Title: Raging Sharks
Director: Danny Lerner
Writer(s): Les Weldon
The audience is immediately attacked by the “NU IMAGE” vanity card that comes flying out like it’s the opening credits to Superman. The Tosca Pictures *vanity card* has crappy CGI. This thing is at the beginning of every single one of their movies, and they couldn’t be bothered to make it look good. We’re doomed.
The movie proper begins in outer space. Against the backdrop of a red planet, probably Mars, one of the spaceships from Moon 44 (photo from io9.com) comes zooming in. I will admit to liking the forced perspective on this shot. It’s a bit like the beginning shot of Star Wars: A New Hope in that it appears this ship is one size, but then it keeps on going and going and going. Back in the plot, a smaller spaceship is being piloted by two aliens. They shriek at each in Alien before turning their ship to face the massive one. Which promptly rams them. One of the aliens shrieks “NOOO!,” which is hilarious considering they’ve spent this whole scene talking in a made up language. Both ships explode (which makes no sense), and the smaller ship ejects a weird white container. I shall call it “the warp core.” The warp core, which looks pretty good for the 1970s, travels to Earth where it promptly crashes into a Bulgarian ship in the middle of the Bermuda triangle. This crash causes multiple explosions on the ship and one under the water…somehow. I will admit that the stunts in this scene are actually really good. Bravo, movie, you’ve already been a better alien film than Battlefield Earth.
I will admit to being really confused the first time I saw this. I had put in an “action/horror creature feature” about killer sharks and was *watching* a sci fi film about aliens. It’s going to take an hour, but we will come back to this. Eventually.
The camera flies over the water as a vaguely militaristic theme plays. Complete with copious amounts of happy flute. Because when I think killer sharks, I think happy flute music. Once again, our credits are just a plain white Arial font. Though, the title comes in nifty blood red colour. Corbin Bernsen?!? Was life really this bad before Psych? You were in L.A. Law and J.A.G. and the Major League movies and The Waltons and—Jesus Christ, is there anything Corbin Bernsen hasn’t been in? The man’s even been in Star Trek: The Next Generation! Back in the plot, there is no plot, because they’re going to credit everybody even tangentially related to this movie. The first time I watched this, I thought the movie was over; I actually thought, “These credits have been going on for so long that they have to be the ending credits. I can’t believe I paid two dollars for a four-movie set where one of the movies turned out to be five minutes long.”
Finally, the camera pans over a boat at sea, and a super comes up reading “Impact Zone Bermuda Triangle 7 Years Later.” Remember that, boys and girls. This is the Paradiso research vessel. It’s trying to radio the underwater laboratory. The camera zooms down through the water to reveal a CGI model that isn’t half bad. Another super informs us this is the Oshona Deep Sea Lab. Just in case it wasn’t obvious this movie began life as a Deep Blue Sea rip-off. Also, “Oshona” is pronounced “Oceania” so I don’t know why they didn’t just spell it like that. I guess it’s because if they did, then a joke later on actually makes sense. Back in the plot, the camera zooms into the lab through one of the windows. I actually like this shot.
Corin Nemec a.k.a Jonas Quinn from Stargate: SG-1 enters the control room. Vera (Elise Muller) shows him her readings, which show a significant increase in magnetic spikes. Simona (Simone Levin) explains that she can’t figure out where they’re coming from because the magnetic fields are playing merry hob with her instruments. Jonas exposits that the sharks are everywhere, but when they first got there, they didn’t see any sharks at all. Then, he complains about how they’re not getting results. If you’re wondering what kind of results, you’re out of luck; they never explain what they’re doing there. Also, it appears only one of them actually does any real work. Back in the plot, Vera complains that all their equipment is falling apart because it isn’t designed to do whatever they’re doing. Jonas replies that they need results before they can get more funding. An engineer with a Scots accent (Binky van Bilderbeek. Yes, really.) thinks their generator will fail before then. Jonas thinks they could get money for that. Scotty just rolls his eyes.
The captain of the Paradiso, who never gets a name, radios down that Jonas needs to leave now because the storm is coming. If you think that’ll be important later on, you’re wrong. Jonas kisses his wife, Linda (Vanessa Angel), and goes to finish packing. This is only interesting if you’re into Stargate: SG-1, but Jonas’ wife is Freya/Anise. Vera complains that it’s not the crew’s fault they have no results. Linda agrees to talk to Jonas. So she goes to their quarters and re-says everything that Vera said earlier in the control room. Useful! Linda tells Jonas that without more funding everything may fall apart. Jonas doesn’t think that would be a bad thing. Jonas wants a family, house, and a “home without the word ‘ocean’ in it.” (Told you that joke would make more sense if the lab was called “Oceania.”) Linda wants to finish their job first. Jonas wants to know what she’s going to do when the job is over and she can’t hide anymore. She tells him that she loves him, but he leaves without responding.
