By Susan Snyder
If you have made it all the way to part four of this series, you are a truly remarkable human being with awful taste in movies. I love you. If this is your first visit to my Sharksploitation-fest, welcome. Also, it’s not essential that you read the other three parts, but if you don’t, my avid followers (all five of them!) and I will mock and judge you on the world wide web.
There are a few hybrid sharks swimming around in the Sharksploitation gene pool. Not as many as I would like. To clarify, I consider hybrids to be a shark crossed with “something else”. This is not an un-dead shark (to be discussed in the next installment) nor is this a weaponized regular old vanilla shark (note: new ice cream idea). I have reviewed dozens of shark movies and one franchise really dominates the hybrid scene … Sharktopus.
Sharktopus itself is kind of neat. Half Great White, half octopus, this overly-shiny leviathan features spikes along its gills and can walk on land. In one scene, I swear I saw a belly button beak hole, like the mouth of an octopus. It was a fleeting moment and was not spoken of, but I know I saw it. I just cannot understand why they didn’t utilize this feature in the film. Okay, Sharktopus is kind of weaponized but it sure ain’t vanilla. People keep affixing mind control helmets to his poor head to make him do awful things to people. Yet, Sharktopus always wriggles out of the helmet and creates havoc all on his own, thank you very much.
I cannot speak of Sharktopus without mentioning the other non-shark hybrids that speckle the franchise like chocolate jimmies on a vanilla shark cone. We are introduced to Pteracuda in the second film who, of course, is half pterodactyl and half barracuda. Sharktopus and Pteracuda periodically engage in fights both in the air and underwater. Both creatures fight like sissies. Pteracuda slaps Sharktopus on both cheeks at one point like a British dandy. In the third movie, Whalewolf enters the picture. The whale part is the dorsal and tail. The wolf shows in his paws and canine head area. He pants, he howls, he growls. He is truly adorable. Unfortunately, he is really a womanizing ex-baseball player transformed into the hybrid beast. So, deep down in his cockles, he’s just a human dickhead. Throughout the film, he and Sharktopus engage in battle, albeit short and disappointing battles.
One of my absolute favorite sharksploitation hybrid flicks is Roboshark. This movie opens with an alien mothership hurling a fiery soccer ball at the earth. It lands in the sea and is promptly swallowed by a Great White. The shark convulses and transforms into Roboshark, the sweetest little death machine you ever did see! Roboshark uses its teeth that can morph into an electric toothbrush to Sonicare its way into destroying a nuclear sub. I have to admit I instantly fell in love with Roboshark. The CGI ain’t bad. Its skeleton glows red and it processes what it sees like the Terminator’s brain but… adorable. Despite the eye-splitting cuteness of this shark bot, the Navy wants to destroy it. Sigh. It becomes apparent that this robot-alien thing possessing Roboshark just wants to go back to his planet. Will he succeed or be doomed to live forever on a planet where people actually watch movies like this? Find out for yourselves, folks. I shall not spoil.
I am not entirely sure if Piranha Sharks count as hybrids. They look like guppies with toothpicks for teeth, but super cute. A biotech company shrinks Great White Sharks and sells them like Sea Monkeys to the unsuspecting public. The scientist that creates them has a mishap and gets a wee bite which causes him to be apparently eaten alive from the inside. Because they are microscopic, they can do that. These teeny-weeny leviathans escape into the water supply and can only be killed with Jägermeister. Maybe they aren’t hybrids, just shrunken little shits. Maybe I just included them in this article out of some subconscious desire for you to know that this movie exists. I just don’t know anymore.
As promised, next month’s article will focus on the undead of the sharksploitation family. In the meantime, I shall do some mad-scientisting of my own as I try to create vanilla shark ice cream. This will probably not end well.
* All images under fair use
Susan Snyder is a writer of horror short fiction and poetry. Broken Nails, her debut poetry collection, was released in July 2020. The short story “Param” which appeared in the Trigger Warning: Body Horror anthology from Madness Heart Press was nominated for a 2020 Splatterpunk award. Her work can be seen in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase and multiple magazines and anthologies. Susan writes a weekly shark movie review blog called Sharksploitation Sunday