Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)

Genre: Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.

Release Date: November 26th, 2002 MPAA Rating: R

Director: David Worth Actors: John Barrowman, Jenny McShane, Ryan Cutrona, Bashar Rahal, George Stanchev, Rosi Chernogorova




he SS Bountress, drifting in the Pacific Ocean, sends a group of deep sea technicians to do a cable patch on a regulator assembly for the Challenger Deep Trench project. While worker Porter (Pavlin Kemilev) is at an extreme depth, he’s attacked by a large, unknown creature. Six months later in Colima, Mexico, Playa del Rey water security patrolman Ben Carpenter (John Barrowman) and his partner Esai (George Stanchev) journey on their MX540 boat just south of Banderas Point to find lobsters. Instead, they discover an Apex Communications cable with a massive shark tooth lodged into the fiber optics.

Ben posts a picture on the internet, where Cataline “Cat” Stone (Jenny McShane) from the Natural History Museum in San Diego, California takes notice. The female marine biologist flies down to Mexico to meet Ben and to take a closer look at the tooth. She thinks it’s a subspecies of the mako shark and an extremely rare specimen. Elderly Chuck Rampart (Ryan Cutrona) from Apex is assigned to swim down to a problematic junction box to investigate, while Cat and her two-person crew of cameramen search the nearby waters for further evidence of the mystery shark. As it turns out, Cat is also a paleontologist who has been tracking the potentially 75-foot-long Great White shark ancestor, Megalodon, a prehistoric monster thought to be extinct for ages.

The music is a ludicrous blend of horror movie rip-offs, supplemented by ineffectual jump scares, which perfectly compliment the practically unadulterated thievery of sequences from “Jaws.” Everything else is an almost nonstop display of unintentionally hilarious, pitiful moviemaking. There are crazed stares from overdramatic actors; goofy grins; a nearly incomprehensible captain with a cigar dangling from his mouth and an unintelligible beachfront property manager, each receiving far too many lines; frolicking beach nudity and sexy bikini-clad women casually walking through the background of every scene (the best example is a randomly inserted shower-sex spectacle, with candles and a freeze frame, segued by the line, “I’m exhausted – but you know, I’m really wired…” – the rest of which is so shocking and unbelievable and foul that it simply must be heard to fully register); stock footage of aquatic carnivores badly integrated into the actors’ footage; a slow motion shark cam; poor special effects; plenty of limb-tearing carnage; and hopelessly generic dialogue delivered insincerely. At times the film appears dubbed, but it’s actually just the poor sound quality and recording.

Perhaps most ridiculous of all is the shark, which keeps changing sizes from minute to minute (even the visual characteristics of the shark heads continually shift as clearly different species are utilized), and roars like a lion. The complete lack of genuineness as every character interacts is also riotous, highlighted by unconvincing, humorous cursing. “You know, sharks are always biting things,” comments Ben without any believable emotion. Fortunately, no time is wasted getting straight to the man-eating violence and bloodshed, giving fans of the genre exactly what they crave. Considering the likelihood of success for the third part of a mediocre franchise in the first place, it’s probably better that the end result is bizarrely comical rather than forthrightly pathetic. Thankfully, this hysterically inferior production requires no familiarity with “Shark Attack” or “Shark Attack 2,” and can be enjoyed as a movie that’s so extremely bad, it’s rather unexpectedly entertaining.

– Mike Massie

  • 7/10