5 HEADED SHARK ATTACK
In between their mockbusters, The Asylum have an equally lucrative business churning out wilfully ridiculous killer shark films. These began with Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009), which has spawned three sequels, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurs (2010), Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark (2014) and Mega Shark vs. Kolossus (2015). The genre hit a peak with the huge hit of the bad movie phenomenon Sharknado (2013) and sequels. Elsewhere, The Asylum have also unleashed the likes of Shark Week (2012), Ice Sharks (2016), Planet of the Sharks (2016) and Empire of the Sharks (2017).
2 Headed Shark Attack (2012) was one of The Asylums gonzo killer shark films. directed by Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray. Although beyond the absurd premise of a two-headed shark, it took itself relatively seriously. Believing that success mandates escalation, The Asylum and Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray then returned with 3 Headed Shark Attack (2015), which brought the series to an appealingly ridiculous peak that hit the stride perfectly. Figuring the only place to go is to add more heads, The Asylum return here with 5 Headed Shark Attack. Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray is absent and has been replaced in the directors seat by newcomer Nico De Leon.
The very title 5 Headed Shark Attack seems almost to be offered up The Asylum as a challenge to see in how much of a sense of humour audience are willing to keep buying their offerings before this topples over into the merely silly (as the last two Sharknado sequels have done). There is a point here where the meta-referentiality starts to just get a little too precious a scene early on where Nikki Howard is pooh-poohing the idea of a five-headed shark and retorts Whats next? Sharks flying around in a tornado. There is a highly entertaining money shot where the shark succeeds in bringing down a helicopter a scene copied from Jaws 2 (1978). Aside from that though, there is not much of the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the Sharknado films or 3 Headed Shark Attack and everything is played straight dramatically. In essence, all that The Asylum have done is rehashed the basics of Jaws (1975) or perhaps even more so the Jaws copy Orca (1977) with its plot of attempting to capture the watery menace for the first time and kept the cast at sea on a variety of boats for the bulk of the running time. In lacking the ability to create the suspense that Steven Spielberg did, this does require a number of victims to fall into the water and be chomped or boats to end up failing/sinking within the films running time. Aside from the absurd novelty of the title creature, there is nothing to 5 Headed Shark Attack beyond a regular B-budget shark attack film though.
The film was shot in Puerto Rico where you cannot deny the locations are shot with an impressive eye. The effects are generally good, as they are increasingly getting to be with each new film from The Asylum. On the other hand, the quite good shark attack scenes are let down by the odd corner-cut scene in particular, one where an obviously poorly computer-generated fishing boat is sunk.
This was followed by 6-Headed Shark Attack (2018).