Movie Stuff

I'm Not Here to Judge: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

There are already plenty of movie review sites out there, so I thought I might just dispassionately describe the films I choose to watch, trying to keep my personal opinions to myself. Sort of like a news reporter, only, like I said, I’ll be keeping my personal opinions to myself.

I recently watched the movie Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, a low-budget thriller shot in twelve days in southern California and released straight to home video. Below is a description of the events of the film as I witnessed them; you are left to make your own decision as to the quality of the film.

I’m not here to judge.

Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus begins with some long aerial shots of a snow-capped mountain range, a natural choice for a film that will take place mostly in the ocean.  After the credits, we meet 80’s pop-sensation Debbie “Deborah” Gibson, who is a top scientist in the important and challenging field of Looking At Whales.  While she pilots a research submarine, a military helicopter drops an experimental sonar device into the ocean, which disturbs the whales and causes them to crash into a glacier, freeing a Quite-Large shark and an octopus that is also Abnormally Big.

Back on land, Debbie Gibson, who had stolen the submarine, gets chewed out by her boss, a sunglasses-wearing, gum-chomping hardass who seems to think he’s been cast to play a jaded homicide detective instead of a marine biologist.  They examine the corpse of a beached whale that has a huge bite out of it, though Detective Scientist claims the whale died from some sort of boating accident.  Debbie Gibson, suspecting otherwise, sneaks back later to extract a large pointy tooth from the carcass.

Meanwhile, on a commercial airliner, a stewardess walks down the aisle individually asking each and every passenger to put their seat-backs up.  The plane experiences some light turbulence, causing a male passenger to leap from his seat and announce that he’s getting married in two days.  After the stewardess calms him, he glances out the window in time to see Mega Shark leaping thousands of feet into the air and biting the plane to death.

This is your captain speaking. We're flying at 35,000 feet, and in a few minutes, those of you on the right side of the plane will be able to look out your window for a nice view of the digestive tract of an enormous prehistoric shark.

Debbie Gibson gets in touch with her former professor of paleontology, an irascible Irishman named Lamar. Lamar and Debbie Gibson try to determine what the large tooth-like object that looks like a tooth is, and after pouring Hawaiian Punch from one beaker to another and analyzing the results, they eventually realize that the tooth is a tooth. Lamar quickly jumps to the conclusion that the tooth belongs to a Megalodon, a prehistoric shark.

A Japanese scientist, Dr. Shimada, asks for help with Giant Octopus, who attacked an offshore oil platform while two workers were discussing whether or not it’s acceptable to urinate on co-workers.  Shimada also reveals that Lamar was kicked out of the Navy for crashing a nuclear submarine in order to avoid hitting a dolphin.  It is not explained how Lamar saw the dolphin from inside the submarine, or why the dolphin was floating motionless and unable to get out of the way, or why the Navy let an Irishman drive a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine in the first place.

The film then presents an important environmental message as Debbie Gibson announces that we deserve to have our passenger jets and oil platforms eaten by monsters because we’re letting the polar ice caps melt.  As if to prove this point, Mega Shark then eats a Navy destroyer.

Debbie Gibson, Lamar, and Shimada are taken to meet Lorenzo Lamas, who is one of the few top-ranking government agents allowed to have a ponytail, and who describes Mega Shark and Octopus as a “menace”, as if they were some foul-mouthed teenage skateboarders rather than creatures responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.  He also demonstrates an amazing skill: the ability to pick up any nearby phone and instantly be able to yell at the specific person he wants to yell at, be it a jet pilot, boat captain, or someone in a submarine, without having to actually push any buttons or ask someone to connect him.  He can just automatically connect through rage.

The scientists do some science, pouring various flavors of fruit juice into different-sized beakers, looking at the beakers, and shaking their heads because the juice is apparently not cooperating. Science is hard!

Exhausted from a day spent looking skeptically at juice, Lamar sleeps while Debbie Gibson and Shimada compare stories about why they became whatever kinds of scientists they are supposed to be.  Shimada explains he was a fisherman until he witnessed the tragic death of a dolphin caught in one of his nets, which convinced him to go into the field of beaker-related science.  His description of the agonizing demise of the helpless dolphin naturally arouses Debbie Gibson, and they have sex.

Afterward, Shimada starts sniffing Debbie Gibson, which doesn’t creep her out but instead gives her the idea of using pheromones to lure Mega Shark and Giant Octopus to shallow waters in hopes of trapping them.  Energized, they scientifically pour more fruit punch into beakers until the formula glows bright green, which indicates they’ve invented either Mountain Dew or the perfect substance to make giant prehistoric sea creatures horny.

Alas, things go awry. Giant Octopus swats a fighter jet out of the sky as it attempts to locate him.  Mega Shark becomes a nuisance as well, sinking another battleship and eating the Golden Gate Bridge, which was crowded with traffic due to no one bothering to tell the citizens of San Francisco that a five-hundred foot prehistoric shark was being lured into their city and they might want to stay away from the water.

The direct result of you refusing to switch to energy-saving light bulbs.

Since the plan to trap Mega Shark and Giant Octopus failed, Lorenzo Lamas wants to nuke the monsters, but Debbie Gibson has the idea of tricking the shark and octopus into attacking each other instead.  While luring the beasts together, Giant Octopus destroys an entire fleet of submarines by whapping them with his tentacles. “All five ships… destroyed by Octopus…” a submarine officer reports sadly.

Mega Shark starts chasing the last submarine, and after the submarine driver pulls a gun on everyone (don’t ask), Lamar knocks him unconscious and steers the submarine to safety, redeeming himself in the eyes of the Navy.  Mega Shark and Giant Octopus finally do battle, with Giant Octopus repeatedly wrapping his tentacles around Mega Shark because that’s apparently the only shot of the titular battle the filmmakers produced.  Eventually, both creatures die and sink into the deep, their deaths probably less a result of the fight than from trying to digest several thousand tons of boat and airplane wreckage.

Our heroes, clearly transfixed by the climactic battle. Or possibly thinking the camera wasn't rolling. Hard to say.

In the end, Shimada decides he’d like to continue living in the United States so he can keep sniffing Debbie Gibson. Lamar shows up and they all happily and excitedly run off to investigate some new monster stuck in ice somewhere, because it was so much fun the first time what with the thousands of people dying and the billions of dollars of damage.  The end.