The Great White Evil Hexad! “6-Headed Shark Attack” review!


In 1984, a floating marine biological station near Baja, Mexico becomes the target of an unnatural, genetically modified creature – a massive six-headed great white shark! The attack leaves the station afloat, but all the scientists fall victim the six, serrated jaws. Twenty-five years later, William, a couple’s therapy boot camp instructor hones in on assisting estranged lovers rekindling the romantic fire by having the couples journey to a remote, rocky island just off the Baja coast. Struggling to cope with his own divorce turbulence, William takes the reigns of the camp therapy business that was cofounded with his ex-wife, hoping for comfort through the program’s reconciliation message, but when the six-headed shark kills two of his colleagues, William’s new mission is for the safe harbor of his customers. However, every time one brains of the shark is damaged or destroy, the head is ripped off by another head and new one regenerates in it’s place and the beast can also hunt on land, fathoming as turf and surf’s most deadliest unstoppable creature known to mankind.

A SyFy Channel original premiere from The Asylum Home Entertainment group has astonishingly struck pure chaotic shark gold yet again with “6-Headed Shark Attack,” the latest monstrous sequel that follows that same flamboyant titular tradition. Director Mark Atkins, who is no stranger to b-movie shark horror with “Planet of the Sharks” and “Empire of the Sharks,” dives right into the water with his first multi-headed shark attack film that’s penned by Atkins along with Koichi Petetsky, a recognizable name from his scribe work on the recently reviewed “Megalodon,” another The Asylum and SyFy love child. To be honest, “6-Headed Shark Attack” is also this reviewers first venture into the multi-headed shark attack universe and, to be truthful to my audiences again, the absurdity of Atkin’s monster shark roister is reminiscent of the classic monster films that include giant ants and killer shrews!

William’s disheveled intangibility is being held together loosely by the wiry binds of his marriage counseling profession and though the painstaking process of divorce rattles his soul, the potentiality of being eaten by a 6-headed shark doesn’t phase his determination in saving survivors trapped on the remote island. Brandon Auret slips into the William’s embattled shoes and the actor, who been a steady Neill Blomkamp favorite South African for the steampunk-laden director’s films such as “Chappie,” “District 9,” and “Elysium,” finds himself as lead man versus mutant shark, but the multi-lingual and rugged Auret fails to sell the performance that falls flat with tremendous eyeshot quality of awkward hesitations and unsavory emotions. Blomkamp’s high concept science fiction doesn’t quite parallel Atkins’ budget flair that spotlit around great white shark country’s South African filming location that seems unfitting for Auret’s usual Hollywood wheelhouse. The female lead is bestowed upon fellow “Empire of the Shark” vet Thandi Sebe as Mary, one half of one of the four flailing couples, and Mary’s strength and common sense separates her from the pack and even her husband played by a very bushy haired stunt coordinator Cord Newman. The malaise between James and Mary push to a general distressing love triangle that’s been fabricated by a violent and vindictive James; Sebe and Newman aren’t the quintessential unhappy power couple, but they do make a stain that stands out. The remaining shark victims includes Naima Sebe, Tapiwa Musvosvi (also “Empire of the Sharks”), Chris Fisher, Meghan Oberholzer, Jonathan Pienaar (again, “Empire of the Sharks”), and Nikita Faber.

Like most of The Asylum productions, “6-Headed Shark Attack” is made on the extreme cheap. That isn’t to say that the extreme cheap and is extreme garbage as each film that is churned out as a SyFy original has some sort of redeeming quality to it. For “Megalodon,” the shark had characteristic features, like scarring, even if the Megalodon was two dimensional. “6-Headed Shark Attack” also saves itself from full outright embarrassment with schlocky, barmy charm such as a shark walking on land like a scorpion shark, using four of the heads as legs to charge toward steeplechased landlubbers, but the 6-headed shark has no definition from the visual effects team, losing some of the realism much need, or rather desired, in the computer generated leviathan.

MVDVisual and The Asylum Home Entertainment chum the water with “6-Headed Shark Attack” presented the digitally shot film in the original widescreen format, an 1.78:1 aspect ration. The shark was already touched upon that the visual effects lacked the creases, the scarring, and the overall personality a mutant shark should possess, but the look of the rest of the film needs to be questioned as well. The South African shoreline is exquisite and serene that’s beautifully captured by director Mark Atkins who also has an equal hand in being a cinematographer. Yet, the sunny, rocky island favors a washed look (no pun intended) that stems from an overexposure during the digital recording and loses some of the details in obvious portions such as large jagged rocks seemingly smooth or the granules of sand blending together to be one tan blanket on the beach. The English language 5.1 surround sound has no qualms for the most part other than The Asylum go-to stock score tracks by Christopher Cano and Chris Ridenhour, the musical duo behind “Megalodon.” Trailers to the film are the only extras available on a static menu. Having never seen 2, 3, 4 (is there a 4?), “5-Headed Shark Attack,” “6-Headed Shark Attack” seems to not be anchored down by series continuity despite reuniting the cast and crew of “Empire of the Sharks” and “Megalodon” and is a standalone creature feature constrained to being a run of the mill exploitation of man-eater mania.