I’ll admit that I kinda like this bit. It subverts the obvious cliche of her wanting kids and him being wrapped up in the job. It’s a small thing, but it’s nice. And I’m going to take the good where I can get it in this movie.
Jonas climbs into the Oshona’s mini-sub, which is piloted by Scotty. The Paradiso radios that the helicopter is on its way. The mini-sub heads toward the surface, and the filmmakers actually show some common sense: there is only a brief shot of the CGI mini-sub and the rest is shot from inside looking out. This film is actually pretty smart with the quality of the CGI. They know it sucks so they show it sparingly, use the murkiness of the water to hide it, or use quick cuts. Unfortunately, this also makes the movie hard to see at times.
Back inside Oshona, a stock scientist (Jonas Talkington) is working. He is the only person who does any research in the whole movie so he is rewarded by being named almost an hour into the film. And he’s also named after his actor. So I’m calling him Dr. Nerd. He looks at a vial of glowing orange beads and says “Interesting!” Then one of his instruments beeps prompting him to say “Fascinating!” There’s a close up of the vial, and it appears to be made of poorly Photoshopped orange clouds. I’m not sure why they did that since they obviously have real orange beads.
In the control room, Simona and Carlo (Atanas Srebrev) talk about the fact that she’s leaving soon. She says they’ll meet again after he leaves the mission; he thinks that’ll be fairly soon. Foreshadowing!
Meanwhile, the engineer does his best Scotty impression, validating my decision to call him that. Scotty and Leo (Emil Markov) are going to work inside whilst Diver Don and Diver Jake (seriously, that’s what they’re credited as) go outside to work on…something. I’m not sure what they’re doing since one will be looking for a relay box and the other will be welding. There is some cute character building things to establish Scotty and Leo’s friendship. Unfortunately, Leo has a very strong Bulgarian accent, which is not an accent I’m familiar with, and this movie has no subtitles so I’m not entirely sure what he’s saying. Why is it so hard for these movies to have subtitles? They already have a script so it’s not like they actually have to pay attention, and fans subtitle stuff all the time. It’d take them maybe 10 minutes to put subtitles on the entire film, and it’d increase their audience. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people like bad movies too! Back in the plot, Vera notices sharks moving quickly toward the lab. Linda radios Diver Don and Diver Jake to come back inside, but they don’t respond. Probably because they can’t hear her over the sharks roaring. That must be a side effect of the glowing orange beads. Diver Jake is eaten so Scotty responds with the most bored “Bloody hell mate!” I’ve ever heard. Linda tells him to keep trying to contact Diver Don whilst she goes out there to help him. What exactly does she think she’s going to do? Does Linda have magic shark fighting powers? No. Then she must be going out in order to distract the sharks by letting them eat her. Also, I keep using plurals because the cast does, but very rarely is there more than one shark on the screen. It’s like they could only afford one plastic shark and no National Geographic stock footage.
Back in the plot, Linda has changed into her wet suit. If she doesn’t hold the Guinness World Record for changing into it, then she’s not going to show up in time to do anything other than find a dead body. Oh look, I’m psychic. She’s finds the shark-mauled corpse of Diver Don. Did I say shark-mauled? I mean “completely fine except for where the shark has surgically bit a single eye out of his head.” Because sharks are known for their precision. A shark roars in the distance, prompting Linda to turn around and head back to the Oshana. So this scene was pointless. One of the sharks begins to bite a large cord that throws sparks. Instead of being electrocuted, it continues until it cuts the lights off in the lab. Fortunately, the emergency generator kicks on immediately. And there’s nothing to indicate this isn’t the normal status of the lab; the lights aren’t dimmer nor are they tinted red nor are there fewer of them. It’s the exact same amount and kind of light, just now it’s called “emergency.” If they had gone for real emergency lights, they could’ve used the money they saved to subtitle the thing. Back in the plot, Vera radios the Paradiso informing them that there’s been a shark attack, which killed two divers. Then the sharks cut all the lines, including the radio and the one piping down oxygen. Paradiso’s captain tries to radio back; however, when that fails, he orders the radioman to contact the Coast Guard and orders a diver to go down. Because when a deadly shark attack has already killed two divers, the smartest thing to do is send another one down.
