Thursday, December 17, 2015

90210 Shark Attack (2014)

There are a lot of bad shark movies out there, but 90210 Shark Attack is something special among these movies. Seriously. It opens with a weird instrumental tune that sounds suspiciously like “Dancing In The Sheets” from Footloose, and lots of images of Beverly Hills. In fact, there are so many images that after a while you’re like, “Yes, I got it, it’s Beverly Hills, get on with the movie.”

Well, a couple of rich, spoiled students arrive at a mansion that they’ve rented while in town for two oceanic field trips. Four others soon arrive, along with Pamela, their teacher. While one girl (supposedly the nerdy, awkward girl) walks around the house, porn music plays. It’s confusing, because this girl has her clothes on. She stares out the window at one of the guys swimming in the pool, and the film cuts back and forth between her face and him swimming. It cuts back and forth many, many times, while the porn music continues. But nothing happens, and neither of them is naked. It just goes on and on, and I began to wonder if it was on some loop, or if I were supposed to be seeing something important in her face, some thought or emotion. But no.

Alyssa (identified as the weird student) appears with what seems to be the nice boy. But Alyssa seems like kind of a bitch. Her father was apparently an oceanic anthropologist, and nerdy Jess, who is also a bitch, mentions, “There’s still a mystery about how he died.” Then she whines, “She shouldn’t get a better grade because her dad died – that’s not fair.” Whoa! By the way, these six students are taking a class on oceanic anthropology, and apparently they’re supposed to be in high school (we know because one talks about getting into college). It seems like they’re quite a bit older, and one of them, Marcie, is clearly a moron, and you wonder just how she got into this class. Maybe in your twelfth year of high school, you get special treatment. Well, it doesn’t matter.

Alyssa asks the teacher if her dad is coming back. Pamela answers: “No. All I know about the ocean is that she guards her secrets well.” Wait, if that’s all you know about the ocean, how are you teaching this class? Anyway, she tells Alyssa to write about her dad, saying it will really help her. She says this twice, so I guess she believes it. She also tells Alyssa she doesn’t have to go on the oceanic field trips, which is the whole point of them being there. Is Pamela the worst teacher ever?

It seems that Pamela thinks she’ll score with Alyssa. “We’ll just talk and we’ll see where it leads us,” Pamela says to her. By the way, Pamela is played by Donna Wilkes, who was in Jaws 2 and also starred in Angel. Anyway, so we don’t get bored, the film keeps cutting to stock footage of sharks, some of which seems to have been shot in an aquarium (or are we to believe there are red and blue lights hanging over the ocean?). And Jess tells us the story of Alyssa’s father, how he stole objects from indigenous peoples and sold them. Apparently he found some Indians who worshiped a great white shark, and he organized a hunt and killed the shark, which is actually pretty funny.

Well, the porn music returns as Pamela watches one of the male students showering. He showers like a girl, being sure not to get his hair wet. What’s up with that? Well, the two of them are in on some scheme to write a best seller about Alyssa’s father, a nice little development. A crazier development is where Bryce pretends to like Alyssa, and they kiss by the pool, and then Alyssa turns into a shark and bites Bryce’s head off. It is fucking wonderful. Instead of giving Bryce head, she takes it. Soon after that, the teacher asks her, “Are you hungry?” “No, I’m feeling kind of full,” Alyssa says. Perfect!

Marcie was secretly filming the Bryce and Alyssa scene with her phone, but later when one of the other students finds the phone and looks at the footage, the perspective is all wrong. It’s the same footage we saw, rather than new footage from Marcie’s perspective. And the footage doesn’t keep the boy from wanting to have sex with Alyssa. Hey, maybe he’s into fish. So much for the nice boy. And then with nine minutes left in the film, we return to one of the shots of the Beverly Hills sign, just in case you’ve forgotten where this all takes place.

The teacher sees the headless body of one of the students, and hardly reacts at all. “Is that Tyler in the pool?” she asks. She must have worked at some tough schools before this one. By the way, the DVD contains a commentary track by the director, and in it he says he shot the film in two days. What? Two days? That’s basically impossible. No wonder he keeps repeating shots and going back to stock footage.

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