'Shark Bait: 6 Killer Shark Films' [DVD+Digital]
(Mackenzie Rosman, Jason London, Kristy Swanson, Cassie Steele, Allisyn Ashley Arm, et al / 2-DVD + Digital / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: 'Shark Bait: 6 Killer Shark Films' features 6 (actually, 7!) killer creatures that are lurking in the shallows of the deep blue sea, hungry for blood and ready to attack!
DVD Verdict: First up is 'Ghost Shark' (2013) starring: Mackenzie Rosman (TV's 7th Heaven), Dave Davis (TV's The Walking Dead), Sloane Coe (Devil's Due), and Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2).
When rednecks on a fishing trip kill a great white shark, its spirit comes back for revenge, and soon turns its sights on the town of Smallport.
After being killed by a couple of fishermen, a great white shark is resurrected from the dead and comes back to haunt the small town of Smallport which has had its share of mystical occurrences over the years.
The problem is not only that the townspeople refuse to believe some teenagers when they describe it to them but also that it doesn't need much water to manifest itself in order to kill.
Now obviously any film with a plot as far-fetched as this one needs to be viewed with a heavy dose of humor or at least a 6-pack of beer!
Be that as it may, as far as overall shark movies are concerned this particular picture is not one of the better films out there as it gets more and more ridiculous the further it continues (then again, being that it's a SyFy movie, maybe that was their selling point all along!)
Then we get 'Mississippi River Sharks' (2017) starring: Jason London (Dazed and Confused), Cassie Steele (TV's Degrassi: The Next Generation), Miles Doleac (The Hollow), and Tahj Vaughans (TV's NCIS: New Orleans).
Sharks attack a fish rodeo on the Mississippi River, and it is up to a group of locals, along with a visiting actor from a successful franchise of shark movies, to stop the sharks.
There was a lot to really like in this one. One of the film's positive points is the fact that there's plenty of solid lead-up throughout here to get the main point of the film going.
With the exploits of the fishing competition carrying on with all the fine build-up here of the big attacks that provide all the lead-in to the infestation - from the first fisherman attack out on the marina and the ensuing ambush on the deputy trying to clean up the crime scene, the confrontation on the main section of the river where they produce the creature for the masses and the sequence where the creatures arrive to interrupt their plan to stop them by launching the out-of-water attack on the locals.
With these scenes all coming to point out the rather fun concept of the creatures invading the fishing competition with the disbelieving locals, there's a lot to like with the idea of this one setting up a race to warn people against the attacking creatures while they work their way down in several shorter attack scenes.
Next is 'Ozark Sharks' (2016) starring: Allisyn Ashley Arm (TV's A.P. Bio), Dave Davis (TV's The Walking Dead), Michael Papajohn (Jurassic World), and Ross Britz (God's Not Dead).
A vacation to the Ozarks turns upside-down when bull sharks somehow infiltrate Arkansas's freshwater lakes and wreak havoc on a town's big fireworks festival.
As with most other SyFy movies you shouldn't get your hopes up too high in terms of acting and special effects, because you will (most likely) just end up disappointed. And true enough 'Ozark Sharks' stays true to the blueprint that SyFy uses for these creature features!
The acting in the movie was adequate, I will give the movie that much. Well, at least adequate taking the genre into consideration. People were doing good enough jobs with their individual roles and actually seemed to be having fun with what they were doing.
However, it was somewhat of a strain to witness Allisyn Ashley Arm (playing Molly) to stride through the movie as if she was doped up on prescription medication!
'Ozark Sharks' is not genre breaking in any way, nor did it bring anything new to the genre. Well, strike that, it did bring a scene where a shark was sent skyward by fireworks and exploded in a very colorful fireworks explosion! I hadn't seen that before in my 53 years so thumbs up for that!
Then comes the brilliantly entitled 'Santa Jaws' (2018) starring: Reid Miller (Flikker), Courtney Lauren Cummings (TV's The Vampire Diaries), Jim Klock (TV's Cloak & Dagger), and Carrie Lazar (The Magnificent Seven).
A young aspiring comic book artist is gifted a mysterious pen that brings his drawing to life. Now his creation, Santa Jaws, begins to devour his family and the remaining must battle for survival against this creature.
Thankfully the director (Misty Talley) was able to keep this nonsense together pretty well instead of sending it straight off the rails, and managed to include the appropriate camp-to-family ratio that makes Christmas movies work!
The script was creative. Some of the casting was excellent (Ritchie Montgomery, Haviland Stillwell, Hawn Tran all did great character work here).
The result was a movie that is every bit as family-friendly as 'The Meg' aspired to be without losing any of the qualities that make the best of the SyFy shark movies work.
Next up is 'Swamp Shark' (2011) starring: Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Robert Davi (Die Hard), D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge), and Jeff Chase (Star Trek - Into Darkness).
An animal smuggling ring accidentally releases a deadly shark into the swamplands of Atchafalaya Basin causing carnage to the residents and visitors to the upcoming Gator Fest.
The storyline in 'Swamp Shark' was pretty much as expected, a killer shark on the rampage, in a swamp nonetheless, terrorizing the people in the area and going on a feeding frenzy.
Of course it terrorizes the wrong people and they decide to hunt it down. I mean, what else are restaurant owners to do, eh?
Pretty much textbook storyline here, so don't expect any brilliant ideas or surprise plot twists. And you already know the ending of the movie right from the first minute of watching it. But hey, the movie was still entertaining!
Then we get 'Zombie Shark' (2015, originally titled 'Shark Island') starring: Cassie Steele (TV's Degrassi: The Next Generation), Jason London (Dazed and Confused), Sloan Coe (Devil's Due), and Laura Cayouette (Django Unchained).
Four friends vacationing at a resort island find themselves faced with the danger of infectious zombie sharks that transform their victims into the undead.
'Zombie Shark' is one of those types of movies that are so bad that it is actually fun to watch. And it makes you wonder just who comes up with the idea for such a movie.
As a movie shown on the SyFy Channel then you know exactly what you are getting yourself into, both entertainment-wise and effect-wise.
A group of young people travel to an exotic Island for a vacation, but they come to an island where the waters are filled with zombie sharks, and soon the infection spreads to land.
Yep, it is yet another one of those wacky movies that SyFy Channel is widely known for. And you either hate them for the questionable movies that they might be, or you love it for its glorious campy cheesiness.
Also, the effects in 'Zombie Shark' were just plain awful, especially the CGI animations. It just baffled me that a movie made in 2015 can have such inadequate, outdated and lousy CGI effects!
And, as a special "extra bite" we get 'Alligator Alley' (2013) starring: Jordan Hinson (TV's Eureka), Victor Webster (Surrogates), Thomas Francis Murphy (Free State of Jones), and Christopher Berry (12 Years a Slave).
Rival bayou families must put their mutual hatred aside when a mutated alligator begins devouring members of each clan while it rampages through the swamp.
Not only does this film have one of the greatest titles in the history of cinema, it also manages to be one of the most entertaining movies to appear on SyFy.
The story is pretty simple as a girl (Jordan Hinson) returns home to see that her family is still feuding with their neighbors and worst of all is that these neighbors have been dumping bad moonshine into the swamps, which has created large, redneck gators.
I think the best thing going for this are the horrendous CGI alligators, which are among some of the worst things you're ever going to see but thankfully they're funny, which adds to the entertainment.
The scenes of the gators attacking are so poorly done and the blood so fake looking that it's impossible to take these scenes serious, which is another good thing.
The performances are quite mixed at best but I thought Hinson was good enough in the lead. The film manages to have quite a few funny moments, which is about all you can hope for when watching something like this. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.