Raiders of the Lost Shark

Raiders of the Lost Shark

Raiders of the Lost Shark was clearly made with tongue firmly in cheek … but that’s really no excuse. 

It reminded me of another goofy indie pic with low production values and a ridiculous monster-based set-up: Monsturd. But somehow that managed a sense of affectionate warmth and enjoyment that Raiders totally fails to reach.

The bad points: Bad acting hampered by bad direction. Freezing cold-looking location ‘photography’ that looks worse than something you could capture these days on an iPhone. Drab locations. The script completely overreaches what the filmmakers were able to pull off. Too much off-screen, tell-don’t-show action. Too much piss-poor on-screen action. Awful sound quality. Risible CGI and model work. At just over an hour, it totally outstays its welcome. It can’t even be considered so bad it’s good – it’s just really bad.

The good points: It’s only 71 minutes long. (But it feels longer.)

If this was just a bunch of friends making something cute to show one time in their hometown to a sympathetic audience of mostly family members, then fine. But this thing is presented as having come from an actual company, with a logo and “entertainment” as part of its name and everything. And yet there’s no way this should be listed on IMDb, never mind released on DVD in exchange for actual money. There are homemade passion projects out there that got a wide release and totally deserved it – Evil Dead and Bad Taste are two that come instantly to mind. Raiders of the Lost Shark is an insult to the spirit of that kind of filmmaking.

There is a great poster for this ‘film’, and it’s a great title. But it lives and dies on the promise of those two things, and completely wastes them.

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