Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011)

Sharks are showing up in all sorts of places they shouldn’t, like in grocery stores (Bait) and in Louisiana swamps (Swamp Shark). Now a shark is in the woods. If you think that sounds absolutely ridiculous, you are right. Snow Shark is a completely retarded turd of a film, with terrible acting, dialogue and special effects to match its absurd premise.

As the movie opens, three people – Professor Hoffman, Bianca and Gabe – are walking through the woods, getting ready to do fun science stuff. Bianca asks the Professor what the plan is. The Professor’s plan is to provide some exposition: “The reports have been since the earthquake the wildlife in the area has been diminishing.” Then he says they’re here “to find answers, take samples, and let science figure it all out.” Good plan. Professor and Gabe leave Bianca to tend the fire while they go out hunting for answers. They soon find a dead deer, and the professor takes out his tape recorder to let us know that it’s actually 1999.

They see a hole in the snow, somehow leading Professor to say, “The creature must have been frozen in the ice for centuries, millenniums even.” Yes, “millenniums.” Science is his thing, not English apparently. Gabe says, “It’s the only explanation.” Really? A creature that has been frozen in the snow for thousands of years is the only explanation for a hole in the snow? I can think of a couple of other explanations. Like some kids were tunneling in the snow. Or perhaps a set dresser. Anyway, Professor continues: “The earthquake must have freed it. The creature must be prehistoric.” I love it when science makes a leap of faith.

They decide to leave. But a shark fin then cuts through the snow. Keep in mind, the snow is only, at the most, a foot deep. Anyway, the snow shark eats Gabe, with poorly done CG blood splattering the snow. If you watch it frame by frame, you’ll see the blood splatter stay suspended in the air while the character moves. Amazing. The shark kills Bianca, so Professor makes another recording with his little machine. The shark gets him too.

Then twelve years later, Alex and Leslie are walking through the woods. Leslie says Alex should kiss her, but the shark gets her first, which lets Alex off the hook. But then the shark gives Alex a little bite as well. Alex limps off and runs into another man. (By the way, the snow is just slush at this point, so they’re probably safe.) Alex tells the man a shark got him and then he dies. The man says, “You’re not making any sense, boy.” And I say, “You’re not making any sense, movie,” and I finish my beer.

A man named Mr. Campbell goes to see the Mayor in the morning (while an awful Christmas song keeps playing). He tells him about the couple that was killed. So they hold a town meeting. The sound design is so fucked up in this film. There is crowd noise in the background, even when there is clearly only one person talking. Is there a second meeting going on just outside or something? Where is all that other noise coming from? Well, a hick named Mike says it’s been seven years since he killed the snow shark. He says the beast gave him something to remember him by, and lifts his left sleeve quickly to reveal what seems to be a faint bruise or a smudge of dirt. That causes the women in the room to gasp, so you know they’re eager to wash his arm. Anyway, Mike says he killed the beast once so he can kill it again, which certainly makes a whole lot of sense to me. Mike takes his little merry band of backwoods retards a-hunting. Yee-haw!

That night, four ugly, tattooed people are in a hot tub listening to the worst rock song ever recorded. Usually in a horror movie, I enjoy a bit of nudity, but this time I really just wish they’d put on some clothes. A lot of clothes. Cover every inch of skin, including their faces. One by one, they step out of the hot tub into the shark’s mouth. These aren’t bright people, you understand. This, of course, is their only scene, which means sadly they were hired for the nudity. The casting director must have been a senile, blind, pathetic, old fart of a man.

Meanwhile, Lincoln hands an envelope to his unattractive secretary and announces he’s off on another monster quest.

Another hick named Bruce has a talk with dad, Sheriff Don, while something is ticking loudly. Did the boom guy hold his watch too close to the microphone? This movie has the worst sound of any film I’ve ever seen. Also, the snow shark doesn’t move like other sharks. It lurks, standing still, watching its prey, and then when it grabs someone, it drags them backwards. Also, it growls. Odder still, it is somehow able to move undetected through like two inches of slush.

Well, Bruce is killed, so now Sheriff Don is going to hunt the shark. No word at this point on whether Mike and his friends have made any progress on killing it again.

