Shark Man (2005)

sharkmanCreature
Shark / Human Hybrid

Alternate Titles
Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy

Country
USA

Director
Michael Oblowitz

Writers
Ken M Badish & Boaz Davidson
Monty Featherstone & Howard Zemski

Story

“In a desperate attempt to cure his son’s cancer, Dr. Preston King fuses his son’s DNA with Shark stem cells mutating him into a mindless, half man/ half shark creature. Seeking biological perfection, Dr. King invites his son’s ex-girlfriend and lead biologist Amelia Lockhart to his island base in the hope of impregnating her with his grandchild. Now Lockhart must find a way for her expedition team to get off the island whilst being hunter by her ex-lover, the insatiable and unstoppable Shark Man.”

Cast

  • Jeffrey Combs – Dr Preston King
  • Hunter Tylo – Amelia Lockhart
  • William Forsythe – Tom Reed
  • Arthur Roberts – Whitney Feder
  • Elise Muller – Jane Harper
  • Mariya Ignatova – Julie
  • Velizar Beniv – Dr Krause
  • Anthony Argirov – Shark Man

Creature Connections

  • Boa vs Python – Velizar Binev
  • Crocodile – Boaz Davidson
  • Crocodile 2 – Boaz Davidson
  • Curse of the Komodo – Arthur Roberts
  • Dragon Dynasty – Velizar Binev
  • Lake Placid 3 – Velizar Binev
  • Larva – Ken M Badish, Boaz Davidson, William Forsythe
  • Mega Snake – Boaz Davidson, Anthony Argirov
  • Mosquito Man – Ken M Badish, Boaz Davidson, Anthony Argirov, Velizar Binev
  • Octopus – Boaz Davidson, Velizar Binev
  • Octopus 2 – Boaz Davidson, Velizar Binev
  • Python 2 – Velizar Binev
  • Raging Sharks – Elise Muller, Velizar Binev
  • Rats – Boaz Davidson
  • Shark Hunter – Velizar Binev
  • Shark Zone – Velizar Binev
  • Snake Man – Ken M Badish, Boaz Davidson
  • Spiders – Boaz Davidson
  • Spiders 2 – Boaz Davidson, Velizar Binev

Gallery

    N/A

Review

    Shark Man is a 2005 Sci Fi Pictures Original Film directed by Michael Oblowitz, and serves as the final instalment of the ‘A New Breed of Predator’ series. Previous titled Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy, this feature stars Hunter Tylo and Jeffery Coombs as a good doctor and an evil doctor while William Forsythe, Elise Muller and Arthur Roberts round off the main cast with Antony Argirov donning the Shark Man suit.

    In a desperate attempt to cure his son’s cancer, Dr. Preston King fuses his son’s DNA with Shark stem cells mutating him into a mindless, half man/ half shark creature. Seeking biological perfection, Dr. King invites his son’s ex-girlfriend and lead biologist Amelia Lockhart to his island base in the hope of impregnating her with his grandchild. Now Lockhart must find a way for her expedition team to get off the island whilst being hunter by her ex-lover, the insatiable and unstoppable Shark Man.

    Returning to the series are story-writer Boaz Davidson and cinematographer Emil Topuzov who do their duties just plain fine and indeed the film just falls short of the standard set by Mosquito Man. The main failures come in the form of the occasionally poor acting (at times despicably poor) and the schizophrenic tone ranging from serious b-movie creature feature like Mosquito Man to campy self-parody like Mammoth. The film-makers fail to balance the two despite some impressive sets, locations and practical special effects. The gunplay is all very well choreographed and edited as are the rest of the very nice action sequences, the very short boat ambush scene and the attempted drowning scenes are especially notable.

    Whilst the direction is average at best, the amount of times Oblowitz uses a fade out to cut to the next scene is really annoying and very unnecessary giving the impression that the film was edited with advert breaks in mind.

    The acting is a real mixed bag with the performances ranging from serious to pantomime to wooden. Jeffery Coombs is remarkably entertaining playing the insane Dr King and actually manages to bring some real emotion to the more tender scenes relating to his relationship with his son. Hunter Tylo also makes for a decent and convincing heroine but unfortunately the same cannot be said for her lover. William Forsythe is never 100% convincing as the action hero protagonist that he is supposed to be portraying; everything from his constant grimace to wooden line delivery to his rather rounded physical stature just don’t work for the badass that his character is supposed to be.

    Arthur Roberts seems to be able to handle anger and hostility but lacks subtly for any non-cliché dialogue. There is not much to say about Elise Muller who plays Jane the film’s obligatory science bitch [1]. Mariya Ignatova who plays bimbo Jane is awful, just plain awful. Genre veteran Velizar Binev proves why he has always played tertiary characters, overtaking Coomb’s degree of camp as Dr King’s assistant and confident Dr Krause. Binev goes for full pantomime becoming an ‘Igor-like’ assistant to Coomb’s camp doctor, to extent of swirling beakers whilst hunching over and walking with a limp.

    It must be mentioned that I found it rather disconcerting just how many security guards the heroes end up killing, all of whom meet their demise in increasingly awful ways such as being impaled on spikes or burnt alive. For that matter, it never really explains how Dr King was ever able afford his secret island base with his ridiculously hi-tech research facility, small army of well-armed guards and countless numbers of human trials for his son to impregnate or feed on. Any other film would have had the monster killing all these antagonists but not in Shark Man, in this film the good guys have a body count almost as high as the bad guys.

    Anthony Argirov takes care of the physical acting in the actually rather impressive Shark Man suit. However the monster is completely wasted in the film as we never get a good look at him other than his head ducking behind some bushes and his tail swimming in water. Even at the end, we are denied both a big reveal of the monster in full and a satisfying ending battle/ demise for the Shark Man. Much to its detriment, the film even avoids the cliché but sensible ending of having Dr King killed by his own creation; instead he is wounded by the monster and killed by the gun-toting protagonists. Despite the rather impressive costume, the film-makers rely on some abominable CGI for Shark Man’s more complex movements creating a 50/50 balance between CGI and GIC’s (Guys In Costumes).

    As with the rest of the ANBOP series, the DVD is of shocking quality with the unrelated template front cover and the image repetition on the spine and blurb. Again the film automatically starts and plays at the basic MPEG-2 quality while the main menu is nothing more than a standard DVD burning menu with no graphics. However the only special feature found on the other ANBOP releases is surprisingly absent on this DVD. All the other films had their alternate openings tacked onto the end; the exact same footage with no audio and the film’s original title used in the title credits. Sadly this is notably absent and as such, the surprisingly snappy title of ‘Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy’ is nowhere to be seen.

    It’s difficult to recommend Shark Man as the film is unfortunately a massive waste of potential. The good acting is marred by the occasionally awful performer. The intelligent set-up and fast paced storyline conflict with the stupid and irresponsible behaviour of the characters. The interesting and creative monster design is wasted on a creature that we never see. The great pyrotechnics and practical effects are needlessly replaced by horrifically low-budget CGI. Shark Man is entertaining but by no means substantial, ideal for any creature feature collection but unlikely to be on anyone’s top ten list.

    [1] A science bitch is a recurrent trope or convention within creature features; they are universally identifiable as blonde, pretty, skinny, stubborn, courageous and doggedly-determined scientists with a complete disregard for the consequences of their actions and whose degree of intelligence will vary depending on what the plot requires. Science bitches are available in both male and female varieties and can be found all over the world but predominately originate from the US.

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