Three Ways to Make a Shark Movie

Why I Love Shark Movies – Even the Bad Ones!

I love shark movies. Even the bad ones. And if you watch shark movies, then you know – there are a lot of bad ones.

Maybe you’ve noticed some bad acting. Or poor dialogue. Even lousy lighting. One of the most common observations is that the shark looks fake.

Another thing film-lovers have noticed is that modern shark movies have become more and more ridiculous. SHARKTOPUS was just the beginning. Recent films have featured piranha sharks, ghost sharks, six-headed sharks, sharks fighting Bigfoot, and of course, Sharknados.

By comparison, the roaring shark in JAWS: THE REVENGE seems quaint!

With all that being said, I still love Shark Movies. My friends and I put together this video all about the different ways to make a shark movie, using real sharks, practical FX or computer-generated images:

While researching this video, here are just a few crazy things I’ve seen

  • Sharks swimming in snow
  • Sharks coming onto land
  • Sharks taking down an airplane
  • A shark leaping out of the water to bite a parasailer

Okay, that last one also happened in real life. But it was a rare occurrence. And unlike the movie, it didn’t involve an ancient Dino-shark.

Why are some Shark Movies so absurd?

These movies are knowingly ridiculous. If an audience member says, “that’s dumb!” the joke’s on them, because the filmmakers know it’s absurd.

They believe that some viewers will go along with the plot even as things get increasingly outrageous.

It’s like professional wrestling. Let me tell you about the time I hosted a variety show and interviewed WWE Superstar Tommy Dreamer.

I asked Tommy what he said when people ask, “Is wrestling real?” His reply stuck with me: “Professional wrestling is a sport with a pre-determined outcome. But the pain is real. The emotions are real. And the relationships are real.”

The same thing is true of these ridiculous shark movies.

Even when the shark doesn’t look “real” it still relates to our fears and emotions.

The films play with our fear. (Do a quick Google Image Search under “Thalassophobia” and you’ll see why people are scared of the ocean.)

Fear can be irrational. Who hasn’t gone into a swimming pool and thought “I hope there aren’t any sharks in here.”? You’re not alone if you’ve taken a bath and worried about tiny sharks in the tub.

At least one person reading this has sat down on a toilet and had a terrible thought about an over-ambitious shark. All three of these fears have been dramatized in recent movies, which you can see in my video above.

I love sharks, and I’ll keep watching these movies because even the bad ones can be fun. Even if the shark looks fake.

About Kevin

Kevin Maher is an Emmy-nominated comedy writer. You can see more of his videos and award-winning short films at Atomic Abe and Love Kevin.

Thank you to Kevin for sharing this video and his thoughts on Shark Movies. Let him know what you think of his video in the comments below!

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