Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

It perhaps indicates the sort of film fans that I talk to that this was one of the most anticipated film events of the year:

Sadly, as with real Hollywood films, anticipation from the trailer didn’t live up to expectation and MS vs GO is just a bad film, not a ‘so bad it’s good’ film. If you feel that your life isn’t complete without watching a bad film featuring a giant prehistoric shark, then I’d recommend the much better (for values of ‘better’ that include forms of ‘worse’) Shark Attack 3.

But I think Shark Attack 3, for all its many and myriad faults, shows what the problem is with MS vs GO. Both of them are bad films, but MS vs GO is cynically bad. The creators have come up with a title, realised that it will make them a profit with a minimum of effort, then gone out and put in that minimum of effort and no more. That’s the entire business model of The Asylum, of course – cashing in on titles – and good luck to them with it, but for true bad movie genius there needs to be something more.

The key thing about Ed Wood is that he never thought he was making bad movies. Sure, he saw himself as a maverick film-maker, working outside of the system, but he and the rest of his crew were always doing the best they could to produce what they thought would turn out to be the blockbuster that would get the world thinking they were right. Whether it be Plan 9 From Outer Space, Shark Attack 3, Manos: The Hands of Fate or Space Mutiny, the makers of truly bad movies didn’t set out to make an intentionally bad film. All the bizarre things that make us laugh now from the chiropractor impersonating Bela Lugosi through Big McLargeHuge to John Barrowman delivering the most bizarre line in film history were put in by people who thought they were good ideas at the time, and something that would make their movie great.

By contrast, everything about MS vs GO has an unmistakeable air of ‘that’ll do’ and ‘it’s not that important’ about it, be it sets that look like corridors when they’re meant to be the bridge of US Navy destroyers, a half-hearted battle between the titular monsters or Lorenzo Lamas just nibbling the scenery occasionally when his role demands crazed chewing of it for it to make any sense. They’ve set out to make a mediocre movie and succeeded, but you can only plumb the true depths of failure if you’re aiming for the stars. And with bizarre metaphors like that, I should be writing film scripts…