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Ghost Shark: Gore with a Glow

Director: Griff Furst

Ok kids, I ain’t going to lie. This is one of my favorite sharksploitation films I have seen so far. Released in 2013 for the SyFy Channel, it does an amazing job of blending a ridiculous premise with some of the most inventive and snort-worthy kills of any shark attack movie. A ghost shark can  appear in any water! Think about that, folks. The possibilities for wet and wild carnage are endless. That pleases me. 

How did our poor hapless shark find its way into the ethereal realm? Glad you asked. The film opens with some obnoxious idiot couple sport fishing for amberjack because there is some reward for a big one. They hook the grand-mammy of all amberjack when, out of the deep blue, a great white eats their catch. So basically they blow it up only after throwing some hot sauce in its face. That had to have stung. Not even good hot sauce. That must have been what made the shark’s ghost take its bloody revenge. 

There’s a cave with strange glowing symbols that, when presented with a corpse, brings the vengeful spirit back to the earthly realm. The shark died there so…ghost shark! Immediately, the toothy phantom goes back to the boat and kicks ass. Unfortunately, the now deceased captain of the boat is the father of two girls who become our main characters, along with a mop-topped dude who’s in love with one of them. 

Ghost Shark makes its presence known early in the film and often. There is not a lot of lag time between kills. When he’s a’comin, the water begins to glow. Fun, right? Our teenaged heroes see the shark eat a couple of their friends and tell the Sheriff and the Mayor. They predictably don’t believe in the existence of translucent sharks. Various characters spout off a few Jaws rip-off lines. (You would be hard pressed to find any sharksploitation film that doesn’t rip-off Jaws, sometimes verbatim. It’s not even worth mentioning anymore.) As the citizens of Smallport increasingly become ghost chum, the powers that be start to come to their senses. 

The two best things about this movie are the kills, and Richard Moll. Moll plays a drunk and creepy lighthouse keeper, Mr. Finch,  who keeps a shrine to his dead wife. He also happens to guard the secret glowy resurrection cave. Of course, he knows about Ghost Shark. The teenagers plead to him to help stop the ghoulish fish, but he is a hard nut to crack. It’s adorable that this film made an attempt at complex character development. Dawwww…Ghost Shark. 

And I mentioned the kills. This, folks, is why you need to watch this movie. Because Ghost Shark can materialize into any water, no matter the amount, the deaths are outrageous and loads of fun. I don’t want to give it all away here but I will just give you some key words to remember. Slip-n-slide, water cooler, sprinklers. Also there is one scene involving a bikini car wash during which I came close to peeing myself with glee. I will leave you with this line from the Sheriff as he comments on a vehicle being “…hot waxed with the entrails of the woman washing it!”

As one would expect, the majority of the plot revolves around the band of teens seeking a way to destroy Ghost Shark and stay dry in the process. I never realized how difficult it is to avoid water. We get to delve into some maritime history, lost colonies, grimoires, and good old fashioned explosives. Something eventually works but you’ll have to watch it to the end to find out. 

I apologize for my vagueness but dammit, I want you to watch this movie!

I know you have questions as to how a ghost can inflict physical damage on human flesh. I mean, the teeth are ghosts too, right? Wouldn’t you see the devoured body parts floating around in its see-through tummy? Well, here is my answer. Turn off that part of your brain that holds logic and common sense, grab your favorite hot sauce, and enjoy this gem of sharky goodness. I guarantee anywhere from three to ten hearty guffaws. Just do it. 

See you next time!

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