RAIDERS OF THE LOST SHARK
This review is for a film bought to us by Wild Eye Releasing. Written by Brett Kelly, David Lloyd and Trevor Payer, Directed by Scott Patrick, “Raiders Of The Lost Shark” is the latest in a wave of these Sci-fi/Creature feature b-movies. I for one need my quota of cheese met as regularly as possible, hence why I watch these types of films. You usually know exactly what you’re going to get (or more appropriately what you’re not going to get), believable reactions, character development or anything really resembling a story (haha). We know this yet we watch anyway, go figure. I take these films for exactly what they are, and that’s usually 90 or so minutes of light-hearted entertainment. Titles such as 2 Headed Shark Attack, Sharktopus and of course the infamous “Sharknado” franchise, are amongst my favorites. Raiders Of The Lost Shark is about a group of four college students who set out on a boat, to a remote island for some down time. Years earlier college professor Mr’s Reynolds (played by Candice Lidstone), was doing some research on the island with her sister, who was tragically killed by a Shark. Our group of young students are unaware that the military created a weaponized shark, and underwater drilling has released him from the nearby lab. The film stars Jessica Huether, Catherine Clark, Pavel Lubanski and the lovely Kendra Summerfield.
Well you see what these guys have done with their play on words from the classic Indiana Jones film, need I say more (haha), but yes I will. I’m a huge fan of these ridiculous titles, even though majority of them end up being sub-par, their fun none the less. The above hand drawn artwork for Raiders looks damn cool. I don’t remember seeing any jet-ski’s, helicopters, sea planes or that particular eye candy, but don’t let that get in the way of a good cover *rolls eyes*. My first piece of advice to Scott and Co, well it’s actually directed at Wild Eye who distributed the film, don’t mislead your target audience with promises you either can’t or don’t deliver on. The audio levels here were nice and loud but quite inconsistent. I had to reach for the volume button several times throughout, depending on the location or nature of the conversation in each specific scene. Kimberly, played by Summerfield, supplies us with the eye candy. She’s very natural and pretty, and rocks a bikini pretty well. I thought both her and Candice Lidstone gave two of the better performances in the group. I thought the inclusion of some fake prosthetic limbs washing up on the “shore” or rocks, or whatever you want to call it was a nice touch. The action is extremely scarce given the speedy running time, but the standout scene was a deputy getting covered in some thick, gooey and practical blood.
“My horoscope was right, your no good for me” says a bikini clad, secondary character in the opening act of Raiders Of The Lost Shark. I was thinking I should have converged with my horoscope before watching this, and maybe I could have gotten similar advice. Now I know most of you are probably thinking, What did you expect from a movie called that? You know what I expected? Someone to at least try, a little thing called effort. Have enough respect for your viewers and more importantly yourself, and actually have a go. You can’t tell me this is having a go, I mean I’ve seen “Jurassic Shark” and the more recent “90210 Shark Attack” *see review* https://adamthemoviegod.com/90210-shark-attack-review/, so don’t try to convince me this is the best you’ve got.
The camera work on display here is incredibly sloppy to say the least. I suppose I can give Scott credit for not profusely shaking the camera about, but his framing and focus issues haven’t been stamped out. Shot choices feel like they are coming at you head on and not framed accordingly. On other occasions they appear aimed from the hip. The opening sequence which sees two security guards, take their respective girls down to the water has several moments that don’t find the correct focus as quickly as they should. The entire film takes place during the day, which of course makes the harsh lighting and dark shadow contrast standout more so. Often cast members faces are only half shown, made all the more obvious by the irregularities in the color saturation. One frame will be looking into the water, where the landscape color looks natural. Next, a character gets into the water where everything becomes much bleak and darker in tone, I’m not sure what was happening there. There’s a two or three, high note synth score that can be heard on and off throughout the film. It’s okay to use when something suspenseful occurs (in this case it never does), but it’s front and centre when nothing is really happening. Minus one or two chuckle worthy lines, the comedy they may have been going for here doesn’t come off. I can usually get behind something that’s so self-aware that it’s just ridiculous, but this isn’t one of those films.
Most of the cast are working with a nothing script, so I don’t want to be too harsh on them. It’s difficult to put out your best performance when you’re pretending your scared of a big CG shark, so I won’t pick on that side of it. However, general conversations and reactions to plot revelations need to be at least half way believable, I can’t suspend that much disbelief. Everyone involved here is either painfully wooden, or so over the top they make Doc Brown (Back To The Future), seem relaxed. All of these points I’ve mentioned can be somewhat overlooked if the action and gore is cool, after all that’s the best aspect to market in a film like this. Firstly the underwater footage from the shark POV (point of view), is murky and dull and then we’re given a digital shark that looks like it’s been constructed in Paint. Come on guys I’m not asking for much, this coming from the guy that enjoyed “Sharktopus” and “Dinocroc vs Supergator”, give me something anything! This is the worst CG I’ve seen since the aforementioned “90210 Shark Attack”. All of the kills are pretty uneventful, but the two opening kills in particular are unbelievably lame. I mean Kudos on killing a couple of characters inside ten minutes, next time edit it so we can see what actually happened though (that be an idea). How can you make a creature feature without blood, that’s like a Romantic Comedy without the public declaration of love, What even is that?
Raiders Of The Lost Shark you ran 60 minutes in length, minus the credits (which I did not stay for haha), and then I’ve written this review which took 90 minutes. All in all I’ve spent 150 minutes of my life on you, and if I can stop someone, just one person from watching this movie it will have all been worth it. You cast an attractive girl in Kendra Summerfield, Hired an artist who drew you one awesome cover, Someone got blood dumped on him, and in the end you were witty enough to come up with a play on words for your title, but that’s not enough. Unfortunately you left the technical aspects at the door, walked in with a hodgepodge script, and a Windows 95 editing program and thought you could make a Creature feature. My advice to all filmmakers out there looking to make something in this genre, If you don’t have a fun and decently written script, along with some kind of budget for effects and gore then please don’t. The estimated budget here is $350,000. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not a great sum of money no one’s saying it is, but it’s enough to do more than what’s on the screen here. I’ve seen better films made for 10 percent of the money, and the only difference between this and David DeCoteau’s “90210 Shark Attack”, is that they wasted $1 million on their film. You guys are still $650,000 in pocket. You know the saying Don’t judge a book by its cover? In this particular case that couldn’t ring truer, the cover is awesome, the movie is most definitely not.
My rating for “Raiders Of The Lost Shark” is 2/10