In Boston, Jonas is driving to the Marine Oceanographic Institute when he receives a call from Director Newman. Newman tells him there has been a shark attack, which killed two divers. Jonas immediately knows it was Diver Don and Diver Jake. He’s psychic too! The director orders Jonas to the naval station where he’ll be taken back to the Bermuda Triangle. Wow. This trip had such great importance; I’m so glad it happened.
Obvious stock footage of a sub turns into an inside shot of Corbin Bernsen! His character’s name is Naval Capt. Riley. So I shall call him Corbin Bernsen. Jonas introduces himself to Corbin Bernsen who wasn’t even supposed to be here today. Also, he thinks the military shouldn’t be involved in civilian matters unless it’s absolutely necessary. Jonas tells him that his family and friends’ lives rely on Corbin Bernsen. They glare at each other for a bit. Don’t worry, though, this animosity will never be spoken of again now that the truly annoying and evil character walks into the scene. Ben Stiles (Todd Jensen) introduces himself and announces that he’s been sent by the Marine Oceanographic Institute to investigate the incident on the Oshona to see if any safety procedures were ignored. He exposits all the backstory of the crew of the Oshona. The important stuff is that Jonas and Linda have been working in the lab for 10 years, Jonas has been the boss for 8 years, and he is apparently really bad because there’s not been a single safety inspection in 6 years. Stiles says that if the shark attack is the result on a safety procedure being ignored, then Jonas will be persecuted. Jonas walks away without responding, presumably because he can’t figure out what sharks have to do with making sure all the seals are on tight.
At the moment, I kinda agree with Stiles a little. Jonas and his crew live *under the ocean* and cannot breathe water. So safety inspections and the like are important so they don’t all die a horrible death. Fortunately, this feeling will be brief because he’s going to become a raging douchebag that is obviously evil as soon as possible. And then he will become even more evil and douchey. Thanks, movie, I didn’t want to think about anything today.
Back in the plot, the Paradiso is finally sending down the diver that was ordered down earlier. Great, now I’m confused about the timeline. Is this a flashback? Did it really take this guy a couple of hours to put on a wetsuit? This diver isn’t in the credits so you know he’s going to live and become an important character! Nameless follows the cable that connects the Paradiso to the Oshona. He radios that the line has been cut by being chewed off. I’m fairly certain cutting and chewing are two different things, but I’m not going to argue with my favourite character who shall totally survive the movie. And a roaring shark eats him. NO! Not Nameless! I loved him! Back on the Paradiso, a random grizzled old man sheds a tear for Nameless as he removes his dirty old toque. Hi, Random Grizzled Old Man! Bye, Random Grizzled Old Man! We will never see you again!
In the Oshona, Carlo shows Simona a picture of his son, Francesco, who will be six tomorrow.
“If I survive, I will buy him the biggest present imaginable.”
-Carlo is Totally Going to Live
Meanwhile, Linda asks Vera for a damage report. She explains that everything is broken. Scotty replies that Leo is working on it. Linda wants both of them working on it because everything is broken both inside and outside of the lab. Scotty blames Linda for the damage and says it never would’ve happened if she hadn’t gone outside to rescue a dead guy. I must have missed the bit where she ordered the killer shark to eat its way through the cables and then ram the lab repeatedly. Linda tells Scotty she’s in charge and he best do as he’s told. Scotty leaves to go help Leo fix everything. Simona reports that the sharks are acting weird because they’re swimming in schools. Then Vera proves she’s the best oceanographer since Jacques Cousteau.
“Sharks are fish, and fish need schools.”
-NOT Utter Rubbish
Linda explains that there’s 12 different species of shark outside despite the fact that the audience has seen one, maybe two, Great Whites. Dr. Nerd comes in to tell Linda that the glowing orange beads aren’t from Earth. Really? Day-Glow orange beads aren’t natural? SHOCK! Linda asks if they were given to him by “those little green men you’ve been watching on SciFi?” Wow; if I didn’t already know, I’d never be able to figure out what channel was heavily involved in this movie’s production. Dr. Nerd tells her that more of the orange beads keep popping up, and she orders him to find out what they are.
On the Paradiso, the captain has an argument with a diver about whether the diver will go down to the ship. It’s completely pointless because this is the penultimate time we see the ship, and nobody ever goes down. The Coast Guard lands a sea plane. The stock footage shows the plane landing with the coastline and several settlements behind it. In the middle of the open ocean. That pilot is talented! The captain asks the Coast Guard to send a diver down to help restore communications. A guy, who my notes call Jimmy despite no Jimmy being listed on the cast page, is sitting on the landing pontoon. A shark roars at him and then hits the plane without ever touching it, causing Jimmy to fall into the water. He’s eaten by the shark. Bye, Coast Guard! We’ll never see you again.
