90210 SHARK ATTACK
David DeCoteau isn’t a name many avid movie watchers would have heard, but regardless he’s a filmmaker with over 100 credits to his name. He’s been working in the film industry for over 30 years, mostly as a director. After looking through his body of work, I realized I had only seen one of his films, called “Killer Bash”, a slasher flick that was made for TV back in 2005. I probably should have looked at his resume a little better before watching this latest Creature feature/drama. Written by Charlie Meadows and Directed by David, comes “90210 Shark Attack”. The film is an odd combination of genres and tells the story about a group of Oceanography students that encounter a haunted shark tooth, while studying on a weekend getaway for extra credit. The film stars Donna Wilkes, Jeffrey Decker, Braden Bacha, Stephanie Shemanski, Rachel Rosenstein, Nikki Wells and past “Survivor” winner Judson Birza. The film was shot in California for an estimated budget of $1 million. I originally stumbled across the film on the popular horror site Dreadcentral, and it looked like another cool addition to the cheesy, low-budget SyFy films they make for TV. The only person I knew from the cast was Judd, being a huge Survivor fan and all I thought why not check it out. Wise move or no??
Just a heads up, there’s a very distinct possibility this section of the review could be the smallest it’s ever been (haha). I’m already struggling this early on for anything positive to say, and to try to be respectful to all involved with this film. I have to be honest though and they need to know whats what, if nothing else this can hopefully aid other filmmakers in some of the do’s and dont’s of the industry. Looking through David’s films, it’s clear he’s had a lot of experience on film sets, and in particular working behind the camera. He started in the mid 80’s with what appears to be soft, or maybe hardcore (who knows??) porn titles, such as “Making It Huge” and “Working Girls”. In the late 80’s early 90’s, he moved onto the monster films with “Creepozoids” and “Puppet Master 3: Toulon’s Revenge”. It’s only been over the last 5 to 10 years that he started a 1313 series of films, as well as a couple of 666 films. Now most of you will be like me, and have no idea what I’m talking about (haha), If you want to know more Imdb the profile. I haven’t seen any of his other films so I can’t really judge his whole body of work, but I can safely say if this title I’m reviewing is even remotely like his others, poor poor poor is the only word I could use to describe it. Anyways onto the review.
Judging by a lot of the artwork for David’s film’s, he’s no stranger to casting attractive actors and actresses in his low-budget affairs. I can respect that he doesn’t just give the male audience what they want to see, which tends to be the way. Males who’ve clearly spent way to much time and money on their gym memberships are always prevalent in these erotica style scenes within his films. Always being randomly placed in a genre that doesn’t fit it in any way, shape or form (haha). Any who, kudos on the pretty guys and girls. I will talk a little bit about the intro credits to the film later on, but one thing I did like was the super cheesy but cool 80’s orientated synth theme, which played over the first two or three minutes of the film. Nothing else about the movie felt remotely like the 80’s, so I’m not sure about the context but that aside, it was cool. The audio was noticeably smooth and clear, but given that nearly all the interactions between the characters took place inside a luxurious beach house, I’d expect nothing less from an experienced director. In addition, both the camera work and lighting were commendable. Now I’m not saying the shot choices or length of the scenes was commendable (haha), just David’s ability to hold the camera still when he needed too. Some of the scenes were lit much like an episode of the beloved (yeah right…) “Bold and Beautiful”, but most of the stuff inside and out looked alright.
I literally don’t know where to start, there’s so much bad, it’s everywhere!! I’m all for a little bad, but it’s usually that cheesy dialogue or that forced reaction, or “My god look at the cheesy rubber shark”, this isn’t even that kind of bad, it’s an all new low. How on earth this thing got the green light, I’ll never know. I’ve never been one to really put someone down or discourage them from doing something, but every once in a while (and it’s been a while), you have to say enough is enough. Okay here it comes. We get the previously mentioned, cheesy synth song as the intro credits play. Accompanying said song, is a truly mesmerizing combo of stock footage taken of sharks swimming in the ocean, to 37 various signs reminding us the movie takes place in Beverly Hills. It’s that bad you could make a drinking game out of it. I’m all for establishing a location, but it’s established in the first 30 seconds and still being hammered home an hour later. What follows is about 7 minutes of establishing shots from tourist attractions in California, specifically BH. Every one of which, has included, it’s very own Beverly Hills sign. Trust me when I say you have to see it to believe it (haha truly gold). What I think you should do, is put the disc in watch the first seven minutes and if your still confused as to where the movie takes place, rewind that sucker and go again!
