Sharkenstein. Land Shark. Amityville Island. They’re all Mark Polonia films. They all require your synapses to fire at a rate way way lower than you could ever expect (Note: I adore Sharkenstein so leave that one out of this). Shark Encounters of the Third Kind is no different. If you thought combining two of Spielberg’s greats into one movie was a good idea, your synapses are firing too fast. Get down on my level, buddy.
This movie is closer to Amityville Island than the others in that it is basically a hastily strewn- together hodgepodge of scenes that make little sense nor relate to each other. It’s just fucking weird. From what I could gather, aliens are mad that the Nazis captured a spacecraft in a sunken U-boat in 1945. Or it could be that we are their failed experiment? It might be both. Fuck if I know. Toward the end, the aliens keep saying “we hate you” and “the experiment was a failure” so I’m going with the latter.
The aliens look like a tortoise, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marty Feldman were put into a blender. They do some rather heavy petting with a theremin and they make bright, flashy lights that I assume are made to slow down our synapses for maximum viewing pleasure. They are complete dicks. Either they directly kill people or they have their roving gang of Great Whites do it for them. How do they control these sharks? They cocoon them in a bubble, shrink them to the size of action figures and hold them in their hands. Next, they use an otoscope or some shit to brainwash them into hating people.
Meanwhile, a couple side plots are working. One involves an overdressed psychologist who takes over her dead dad’s support group for alien abductees. Her mom is one of them and she eventually morphs into a homicidal maniac. An epic fight between a knife and a frying pan ensues. Also, treasure hunters think the U-boat has goodies in it and every diver they send down there gets eaten. Because sharks hate us now. Fucking aliens.
The sharks look like they’re made of play-doh that’s been pecked at by wild birds. That, or we are treated to some stock aquarium footage of random shit.
There are two beacons of light in this shitstorm. One is the Harbor Patrol dude. He is a moron but his off-color commentary produced the only chuckles I could muster during the blessedly short running time of this movie. The other was a brief scene in the beginning of the film where a man is sitting on the beach, about to go diving. He looks to the sky and says “Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art.” This was in broad daylight, mind you. I have no idea what the point of this was, but I liked it nonetheless because of the sheer randomness of it all. I take it where I can get it, folks.
The ending is an exercise in sifting through shit to find the climax. I’m still not sure if I found it. I remember a flare gun shooting some aliens, an explosion and sharks telepathically telling us to stay the fuck out of the ocean. Which of course, we ignore. The sharks might even have helped the humans destroy the aliens. I cannot be certain. I wouldn’t blame them with the whole hate bubble cocoon situation and all.
All in all, I don’t get it. Stick with Sharkenstein, folks. He may also be made of chewed up play-doh, but he has a heart of fucking gold.
Director: Mark Polonia
Where to watch: Tubi
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