In the Oshona, Scotty watches Leo work whilst he complains about Linda calling him lazy. So of course, she immediately enters the room. HAHAHA! Hilarity! She tells Scotty that the oxygen line is ruptured (which was discussed earlier when he was in the control room) and the reserves need to be turned on. But to do that, someone has to go outside. Why? That seems like a massive design flaw. “Oh no! There’s a problem with our air supply, and we’re all going to die in 10 minutes if we don’t turn on the reserves! Let me go put on a wet suit, leave the lab, swim to the oxygen reserves, and hit all the buttons necessary to turn it on. I can totally do that in— Oh no! We’re all dead!” Back in the plot, Linda orders Scotty to go turn on the reserves. He replies that he has three kids, which is more than she has. Linda turns to Leo who pointedly doesn’t look at her. She calls Scotty a coward and walks away. She does not go outside and turn the reserves on by herself. Linda Pot, meet Scotty Kettle.
On the Roosevelt, Corbin Bernsen tells Jonas another diver has been attacked. Jonas explains that the sharks had been acting more aggressive lately, but this level of aggression doesn’t make sense. So Stiles accuses Jonas of doing it. Corbin Bernsen shuts the argument down before it can start, though, through sheer awesome.
There’s a scene of a shark (maybe sharks) rampaging around a beach in Bermuda. The important bit is that one of the sharks is caught. There is a shark autopsy where the technicians are both filmed from the wrist down. Based on the voices, I think they’re being played by Jonas and Corbin Bernsen. Maybe!Jonas reveals that the shark’s stomach is filled with glowing orange beads.
Back on the Roosevelt, Stiles is interrogating Jonas about the safety procedures on the Oshona. It turns out that all the safety and building permits are expired, and none of the routine safety inspections have been done since Jonas took over. He replies intelligently.
“This is an underwater lab, not a night club!”
Jonas asks why Stiles is asking all these questions since all the deaths were the result of shark attacks. Stiles takes this opportunity to become even more villainous. He tells Jonas to resign and he’ll leave him alone, otherwise he’ll take Jonas before the Marine Oceanographic Institute Board. It is heavily implied that he will lie if it’ll get Jonas in trouble. Jonas stomps off. Corbin Bernsen was listening and tells Jonas not to let the asshole get him down. Then, he tells Jonas about the shark autopsy; Jonas wants the results as soon as possible. I am so confused about the timeline here. How long have the people been trapped in the Oshona without air? It must’ve been at least a couple of hours if not longer.
Back in Oshona, Vera says her fiancé wanted to get married before she shipped back out to the lab, but she refused. Now she wishes they’d gotten married. Linda promises she’ll get Vera home. Vera is totally going to live, and she and her fiancé are going to move-in with Carlo and his son. This scene is pointless and is followed by another pointless scene only this one is on the sub. I will give Corbin Bernsen this; he’s been in everything because he’s a fantastic actor. He managed to make the technobabble sound like it made sense.
The Paradiso tries to radio the Roosevelt and/or Oshona, but has no luck. Bye, Paradiso! We’ll never see you again. Also, your scene was pointless.
There’s another pointless scene where a bunch of jerks with a camera try to cash in on the tragedy by getting footage of the sharks. They are eaten. We are now at four pointless scenes in a row, guys.
On the Roosevelt, Jonas reads the shark autopsy. He thinks he knows what it means. Which proves that he’s psychic in this movie, because Dr. Nerd didn’t tell anyone about the glowing orange beads until *after* Jonas left the Oshona. Somehow, the sub gets a video feed of the sharks. It looks exactly like the feed on the Oshona. Seriously, you couldn’t even flip that? Stiles asks what the Oshona is doing. Jonas doesn’t answer. Good luck finding out, Stiles; I’ve watched this movie thrice and still can’t tell you what they’re researching other than “the ocean.”
Linda calls the Roosevelt. Wait, what? The shark gnawed through the cable that let them talk to others, and none of their sensors are working. So not only should she not be able to talk to the sub, she shouldn’t know it’s there! Jonas tells Corbin Bernsen that’s his wife so he lets Jonas talk to her. That’s sweet. Actually, Jonas and Linda’s relationship is one of my favourite things about the movie; it’s sweet, and it’s obvious they care about each other. Back in the plot, Linda tells Jonas they’ve no air and the oxygen reserves still haven’t been turned on. Jonas asks Corbin Bernsen how they’re going to evacuate his family. Corbin replies that the sub has no way of rescuing someone underwater. Seriously? The whole reason the sub was sent was to evacuate an underwater lab so the Navy sent the sub that can’t do that. It’s like the movie realized it was running short so it started causing stupid problems to pad the running time. Next, there will be an exploding pudding to fight. Back in the plot, Jonas says it’s okay because the people in Oshona can just use the mini-sub to escape. WHY HAVEN’T THEY DONE THAT ALREADY? They are trapped at the bottom of the ocean with no electricity (supposedly), no oxygen (supposedly), no way to contact anyone (supposedly), and surrounded by killer sharks, and they have a bloody great mini-sub that no one has even attempted to use to escape? Let’s do ‘em, man. Let’s do the whole fucking lab!