I’ll now get into what you’d say are a few of the lesser important aspects when it comes to a movie in this genre, or one called 90210 Shark Attack, but still important to me. I thought I might have been in for a surprise treat when I heard that little synth tune in the opening few minutes, but boy was I wrong. Every single piece of music that came after was totally out-of-place and painfully tiresome. We are given suspense based music when nothing remotely suspenseful is happening. E.g, someone is walking around at a snail’s pace apparently investigating something. On several other occasions, it’s a typical dramatic soap theme that plays during the first of many, many pointless conversations. I could go on, but because I like my readers I won’t (haha). Let’s get to the camera work, actually I’ll say shot choices and editing, because like I said the camera operating was okay. The blend between the slew of stock footage from the ocean, and the actual CG shark or shark head should I say, was comically bad. Not that funny, “How cheesy was that” bad either, I mean actually what the f$*k did I just watch kind of bad. Now comes the mind-boggling, jaw dropping, unintentional hilariousness that we’ll simply just call editing.
90210 only runs 75 minutes, about 10 of which are taken up by intro or outro credits, now I’m going to lay the rest out for you. The first of many repetitious and totally pointless shots occurs when the first group of characters enter the house. We watch excruciatingly as not once, not twice (I actually lost count haha), but I think three times, as a character walks up a spiral staircase and down a hall way, as slowly as possible and in real-time might I mention. Now if these girls and or guys (if that’s what floats your boat) were half-naked, or doing something of any interest to a viewer, or importance to a story I could maybe forgive that, but no, in this case I won’t. Also somewhat forgivable, if it was the only time it happened you guessed it, it’s not (haha). A little later on we watch at least two characters walk from the kitchen, through the lounge, out the backdoor and down the stairs to the pool, in real fu@k&ng time!!! What even is that?? I will tell you what that is, it’s another 15 minutes of screen time dunsky were absolutely nothing happened. We are also given a couple of scenes for the ladies or lady, there might be one that watches this film at some point. If you do girly, you will get to see Jess (played by Rothstein), perve out of a window at Tyler (Decker) in all of his awesomeness, as he swims laps and slowly lets that water roll of those chiseled abs of his (scintillating haha). This scene cuts back and forth countless times, between Jess at the window and Tyler in the pool for I’d say about 5 minutes. This will be the longest 5 minutes of your life and I really, truly mean that. I was partially entertained, thought due mostly to the absurdity of what my eyes were witnessing.
I don’t want to question someone’s ability to do their job properly, and I get that Writer, Charlie Meadows probably enjoys writing and he has half a dozen “credits” to his name but maybe, just maybe this isn’t the career for him. Unless of course between Charlie and David, they know these films are terrible and if so then that’s totally fine. It’s their time and money, and they are welcome to use both however they see fit. I’d explain the plot for 90210 Shark Attack but honestly, I couldn’t decipher it. Alyssa (our lead girl), used to do some type of ocean work with her father. He did the wrong thing or something like that, then died and somehow her necklace became haunted by a shark tooth or something totally realistic like that (haha). There’s zero character development, to the point where I couldn’t even remember half the characters names, which is poor form in a movie consisting of seven cast members. It’s riddled with incredibly poorly written dialogue, being delivered by a mostly sub-par cast. I don’t like to blame the cast because they can only work with what’s on the paper, and in this case it’s excrement. Forget for one second that based on their intelligence, no audience could possibly believe any of them would be Oceanography students. Other than being pretty people to look at, they don’t even come close to cutting it.
I can’t talk about 90210 Shark Attack anymore, well that’s a lie I mean I could but even I have my limits. I was by no means expecting a masterpiece when it came to this one but I am partial to a bit of cheese now and then, but this cheese is blue. “Sand Sharks” and “2 Headed Shark Attack” are guilty pleasures of mine, and they look like Jaws compared to this disaster. I could have almost dealt with its issues galore if we had a modicum of anything resembling Action, Gore or On-screen carnage. Hell, I would have even settled for one or more of the ladies getting naked, or a soft core sex scene (haha). After all, David has spent some time in that world but sadly nope, nothing, nada. I’ve also come to the conclusion that this film doesn’t have a genre, possibly the first film I’ve ever seen that’s genre-less. I suppose one might call it a mix of Adventure, Comedy, Drama, and Erotica. The problem is, not a shred of it resembles having anything close to a passable piece of work. I pride myself on giving everything and anything a go, regardless of genre, budget or level of experience. However, I can’t see myself ever watching a film that has either David DeCoteau or Charlie Meadows name attached to it. The fact that a studio, a director, a group of people, or all three actually funded this thing baffles me. You could have literally spent that million dollars on anything else, like anything… shame, shame on you.
My rating for “90210 Shark Attack” is 1.5/10