Shark Attack 3
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is a 2002 direct-to-video film featuring a large shark of the megalodon species. It was directed by David Worth. It is based on the belief in the continued existence of the megalodon, although most scientists agree that it is unlikely that the species still exists.
Robert Lewis, a highly respected student in the field, notably claimed, "if they were still around, we'd probably know". Many in the scientific community agreed.
This charming film starts off in a deep water trench with divers from the company A-pex communication’s constructing a pipe line. One of them called Dave Porter dives deeper into the trench to do some maintenance lower down. In the ship above the radar operator spots a dot on the radar heading towards Dave Porter’s position. He tries to tell porter but the radio cuts out only coming back at the last minute by which time it is too late. A prehistoric shark grabs Porter and his head is severed onto the ocean floor even though the shark never came in contact with his neck.
After the depressing opening sequence, the film then cuts to a playful beach resort in Mexico. It is here that the film's hero, Ben Carpenter, is introduced. He is a stellar security guard who is genuinely concerned for the safety of the resort patrons; the kind of work ethic that makes Peyton Manning look like a child-pornographer. However, he is a little unbelievable as a would-be Megalodon-killer because of his soft, feminine features and excessive lipstick.
Ben convinces his friend and co-worker Esai 'Sy' to skip out on work with him to go scuba diving for some lobsters. Esai 'Sy' waits in the motor boat while Ben swims to the bottom not far below, for he "knows where the best lobster are". He then starts investigating a thick wire and pries a large shark's tooth from it. The camera then closes in on him from behind and he whips around, dive knife ready, only to find it is two other divers. They resurface together, and Ben learns that these divers were sent by the Apex company to check out the frayed cables. Ben tells them about the shark's tooth he found on the cables below, but the divers dismiss him and tell him to keep away from the cable.
The film then cuts to a natural science museum where a security guard bumps into one of staff members still there. They have a quick chat, then the staff member goes on one of the computers. The staff member, Cataline, is played by Jenny McShane, an obvious porn actress making her first leap to the silver screen. She opens a email and its picture attachment of the tooth found in the cable. Her response is “Oh my god” as her eyes dart back and forth, obviously not reading anything. The viewer is left befuddled as to the importance of this tooth, and why it is making Cataline's eyes convulse in such a manner.
Interspersed throughout the film are scenes of folks being mauled by what appears to be a Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) solely based on the stock footage added in by Worth. The scenes are pretty brutal and have the ability to pluck some heart strings but then you hear the abnormal sounds produced by the shark and can't help but chuckle. One reviewer writes: "...Something like a twist between farting, roaring and barking." However, sharks have no organs for producing sound. Even their scales are modified to allow them to slip through the water in ghost-like silence.
Cataline rushes to Mexico to inform Ben of the significance his find. She arrives to find Ben in the middle of routine shark attack protocol. Upon inspecting the tooth, Cat immediately identifies it as belonging to the Megalodon, a prehistoric shark which is believed to be the single largest predatory creature to ever exist. She radios two members of a film crew, Davis (Nikolai Sortirov) and Friedman (Atanas Srebrev), and instructs them make the trip to Mexico to begin a documentary on this 15 million-year-old incarnation of pure evil.
Now things start getting out of hand. Amidst more carnage, gratuitous sex and evil shark clatter, two adolescents are shown kissing on the deck of a water slide. Suddenly, they are pushed down by an unseen body. The two slide down, and again, the audience is shown the same five second clip repeatedly for a short period of time (which some argue to be the hallmark of Davidson’s direction). At the end of the slide, they meet an unfortunate death in the crushing jaws of the Megalodon. At the top of the slide is another adolescent, bizarrely removing a clown mask, wearing a sinister grin. The film makes absolutely no attempt at explaining the significance of this character. Back at the resort,the Persian/Mexican hotel owner refused to heed the warnings of his first-class security guard Ben. The same fatal error the Mayor of Amity makes in the far inferior film "Jaws". Right on cue, the shark makes its way toward the beaches for some easy pickins but is headed off by Ben, Catiline and the rest of the crew only to redirect it toward a para-sailing group. The shark makes hasty work of them, traumatizing Cataline, who accepts responsibility for the killings.
