the size was somewhere around 9 x 11. Inches? No, feet!.

After his release the giant octopus (GO) swims to the coast of Japan and destroys a Japanese oil platform, killing everyone but one guy who speaks english in a weird accent. That's probably why the Japanese government locked him up after he was interrogated. Meanwhile the mega shark (MS) decides to leap 30,000 feet into the air and bite a 747 in half. And boy is he a mega shark - he's bigger than the plane!
As the Japanese government won't officially recognize that GO caused the platform's destruction, a top Japanese marine scientist covertly travels to the United States to compare notes with the US's top marine scientist, who happens to be Debbie's mentor. With only the drawings of the eye of the creature that attacked the oil platform, and the fragment of tooth from the whale kill, the three of them realize that they are dealing with two prehistoric monsters, not just one.  A mega shark and a giant squid octopus.

That's when Lorenzo Lamas shows up to take them all to a secret US Navy base to tell the government how to destroy the monsters. Because that team is their last hope.

I don't want to spoil the whole movie. But that's how it starts.

It is amazing how this movie is almost spot-on terrible in the old 50s terrible sci fi flick style: terrible acting, terrible dialog, terrible story, terrible special effects, terrible reused sets, everything that can be done wrong in a movie is done in this movie.  Not quite as bad as Plan 9 from Outer Space, but approaching that territory.

Which is why it should be watched, at least once, if you have any love in your heart for bad science fiction movies.  The terrible is of a magnitude that wraps around the scale of good to bad and comes out the other side and one is compelled to see it through to the end, if only to see how it could possibly get worse.  Heck, the title alone should inspire one to watch this film.

What is amazing is that Lorenzo Lamas generates the worst over-acting in this production.  Out of all the unknown actors cast in this movie, the star that is Lorenzo Lamas trumps them all. Oh my he was awful. So either this is his worst performance ever, or his most brilliant.

Debbie Gibson does okay in the movie, she's probably the most restrained actor in the production. And she's all growed up nice from cute teen music sensation to a lookin pretty good Broadway performer (and one-time Playboy feature).
I'm really looking forward to Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. That movie stars both Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. So it's gotta be at least as bad as MSvGO.

Some beautifully awful things to watch for in this movie:

Amazing science process montages with random lab equipment and colored liquids as they do sciencey looking stuff by mixing blue with red and looking at the reaction then at each other, just like one would imagine scientists would do if you haven't observed scientists but maybe saw some cartoons or old TV shows.  The key is the mixing of the Cyalume light-stick chemicals in a beaker to watch them glow -- THAT"S THE FORMULA BECAUSE IT GLOWS! Big smiles everyone!

The difference between the command deck of a Japanese submarine, and the command deck of a US Navy battle ship, is that the Japanese submarine command deck has a blue light in the background, whereas the Navy ship has a red light in the background. Otherwise, they're both shot in the same hallway with a backdrop of control panels one might see in, say, an old abandoned power station. Just the sort of controls one might find in the place that just happens to look like the exterior shots for the secret US Navy base / secret US Navy lab.

Submarines are controlled by a joystick. Pushing forward either makes the sub dive, or it makes it speed up. It depends on who is driving the sub. Submarine pilots have sidearms and regularly pull them on their captains if stressed enough.

Radar can look under water, is interchangeable with Sonar, and is installed on military airplanes, battleships and submarines.

Pulling the rotor brake on a flying helicopter also releases the secret instrument package it is carrying.

When a giant pod of whales rams a glacier in panic it will cause nearby helicopters to crash into the same glacier.

Mega Sharks can swim faster than jets fly.

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