2-Headed Shark Attack (2012) – Directed by Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray – Starring Charlie O’Connell, Brooke Hogan, Carmen Electra, and David Gallegos.
When I reviewed SPECIES a couple weeks ago, I took a shot at movies like 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK. I wrote: “When I watch a movie like Species (or The Arrival or Mimic), I always end up wishing that this was the kind of movie SyFy would make instead of churning out those awfully schlocky uber-monster movies starring people who haven’t been famous for over a decade.” I don’t see why you can’t make (or buy, or air) smart, low-budget movies instead of corny, low-budget movies.
That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the odd cheeseball movie, and almost unbelievably, 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK hits the junk food spot.
Let me be clear: 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK is not a good movie. The acting is horrible, the dialogue is abysmal, and the production values are on the low end. According to the Never Wrong, 2-HEADED had a budget of $1 million, and it just goes to show how expensive it is to make a movie that it really doesn’t even look like the million bucks ended up on the screen. None of the shark scenes look believable (they look like cut scenes from a PlayStation 2 game), but then, if you’re watching an Asylum film called 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK, you really need to leave believability behind for 90 minutes.
And yet, for what it is, 2-HEADED is actually a decent amount of fun. Director Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray gets the shots he needs, and while the dialogue is awful, the plot portion of the script actually works because it keeps things moving fast enough that you don’t have time to get bored.
The premise here is that Professor Franklin Babish (Charlie O’Connell) is leading a Semester at Sea class. The students are stereotypical college kids who would rather sunbathe, flirt, and goof off instead of doing any work. The ship gets damaged and needs to be repaired so Frank takes the students to a nearby atoll to continue their lessons on shore. Frank’s wife Anne (Carmen Electra) doesn’t do anything except look worried and fret, except for the one scene where she decides to lay out in the sun to work on her tan hubby and the kids are off playing Gilligan.
What they don’t know but we do is that there’s a giant, you guessed it, two-headed shark milling about these waters, ready to chomp down with its massive heads at anything living that dares take to water. The shark might look completely fake, but the killing scenes are perfectly ridiculous, fun, and bloody. We see the shark right off the bat when its two heads each chomp down on a water skier. Is it absurd and stupid? Of course, but it’s so absurd and stupid that it hits the right B-movie note. Even better, 2-HEADED instantly doubles down on the stupidity and absurdity by having the shark go after the motor boat that had been pulling the water skiers along and destroying it.
It actually works that most of the students are kinda awful because I don’t feel bad when they get munched on by the sharks. There’s an impressive amount of two-headed ripping and tearing and chomping going on by the shark, but since you can’t spend the entire movie in the water (at least not on this budget), the script does the wise/ridiculous thing and has the atoll spend much of its time shaking and quaking, ready to tumble into the water and leave the Semester at Sea folks without land to stand on.
There’s three students who don’t completely suck: Kate (Brooke Hogan), who’s afraid of water, Paul (David Gallegos), the nerd, and, um, some other girl. The rest of the students are all typically shallow, stupid, stuck-up, and never seem to get tired of complaining. The main jerk is kinda of an awesome jerk, as he’s always sacrificing his fellow classmates to save himself. Knowing it’s audience isn’t here to listen to the scientific ramblings of the improbability of a two-headed shark, 2-HEADED doesn’t really believe in clothes, so almost everyone spends the bulk of the film running around the atoll in their bathing suits.
The filmmakers make the right decision by spreading the acting weight around. As I mentioned, the acting here is pretty bad, but since 2-HEADED rotates the principal on-screen actor, the film never gets weighted down by one performance. It’s a wise decision, too, to have most of the characters be jerks, because even though O’Connell, Electra, and Hogan aren’t very good actors, they are at least likable.
If you’re looking for a good, shut-your-brain-off B-movie, you could do a whole lot worse than 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK. If you’re not a fan of B-movies or Asylum flicks (or, at least, don’t have an occasional soft sport for them), there’s not going to be much here for you. I mean, sure, if you are interested in seeing what would happen if you put that guy from the Bachelor, Carmen Electra’s giant hands, and Hulk Hogan’s daughter together against a genetic oddity, then yes, maybe you can get over your hatred of B-movies to find something of merit here.
But probably not. For the rest of us, though, 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK is a decent enough way to kill 90 minutes.