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January 22, 2013

Movie Review: Snow Shark (2011)

Review By: Rob Sibley

“Snow Shark”... were should I begin? Let's start off by saying I love two things more then life itself. Coffee & cigarettes... whoops I mean shark movies and no budget films. Well Snow Shark is a shark movie and it definitely was shot for no money.

For me the lower the budget of a film is the more I like it. I can appreciate C-grade acting, shoddy editing, dim photography, zero production design and low grade digital cinema. Snow shark possesses all of those qualities and then some. 

Let's get this out of the way the film was written, directed, produced, shot by Sam Qualiana. I have a deep respect for people who are a one man crew. He has my sympathy because it's not fun, having done the same with my own short films and even a failed feature film “Execution Date”. So he gets some points for trying hard... also yes I just plugged myself. Deal with it. 

This film originally started out as a short film then was later turned into a feature film. The film actually went into production with the filmmakers assuming they were going to make another Snow Shark short film but a day or two into shooting they decided to turn the short into a feature. Problem is they didn't have a full script so they were writing as they went along and started production immediately. Which explains the stilted dialog and now and then awkward performances.

It was shot over weekends for a small budget of 7K. So major props for that... but well I'm trying to sugar coat this review as you can but here ya go. Snow Shark is a piece of shit. It tries... it tries really fucking hard but it just didn't work out. 

What did the filmmakers suspect? I mean your working on a 7K budget with a high concept... a fun concept a SNOW SHARK. A proper creature fabrication for a decent looking shark should have cost about 10K... for half a fake shark. Well... I guess the money was spent on the cardboard looking fin that glides through the ice and some really bad CGI... really bad.

Also I must note, on the commentary track for the DVD. The producer of the film decides to bash bloggers in defense of the film by saying “There are going to be all these drunk bloggers and say they are clearly walking in 4 feet of snow. How can that whole shark be under the ground?” Well dude, I don't really care. I assume it was like a Graboid from Tremors. But I find it a stupid move to bash the people who are going to help you sell your movie.

Are you still interested in the film? Not so much, yeah I thought so. Here's the plot, a snow shark terrorizes some people in Upstate NY. The governor gathers together some people to hunt it down, said people get bumped off, roll ending credits. Bingo bango. 

Now I LOVE bad shark movies. I'll watch every Syfy channel original movie if it has a shark in it. The problem with this film is it takes itself so seriously. I mean we don't even get a wink or a nod. What's fun about films like Sharktopus & Dinoshark is that they acknowledge how silly the films are, the actors know it, the crew know it and that's what makes them fun.

I'm against remakes usually but get Roger Corman and Syfy channel to buy the rights to the title “Snow Shark” should be cheap... a sixer of near beer should do it. Use the title, give it a million dollar budget, cast someone from the 80's who had a name and BAM! You got yourself a SYFY channel original movie that would be much better then this turkey. SKIP IT. 

The DVD on the other hand is pretty decent. Shot on a Sony Handycam HDR-FX7, the film looks pretty good. It's a low end digital camera but it gets the job done. I've used the camera before and you can get great images... if you light the scenes properly. Sadly they decided to shoot this film mainly with natural light and a 1K watt light here and there so what you get is a flat lifeless image.

The sound is actually okay, you can understand what people are saying. I'm not saying that's a good thing but hey no snack, crackle or pop so props on the clear audio. My guess is the boom mic cost more then the camera. 

Extras. We get the already mentioned commentary track... its rather dull. No one seems that excited to recording it. They should be high fiving till the sun goes down since someone actually is distributing this film on DVD.

We also get some short films, outtakes and a behind the scenes featurette. Bad movie, Good DVD.

What can I say? This film is dreadful, SKIP IT.

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