Plot: A group of friends take a weekend vacation to a tropical paradise, hoping to unwind and get a much needed break from work, but of course, things don’t go exactly as the friends expect. As it turns out, the island resort is no paradise and while a few other guests can be found, for the most part, the island doesn’t seem to be a very fun place to be. When one of the friends approaches the beached corpse of a large shark, he is stunned when it springs to life and swallows him whole. As it turns out, the shark was indeed dead or more to the point, undead and now, a zombie outbreak threatens to add to the island’s woes. This reanimated sharks is thanks to a lab on the island, where a virus was created and tested on one shark, the same one who just devoured one of the friends in seconds. As the attacks continue and the bodies pile up, can anyone survive this tropical nightmare?
Entertainment Value: Also known as Shark Island, Zombie Shark seems to have an epic premise with the promise of undead sharks and all, but the movie winds up a rather dull affair that doesn’t cash in on that potential. I have an appreciation for these low rent shark attack movies, but this one just flops and for some reason, often takes a serious tone, which doesn’t work out well. A serious, tense shark movie can be excellent of course, but you need a competent narrative, good performances, and passable special effects, none of which are present in Zombie Shark. This seems like it should be dialed up, over the top b movie fodder, but there’s not much fun to be had and even unintended humor is minimal here. I will say the movie packs in a good number of shark attacks and more bloodshed than most of its peers, but the slow pace languishes and the attempts at dramatic threads are dreadful. The emotional beats are especially cringe inducing, just awkward and ineffective, since the movie is never able to make us care about these people, let alone invest in them. I always hope for the best with b movies like this, but Zombie Shark is a total wipeout.
No nakedness. As with most of these made for television shark movies, we have some bikinis and shirtless dudes, but no real sleaze is present. There is more blood in Zombie Shark than most of the SyFy shark flicks however, including a nicely done incision scene where they remove a victim from inside a shark. The effects in that sequence are quite good, though that standard isn’t upheld throughout the picture, with mostly low tier visual effects, as per the genre tradition. But we do have some splashier attacks than usual and that’s always welcome. I was hoping for more creative touches since the zombie element opens some new potential directions, but this is mostly run of the mill, by the numbers shark attack kills. The dialogue is humorous at times, such as the awful inspirational speech given as a last stand is made, while most of the lines are overly serious and unmemorable. Even so, some fun one liners sneak in and some unintended humor is also here, via the lackluster writing and performances. On the craziness scale, a point for some light b movie vibes, but otherwise Zombie Shark does little to rock the boat or provide wild moments.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
The Disc: Mill Creek Entertainment released Zombie Shark in the Shark Bait collection, home to five other shark movies and a bonus alligator flick as well. The movie looks fine, never great or overly impressive, likely because it has been housed on a single disc with three other pictures. Even so, the image is clear and clean, with minor digital issues, but they’re never a distraction. The colors look bright and detail is acceptable, so this is more than watchable.
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