Don’t Catch Virus Shark (2021)
Title: Virus Shark
First Wide Release: April 13, 2021 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Mark Polonia
Writer: Aaron Drake
Runtime: 74 Minutes
Starring: Jamie Morgan, Steve Diasparra, Natalie Himmelberger
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
The world is reeling from the shark induced pandemic of SHVID-1 which began transmission from animals to humans via a shark bite in Australia. It spread like a wildfire, so the government sent down a team of researchers to an underwater laboratory to study the disease and find a cure to save the world. While working tirelessly on the serum the infection spreads to the rig. At this point they have discovered the cure and are ready to show it to the world. Only now someone wants to run off with it themselves and the infection aboard will impede any effort to change the course of humanity.
It’s not worth the time to explain that Virus Shark is one of the worst films made this year, but that’s kind of the point. It’s supposed to be like this.
This movie makes very little sense in general. I acknowledge and understand that for a film made on a budget of less than $200 that my expectations should be quite low. And they were. Yet somehow, they weren’t low enough. This is particularly evident by the motivation behind the finale of the film which defies all sense and somehow made me even more irritated that I spent the entire film. Even low budget schlock has the responsibility to make some basic sense, right?
Continuing on with this theme of senselessness, there is barely any real plot to this film in general. Again, I get what I signed up for, but this is another level. Strung together by poorly written and ill-conceived dialogue, we learn almost everything by narration or characters literally explaining the plot to us. Cyclical conversations help extend scenes to annoyingly long conversations about nothing of importance and serve to pad the film’s wan runtime. Somehow, they hit every single cliché without improving on or subverting anything. Which admittedly is kind of impressive.
There are two types of actors here. They either deliver every line with a flat affect, or they scream while gesticulating and cringing at nothing in particular. The question isn’t who the best actor is here, but who is the least awful. Characters never evolve beyond bland archetypes then state the most robotic things possible to move the plot along. A subplot on weird zombie hybrid looking things, which you can very plainly tell are rubber suits, is introduced before being forgotten a mere ten minutes later. The chaotic nature of the production is the point.
There is no joy in watching this film. The problems are endless: the characters are one-dimensional, the score is loud and obnoxious, and the sound design feels one step away from being designed on a generation 1 iPhone. It’s as visually appealing as an unsalted, plain rice cake and the effects are even worse than whatever a middle schooler could put together for an impromptu Youtube sketch. What’s worse is that its miserable pacing and poor writing stretches out the film to feel like an interminable endurance test straight out of Dante’s Inferno.
Honestly, the fact that I sought out this film after watching last year’s train wreck Amityville Island, from the same team, is enough proof that I am a masochist and in need of some form of therapy. Somehow, this one is slightly more enjoyable.
I knew what I was getting into when I decided to watch Virus Shark. That doesn’t, however, take away the painful experience of watching it. There are virtually no redeeming qualities here aside from some unintentional laughter from the ridiculousness of the film. It’s pure trash, but that’s okay for what it is meant to be. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is looking to enjoy a movie, but if you want to mess around with some friends while waist deep in your favorite alcoholic beverage, or other vice, then it’s a fine movie to excoriate in good company. Regardless, it’s safe to say that you should take the vaccine and avoid this film at all costs.
Overall Score? 1.5/10