Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Film Review: Avalanche Sharks

So. Yeah.

Avalanche Sharks...

I really really really hoped that this B-film would be one of those B-films that relish in their Beeness. You know, a hokey horror film that is self-aware, like Sharknado or Zombeavers or Eight Legged Freaks. These are movies that are total trash. But you know what? They know their total trash and they relish in it... And as a result, you can relish in it too. A guy slicing a giant flying shark in half with a chainsaw...? If it's done right, it can be awesome and funny and fun. But if it's done wrong, it's just dumb.


Avalanche Sharks is a film that doesn't know it's dumb. And boy o' boy is it dumb...

Here's the write-up on the film from Wikipedia:

After a snowboarder inadvertently starts a major avalanche, the moving snowfield uncovers and wakes prehistoric "snow sharks" which had been trapped beneath. The sharks develop an appetite for human flesh and the staff at the Mammoth Ski Resort begins to get reports of missing people and strange finned creatures moving under the snow. Fearing financial loss on what is their busiest event day of the year, the Bikini Snow Day, the resort's management tries to hide news of the missing skiers and sightings of strange creatures. Disaster strikes as the bikini-clad snow bunnies one-by-one become meals for the shark. The local sheriff allies with snowboarders to track down the monster.

Okay. Where to start...? I don't think I can begin with what a stupid idea this is. You guys already know that. You're probably aware that it would be really difficult for sharks to travel through the anemic snowpack that exists in the eastern Sierra where the film is supposed to take place. You probably know that -- even if the sharks could travel through snow -- it would need to be a light and fluffy snowpack, not the hard-packed ice found in a ski area that makes its own snow. And you're probably aware that sharks don't have a preference for bikini clad snow bunnies over stinky snowboarder dudes...

Here's the thing. This movie is so poorly paced, I could leave the room get something to eat and then come back and sit down before a character finishes explaining a strange occurrence that we just witnessed. The film is full of exposition that doesn't move (and I use this word lightly) plot forward.


Every female character is an over-sexualized prop. They're often giggling and drunk and half-naked, apparently waiting for a shark to come and bite them in half. Male characters are not much better. The over-sexualized relationships between the characters are so severe that they are forced to define their relationships to one another within one sentence. There are two options here, "I'm so glad I have you as a cousin...!" Or, "come on soldier boy, it's time for your duty. Get your military ass over here and take care of me!"

Somewhere, someone thought that second line was good. They thought, "hey, I can use this line to sexualize this character and I can provide exposition that the guy was in the military." Ironically, the same writer seemed to feel that we didn't get it from that line. So he preceded to have the military character tell us he was in the marines several dozen times in case we forgot.

The acting in this film is atrocious. Imagine the worst high school production of Music Man that you can imagine. None of the kids know their lines. They're coming on stage too soon and leaving too early. They're so nervous that they can't stop pacing and they're talking like robots. They all have the flu and keep throwing up... And maybe somebody trips over somebody else on stage and knocks down half the set. But the show must go on, so the kids keep talking like robots and forgetting lines and tripping over each other and throwing up on the audience...

Nobody in Avalanche Sharks is that good. Watching the full production of Music Man I just described would be like sitting on a beautiful beach with a margarita compared to watching any of the acting in Avalanche Sharks.

This is a terribly written and terribly directed film. According to the credits, Quaid Brinker adapted the screenplay from a story by Keith Shaw. Brinker also directed the film. Shaw can be found on IMDB, but Brinker is nowhere to be seen. I suspect that whomever directed the film -- and it's quite possible that it was Shaw -- knew it was so bad that he made up a director so it wouldn't hurt his career...

I have to admit. I turned it off. I couldn't get to the end. I got about an hour into it and realized I still had twenty minutes to go. That's when I realized that I could be doing anything other than watching that film. Anything...

My suggestion? Don't even turn it on to begin with...

--Jason D. Martin

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