Sharktopus: Been There, Chewed That

Le Monstre

Here’s a totally awesome idea for a horror movie: take an octopus and mash it up with a great white shark and have it go foamy on a crowded beach and pull people’s swimming suits off, spank their sandy asses with any one of eight tentacles, and then eat them. And we’ll call this hybrid creature Sharktopus, put it on the SyFy™ Channel and…

Hold the boat – it’s been done before. Twenty-six years before, to be exact. In 1984 Italian filmmaker Lamberto Bava (son of the legendary Mario Bava, mega-famous horror director) made a little movie called Le Monstre de L’Ocean Rouge. And its star was a mutant octopus/shark creature that attacked people and ate them. (No word if the monster pulled down its victims’ le trunks first and gave them a good paddling.)

Sharktopus

Roger Corman, having made over one million low-budget movies, is the guy behind Sharktopus. Either he didn’t do his homework, or he didn’t figure anyone would remember Le Monstre de L’Ocean Rouge. Someone needs a tentacle spanking. Mind you, ’ol Rog has given us such cinematic handle jigglers as Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) and Creature From The Haunted Sea (1961), so he at least has some aquatic monster experience. But Sharktopus, his latest groaner, is far from original.

Le Monstre

In Le Monstre de L’Ocean Rouge the 40-foot octo-squallus goes all bite-y on a delicious Florida ’burb. It’s a small place; locals refer to it as Snack Town. A marine biologist and her business associate attempt to kill the mutation. Easier said than done. Le Monstre makes with the chomp until someone figures out that the only way to kill it is with flame-throwers. (If I were Le Monstre, I’d simply go underwater when approached with said throwers of flame. But that’s just me.)

Le Monstre Le Monstre de L’Ocean Rouge goes by many other names, including Devilfish (kinda cool, but lacking purpose), Devouring Waves (better), Jaws Attack 2 (really?), Monster Shark (they should’ve left it Devilfish), and Red Ocean (gimme a break). But a rose by any other name is still a rose. As a bonus, Le Monstre de L’Ocean Rouge stars Michael Sopkiw. You no doubt remember him from Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (1985). Clearly the right man for the right job.

Yo Sharktopus, you’re still welcome in these waters. Just don’t go around thinking you’re all that, because you ain’t. There was a half shark/half octopus here long before you. And it was making swimmers pollute the waters while you were just another science lab experiment gone wrong. But hey, no one’s judging you.

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