Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Year: 2009
Production Co: The Asylum
Director: Ace Hannah
Writer: Ace Hannah
Cast: Deborah Gibson, Lorenzo Lamas

You expect it to be a bad movie, don't you? From the 80s pop sensation Debbie Gibson (sorry, 'Deborah') at the top of the cast to the premise of the film itself? And it definitely was. The question that remains is whether it was so bad it was good or it disappeared into a black hole of bad. I'm still undecided.

There were plenty of bad elements that should place it among the Showgirls / Plan 9 From Outer Space canon. The acting, for one, is uniformly awful. Another is the government liaison guy, sent to bring the scientists in to devise ways to kill the titular beasts, who looks like a porn producer from the late 90s with his leather coat and ponytail.

But there are bad touches you don't expect and which blindside you. The most unforgivable example is that for a movie that was so unbelievably cheap, they didn't even have enough for the dodgy effects shots, repeating the same shonky CGI clip over and over for when the shark or octopus attack their prey or each other.

The camera cuts away at the optimum moment just because the production couldn't afford a shot of the CG shark biting a battleship in half. The set that comprises the bridge of the destroyer is used again completely unchanged for another navy ship with a different crew supposedly on the other side of the world. At every stage it seems they didn't even set out to make a camp classic – they just didn't have the money to do anything.

In fact if you know anything about the movie you'll already have watched the outrageous money shot – of the shark jumping out of the ocean to attack a passenger plane – on YouTube a thousand times. If there'd been more of that over-the-top inventiveness, a hint that movie knew how ridiculous it was, it could have been a midnight-screening classic up with the best of them. In its current form however it's the worst kind of bad – boring.

What can you possibly need to know about the story? A former pop princess is for some reason a marine scientist, and when she's piloting a submersible near a glacier, top secret navy experiments crack the edge of the ice, releasing the two monsters from where they were frozen in combat millennia before.

Of course they're not dead, just pissed off, swimming to opposite ends of the Earth tearing up oil rigs and planes until the inexplicably small team of boffins (maybe everyone else was busy with climate change) realise their only chance to stop them both is to let them resume fighting each other.

Like the best Plan 9-inspired bad scripting, it never seems to occur to anyone that it'll probably leave them with one creature still alive because usually, I don't know, when animals fight one of them wins and everything...

But by that time you'll long since have given up on any hope of adherence to any kind of logic (which you should rightfully have done when you sat down to watch it). The bigger mistake the film makes is that you wait around just as long for effects (any, even claggy ones) or excitement. Even laughs or nudity might have helped.

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