I have just finished compiling my upcoming book, Encyclopedia Sharksploitanica. I realized I have watched and reviewed 85 shark movies (and counting!). I thought I might run out of movies to review. Not yet. I might have to dive a little deeper into the hodgepodge of pseudo-legitimate streaming services to find them, or buy an obscure DVD from the distributor, but godammit … I’m gonna find them ALL!
Some say that sharks don’t get cancer. They do. It’s been documented. But do you want to know what sharks do cure? Crippling ennui due to a global pandemic! As I’m writing this, more news is coming in about how the vaccinated no longer need to mask up, Disney World is dropping temperature checks at the gates, cruise ships are able to sail again soon. Very soon, things will shift over to a new normal and America will go back to being the usual great land of road rage and saturated fats. But man, it got pretty dark for a year, didn’t it?
I have reviewed the works of filmmaker Mark Polonia with a very harsh eye. I thought these low-budget messes were an insult to my precious little eyeballs. An affront to shark cinema. Now, I look back at that self-righteous snob and wish she could have just a taste of the viral nugget that was just around the corner, about to fuck her right the fuck up. I lost my dream job. I was scared and paranoid all the time. I drank too much. I started smoking again. I chewed my cuticles so badly my fingers looked like the fringe on Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider jacket.
Now, I am really starting to love a Polonia picture. Why now? Because they are fun. Some of my favorite shark movie viewings in the past year have been indie productions. Everyone looks like they are having a real good time making a shitty, ridiculous, cheap shark movie. Fun is super important. In the “before-times”, hot and cold running fun was on tap. I could spend the day at the movie theater or grab some toilet paper at the store without a hazmat suit and four different types of sanitizing methods. Then someone forgot to pay the fun bill and we were cut off. We went cold turkey. We stayed at home and assumed the fetal position while sucking our sanitized thumbs. Some had horrific things happen to them or people they love. Everyone got hit with shit, some much more than others. No one could get away from the constant assault of bad news.
I found myself no longer dreading a newly released Polonia flick. I grew to love them. In a new movie called Bad CGI Sharks (which is also indie and super fun), they make mention of two fictional shark movies, Shark Rapist and Unusually Large Seahorse and I really wish someone would make those in real life (looking at you, Polonia). I know the special effects would be nothing but paper mache, duct tape and rubber masks. But that’s what I want … nay, I NEED right now.
I’m starting to get pissy about big budget productions like The Meg and 47 Meters Down and the like. They’re just so fucking smug aren’t they? “Ooh look at me! I can pay my actors and don’t have to pawn the video equipment right after the wrap party.” So pretentious. I love the purity of an indie shark film. The labor and sweat put into a movie that won’t make shit for money or have a substantial audience. The same actors that show up in someone’s movies over and over again. Love it.
Listen, I won’t ever kick a shark movie out of bed. This is the life I chose. But over the last year, a little perspective has taught me to stop taking myself too seriously. Now, I walk right up to indie shark films on the streets and dry hump their legs. I get excited when I hear of an upcoming indie release. I squeal when I watch a trailer on YouTube for a movie about sharks in a cornfield or shark ghosts or shark ghosts in a cornfield. Whatever. Bring it on. I know, no matter how “bad” the movie, I’m going to take back that elusive FUN. I’m gonna hog tie him and lock him in an underground bunker so he can never escape again. Fun will always be there waiting to play when the next dark time rears its ugly head.
Mark Polonia’s next shark movie, Sharkula, is filming right now. Tee-hee!
A deep dive into the world of amazingly terrible and wonderful shark movies through the eyes of a degenerate marine biologist!