Lincoln arrives on the scene. He, a female biologist and a hunter named Cameron are hired by the Mayor to hunt the snow shark. So that makes three separate teams of terrible actors off to get the shark. These people have trouble even speaking. At one point the Mayor says, “I see you did your researched as well.” (I listened to it four or five times to make sure, and yup, that’s what he says.)

Finally we see Mike. He and his buddies are still inside, looking at their guns and drinking. This is an important part of the hunt, you understand, as apparently it’s been going on for several days.

The loud ticking returns in a scene with a guy dressed as Santa, so it must be the boom guy’s wristwatch.

Sheriff Don teams up with Lincoln, Cameron and the girl. So now there are just two teams. But the snow shark had better hurry up and eat everyone because the snow is clearly melting. In many shots, it’s slush and mud. The Santa guy is standing in a dirt alley behind his shop in town, and somehow the snow shark leaps up and kills him. I think it had been hiding inside a nearby truck.

The shark then goes back to the woods and kills Mike’s entire team, leading Mike to shout, “Take me, goddamn it!” (Did I mention that the script is awful?) Well, Team #2 springs into action. At one point, Cameron says, “You’re awfully quiet, Sheriff.” Sheriff Don responds, “There’s nothing worth saying.” So true, and yet all the other characters can’t seem to stop spouting some of the worst dialogue of any film. Sheriff, please tell them none of it is worth saying, and then shoot anyone who chooses to speak anyway.

Well, all Team #2 does is secure a single motion control camera to a single tree. So if the shark happens to travel past that particular tree – on that particular side of the tree – they’ll learn that it did so. Hurrah for Team #2.

At this point, the writer decided the script was moving along too well, and inserted an even worse scene. A bar scene that just won’t stop. The bartender sagely says, “There’s too much death going on in this town.” Ah, it’s sentiments like that that earn him the big tips. Well, a mysterious stranger complete with an eye patch shows up at the bar. Mike says: “Your face. I’ve seen it before. Who are you?” And oh boy, it’s Professor from the first scene. He’s still alive! He says, “I used to believe that the world deserved to know the evolution of different species.” Apparently now he’s become a creationist. What a card! Anyway, he has a score to settle with the snow shark. He says all he wanted to do was die, but the snow shark wouldn’t let him. What a mean snow shark. I would have let the guy die. Professor tells Mike, “It feeds off my anguish, my suffering.” Funny, I thought it fed off ugly hot tub people.

Mike, suddenly bonding with Professor, says, “It keeps me alive just to feed off my pain.” These guys are so full of themselves. So they team up. And we get a scene of them drinking and looking at their guns (because, remember, that’s an important and lengthy step in any good snow shark hunt).

Lincoln gets no footage of the snow shark on his lone camera, and is surprised. He thinks maybe he should set up the camera in another spot. Hey, maybe in that alley. Instead, he, Cameron, Sheriff Don and the girl go hunting. The shark kills Cameron and the girl. The girl’s death is particularly stupid. She is on the ground, looks up at the shark, then lies back down as if accepting her fate, like it was going to fuck her or something.

Sheriff Don and Lincoln then team up with Mike and Professor. And soon it’s over, with Mike killing the snow shark with a grenade, and dying in the effort. A cop cheers Sheriff Don by telling him he’ll make a fresh pot of coffee. But then three more snow sharks show up. And that’s the end.

Films are the result of a collaborative effort of many people. So when you see a movie as bad as this one, you want to spread the blame around. However, this awful film is really the fault of one man, Sam Qualiana. He wrote it, directed it, stars in it (as Mike the hick), was the director of photography, the art director, the weapons master. He also did the behind-the-scenes photography somehow. Maybe if he’d tried to focus on just one thing, like the script, it might have been just a little less completely fucking terrible.

However, the actors are all basically awful. The worst is probably Andrew Elias, who plays Lincoln. He also worked as a PA on the film, as well as script supervisor. Actually, six people are credited as script supervisors on this film. That of course defeats the purpose of even having a script supervisor, for if there is no continuity of the actual continuity person, then there’s likely going to be problems with the film.

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