Moving on, Jonas prepares to swim from the Roosevelt to the Oshona. Stiles arrives at the airlock and says he’s going with Jonas. Everybody complains because there’s no reason for it. He threatens to shut down the entire rescue mission and let everybody die if he doesn’t get to go with. Oh, Stiles, you are a subtle and nuanced character. Also, totally capable of doing that with your safety inspector powers. Back in the plot, they swim their way through the roaring sharks and ominous Latin singing, neither of which have noticed them. Linda looks at the outside monitor and realizes one of the divers is her husband. I’m not sure how since I can’t tell them apart in the close-ups so it must be the power of love. Stiles suddenly swims off for no reason and takes a flash photo of the lab. This will make even less sense later. The flash causes the sharks to suddenly notice their presence. I think Jonas fights off a shark, but as I mentioned earlier, the editing is really choppy so we won’t notice how bad the shark looks. Stiles and Jonas barely make it into the lab alive. Jonas immediately hugs his wife in order to reassure her. (I really like their relationship.) Stiles took the photo so he’d have evidence of the safety violations. Because a murky underwater photo of a lab that’s been repeatedly rammed by sharks is going to stand up before a tribunal board. This will make even less sense later. Carlo is ordered to take care of Stiles.
Apparently, “take care of Stiles” meant “bring him to the control room with me and Linda.” There’s a pointless argument about how Stiles wants to shut down the lab. This is moot because the lab can’t actually function at the moment. Supposedly. (It’s like the movie keeps forgetting this.) Jonas tells everyone to get ready for the evacuation so Linda asks if there’s any other option. Where did you get your doctorate, Linda? Was it Dumbass University? Jonas reminds her that the lab has no oxygen, no electricity, no way to communicate, and all the equipment is shot. He orders Vera and Simona to grab back-ups and records and asks Dr. Nerd to gather all his live cultures. This is also when we find out his real name.
Meanwhile, the Roosevelt has a mini-explosion for no real reason. Due to this, there’s a fire in the engine room and flooding in Compartments A and B. Corbin Bernsen demands a report, and his first officer tells him there’s flooding in Compartments 1, 2, and 4. Wow; that wasn’t even thirty seconds. Way to remember details, movie. Corbin Bernsen radios Jonas and tells him this setback means that the sub can’t do anything for another 35 minutes. Scotty freaks out because they only have 25 minutes of oxygen left. Why does it matter how long it’ll take the Roosevelt to be able to do stuff? They’re going to take the mini-sub up to the surface anyway. Instead of pointing this out, Jonas reminds Scotty that they have reserves. Linda replies that Scotty is a chicken shit who’s too afraid to go out and turn it on. Linda, there are five other people in this lab and none of them have done it either. (Six! I forgot about Dr. Nerd, but the plot tends to do that too.) Why is Scotty the only one that’s a coward? Jonas decides he’ll go do it, and Carlo volunteers to go with him. Which makes me think that if Linda had asked earlier, they would’ve had the oxygen reserve working by now. Jonas tries to talk Carlo out of it since it makes no sense for both of them to go, but Carlo has made up his mind. Maybe he’s going to get a present for his son’s birthday party, which he will totally be alive to attend. After they leave, Scotty tells Linda that he’s scared of the sharks. She threatens to kill him. On the one hand, it’s nice to see how much she loves her husband. On the other, she’s already rushed out there once with no reason; why won’t she do it now that she has a reason?
Outside, Jonas and Carlo are in a shark cage. I’ve no clue where it came from or why it’s here, but it is. Jonas climbs out to play with the oxygen reserves, and Carlo does nothing. Then he’s eaten by a shark. Whilst he’s in the shark cage. Which is designed to stop that sort of thing. I can’t decide if that’s hilarious or idiotic. Meanwhile, a roaring shark attacks the oxygen reserves, causing it to explode. This ruptures a bulkhead in Engineering (which isn’t anywhere near the outside walls) and causes random things in Dr. Nerd’s lab to explode. Like a plant that is sitting in the middle of the room. Jonas fights off the shark again and hides in a nearby coral reef that has never been there before. He radios Linda to tell her there are too many sharks to fight his way back. But it’s okay because he has a plan.