Buy 6-Headed Shark Attack at Amazon.com!

Evil’s Gonna Need a Bigger Boat! “Megalodon” review!


A covert Russian submarine is trying to drill into the Southern Pacific communications system to benefit from United States secrets, but when the gung-ho captain decides to push the drill team to maximum velocity, the submarine inadvertently release a pre-historic, though to be extinct Megalodon. A nearby U.S. military vessel intercepts the heavily damaged Russian sub with a submersible and saves three uncooperative, Kremlin patriotic survivors from Davy Jones locker while barely escaping jaws of the powerful Giant shark. The aging U.S. sea captain, Streeper, and accompanying admiral, King, rely heavily on Commander Lynch to maintain constant attention on the circling predator, while Streeper attempts extracting vital information from the Russian operatives to further establish the hostile tense and disruptive Russian-U.S. relations. When the shark turns its ravenous attention to the vessel, the crew must use their smarts and what’s on board to go head-to-head against a ferocious, battle ready Megalodon!

You really have to hate-to-love The Asylum for producing and capitalizing on highly lucrative films. This past summer’s “The Meg” was a major blockbuster success for not only director John Turteltaub but also for Warner Bros and as if the Carcharocles megalodon wasn’t exploited enough, The Asylum’s “Megalodon” aimed to reap from Jason Statham face-off with “The Meg.” Director James Thomas, who delivered another knock off with “Tomb Invader,” a cash in on last year’s “Tomb Raider” reboot adaptation to the popular video game, submerses himself into the SyFy movie. The SyFy channel is no stranger in shelling out monstrous shark movies; let’s just name a few to paint a picture of what’s being described here: “Sharktopus,” “2-Headed Shark Attack,” “Ghost Shark,” “Jersey Short Shark Attack,” “Malibu Shark Attack,” and let’s not forget to mention the channel’s most prolific and preposterously entertaining “Sharknado” franchise. Unfortunately, sharks an easy target for villainy that viewers can easily digest and be enthralled by their mysterious nature, but to buffoon them with genetic mutations unnatural superpowers stiffens not only their actual gentle prowess, but also attenuates legitimate shark films. That’s not to say that Thomas’ over-saturated titled “Megalodon,” penned by “6-Headed Shark Attack’s” Koichi Petetsky, is a mega hit, but at least the shark isn’t radioactive, isn’t a spliced abomination, and can’t dorsal slice through sand, ice, and earth. The back to simplicity for the man-eating shark is a breath a fresh air in my book.

“Reservoir Dogs’” star Michael Madsen headlines with his name splayed right about the titular creature about to swallow a submersible. Madness, sporting a military non-regulation curly hairstyle, portrays an naval officer, Admiral King, at the end of his lustrous career. King’s lame duck presence is a formulaic means to an end that will decide the fate of more prominent characters so Madsen, as an unconvincing and unconventional U.S. admiral, has screen time that’s limited mostly to the first and third acts and scarcely peppered in between the dynamics of Captain Streeper and Commander Lynch. While Streeper and Lynch essentially share the lead and neither have the star-studded power to be an influencing purchase-me-now headliner, the two onscreen officers are structured as a one-two punch against two opposing forces. “The Demonic Dead’s” Dominic Pace, as Captain Streeper, has promising capabilities as a military ship commander as Pace maintains his usual type casted tough guy role from prior credits while his counterpart, Caroline Harris, plays passively strong in Streeper’s shadow that’s supposed to display edge-bordering defiance but never comes to fruition. As Pace and Harris jockey for lead, Russian submariners, Captain Ivanov and Yana Popov, sheathed a more interestingly perspective on duty versus mortality. Ego Mikitas (“Nazi Overlord”) and “Fear Pharm’s” Amiee Stolte lined “Megalodon” with a sub-story, no pun intended on the sub, as bullheaded survivors aiming to complete their clandestine mission without lifting a finger to assist the opposition. To be fair, the James Thomas script didn’t exactly put the U.S. in good light, scribing Streeper, Lynch, and others as pushy information extractors and the Russian are stereotypical misers of information. If I was being intensely interrogated while a massive shark circled our boat, I would also question the intentions of my captors and not give them squat. Other shipmate actors include Scott Roe (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”), Sebastien Charmant (“Halloween Hell”), Elizabeth Cron (“SuperHot Apocalypse”), Paulina Laurant (“Triassic World”), and Luke Fattorusso.