Now action must be taken, we don't need the key we'll break in. It is here that we are introduced to supporting actor Ryan Cutrona who plays Chuck Rampart, the ex-navy submariner who works for the company laying cables on the ocean floor. Chuck and Ben put their heads together and realize that the giant shark is attracted to the power lines. After a night full of hacking into the cable company's systems, Chuck discovers that there have been several incidents in which men working for the company have been obliterated by sharks while installing new fiber optic cables on the ocean floor. This is the way Chuck's friend died at the very beginning of the film. Chuck becomes enraged by the realization that the company has been covering up these shark attacks, and not alerting their employees to the risks they face when installing the cables. In a fit of righteous indignance Chuck breaks into the office of the CEO of Apex Mr. Tolley, and confronts him:
- Chuck Rampart: You knew something dangerous was going on down there and you let them dive anyway!
- Mr. Tolley: Calm down Chuck... I don't know what your talking about.
- Chuck Rampart: Bull-fucking-shit!
Mr. Tolley does not admit to anything, scoffing at Chuck's accusations:
- Mr. Tolley: And who would believe you? A disgruntled employee with stolen, confidential documents? My lawyers would have a field day with you! They are the REAL sharks!
Chuck is then forcibly removed from the room by security.
The decision is made to kill the giant shark with a tremendous amount of explosives. As luck would have it, Chuck Rampart, just happens to own a Mark-48 heavy-weight torpedo for predicaments such as the resurrection of an ancient 60 ft. shark with a 10 ft. wide bite radius.
- Chuck Rampart: I know where we can get explosives; no questions asked.
It turns out Chuck grifted a torpedo from the ship he was serving on when it was de-commissioned, much like a regular person would take soap and towels from a hotel room in which they had resided. Chuck and Ben resolve to plant a homing device on the great fish so that the torpedo can lock on to it. However, as we will see, things do not according to plan...
As the audience already knows, the characters are dealing with a Megalodon...however, the terrible terror causing all the mischief in the waters surrounding the resort is just a little one! A toddler Megalodon with a healthy appetite for clatter. In a fit of rage, Ben is resolved to kill the baby Megalodon while Catiline keeps her composure and as a true natural scientist would do, she desires only to research and document the creature. However, baby Megalodon has other plans: killing people. It attacks the research vessel, plowing its way through the stern and trapping both Catiline and Ben in the boat's cabin until Catiline gets the balls to grab a shotgun and spray baby Megalodon's face all over the boat...They escaped the jaws of a perfect killing machine, but with baby Megalodon deceased, Mama Megalodon looks to even the score by swallowing Cataline's pals Davis and Freidman at the same time. No big deal.
Upon comletion of the trans-pacific fiber optic cable network, Mr. Tolley decides what better way to celebrate its completion than a yacht party? Although restrictions had been placed on boating traffic due to misbehaving ocean dinosaurs, the hotel owner grants Tolley permission to embark and even attends the party. Little do these white collar party-goers know that 60,000 lbs. of ferocity lurks beneath them. After an ominous toast by Tolley, the 40 ft. yacht is rocked by several devastating blows by an angry...angry mother. Now, the following sequence of events are what gives this film legendary status. Despite the frequency and apparent power of the hits Mama Megalodon is laying down on the yacht, there is zero damage done to the yacht. Inexplicably, the party guests feel drawn to the water; they need it. Some decide to stand near the edge of the boat so they don't have to jump in the water, the Megalodon can send them in. Meanwhile others simply put on a life-jacket and jump in for a closer look and what could be smacking around several thousand pounds of yacht. A few people make their way on to two blow-up safety rafts while others draw attention to themselves by splashing about.
