I must start by telling you there is no way I’m typing that title a dozen times in this blog. Seriously, I don’t want the carpal tunnel. So let’s establish the shortcut of PACS.
PACS is another low-budget, goofy movie that tries to cash in on its title, which I can attest, is completely irresistible to fans of bad shark films. This is a strange and jumbled movie, but not without its charm. According to the Starship Troopers-like narration, a nuclear war has destroyed much of the planet. German scientists, cackling evilly, create a super soldier that fused man with shark … the PACSeses! “A creature that fights like a man, but strikes fear into the hearts of all that see him with his jagged tooth and soulless beady eyes.” Oh, and they have heads that look like a kindergartner’s arts and crafts project.
Most of the movie is a bouncy ball of various American resistance groups. We are introduced, sometimes with onscreen snippets about the characters, and then we watch them get killed by some combination of PACS and Russian gunfire. The PACSeses can speak, albeit unintelligibly. The whole movie is a bit of a mess but the low brow humor and implicit commentary on how stupid Americans are makes up for it quite a bit. Actually, for a movie that came out in 2018, it’s pretty damn 2021 in its depiction of the state of our beloved country. Way to foreshadow, PACS!
An American scientist and his talking dog, Bruno, are bumbling their way into finding a solution to this pesky PACS/Russian problem. Meanwhile, Marty Warbuck, one of the few surviving resistance dudes, heads to the super secret base that is discovered by the Ruskies who kill them all. US radio keeps giving out the address to the secret bases so that never really ends well. Occasionally, the cinematic ball bounces over to an American house party where drunken civilians meet their predictable demise. Apparently, we taste like BBQ sauce and booze. One of the PACSeses states “white meat is jawsome” before ripping the throat out of a young lady.
The head of the Russian army, Wolfgang, finds out that the PACSeses are killing civillians and “innocent succulent American booty” and is appalled. Hey, they might have dropped nuclear bombs on us but they only meant to kill the bad guys! He confronts the German head scientist who created the PACSeses and learns that the scientist masterminded that whole thing so that the Germans would take over the world. The PACSeses obey his commands through a remote control that also has a killswitch just in case. He turns Wolfgang into a PACS, and he and his doofus partner make a Gargantua Shark that wreaks havoc on a much larger scale.
The US scientist makes a homeless man into a weredog. This goes absolutely nowhere. Then he discovers he has a jug of shark repellant this whole time! He gives it to the head of the resistance. Look, as arguably shitty as this movie is, it is very self-aware of its flaws and often addresses them in the film itself. That’s the charm I mentioned earlier. The movie self-identifies as shitty which has the effect of turning this ugly duckling into a Z-movie swan. I snort laughed a few times. I was not expecting that.
At last, the final showdown happens between the Russians and the Americans. In total, there are like 12 people left to fight so expect a very small battle. The American scientist somehow has a shrink ray and the Gargantua Shark is rendered to bug-size and is squashed accordingly. Air support napalms the PACSeses. Wolfgang shows up, fully transformed into a sharkman, and mauls the German guy. Wolfgang is shot but manages to tell the Americans about the killswitch that terminates the remaining PACSeseseses.
There are some nice touches sprinkled throughout this mess. A fat guy named Meatball gets eviscerated in the beginning of the film and sporadically pops up in scenes to provide some comic relief. Bruno, the US scientist’s dog, drops some cute lines and eventually grows to Gargantua size for some reason. Marty and his fellow resistance dude keep trying to one up each other on one liners. There is an inexplicable post-credit scene that features alien Easter eggs. Very silly stuff. I did not hate it.
Not that I would EVER get stoned and watch a movie before providing a laser-sharp insight for you good people, but y’all should probably get stoned and watch this one. Not that I would ever do that. Just sayin’.
Director: Sam Qualiana
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
A deep dive into the world of amazingly terrible and wonderful shark movies through the eyes of a degenerate marine biologist!