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Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington

Wilmington on Movies: Shark Night 3D


Shark Night 3D (One Star)

U.S.: David R. Ellis, 2011


Who the Hell are you?

I’m the Big Shark in Shark Night 3D! I’m the guy that rips off everybody‘s heads and arms and legs and chases lake-boards and wrecks speedboats and threatens heroines in bikinis and smells blood from half a lake away and generally scares the Hell out of everybody. Raaaarrgh!! Chomp! I’m bad, I’m bad, I’m so bad.

You’re what?

I’m the shark! I’m the Man! I’m the Dude! I’m Bad!
Give me a break. There wasn’t any real shark in Shark Night 3D. Maybe a fake shark like Bruce in Jaws. But Shark Night 3D? Listen, I just saw that sorry stupid excuse for a movie; I’m writing about it right now. Those sharks were just a lot of phony looking CGI and models. And you’re just a Google Image talking to me from my computer. Don’t try to fool me. What did you say your name was?
Shark. Shark the Dude.
Yeah, well don’t try to con me, Shark the Dude. I just paid good money for that travesty, because they wouldn’t hold critics screenings, of course. Why would anyone hold critics screenings for another movie where a bunch of good-looking kids, this time from Tulane University in Louisiana on a weekend lake trip, get killed and eaten by somebody like you — and where they also throw in imitation-Deliverance redneck maniacs terrorizing everybody, and people are always stupidly diving into the lake, and where all the Tulane students are trapped on an island incommunicado because some utter moron wouldn’t put in a land line. I’m in no mood to be conned and suckered twice. You want to see real sharks, go watch a David Attenborough documentary.
But, But…Aren’t you just a little bit scared? Here, look at my left profile. Look at my right profile. Now look at this. Look at me head on, full face, jaws open wide! Scary? Terrifying? Tell me the truth: You saw something like that leaping at you out of the water, you’d…You’d be plenty scared, I bet. You’d pee in your pants wouldn’t you?
Well yeah, I guess. But you aren’t jumping out of the water. You’re jumping at me out of a Toshiba computer screen. And before that, you were jumping out of a 2D flat movie screen at the AMC River East 21.

2D? You mean, you didn’t even see me in 3D? Then you didn’t get the full effect! No wonder you weren’t scared. Look, let me get you another ticket. I’ll get you comped by the AMC. I’m buddies with the theatre manager. We’ll watch it together, and I’ll explain how we got all the effects, and I’ll tell you all the gossip about the shoot. Isn’t that Sara Paxton a little honey, the pretty blonde who made it all the way to the end? She and I are pals! She’s great!

I’ll even buy us both some coke and pizza. How about that: Hot pizza pie and ice-cold Coke, courtesy of Shark the Dude!

No! For God’s sake, Shark the Dude, stop harassing me. I went to the 2D show, because I’ll be damned if I’ll pay 3D prices for an obvious piece of crap with a name like Shark Night 3D — which by the way seems to be called Shark Night 3D even if you see it in 2D. (Wouldn’t that make it Shark Night 3D-2D?) It was between you guys and Apollo 18, which one had a better chance to be a more bearable bad movie and frankly I think I made the wrong choice.

No you didn’t. I saw Apollo 18, the other night. Peee-yew! Terrible. What a stupid idea. Even a shark could tell that was a movie that made no sense. And the photography was awful.
Really? Well, let me tell you something. I’m sure Apollo 18 is another stinker. But your movie was just as ugly and dark-looking as if I were watching it in in 3D, without glasses. Anyway, who wants to see your stinker of a picture again, even in 4D? Or 1D? Or any D? Everybody hates it, not just me. I wouldn’t go to that catastrophe again even if you paid me, and then took me to Gino’s East or Pizzeria Uno afterwards.
Didn’t you like anything about the movie? Even the actors? Didn’t you like Sara?
Sara was cute. Chris Carmack had some moments as Dennis, the redneck bad guy and Sara’s ex. The other rednecks: A little too Jim Varney-ish. Joel David Moore as the game guy: I’ve seen it before, but competent. Sinqua Walls was okay as Malik, the football star — though it was ridiculous when they had him march into the lake with one arm and a spear to try to kill you. In fact most of the movie was ridiculous. Oh, and I liked the dog too.

Wasn’t he great? Wasn’t he the greatest? He was my favorite. His name is Augustus Fidelio Fido, Gus for short; IMDB has it wrong. Well, maybe that’s just what I call him. He and I palled around a lot, went to the commissary table together. The crew really cleared out fast when they saw us coming.

I’ll bet. Look. If you’re fishing for compliments, or sharking for compliments, or whatever you’re doing, I’ll give you one. Dude, I thought you definitely gave the most convincing performance in that movie. Along with Gus.

 Really? You liked me? Will you write that?

 I already did.

Thank you! I never went to acting school you know, unlike everybody else in the movie. I just do what I feel. But I can tell you, I may be inexperienced, but I know I’m more believable than that ham Bruce was in Jaws. What a no-talent! What an egomaniac!

You know, the director, David R. Ellis, really encouraged me a lot. He’s an ex-stunt co-ordinator (he did the stunts in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Patriot Games and Life Stinks, and lots of others) and he knows just how hard it is to bite off somebody‘s head while you’re leaping up out of the water. He beefed up my part, and he liked it that I never had to do retakes. He called me “One-Take Shark.” Maybe, if I work for him again, he’ll give me some lines.

 Yeah. Well, I guess it’d be pretty hard to do a retake after you‘ve blown up a pier or rammed through a water-cage, or eaten somebody alive or bitten off their arm.

 We didn’t really…Oh, you’re joking. Well, I’ll tell you something: They were all such nice people, the other actors, and we all got along so well, I was actually sorry when I had to eat or kill someone. I talked to Freddy Krueger about that, one time (Robert Englund, you know, a really nice guy) and he said he had the same problem. He said: You never know when you kill somebody, if it’s going to turn out to be Johnny Depp.

Except for this one actor on our show, I won’t mention any names, but he was always upstaging me. Every scene!

 So what did you do?

 I fixed him! I ate him! Catch that guy upstaging anyone after that!

 Now, you’re joking. All right, it’s been nice talking to you, but I’ve got to finish this review. I better turn you off. I’ve got to write my usual complaint about the lousy script, and the bloody sadism and the idiotic twists, and contempt for the audience and too much money wasted, and that obnoxious Shark Week snuff porn idea and what about the good old days of cheap, well-done, imaginative, scary movies like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead and Shivers and Halloween.

 Okay. You won’t forget, will you?

 Forget what?

 To say I was convincing. To say I’m the most convincing actor.

 I told you: I already said it.

 Okay. Well, anyway, if you don’t say it, you know what I’ll do? I’ll jump out of the water and bite your head off!

 I know you will. I saw the movie. Regrettably. But you were convincing.

 Okay. It was nice meeting you.  Adios.



 Yeah. Later, Shark the Dude.


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2 Responses to “Wilmington on Movies: Shark Night 3D”

  1. ken grimshaw says:

    READ: The Greatest White Shark Story Ever Told!
    “My Friend Michale” a true story about the Real Jaws.

  2. Sydney says:

    This was the worst movie ever created!


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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon