directed by Pat Corbitt
& Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Quick ... what's not in widescreen and has no special features? That's right, Megalodon! Sixty feet of prehistoric terror -- or so claims the box art. This film may be about a shark, but the production is all about Frankenstein. Seen Jaws? How about The Abyss, Alien, Reptilicus, Deep Blue Sea, Deep Star Six or Leviathan? Then you've seen most, if not all, of Megalodon. It's all here, the high-tech, multi-billion-dollar drill site, a small but "the best at what they do" crew, an ill-timed major storm (snow and ice), an ill crewman, a lost world filled with lost fish (including lost megalodons), the standard crew roundtable scar sharing scene, a spunky blond girl reporter and her husky semi-comic cameraman, tiny one-man (or -woman) subs, a helicopter crash, several "tragic" deaths all capped off with a whiz-bang explosion at the end which solves most (but not all) of the problems.
Megalodon takes no chances by leaving nothing to the imagination. It simply takes no risks -- which is odd since it tries so hard to move in another direction all the time. There's a good story here blocked by a very large shark. The megalodon doesn't come into view until halfway through the film, and up until then you may find yourself wondering when they're just going to get on with it. But once the shark does get into frame, you realize that there was something more building here.
We've seen the destruction of the environment used time and again in these kinds of films -- it's a backdrop, something for the creator and builder of the world's biggest and deepest oil rig to ravage and lay waste to -- but here, the head of the Colossus is actually a pretty good guy trying to provide the world with the fuel it needs. When they stumble upon the lair of the megalodon there is no talk of drilling for more oil -- they all are taken by the wonder of finding a Lost World. It almost seems as if the story might break away here and follow a different direction. But it never does -- the shark swims in, knocks things about, knocks things over, breaks through things and gets blown to bits. We skip to three months later, get our coda, then our stinger ... that there is not one, but two, perhaps more megalodons now loose in the world's oceans. Nifty -- but dull.
There are a ton of unanswered questions, and by the end you know the movie has cheated you. (Can anyone explain why the earthquakes were needed in this film? Also, was the anchor cable drilled into the ocean floor ever going to break? They cut back to it at least three times after each quake and I kept waiting for it to snap and the Colossus to tip over, but it never did). Megalodon is what it is, full-screen, ready-for-cable, jammed with a few nifty ideas and stuffed with off-kilter CGI (the subs looks fake, but clean, while the megalodon itself looks and acts almost exactly like a plastic tub toy shark) effects. Not the best, not the worst, not Jaws or any of the rest -- it's Megalodon, and it's available for sale or to rent.