Television review

Syfy gets fishy again with ‘Ghost Shark’


Akron Beacon Journal

Not long ago, social media exploded over Sharknado, a cheesy campfest blending sharks, a tornado, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and a now-legendary sequence in which a chainsaw-carrying Ziering leaped into a giant shark and rescued a previously consumed woman by carving her out.

Endless replays have followed, along with merchandise, showings of Sharknado in movie theaters, and a planned sequel with the fan-recommended name Sharknado 2: The Second One.

But Syfy isn’t waiting for the sequel to lure fans back. So welcome Ghost Shark, premiering Thursday following a 7 p.m. replay of Sharknado.

There’s nothing on the level of the Ziering chainsaw scene in Ghost Shark. Nor is the cast, led by Night Court’s Richard Moll and 7th Heaven’s Mackenzie Rosman, as high on the tackiness scale. Even with Rosman reshaping her image with a Maxim magazine photo shoot, she and Moll combined take up far less space on TMZ than Reid.

When it comes to simple cinematic quality, however, Ghost Shark is on a par with Sharknado, just not as hilariously extreme. If you accept Sharknado as transcendently terrible, Ghost Shark is merely terrible.

Syfy sums up the plot as: “It’s a shark that’s a ghost. Need anything else?”

Maybe a little more. The film begins with a fishing competition; when two contestants’ possibly prize-winning catch is eaten by a shark, they shoot and abuse the shark before killing it. But instead of going to a watery grave, the shark returns as a ghost – a translucent, glowing one that is intent on exacting revenge on humans by severing limbs, biting off heads and causing terror all over the place.

Said places include a beach where a group of young people (Rosman among them) have gathered. But – spoiler alert – because this is a shark that is also a ghost, it can show up anywhere there is water. Let your imagination run wild. The filmmakers did.

Moll plays a bitter old man who may have the key to the ghost shark’s creation – and how to get rid of it. But before that solution is worked out, the shark does sundry gory deeds, the actors overplay every dramatic moment and at no point is any kind of logic permitted. It’s absurd enough that, before Sharknado, it might have inspired Tweets in abundance. But now it’s just another bad movie. Need anything else?

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