Plot: A small fishing village has been overwhelmed with shark attacks of late, to the point that local commerce is at a standstill and the locals are terrified to enter the dangerous waters. Steven McCray (Casper Van Dien) is a marine biologist who travels to the village to investigate the trend, but he also has a personal stake in the situation, as his close friend was killed in one of the attacks. His friend’s sister Corine (Jenny McShane) is convinced that the rise in shark attacks isn’t natural and that her brother was killed when he was trying to uncover the truth. McCray is driven to finish what his friend started, but as he soon discovers, the sharks are just one of the threats that prowl this small village.
Entertainment Value: This is more of a traditional thriller than a shark attack horror movie, but Shark Attack is an unintentional comedy, including a once in a lifetime effort from Ernie Hudson. The narrative is silly, leaning on the infrequent shark scenes to bolster a rather dull corruption saga, but the approach taken is so shameless, you can’t help but admire the boldness. And while the story is mediocre and forgettable, it benefits from a game cast that embraces the nuttiness. As I said, Hudson is in rare form here and channels one of the strangest accents I’ve ever heard, while chewing up the script like he was starving to death. I’ve seen some over the top efforts from Hudson before, but man, he really throws restraint to the wind here. If for no other reason, his performance alone makes Shark Attack worth a peek. Casper Van Dien also dials up his presence to camp levels, so we have two guys going head to head and trying to see who can go further over the top. Hudson wins, but it fun to watch the showdown. Of course, if you’re here for sharks or horror elements, you might be let down, as this more of a generic thriller than either of those. But if you appreciate bad movies or wild, ham handed performances, Shark Attack is humorous.
No nakedness. Van Dien and Hudson don’t have time for romance, as they need every second to burn this script to the round. This one does have some bikinis of course, but that’s as close to sleaze as this one gets. With a title like Shark Attack, you know there are numerous, blood soaked shark…attacks, right? Not so much. The shark footage feels more like stock footage and the interactions with the cast are minimal, just some bland splashing and that’s about it. This is just unrelated shark footage, so there’s not even a cheap foam shark for Van Dien to dropkick, which is a shame. This means little blood is present, with one rubber arm pulled out of a dead shark, but that is more or less the extent of the carnage. Some generic action scenes unfold that include some gun battles, but they’re brief and the wounds aren’t splashy. The dialogue is where Shark Attack shines, as Van Dien and Hudson milk this terrible writing for every drop of unintended humor and it is glorious to watch. These are bad lines, like abysmal, but these two really dig deep and make them hilarious, though Hudon shines a little brighter, thanks to that ridiculous accent. Aside from the outlandish performances, this one is a clunker that has little wackiness.
Overall Insanity: 2/10