Now that the partiers have helped out the Megalodon enough, Worth inserts his most prized stock footage of Great White sharks. But, using special movie techniques and ingenious cinematic direction, Worth is acutally able to bring Mama Megalodon to life before your very eyes! Within minutes, movie history is made. The hotel owner runs over to his girlfriend, who happens to be putting on a life-jacket, and rips it off her head laughing as he's doing it, thus pulling a Nash. He then jumps off the yacht but Mama Megalodon intercepts him in mid-air, swallowing him whole. Instantaneously, the Megalodon devours an entire raft of 6 people. During the carnage, the diabolical Tolley manages to procure a jetski and evily laughs as he leaves the scene. It is only now the Mama Megalodon achieves her finest moment by disposing of Tolley by swallowing him, and the jetski.
As the film is reaching the climactic peak, the audience has the distinct pleasure of experiencing 97% of the movie's budget: CGI Megalodon. By 2002 CGI standards, Mama Megalodon is acutally half-way decent. During the events taking place on the surface, Chuck and Ben are preparing to eliminate the shark. When Chuck and Ben are unsuccessful in their first attempt to secure the homing device to the Megalodon, Chuck decides to put on his scuba gear and leave the relative safety of the submarine to take care of business on his own. While one might take this to be a foolsih and brash decision, it couldn't have been more insightful and intelligent. For, as Chuck noted earlier in the film, "That kid [Ben] has got great instincts...he'll make on hell of a submariner one day." The day Chuck spoke of had arrived, Ben assumed the controls and a chase scene ensues the likes that rival The Bourne Identity and The French Connection.
A seemingly suicidal and otherwise impossible task for any normal human being, Chuck secures the homing device to the ravenous prehistoric beast with ease. However, one must never underestimate a Megalodon shark. After receiving radio confirmation that the homing device was planted from Cataline, who is monitoring the situation from a helicopter, Ben tries to get into position in order to fire the torpedo. The Megalodon is not going to let that happen. It's enormous jaws clamp down on the submarine and it violently thrashes it about. Ben hears the call of the wild and realizes what needs to be done.
Ben trusts in himself and his ability to kill a 60ft. shark, underwater, and has no other choice but to fire the torpedo knowing full well that the submarine is still in the grasp of the Megalodon. In a display of superhuman strength and determination, Ben attempts a race agaist time, and certain death. He is able to open the main hatch against the weight of the ocean and power his way through the water as the torpedo closes in on the shark. Mama Megalodon is hit with a 55 kilo-ton blast absolutely destroying it beyond recognition.
The film has built up a certain cult status born from both its ambitious low budget special effects and its somewhat tongue-in-cheek nature, exemplified by one scene where the character played by lead actor John Barrowman seduces Jenny McShane's character with the line: "Yeah, I'm exhausted...but I'm also really wired - [nervous pause] - What do you say I take you home and eat your pussy?" The line is immediately followed by a shot of the two having sex in a shower, suggesting that McShane's character took him up on the offer.
It is also a gem in the sense that there are is hardly any attempt at consistency on the cinematic and dialogue fronts. It seems as though whatever stock footage happened to be laying around was immediately spliced in throughout the movie. This is true of not only several frames of shark footage, but also one scene where a man is shown removing a clown mask after two teenagers are eaten by the Megalodon. The film never gives any indication of what that is supposed to mean.
The film is fundamentally flawed in its storytelling - the viewer often has to puzzle out things that should be obvious within the continuity of the film.
Also, the voice-over work was worse than any token kung-fu movie ever created. Pure genius! Its destiny as a cult classic is undeniable. "The terror has surfaced"...more and more people will continue to experience the wonder, the emotion and the raw excitement of 60 ft. of bobo CGI prehistoric terror.
Furthermore, the actual physical attributes of the Megalodon are unclear. Throughout the film, there are several drastic changes in the size of the creature, typically coinciding with the size of the group of people, boat, or city which it is about to devour whole.
The cast and crew also seems to be comprised of almost entirely Russians, although the movie is set in Mexico. This can probably account for the lack of any dialogue in Spanish other than the most cursory phrases (Hasta luego, denada, etc.), and for the horribly ambiguous accents of several of the characters (especially the owner of the hotel).