“Megalodon” provides a laugh track of production inadequacies and a cinematography from Paul Thomas could be said to be straight out of the Michael Bay school of filmmaking, but as far as SyFy premiered movies and The Asylum Home Entertainment films go, “Megalodon” is a Giant Shark sized leap of success. The CGI shark has surprised me being an object of crude, but of commending detail that exhibits an ancient beast marked with battle scars and also exhibiting realism with the donning of an acceptable gray-blue hue. Plus, the shark doesn’t have atomic level laser vision, can’t breathe fire underwater, and has the normal shark fins instead of octopus tentacles. Thank the shark Gods! While the megalodon passes plausibility of natural facts, it’s swimming motion and trajectory checks the box of clunky territory with a rudimentary, two-dimension view of the shark swimming at an unnatural diagonal angle away and toward the ship, like something out of the NES “Jaws the Revenge” video game. The CGI ship and submersible is more of an immediate concern than the CGI shark as Roger Rabbit has more realism. Suffering succotash! Actual location of the ship is a the USS Lane Victory, a defunct military vessel from WWII turned museum that’s docked off California and the museum aspects tactlessly are not veiled from view and, if a modern day military ship is supposed to go toe-to-toe with a megalodon, a ship with brass communication tubes. The obvious museum décor ships “Megalodon” into a strange and bewildering backwards alternate universe that causes confusing and complexities with a quarry full of questions.

MVDVisual and The Asylum Productions presents the SyFy original film, “Megalodon,” onto DVD home video. Original being the suspiciously key word here as original never really goes hand-in-hand with The Asylum produced films. Presented in the original widescreen format, “Megalodon,” for what it’s worth, has distinction despite the questionable special effects. No blotchy or aliasing detected and the coloring renders consistently. The 5.1 surround sound audio tracks has clear verbal dialogue, ample gunfire and explosion range and depth, and no distortions to note. The painfully generic stock score is an ear sore, but has balance and isn’t an overly commanding and obtrusive presence. The trailer is the only special feature available, but to broaden upon the lack of bonus material, the Asylum DVD releases always have kitschy graphic cover art and “Megalodon” is front and back gold standard that exaggerate the film’s action-packed appeal. Director James Thomas’ dual story batters the pre-history shark narrative to nearly null, but “Megalodon’s” unwavering action chums the water that begins with a large shark taking a bite out of a foreign reconnaissance submarine and ends with Michael Madsen extinguishing a cigar on the said shark’s large snout in pure Michael Madsen fashion.

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Syfy’s “Z Nation” S1Ep5 “Home Sweet Zombie”

After a rampant, blood-soaked four episodes into the first season of Syfy’s “Z Nation”, the fifth episode showed signs of slowing down the film’s onslaught of zombie bashing and disemboweling humans and drives a nail deep into the emotional side of most of the characters. This doesn’t mean that “Z Nation” is turning for gold to bronze, but rather taking a path change that will keep the show fresh because sometimes, you know, carnage can get a bit old (yeah, right!)

Roberta, Garnett, and the rest of the survivors land in Tornado Alley country where a nasty weather storm is brewing and they must find shelter before mother nature starts to rain down flesh devouring zombies on them. Low of supplies, they bunker down at Roberta’s hometown home while also trying to find her long lost husband who may or may not be one of the living dead. As the wind whips all around them with debris and, literally, zombies, Roberta searches for her husband while the others just try to stay bolted to the ground.
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Like I was saying, “Home Sweet Zombie” focuses on more on character development especially with Roberta, Addy, Murphy, and a little bit between 10K and Cassandra. Roberta struggles with the memory of being called to National Guard deployment without waiting her firefighting husband to come out to say goodbye and in part the reason why the group goes to her home. Roberta, through the first four episodes, doesn’t lose much of her cool and, in fact, she is downright ruthless, but episode five gives her character more girth than an icy vein zombie fragger.

Addy’s memory is triggered by the thunderous storm outside. A memory that recalls the death of perhaps her undead parents – my theory. She becomes distant and paralyzed by quick flashbacks of knives giving mercy to zombies. This is isolating Mack from his ever-fun and beautiful girlfriend. Addy’s story will come soon and maybe in the next episode much like Cassandra’s story did – a two part episode displaying their background.

