Dinoshark – Blu-ray review

Filmmaker Roger Corman is still in the game at 85 years old. There are few filmmakers that have been constantly active for 55 years like him. He’s as popular now as he was in the ā€˜50s. He’s adapted to the times. His monster movies no longer feature a man stuffed inside a scary rubber suit. His new legion of man eating critters are CGI creations. While his low budget movies no longer get prime drive-in theater space, his productions dominate SyFy’s original movies. Who can forget Supergator, Dinocroc, Sharktopus and Dinocroc vs. Supergator? Now you can bring home the high definition version of Dinoshark on Blu-ray.

The documentary Corman’s World has behind the scenes footage of Corman on the location of Dinoshark. The executive producer was making suggestions and keeping the production up to his fast speed. One of the faults of the documentary is that it suggests that Jaws should have been the kind of film Corman made. The movie doesn’t list the numerous films that Corman produced with a man eating aquatic beast terrorizing a beach community. This simple formula has allowed him to make and remake Piranha, Up From the Depths and Humanoids From the Deep. He can’t be stopped by Jaws‘ studio lawyers as long as he avoided a great white shark in the water. Dinoshark follows in the grand tradition.

Thanks to global warming, an iceberg melts and releases a prehistoric shark. While the water is a little bit warmer, it’s not hot enough for the Dinoshark. It swims south to enjoy the tropical waters of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Also heading to the beach resort is Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under and Skyline). He’s ready to captain a boat for a pal. Seems like a sweet gig until the Dinoshark eats the locals. Can Balfour really capture the beast? He gets a little help from scientist Iva Hasperger. But even she needs a mentor in the form of Roger Corman as the major expert. What can’t Roger Corman do on a movie set? He has good advice on how Balfour needs to attack the terrible creature. Dinoshark gets to run wild around the waters of a posh resort. How can he resist a water polo game at the dock? That’s more tasty than a breakfast buffet of only bacon. Balfour gets to play the serious hero in the explosive finale.

This is pure SyFy dopey monster action. Balfour hits the right tone as the vagabond forced to become a hero. The monster doesn’t look too bad as it munches away. There’s plenty creative ways for the Dinoshark to chomp his victims. Maybe it’s not Jaws, but there’s plenty to chew on. Although you might want a big fruity drink to enjoy with the tropical mayhem. Dinoshark is the perfect way to describe Roger Corman at this point in his career. He’s prehistoric in Hollywood terms yet he keeps swimming and devouring young punks that don’t respect him.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p image doesn’t make the Dinoshark look anymore realistic, but this isn’t supposed to be Avatar. The higher resolution makes it more fun. The audio is Dolby True 5.1. The mix is fine, but nothing that will blow out your speakers. The movie is subtitled in English.

Audio Commentary brings together Roger Corman, Julie Corman and director Kevin O’Neill. There’s quite a bit of talk about Eric Balfour doing his own water stunts. The director spent two months making the special effect shots with his own crew.

Trailer (2:10) has theme music that gets so close to Jaws. It’s a perfect Corman production teaser.

Dinoshark reminds us that the worst thing about global warming isn’t climate change, but prehistoric sharks eating us. Amazing to think that Roger Corman remains at the forefront of big monster films after half a century. This is just glorious goofy cinema with a big bite.

Anchor Bay Entertainment presents Dinoshark. Directed by: Kevin O’Neill. Starring: Eric Balfour, Iva Hasperger and Roger Corman. Written by: Frances Doel and Guy Prevost. Running time: 90 minutes. Rating: Unrated. Released on DVD: April 26, 2011.

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