Shark Month rages on with this more ‘local’ offering which makes next to no sense but does star one of the greatest action heroes of all time. One on whom I think I might still have a crush (look Masters of the Universe came at an important time in my life and was revisited often).
Shark Lake (2015)
A classic american thriller where the lines between man and beast blur and are questioned.
Directed by: Jerry Dugan
Starring: Dolph Lundgren • Sara Malakul Lane • Michael Aaron Milligan
Clint Gray (Lundgren) isn’t a bad guy per se, he’s just done some questionable things. This is what plucky cop Meredith (Lane) tells their young daughter Carly when she asks if her dad is the baddie he’s being made out to be by the locals. Gray is estranged from his ex and has been out of Carly’s life for long enough that his sudden reappearance raises red flags.
You know what else raises red flags? People being gobbled up in the lake. Luckily the local fuzz are on it and are convinced the first attack has been carried out by a hungry bear. On capturing and exterminating an innocent local black, they congratulate themselves thoroughly on a job well done but a visiting oceanographer called Peter has another theory. When diving the lake (which looks suspiciously like the bottom of a swimming pool), he finds the victim’s missing arm and concludes this can only have been removed by a shark.
WHAT?! A shark in the bottom of a lake? Say it isn’t so.
But of course he’s right and, teaming up with Meredith, manages to finally convince those in charge that they should clear the lake of visitors. Unfortunately, there’s a Summer regatta planned and the mayor isn’t happy to lose out on the tourism… kidding. The dramatic attack of two bikini-clad para-gliders backs them up nicely and they’re able to clear the area without too much faff.
Meanwhile, Gray is some sort of ex-con with a wrap sheet as bulky as his pecs. As a former animal dealer, he’s got form when it comes to the exotic and Meredith is convinced her ex is responsible for the shark in the lake. In that she’s convinced he put it in there on purpose.
Since this is a film about sharks in a lake it won’t shock you to note that this isn’t just a hilarious slur against him on her part, he is actually guilty as charged – but has returned to sort out his mess. Like the responsible adult he truly is.
Meredith is also fucked off to learn that her boss has brought in reality show shark hunter Garreth Ross (Miles Doleac) to take care of business. The ridiculous stereotype of a British dandy royally bodges the job but I must admit that his segments are the most enjoyable.
As he searches the lake for his prey, he hopes to make some TV gold and I guess in a way he really does. His demise also illustrates the fact there’s more than one shark in the water and they seem to have a plan…
Will Gray the exotic animal whisperer find and destroy said sharks in time to rescue his estranged lady friend and child? Indeed, will he make the contact he wishes to with his long lost daughter?
Remember that the dude isn’t all bad…
I mean, this is better than some shark movies I’ve seen. Jill, remember Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015)? (Sadly not reviewed for the blog).
Dolph isn’t terrible as at least he has a presence and the main character is a woman I don’t dislike, mostly because of her use of the term ‘ass clown’.
The shark action is fun but I would have liked even more. Shark movies by now have no excuse not to fill their run time with flying limbs and it baffles me when they squander the opportunity for maximum gore.
Peter’s scene in which he knocks out a shark with a crow bar is quite funny and you have to admire the spunk.
Otherwise, SL is largely forgettable. Still, there’s a reason I never go into the water, even ponds and lakes and it’s because you just never know who’s put a shark in there.
Does it pass the Bechdel Test?
Like last week, this one doesn’t appear on the list. Don’t quote me as I wasn’t paying much attention but I think there might be one conversation between mother and daughter that isn’t about a dude?
Then again maybe I’m just being hopeful, there aren’t that many female characters to choose from.
What does my queen of everything think of Shark Lake? Would she dredge it soon as look at it or swim with the fishies? Find out here.
UPDATE: There are some inaccuracies in this review because I’ll admit, I wasn’t really paying attention. Meredith isn’t Carly’s mother or Clint’s ex. Also, there’s an explanation as to how the sharks got in the lake which I also missed. Kind of important.
My bad. Go read Jillian’s review for a better handle on the story.
Ha, how could I forget that modern classic Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre? To be honest, I am kind of fuzzy on the details of that particular adventure, but I will consider that a blessing.
Also, you’re right–this totally does pass the Bechdel test. I’m not sure how comfortable that makes me, but I suppose this film deserves some credit for writing its female characters at least passably well.
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