I give Mark Polonia a hard time. A lot. He has made some of the worst shark movies known to mankind. There are, however, a couple gems hidden in the dung pile. Movies that just hit me the right way and despite their obvious flaws, win me right over. Sharkenstein is one of these. I’ve found another with the brand new 2021 movie, Virus Shark!
Okay, it’s a little on the nose to put out a virus movie at the present moment. It’s pretty low-hanging fruit. This one has inconsistent and badly envisioned sharks in it, so there’s that. Let’s start with the sharks. Sometimes they are CGI Great Whites. Sometimes there are multitudes of them. Sometimes one. Occasionally we get footage of actual sharks, usually of the wrong species. Sometimes the sharks are claymation. In some scenes they have multi-colored polka dots. Other times the skin looks like molten lava. At first, I was annoyed at this complete lack of continuity in shark presentation. But it was done so blatantly and horribly that I decided to embrace the fact that this was done intentionally to piss me off. And I kind of respect that.
Virus Shark takes place after the virus SHVID-1 (pronounced shovid) has decimated the human population. It all started with a shark bite, the lazy-voiced female narrator explains. Tourism shut down, martial law ensued and scores of people were infected. Five people live 8000 meters below the ocean’s surface in Cygnus Research Facility trying to find a cure. There’s Kristi the shark expert, Gregory the disease specialist, Anne the marine biologist, Rikter the engineer and Duke the security guy. Topside and in communication with the team is Shannon who’s clearly a shady lady from the jump. We should focus on Duke. Duke is very tall, sports a shaggy mop of blonde-dyed hair, wears a headband and is fabulously sarcastic. When the acting caliber of the others gets you down so low that you are cracking open a 45 of Molson Ultra, turn your attention back onto Duke. It will set you free.
Kristi is keeping some infected sharks in a swimming pool and they seem to be getting more aggressive than usual. The facility itself is beginning to leak. Shannon and Gregory chat on the computer a lot and Shannon wants to destroy the sharks and get a new one to try to get better results. So here comes my man Duke who shoots up the pool and baits in a shiny new Great White. They use a toy-grabber claw machine to grab the shark who is made of clay and has little nubs for teeth. It’s adorable.
Shannon wants Gregory to get a cure so they can rule the world. Meanwhile, Anne is examining a dead body from the surface and discovers the cure. But wait! An orange globule discharges from the corpse and eats Anne’s face. We are even treated to the glob’s point-of-view! Delightful!
The facility is about to collapse and/or lose oxygen so everyone needs to escape. Gregory goes rogue, steals the cure and uses the only way out, an elevator, which gets eaten by the shark. The shark eats the communication cables too. The virus is making that shark a total douchebag.
Lots of goofy things happen betwixt and around the plot points. For example, Anne finds a mirror and discovers the glob made her face look like burnt pepperoni. Duke makes a lot of sexual innuendos. Kristi does some stuff but her acting is so bad … it’s Molson Ultra bad. And oh goody, she is the one who makes it to the surface alive after she, Duke and Rikter try to flee through a newly discovered escape pod. Now I don’t even have Duke to distract me from her shittiness. My 45 ounce bottle is already down to 27. I miss that magnificent man-beast.
Now here comes the weirdest part of the movie. Once Kristi gets to land, the movie launches itself into The Muppets Meet the Walking Dead. She runs into a trio of infected survivors named JoJo, Mace and Garbage. Of course they get the rapey eyes when they see fresh meat but Kristi convinces them that they should find a lab to produce the cure. Their lust for Kristi replaced by lust for power, they agree. Also there are marauders who are mutated infected folks who wear burlap sacks and rubber monster masks. You won’t forget this fact because Mace says “marauders” about 100 times in twenty minutes. The shark makes a final appearance and we get a nice wholesome nihilistic ending. So uplifting. The whole ending of the film is fucking strange.
Hey, despite all the subpar acting skills and complete lack of effort, I actually liked this movie. It’s fun. Well, most of it is fun. I caught a big whiff of Amityville Island, one of Polonia’ worst creations, toward the end of the film. Those awful rubber masks! I mean you can clearly see the actor’s face underneath. Oof. But other than that, I can confidently rank this as my number two favorite Mark Polonia joint after Sharkenstein. Anytime he throws in a claymation shark, I swoon.
Director: Mark Polonia
Where to Watch: I bought the DVD. Set for VOD release very soon!