Raging Sharks Movie Review
Written by Neon Maniac
DVD released by MTI Video
Directed by Danny Lerner
Written by Les Weldon
2005, 92 minutes, Rated R
Binky van Bilderbeek
An alien fender bender in another part of the galaxy releases a container with strange orange crystals inside. Floating billions of miles through space, it finally splashes down here on Earth, smack dab in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.
Five years later, an aging undersea lab has been moved to the same spot to study shark activity. The sharks in this neighborhood have been eating the mysterious orange crystals, and everything quickly goes to hell for the scientists aboard the lab. The sharks become highly intelligent and highly aggressive; and they start attacking nearby beaches as well as the sea lab itself.
Low on oxygen, power and hope, the crew of the Oshona deep sea lab must battle raging sharks, mysterious crystals, and the bureaucracy of the US Navy in order to survive!
Ed Wood once quipped that if given enough stock footage, he could make a movie. Filmmaker Danny Lerner has taken that idea to heart, and unfortunately it seems like he spent more time combing through archival footage of sharks and undersea clips than actually trying to make a decent movie. The script is fairly solid and straightforward, but Lerner's excessive use of file footage throws off the pacing. Lerner also makes some dubious choices regarding the parts he actually did film. A nuclear submarine that comes to rescue the stranded scientists has the interior of a WWII era diesel pusher. When the US Coast Guard gets involved, it is in a tiny 1960's era seaplane, that is obviously flying on a lake. The scenes cut from the ocean surface, to a smooth lake surface complete with summer homes and rolling hills off shore. Like Wood, continuity does not seem to bother Lerner.
This is all somewhat surprising, considering that Lerner has made his career making alien, underwater, or underwater alien movies. He has had his hands in nearly 70 low budget films in about 10 years, many of them shark or underwater related. Instead of learning from the past, he seems to just keep borrowing from it over and over again.
Lerner also cannot end the movie to save his life. By all reasonable accounts, Raging Sharks should have ended somewhere near the 75 minute mark. Gratuitous use of slow motion effects, villains that will not die and several twists that never should have been twisted make this film linger like bad house guests.
Combine this all with a soundtrack heavy on melodramatic opera music, silly sound effects like sharks that roar, and you've got a 92 minute crapfest.
The acting is excellent, with veteran actors Nemec ("Parker Lewis Can't Lose", "The Stand"), Angel (Kingpin), and Bernsen ("LA Law", Frozen Assets) doing their best to save this jumble of a movie. The acting is actually the only saving grace of this film.
Raging Sharks may be worth a rental if you cannot find your Jaws DVD, are on heavy medication, and must see shark on man action right now. Otherwise, skip it. It is really too much of a mess to mess with
Video and Audio:
This was a screener, so it would be unfair to review the audio quality. However, the copy I received did have a nice stereo mix that was loud, clear, and rich. The final release of the DVD will come with a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix.
Again, since this was a screener it would be unfair to review the video quality.
No extras on the screener DVD aside from a trailer.
(Neon's Movie Lounge contains a Zenith 42" Plasma EDTV, Oppo DV971H DVD player using a DVI connection, Pioneer 815 7.1 receiver and JBL Northridge E Series speakers.)
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