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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Sharktopus' [Blu-ray]
(Eric Roberts, Hector Jimenez, et al / Blu Ray / NR / 2011 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Overview:It is known as S-11, a diabolical hybrid of shark and octopus created by genetic scientist Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) as the U.S. Navy's next super-weapon. But when its control implants are damaged during a training experiment, the beast escapes to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a taste of sun, sand, bikini babes, jet-skiers, spring breakers and beyond!

Blu ray Verdict: A rather subdued Eric Roberts plays an ethically challenged scientist. With the aid of his daughter, Sara Malakul Lane, the pair have created the Sharktopus in conjunction with the U.S. military industrial complex (here represented by one actor). Roberts may have shielded his little princess from some of the more nefarious purposes behind Sharktopus, but when the creature goes rogue off the coast of Mexico - the truths start to become apparent.

A former employee, Karem Bursin, is lured back to be a ripped and shirtless love interest - oh wait, I mean to track the beastie. And the youngsters set out to stop the carnage that is devastating the tourist population in various resort villages.

In a zany subplot, an intrepid reporter is also tracking the story which, even when multiple deaths and attacks are televised, doesn't seem to interest local authorities or concern beach-front vacationers. In one of the most delightful sequences, Sharktopus annihilates performers at an outdoor spectacle and is fired upon by countless rounds of ammunition--but when the actors move a few feet down the beach, a restaurant full of unconcerned diners haven't interrupted their surf and turf entries to investigate.

Without a doubt, the one genius aspect of 'Sharktopus' is the creature creation! You'll be amazed how much out-of-the-water action this sea beast hybrid can endure. It's more like Crab-Shark or Spider-Shark or the old SNL classic Landshark. As it scampers around, the film's lunacy is a veritable goldmine of laugh out loud moments. The violence and gore is silly and appropriate.

What, ultimately, held this tale back from pure poetry were the rather lackluster young leads. Neither Malakul Lane or Bursin has the fire and passion to bring this tale to the over-the-top hysteria needed. Roberts, once a great, (the harrowing "Star 80" still remains one of my favorite Roberts' roles of all time) is underutilized. He could have played this in his sleep - in fact, perhaps he did!

But with plenty of sight gags, 'Sharktopus' is still a fair amount of fun. I loved this creature - but, in the end, its devastatingly real and heartfelt performance as a maniacal killer is let down by its bland human co-stars! [KH] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary with Producers Roger Corman and Julie Corman