Plot: An American Naval crew is searching for a lost submarine, but when the vessel is location, the surprises have just begun. Inside the sub are a group of Russians who claim to be scientists on an excursion to study sharks, but the Americans don’t put much stock into that. Commander Lynch (Caroline Harris) is especially suspicious, but when the Russians claim an enormous shark attacked their submarine, that’s when everyone is certain the claims are just lies. But what is the truth about the Russians’ mission and if there was a shark attack, is the creature still out there and could it possibly be as massive as the crew insists?
Entertainment Value: Megalodon was The Asylum’s answer to The Meg, with Michael Madsen’s wild hair, a stranded submarine, and of course, a low rent CGI shark on the rampage. The narrative is rooted in a military thriller that gets upended by the shark’s presence, so this has a more serious tone than some of The Asylum’s efforts, despite the obvious b movie elements. I appreciate the efforts at sincere performances, but I was let down here, as I hoped for a more typical mockbuster with campiness and over the top humor. Those elements are in short supply in Megalodon however, unless you can draw some unintentional humor from the more dramatic scenes. I think that is likely in some cases, especially when Madsen is around, but for the most part, the serious scenes are just kind of bland. But Madsen seems like he couldn’t care less about the movie, so his scenes are quite fun, as he puts forth the minimal effort to do his lines and is one of the sloppiest officers around. I love that he makes no effort to avoid looking like a homeless man with a captain’s hat on it, pure Madsen magic. The shark scenes are passable, not that creative or memorable, but enjoyable shark mayhem and easily some of the movie’s peak moments. But when the focus shifts from Madsen or the shark, Megalodon slowly sinks into dull waters. I’d recommend this to shark cinema devotees and anyone who appreciate Madsen, as he is the highlight here, hands down.
No nakedness. This makes sense, as the movie has no real sexual content whatsoever, so the lack of sleaze isn’t an issue. So if you wanted to see Michael Madsen let that beautiful hair down for a love scene, sorry to shatter your dreams. This one has some shark attacks of course, but no real bloodshed and no outright gore, just camera cuts and general shark destruction. Given that is more of a thriller that happens to include a shark, the sanitized shark mayhem is not a real concern. I wouldn’t have minded more over the top craziness in the onslaught, but what we do have fits in well with the dialed down tone of the movie. The dialogue shifts between hilariously inept and total boredom, with a lean toward the dull side of the coin. The political intrigue elements are bland and could have used a turn toward the absurd, but we do get a laughable inspiring speech and of course, Madsen. He is pure gold in his scenes, making sure we know he doesn’t care about this movie and his performance reflects that. I appreciate his total lack of effort, but I am sure some will dislike the casual manner he displays here. He also has a brief conversation with the shark, which is a highlight. On the craziness end, not a lot to discuss, sadly. The awful Independence Day ripoff speech is humorous, but otherwise Madsen is our lone source of wackiness. But he does put out his cigar on the shark’s face, so there’s that.
Overall Insanity: 2/10