REVIEW: Sky Sharks (FrightFest 2020)
Originally slated for a release way back in 2017, Sky Sharks certainly has the power of hype behind it, and in many ways that makes it the perfect choice to open up this year’s Arrow Fright Fest.
Due to the global pandemic, the films are now being streamed for people to watch in their homes, and whilst it certainly improves on the accessibility of film festivals, it does of course mean you lose the amazing collective experience of seeing these films with an audience. In the case of Fright Fest, the audience is particularly passionate, and I can only imagine how well Sky Sharks would have gone over on opening night, if it had been screened as originally intended.
Those who are familiar with the shark B-movie sub-genre will absolutely know what they are letting themselves in for with this, and as someone who has watched more shark movies than they would care to admit, this film is totally up my street.
To quote the esteemed Doctor Ian Malcolm, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should”. This quote can be applied both to the insane concept of this film, and the very fact the film exists, but let it be known that this is the best film about genetically mutated flying Nazi sharks that you will see this year.
Opening with an insane sequence in which an entire planeload of passengers is dispatched in the grisliest manner possible, the precedent for this film is set straightaway. We are met with every possible stereotype including a nervous Nun, a lecherous old man, and a bevvy of inexplicably buxom women, and horror hounds everywhere will be rubbing their hands wondering just who is going to meet their maker first. It is reminiscent of the infamous plane scene in Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus in which a giant mutant shark (checks notes) leaps into the sky and devours a plane whole, and it is an insane blood-splattered delight.
Sky Sharks is absolutely a film that wears its ridiculousness on its sleeve, however it also treats its ludicrous premise with straight-faced severity, and there is sometimes nothing funnier than this. The plot – or what there is of it anyway – involves super-soldier experimentation and a plethora of Nazi zombies who, for reasons unknown, take to the sky on weaponized flying sharks. The audience is laughing, yet the characters in the film treat this as if it is the most normal thing in the world, and that idea alone is very funny.
This is shlocky, pulpy and over-the-top trash of the absolute highest order and whilst the effects are deliberately and laughably low-budget, the overall production value is actually quite good, and believe me I have watched the worst-of-the-worst shark movies; looking at you Shark Exorcist…
The 80s style synth soundtrack, abundance of female nudity, extremely exaggerated violence, and Neil Breen-esque over-reliance on “technology” filters to mask a multitude of sins, all add to the fun. The story does lag a bit in the middle, and every explanation only offers up more questions, but this is not a film to be dissected and analysed. It is incredibly dumb, switch your brain off entertainment and utterly insane in every conceivable way. Honestly one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen, and I loved it!