I am going to summarize this plan, which I shall be calling Operation: Jonas Has a Death Wish. Corbin Bernsen will shoot an incredibly powerful torpedo with a payload designed for destroying enemy subs and battleships at the sharks. It will explode and kill all the sharks but will not harm Jonas. He won’t even feel any ill effects from the concussive blast, which will be intensified by the fact that water molecules are closer together than air molecules. So as bad as this would be on land, it will be about three times worse underwater. Also, Jonas has no sort of protective gear and is essentially sitting on a coral reef whilst this happens.
So the Roosevelt shoots the sharks. This throws the people in the lab around. Linda rushes to the view screen for the outdoor camera and keeps trying to radio Jonas. He responds and is swimming along merrily. BULLSHIT! SO MUCH BULLSHIT! In real life, any blast powerful enough to rock the lab would’ve killed Jonas or at the very least pulverized every single bone in his body. And all the sharks are still alive, though they’re stunned. DOUBLE BULLSHIT!
Back in the plot, Jonas notices the orange light emanating from the warp core. He swims over to investigate and finds the glowing orange beads are everywhere. It appears that they’re leaking out of the warp core and growing. He grabs a handful and heads back to the Oshona.
Jonas and Linda hug. Jonas radios Corbin Bernsen (who is enjoying a nice cup of coffee) and tells him the Oshona only has about 10 minutes of air left. Dr. Nerd suddenly notices that Stiles has disappeared and asks if he should go find him. Jonas tells him not to worry about it. This is the super secret cue for Scotty to go insane. He begins to shriek that Linda killed Carlo. So Jonas sends him to his room. Yes, really. Scotty staggers off drunk. Jonas shows everybody the glowing orange beads, and Dr. Nerd explains that he thinks they’re extraterrestrial. He and Jonas technobabble back-and-forth for a bit until Dr. Nerd gets an idea. He grabs Jonas’ beads and goes off to do SCIENCE!
Vera notices something is up with the mini-sub. Jonas runs off to its bay to investigate. Instead of using the sensors and radio like a normal human being. It turns out drunken Scotty is fleeing in the mini-sub. In the mini-sub bay, Leo is crying whilst rocking back-and-forth and chanting “Harvey, don’t leave me.” Is he mentally impaired? I thought he was just a man with a heavy Bulgarian accent and little grasp of English (y’know, like his actor) but this scene makes me wonder if there’s not more to it. I can’t imagine any adult of a normal mental stature behaving like this. And in a few minutes, he’s going to do something really weird (for the purpose of being a red herring) that would actually make sense if he is mentally handicapped. Back in the plot, Scotty is singing “Blow the Man Down” badly as he ignores Jonas’ orders to turn around and not leave everyone to die. A shark that is about three-inches away from the surface in his close-up roars at the mini-sub and attacks it, rupturing a bulkhead. Leo and Jonas order Scotty to come back as a toy sub crashes and explodes. Leo blames Jonas for Scotty’s death, but Jonas replies that Scotty brought it on himself. This causes Leo to throw the microphone and run away. Jonas radios the Roosevelt to inform them of what happened. Despite the Roosevelt being perfectly positioned to hear and see all of this happening. And they say courtesy is dead.
Jonas finally realizes Stiles has been one Persian cat away from being a Bond villain and radios Corbin Bernsen to ask him to find out some background info. He splits the crew into him and Linda on Team Awesome and Vera and Simona on Team Kickass, and they go off to search for Stiles. By which I mean, Team Awesome goes to look for Stiles whilst Team Kickass apparently does nothing. In his lab, Dr. Nerd is doing something sciencey, which is causing the glowing orange beads to start smoking and singing. Seriously, the beads really are singing because Dr. Nerd is responding to the noise. He radios Jonas and tells him the beads are cold fusion fuel. They head off to his lab, and Linda asks if any of the stuff Dr. Nerd said was possible. (No.) Jonas replies not on Earth. Leo brings a canister into Dr. Nerd’s lab and acts bizarre. Red Herring Powers Activate! Jonas and Linda enter the lab to find Dr. Nerd stabbed in the back. Jonas immediately assumes Leo did it, but he doesn’t know why. I would’ve assumed the super shady guy who threatened to let everyone die if he didn’t have his way had killed Dr. Nerd, but I’m not an oceanographer so what do I know.
