The Monkey sat down with every intention of reviewing Hell House LLC and/or Savageland, and I promise I will get to them another day. Today though I want to talk to you about Shark Exorcist (2015). Well, sort of. I watched this flick several weeks ago, and like many viewers I sat transfixed for its seventy-one-minute runtime. This isn’t because it’s a good movie. No, it is abysmally bad, nonsensical, and just plain fucked up. In a film about a demon shark attacking people in a lake (yeah, The Monkey will just let that part go), one would expect some sort of budget expenditure on the attack sequences. Since Shark Exorcist is such a cut-rate film, that expectation marks one as a fool. What we are treated to instead are characters standing in shallow water and screaming intercut with a barely adequate CGI shark swimming in circles, never appearing to bite anyone. But Shark Exorcist got me thinking. Or rather it advanced a line of thinking that’s been tugging at my brain for a few years now. Do I, or any of us really, have a right to mock, and disparage this film? And for that matter any film of its ilk. Isn’t that like eating a steady diet of fast food and then cursing McDonald’s for our heart disease?
What I mean is this. Going into this did I truly expect to see an early Romero, Carpenter, or Raimi, picture? And if I did, how stupid am I? The fact is I did not. I plopped down my 2.99 fully expecting precisely the drivel I was given. So, why then should I feel entitled to tear it a new asshole? Yes, it’s inept, incompetent, and aspires to be half-assed when it grows up. But here’s the thing, and this is what’s been nagging me for years. Do I, and by extension others, watch this shit so we can feel somehow better about ourselves. Does it help knowing that no matter how much I screw up in life, I can always say ‘well, at least I didn’t make Shark Exorcist.’ You’re damned right it does.
Still it takes a lot of chutzpah to make a film this bad. It takes even more balls to put your name on it as though people won’t throw rocks at you if they discover you’re responsible for this atrocity. Like trying to cop a feel of Ronda Rousey ballsy. Now I don’t know if writer/director Donald Farmer and company had any artistic aspirations, and if they did how they became this fucked up between their brain and the finished(?) product. Perhaps it was all just a shameless cash grab. All I know is Shark Exorcist looks like Nancy Kerrigan’s painful wail of “Why?” has taken physical form. No one involved seems to really know what they are doing. It ultimately doesn’t even work as schlock cinema. And while my monthly student loan bill eats away any hope of retirement savings, it shouts at me to tell you this is a soul crushing film (which I’ve just done. Yeah, I can sleep tonight). However, I must wonder how much responsibility I should shoulder in causing others to inflict this disease upon themselves. Does my warning to avoid Shark Exorcist, no matter how emphatic, amount to little more than a dare to the foolhardy.
Director: Donald Farmer
Screenplay: Donald Farmer
Cinematographer: Ruston Henry Jr. and Jamie Nichols
Film Editing: Alaine Huntington and Jamie Nichols
Music: Tony Proffer
With: Angela Kerecz (Ali), Bobby Kerecz (Father Michael), James Balsamo (Randy), Alaine Huntington (Mother Mary), Roni Jonah (Nancy Chase), Christy Moritz (Sister Blair), Channing Dodson (Emily), Lexi Nimmo (Holly), Julia Contrenchis (Jayne), and A Crappy CGI Shark (A Crappy CGI Shark)
Color-71 excruciating minutes
You can tell she’s possessed because she wears blue eyeshadow.
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