Being a possible answer to the human race’s survival, Murphy pessimistic attitude and outlook on life has been nothing but a pain in the ass for the team who didn’t exactly want to take this road trip mission to the west coast in the first place. Gradually, Murphy is coming around to the idea of being with the ground mostly because of the fun loving Doc character. However, Murphy is struggling internally. The virus antidote might not be working and Murphy feels to slow transformation into a Z. To thwart the group from suspecting his physical transformation, he shaves his head and facial hair making him even more creepy. His scene with one of the zombies speaks to this notion and we’ll have to see what happens with Murphy in later episodes.
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The little thing between 10K and Cassandra is more sexual than anything else. The tension between them can be cut with a knife. Nothing really more to say there.

“Home Sweet Zombie” is the “Sharknado” homage episode. Both “Z Nation” and “Sharknado” are produced by The Asylum so there lies no surprise here that this idea was concocted. Plus, witnessing zombies fly through the area spattering into trees and overturned cars can’t be beat. You won’t see that on The Walking Dead. Not a bad fifth episode and I’m sure we’ll see mroe of our fair share of zombie massacring through the rest of the season, but take this episode for what that is – character development.

Syfy’s “Z Nation” S1Ep3 ‘Philly Feast’

Living in the Philadelphia area, the “Philly Feast” episode was quite the treat to see the “City of Brotherly Love” be taken over by the undead. Once again, Syfy and The Asylum grotesquely explode every bit and piece of body part in this episode never letting dismembered zombie appendages get old.

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Z-Nation writers didn’t wait too long to bring in the cannibal group. Every apocalyptic show has a cannibal group. Z-Nation just happens to reveal them in episode three under the ruling thump of Tobias Campbell played by Rick Rivera (happy National Hispanic Heritage Month, Rick). Now, I love me some good cannibal groups because they’re always the wild card, but this group lacked pizzaz and notoriety. Pisay Pao’s Cassandra character couldn’t quite play up Tobias’s long pig enthusiasts. However, the ending result of the full on assault on Tobias’s camp was well executed in a ‘classical’ fashion. Cassadnra’s backstory now looks to be wrapped up tight and we won’t have to explore that anymore in the foreseeable future, but I still feel she has more to hide or she has more up her sleeve with her new found friends in Addie and Warren.

The scene with the Liberty Bell had me rolling with laughter and giddy with the sight of zombie bashing mayhem. Z-Nation continues to make the implausible plausible and yet somehow make it look totally believable with the ridiculous zombie fraggings and though I do like all the characters, Nat Zang’s 10K has to be one of the standouts. His sniper character is the hardest the kill and I’d like him to reach his goal of 10,000 kills.

Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

Syfy’s “Z-Nation” S1 Ep1 ‘Puppies and Kittens’

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With “The Walking Dead’s” season 5 right around the corner come in October, this review of Syfy’s first episode “Z-Nation” seems fitting as we head into the best month of the year, but Z-Nation isn’t just a Walking Dead imitating hack even if the intentions might have been meant as so.

The first episode entitled innocently enough as “Puppies and Kittens” starts as engaging enough with zombies ripping the U.S. nation apart limb by limb and we’re already in year two with the preface setting up the series’ main plot. After the main credits roll, year three begins our travels. The country is overrun, the plague is vast, and the zombies are fast – two good pieces of evidence that separate Z-Nation from The Walking Dead, no slow moments of build up and no slow moving dead heads.

Something else that Z-Nation possess that doesn’t make it feel like AMC’s cash cow is the ridiculous scenarios the survivors put themselves in and how they react to those life and death choices. I’m talking about trying to eliminate a zombie baby because one of the character’s bleeding heart for children couldn’t be handled. Do these situations of inane instances ruin Z-Nation before even getting started?

In short, no. Reason? Z-Nation is the baby of The Asylum, a low budget film studio that thrives on the coattails of hit horror and sci-fi features creating “Mockbusters” and able to get away with it. Some recent hits from The Asylum have been “Android Cop” (“RoboCop”), “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”), and “Transmorphers: Fall of Man” (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”). Get it?

In my humble opinion, I know Z-Nation will be successful hit for the Syfy channel who as of late have produced some really good shows like Helix and whom have a made for TV adapted series of 12 Monkeys just around the bend. Z-Nation went viral on the internet with 300,000 piracy visits just after it’s premier release on Friday. Piracy shouldn’t afflict Z-Nation into cannibalizing itself because, hey, The Asylum lives and breaths of recreating blockbuster films into low-budgeted, Danny DeVito twin-like copies that do just as well on TV as they do on the internet. Go figure.

The series stars Thomas Everett Scott, DJ Qualls, Pisay Pao, Anatasia Baranova, and Michael Welch. Catch it on Syfy on Friday nights.

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