In the control room, Vera is a poor actor and Simona is crying. Still. I don’t think she’s stopped since Carlo’s death. Corbin Bernsen radios to say that the sub is leaving in 10 minutes; this is unfortunate since the Oshona had only 10 minutes of oxygen left 5 minutes ago. Not that anyone mentions that. Corbin exposits that the Marine Oceanographic Institute has no record of Stiles. So he jumps out of nowhere with a machine gun. Where did he get that? He didn’t swim it over, and he had no where to hide it from the others if he did. The lab shouldn’t have it unless they’re researching the effects of shooting the ocean. Back in the plot, Stiles is black ops from a “defence intelligence agency.” (Go with it.) There’s an obvious shot of Vera moving to set up something. Unfortunately, all it does is cause a loud bang that ends in her being shot. Stiles explains that he doesn’t want to kill them all, but they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And then there’s this brilliance.
Jonas: You don’t own the g.d. ocean!
Stiles: We own whatever we want! RAR!
-I did not add in that roar.
The government has been looking for the cold fusion cylinder ever since it landed five years ago but couldn’t locate it before the scientists stumbled upon it. Okay, two problems. One) why couldn’t the government find it? The scientists set up there because of the magnetic spikes. (Not that they’re studying them. They mention that the spikes are causing problems with their research. Whatever it is.) These spikes effected the Navy sub and the Paradiso. So the government couldn’t find these magnetic spikes that everybody else, including the *government*, could find? Two) the cylinder landed seven years ago.
Back in the plot, Linda is afraid Stiles is going to kill them all. Jonas comforts her by explaining that Stiles is going to kill all of them but one because he needs someone to help him get back to the surface. I don’t understand why since there’s no way back to the surface except floating up in a wet suit and he can attempt that alone. Suddenly, Leo jumps out of the shadows and grabs Stiles, causing the latter to fire wildly. Linda and Jonas flee, but Simona just cowers. Jonas comes back for her, but Simona won’t run even as he tries to pull her away. Jonas eventually leaves her as Stiles shoots Leo in the stomach. Stiles grabs Simona. This causes several small explosions in the control room. Don’t ask me why. However, after about a minute and a half, Stiles shoves Simona in a closet because she’s “annoying and useless.” (It’s horrible of me, but I agree with him.) She continues to cry and scream. And then the ceiling randomly caves in, letting in water. Well, that’s unfortunate.
In the kitchen, Linda waits for Stiles to walk past her before stabbing him in the back and stealing his gun. He responds by pulling the knife out and telling her the gun is empty. Which it is. Any particular reason for that? No? Okay, then. Stiles punches Linda in the face, so she cuts her losses and runs.
“Yeah, you better run because I’m coming looking!”
-Sounded Better in His Head
He puts a new clip in the gun and heads after Linda. And when he fires, the sound doesn’t match with the visual. Awesome. Linda finds the closet Simona was shoved in and calls her name. Then her corpse floats into view. It’s good to know she also kept her psychic powers from Stargate: SG-1. Linda continues to run around the lab and stuff randomly catches fire behind her. Is the lab made of Explodium? Then she leaves a hatch open so Stiles will know she went downstairs instead of assuming she just ran through this room like all the others. Instead of continuing to run, Linda hides.
“You have two choices! One of them is wrong!”
-Also Sounded Better in His Head
Stiles finds Linda and says if he has to look for her again, he will kill her. Upstairs, a poorly CGI’ed explosion happens, giving Jonas an opening to attack Stiles. Linda runs at Jonas’ instance. Despite being the hero, Jonas is getting the crap kicked out of him. I like this because it makes him more human, and while I know he’s going to win, I’m wondering how. Back in the fight scene, Stiles throws Jonas, which causes him to do a cool mid-air flip, and he lands on the machine gun. Fortunately, Jonas knows how to use it very effectively. As in he checks to see how many rounds are in the clip. I know that doesn’t sound impressive, but since he’s a science nerd that has no reason to know how to do that, I find it special enough to point out. Back in the plot, Stiles runs from the room.
As Jonas enters a darkened room, Stiles jumps out of nowhere and knocks the gun away. They fight some more until Jonas barely manages to get away and run for his life. On the Roosevelt, Corbin Bernsen has received orders to abandon the Oshona as a lost cause. Back in the lab, Linda and Jonas are running around in unnecessary slo-mo as the opera begins again. They find each other in the only room that isn’t randomly on fire: the room with the airlock. They have a beautiful emotional moment. Then Stiles finds them. These guys can’t get a break. Stiles begins to beat the crap out of Jonas, and there’s a random cut away to Linda. Doing nothing. Jonas finally manages to land a hit on Stiles, but this works to his disadvantage as Stiles now has an axe. Where did it come from? Why is it there? I don’t know. Back in the plot, Stiles looms over Jonas and raises the axe high. So Linda shoots him with a harpoon. I think. It’s edited so I can’t see her actually fire nor can I see what’s sticking out of his back.
