2-Headed Shark Attack (2012)

Author: Brett Gallman
Submitted by: Brett Gallman   Date : 2012-08-17 21:52

Written by: Edward DeRuiter (story), H. Perry Horton (screenplay)
Directed by: Christopher Ray
Starring: Carmen Electra, Charlie O'Connell and Brooke Hogan

Reviewed by: Brett G.

1 Body, 2 Heads and 6,000 Teeth.

Say what you want about The Asylum, but have you ever known them to make just a shark movie? They always make them mega-sized and have them clashing with some other jumbo-sized digital monstrosity. In this case, the mockbuster titans are taking a page out of SyFy and Roger Corman’s killer animal mash-up book, as they’ve gone and grafted a shark to a…shark. You can’t blame them for trying to deceive you this time out, as it’s all right there in the title, even if I would argue that Siamese Shark Attack rolls off the tongue a little bit better.

The title monster makes its first appearance during a prologue, where it devours a bunch of wake boarders. After that, it moves on to the main smorgasbord, an ample collection of hardbodies and cleavage floating aboard a Semester at Sea ship that’s captained by Charlie O’Connell (older brother Jerry got Piranha 3D, he got this). These shitheads prove themselves to be either insufferable or worthless (or some combination thereof), thereby making the shark a hero when it shows up and causes their boat to stall. No big deal, though, as Captain O’Connell decides they’ll just go chill out on a nearby atoll (not an island, we’re told) and scour it for scrap metal (!) while the crew patches up the ship’s hull.

You might be wondering just how a shark (even a two-headed one) is able to wreak much havoc if its prey is swift enough to actually make landfall. Well, let’s put it this way--one of the girls (Brooke Hogan) is deathly afraid of water and still decided to sign up for a semester at sea. Plus, the atoll is sinking. Clearly, these students have stumbled upon an oceanic twilight zone where mother nature has no time for their shit. Their limited intelligence similarly conspires against them since they just can’t stay out of the water, whether it be for skinny dipping sessions or ill-advised speedboat racing. Because of this, 2-Headed Shark Attack is more groan-inducing than usual since it sticks with this lame-brained group and their crumbling atoll paradise; usually, these movies at least jump around and introduce random victims for the sake of variety.

Also missing: any semblance of an actual story. Most of the time, these movies also include some asshole scientist responsible for creating and unloosing the monster in the first place, but, in the case, a two-headed shark exists for the same reason the atoll sinks: because it fucking can. There’s actually a throwaway line about how genetic abnormalities like this crop up from time to time, but this particular one also seems to be gifted with showmanship, as it doesn’t just eat its prey but also toys with them. At one point, one guy thinks he’s been spared when the shark swims past him, but it’s just false hope since it ends up batting him up into the air and tearing him apart on the way down. You won’t see that kind of thing at Sea World. Of course, you don’t really see it here very well, either, since a lot of the attacks are incomprehensibly rendered. Even the stuff you can see only causes you to wonder how much cooler it would be if The Asylum would ever throw us a couple of bones in the way of practical effects. If there were any weight and detail to it, watching people getting torn asunder by twin shark heads would be gruesomely rad. Instead, you might as well be watching PS2-era cut scenes.

It can’t bode well if the main appeal of 2-Headed Shark Attack sucks, right? Probably not, but the inherent badness and stupidity of the whole thing makes it watchable. The characters are charming in their vapidity--one girl exists only to whine about everything and wield Chekov’s gun, while the main douche’s doucheness is responsible for getting at least half a dozen of his classmates killed. Also, the other pairs that are on display seem to be pretty real, and there’s rarely a scene where some bikini-clad girl isn’t bouncing in the frame. The main actress attached to one of these bosoms is Hogan, doing battle for a second time against direct-to-video sharks after Sand Sharks (look out Kristy Swanson, she‘s gunning for your niche), and she’s no better or worse than anyone else, including the more seasoned Carmen Electra. The former Singled Out host is called a doctor a couple of times, but she spends most of her time sun-bathing on the deck, showing off her bikini-modeling talents. It turns out that Hogan isn’t the only second-generation film wannabe here, as the director is Christopher Ray, son of B-movie maestro Fred Olen Ray. Chris fixes “Olen” to his credit here like a badge of honor, but the cheap Asylum house style prevents him from effusing too much of the family charm.

Which is too bad because, like many Asylum productions, 2-Headed Shark Attack has a legitimately entertaining premise that can’t be done any sort of justice. The combined threat of sinking to doom in dual-headed shark infested waters actually creates an intense “how in the hell could you escape this?” scenario. Well, the answer to that question might involve Brooke Hogan’s expertise with underwater welding, but that’s neither here nor there. Just know that the third act is pretty bugnuts, with everything going down regardless of logic or quality--my favorite scene involves a CGI crack in the ground that’s treated as impassable by some of the group when it seriously just looks no worse than your standard sidewalk crack. When considering the merits of The Asylum as auteur, those are the type of moments you look for, and they're nearly as abundant as the cleavage here. 2-Headed Shark Attack is thoroughly Asylum, complete with poor acting and poorer effects, but something like twenty people get killed, so it’s never boring. It’s currently streaming on Netflix, but you can also pick it up on the DVD or Blu-ray that was released earlier this year so your killer shark and/or Asylum collections are complete. Maybe next time, we’ll get 2-Headed Shark Attack vs. 2-Headed Hogan Attack, with Brooke’s old man coming along for the ride and refusing to job to mother nature, brother. Rent it!

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