Spring Break Shark Attack (2005)

Contains some spoilers.

The film opens with a group of big-haired “desperate housewives” nibbling on fishy canapés (irony there somewhere) in an inflatable boat. They’re wearing tiny bikinis out on a grey sea, on a chilly looking day. Almost as if they were filmed at a different time and place to the rest of the movie. Before you can say “opening titles” we witness the inevitable shark attack, but not any gore (unless you count red water). And that should have been a sign of what is to come.

The desperate housewives on a dinghyDanielle is cute and wholesome, and wants to go to Florida for Spring Break, but her adulterous (oh the hypocracy!) father disapproves, claiming it will all be “idiots jello-wrestling in kiddie pools” and guys that are “sharks” (oh, the metaphors!). But Danielle sneaks off to Florida anyway, where she promptly finds idiots jello-wrestling in kiddie pools, and sharks, both the metaphorical and literal kinds.

One of these is JT, with his dark hair, tan, chiselled abs, and neatly plucked eyebrows. And a shark tooth necklace (in case we missed the metaphor). He also turns out to be a bit rapey, drugging Danielle’s drink and attempting to cop a free feel, before trying to blame the drugs on the handsome but dull hero Shane. Soon Shane ends up at sea with a boatful of JT, Danielle and her girlie friends. When sharks turn up during a swim, he manages to save Danielle’s life by telling her to stay motionless in the water, as sharks won’t attack something that isn’t moving. Though the theory is then slightly disproved when the sharks start ramming the boat as it just floats there.

After a minor bit of faffing, the engines start, and it’s decided they’ll have to rough it on a nearby island for the night. I can’t remember the reason, other than it helps them find a corpse. And the next morning they simply sail back to the mainland anyway.

Shark fins seen through binocularsMeanwhile the sharks head for the thumpy-thumpy dance music and lingering bikini shots at the Spring Break beach party. A swarm of CGI fins appear on the water, apparently forgetting they’re supposed to cause ripples on the surface, and there is a scene of much screaming, splashing, blood, prosthetics, and more bikinis. (Shark/piranha movie cliche is a horrible phrase but..)

Up until the massacre sequence, which is a lot less gory than you’d expect, the shark attack scenes have mostly involved a victim screaming, going underwater, then the water turning a bit red. Occasionally a fake shark head makes an appearance, which has great comedy value. And best of all, one victim parascends right into a shark’s open mouth!

There’s some kind of subplot with Bryan Brown (the only actor I recognised) who is apparently to blame for it all. Danielle’s marine-biologist-type brother happens to live nearby and pops up early on to warn her to keep out of the water. And the climactic survivors-versus-sharks sequence is very amusing, involving someone being dangled in the water on a wire (like a piece of bait, ironically) and the nerdy brother’s invention that looks a bit like a robotic flip-top bin.

The film’s ending is a surprise, only in how unsatisfying it is, and it doesn’t seem to make sense. Though one character’s distractingly low-cut outfit with pale bosoms tend to divert the eye away from most of the nonsense.

It feels like one of those glossy teen TV dramas, with attractive actors, but following a well-worn shark/piranha film storyline. It’s all a bit silly, but still quite entertaining. Not as laugh-out-loud funny as – say – Shark Attack 3, but still worth a watch if you love cheesy shark movies.

 

Spring Break Shark Attack (AKA Dangerous Waters: Shark Attack) is available to purchase at amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, play.com and at other online retailers.

Spring Break Shark Attack (AKA Dangerous Waters: Shark Attack)/2005/Von Zerneck Sertner Films/Dir: P Shapiro/Prod: L Belzberg, P Sadowski

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