With Stiles defeated, Linda and Jonas climb into wet suits. Unfortunately, a bunch of stuff upstairs explodes for no reason, which keeps them from opening the airlock. At least, that’s what I think happens because I can figure out no other reason for the airlock to suddenly be stuck now. On the Roosevelt, Corbin Bernsen tells the radioman to acknowledge their order to leave. Meanwhile, more stuff explodes, causing the Oshona to take on water. Jonas and Linda hold onto each other as they pant heavily, unable to breathe. Whilst surrounded by compressed air. A quick count shows at least 20 canisters in this one shot. Based on a cursory google, I’m fairly certain that breathing compressed air in a normal pressure environment can cause illnesses. However, I think that would probably be a better bet than suffocating. Also, most of the lab is filled with water anyway. Why don’t they just use the compressed air sparingly until they find somewhere where they can be submerged? Back in the plot, Corbin Bernsen orders the Roosevelt away. Jonas hears this (for the same reason he would die earlier by the way) and begins to use the air tank to knock out a message. This leads to a genuinely funny bit.
Corbin: “Are you sure it wasn’t whales or dolphins?”
Radioman: “Whales can’t spell.”
Corbin: *pointed look*
Jonas tells Linda he loves her. She replies that she wishes they’d had a beautiful family together. He tells her she was all he needed and he doesn’t regret a thing. The opera music begins again as… aliens appear. Linda’s eyes are completely closed, but Jonas is staring out of the window in fascination. (I’ve never noticed that window there before this scene. I’ve specifically looked for it and still haven’t seen it.) The aliens find the warp core and recover it. There’s a random explosion, which is powerful enough to cause the water to shoot straight up into the air. Corbin Bernsen informs the crew of a “terrible tragedy. The Oshona is lost. They are no survivors. Keep them in your prayers. G-d bless them.” The spaceship flies away from the Earth as the sailors cry.
A diver breaks the surface momentarily before ducking back under and searching for Linda. Somehow, Stiles is still alive. But not for long since one of the sharks roars and eats him. Thanks, movie, that was totally necessary. The radioman hears someone banging on the hatch, but he thinks he’s imagining it. Fortunately, other sailors hear it, and Jonas and Linda are pulled inside. (He totally broke the surface earlier. Way to keep your bloopers in the film!) Linda isn’t breathing so Jonas begins to give her rescue breaths. After about thirty seconds, she splutters into life. Jonas begins to kiss her and tell her she’s okay as the sailors celebrate. Whoo! Two people we don’t know survived when about 20 we also didn’t know died! YAY!
In the med bay, Corbin Bernsen visits Jonas and Linda. Jonas immediately asks if he saw the spaceship and aliens. Corbin looks at him like he’s crazy. Jonas thinks the sharks were protecting the warp core. (When he says this, an old alien B-movie sting plays. I really enjoy that.) Corbin tells him to go to sleep. Jonas can’t believe he doesn’t believe his story about aliens. He and Linda kiss as the credits roll.
Raging Sharks is filled with plot holes and dropped threads. (Why did no one consider using the mini-sub in the several hours it took Jonas to get back to Bermuda? Why did no one try to mount a rescue using a sub from Bermuda? Why did no one think to send a sub that could actually do what they wanted to do on this mission?) The CGI is laughable, and the characters that aren’t Jonas, Linda, and Corbin Bernsen can’t really act very well. I’m convinced Leo’s actor doesn’t actually speak English but was reciting his lines phonetically. Plus, the ending is completely contrived.
However, I love this film. It is the epitome of so bad, it’s good. Corin Nemec (who is completely aware of what kind of movie this is) is a fantastic actor as is Corbin Bernsen. Vanessa Angel did a really good job for what she was given, which often didn’t make sense. Nemec and Angel actually sell their characters as a couple that has been together for 10 years and still love each other despite the fights and spats. The villain is something out of a Saturday morning cartoon, including doing things (like taking pictures of the Oshona) for no reason other than being evil. However, that works in a silly film like this. Everyone involved knew what they were doing and what the expectations were, and they delivered.
The plot is so insane, it’s hard not to love it. (I’m fairly certain this is the only killer shark movie featuring an alien subplot.) Considering this was made with less than $200,000 in the span of less than a month, it’s a masterpiece. If you can find it cheap, I recommend buying it. No film collection is complete without one WTF piece.