Written by: Yasutoshi Kurakawa
Directed by: John Hijiri
Starring: Nonami Takizawa, Ari Nakajima, and Megumi Haruno
Reviewed by: Brett G.
ďHe has a cool face and is my type.Ē
When a movie carries a title like Psycho Shark, itís destined to land in my mailbox. Iím naturally drawn to anything featuring a shark, and I particularly just had to see what a psychotic one would look like. I didnít bat much of an eye when I realized it came from The Land of the Rising Sun (where itís titled Jaws in Japan--as if I needed more of a reason to buy it) because if anyone could get away with insane shark action, itíd be Japan. Little did I know how wrong I was on just about every level.
A couple of girls hitch a ride to the beach, where they canít wait to have a good time. When they get there, theyíre given a complimentary video camera to film their exploits, which basically amounts to frolicking on a beach and taking showers. One of the girls stumbles across an old tape from some previous tenants that may hold some disturbing images about one of the guys they hitched a ride with. As the back of the DVD cover so bluntly states, ďbeautiful girls are in danger.Ē
After reading the plot synopsis, Iím sure youíre wondering just where in the hell the shark is. Thatís exactly what was on my mind for nearly the entire running time. You see, there is no psycho shark in Psycho Shark; there is a psycho with legs instead of fins, and there is a shark, which shows up at the 62 minute mark (the film is 65 minutes long, sans credits). Before then, you see a 5 second glimpse of a terribly rendered CGI fin when one of the girls channels Ellen Brody circa 1987 by having weird nightmares about a shark. Why is she having them? I couldnít tell you, really. From what I can gather, thereís some shady business about tourists being sacrificed to appease a shark god or something. Itís kind of up to you to figure out just whatís going on, which is tough primarily because nothing really happens.
Instead of a shark, Psycho Shark does feature the following: a bunch of busty babes, gratuitous shots of their bouncing cleavage, more showers per minute than any flick ever, and a lot of tape-watching. The first half sort of plays like ďGirls Not Gone Wild in Japan,Ē as they just sort of piss around the hotel room and run on the beach and shit; then, when they find the tape, the one girl sits there watching the same footage over and over for no apparent reason. So I guess this can claim to be a found footage shark movie, except for when the director fills in the gap with footage that the characters obviously canít see (which sort of defeats the purpose, no?). Needless to say, this is not a riveting film; I suppose it could have been an interesting mystery had the screenwriters bothered to actually write a real story. Instead, it plays like they threw a bunch of girls in front of a camera on a beach and called it a day.
But despite all of that, the ending sort of has to be seen to be believed. Donít get me wrong--itís not worth slogging through the first sixty minutes to see it, but track it down on You Tube or something if you want to see a hilariously poor sequence that makes Jaws: The Revenge look coherent by comparison. The filmís money shot is so unbelievably awesome that I refuse to screen cap it because it would spoil the only good thing about the movie. So instead, enjoy all of these gratuitous shots of Japanese beauties in the meantime.
It really takes a lot for me to dislike a shark movie; I guess the cardinal sin is to not feature a shark at all, not that this one could have been redeemed by a bunch of excessive shark attacks. Even at 70 minutes long, it feels far too long, even if you do spend a bunch of that time watching girls bounce around in bikinis. Iím pretty happy I only paid a few bucks for the DVD, which came from Cinema Epoch; it isnít a bad disc with the exception of the crappy movie it holds. The transfer is pretty solid, and the 5.1 track is fairly dynamic, particularly during those trippy dream sequences. Special features include the filmís trailer and some behind the scenes stuff, as if you needed to see more footage of these girls not doing much of anything. Anyway, since there is a shark for all of 2 minutes (give or take), I can at least make the proclamation that shitty shark movie aficionados should prepare to meet their new king. Everyone else, Trash it!
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